Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology Mike moved to London with ambitions of becoming a music journalist. This didn’t happen however and following a slight detour in his five-year plan he ended up as an agony uncle for teenage girls’ magazine Bliss before becoming Features Editor on the now much missed Just Seventeen. Since those early days Mike has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Cosmopolitan.
Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by The Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by The Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic.’
To date Mike is the author of twelve novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into over thirty languages.
Tell me about your book and why we should read it?
It’s called The Museum of Ordinary People. It’s about a young woman called Jess whose mum has just died. In the book there are two timelines. The first covers the week she spends clearing her mum’s house and the second takes place a year later when having saved a set of Encyclopaedias from her mum’s house that mean a great deal to her she’s forced to get rid of them. At the last moment however she’s told about The Museum of Ordinary People, a lock up at the back of a house clearance company that’s dedicated to saving ordinary people’s belongings. Jess immediately falls in love with it and decides to try and turn it into a proper museum. It’s a really engaging and thoughtful read that I think readers will fall in love with.
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
The Man Who Left His Socks Around The House
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
One reader asked me if I could find her a boyfriend who was a bit like me.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
The late Nora Ephron. I think she’d be fun to write with.
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
I once filmed a TV pilot for a TV show called You Need a Dog, where I’d fix people up with pets to solve their problems!
Unfortunately it never got past episode one!
Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
Maureen Fry and The Angel of The North by Rachel Joyce – I love Joyce’s writing and was thrilled to be asked to read an early version of this third part of the Harold Fry trilogy.
The Last Party – Clare Mackintosh – I read Clare’s first police procedural on holiday and was totally gripped by all its twists and turns.
The Summer Trip by Isabelle Broom – If you’re having a staycation, Broom’s books will transport you to sunny climes regardless with her wonderfully compelling story and descriptions of Corfu.