Gary was raised in the Napa Valley when it produced as many plums as grapes; studied at UC Santa Cruz when it was still small and kooky; and made his home in San Francisco before it was annexed by Silicon Valley.
Like many writers, Gary took a wage-slave job to pay the bills. Unlike many, he managed to escape from it at the tender age of fifty. He then embarked on a life of writing full-time and exploring the world. This included a three year stint of living outside the U.S. with one suitcase, one pair of pants, which had to be replaced partway through, and one pair of shoes, which did not. His travel memoir Couchsurfing: the Musical, published by Adelaide Books, recounts his rollicking adventures journeying from Tel Aviv to Montreal while staying with a variety of couchsurfing hosts.
At the start of his career, Gary kept to the time-honored path of writing about what he knew. His first group of short stories follows an autobiographical self from adolescence to middle age. By contrast, in his next group, inspired by his travels, each story is set in a different country and deals with characters who vary in nationality, age, gender, and sexual orientation. His conclusion: the famous injunction to “Write about what you know” should be elaborated into “Start by writing about what you know, then cut loose and write about what you don’t.”
Gary again put himself in the shoes of someone unlike himself to produce his middle-grade novel Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker. Amy McDougall is written in the voice of a thirteen-year-old mixed race girl who’s adopted by a single gay dad. The venture worked so well that Gary echoes Flaubert in saying, “Amy McDougall – c’est moi!”
Gary’s stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Berkeley Fiction Review, Bryant Literary Review, the anthology Outer Voices, Inner Lives, and other publications. Gary is currently single and has no children, though he did once have a cat he was very fond of and still sometimes dreams about with intense feeling.
Regal House is pleased to publish Gary Pedler’s work of middle grade fiction Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker in early 2021.