Truth or Dare
When I started writing, the biggest concern from friends and family seemed to be how much of my characters would be based on them. Fair comment, I thought; I don't think I would like to be someone else's storyline. But if a writer is truly honest, I don't know that there is a definable line in the sand. Every day I meet with people and they influence my stories and characters. From a funny anecdote that they referred to or were part of or the unusual way they walk or talk. There are parts of all the people in my life in my books. Which made me begin to wonder if writing really was just a massive game of truth or dare? Maybe as authors, we just dared to be truthful? Or is it just our imagination stretching a personality to its limits? Which got me thinking about meeting with other authors like the ones I got the privilege of interviewing below, and I was keen to find out what they were writing about.
This month's authors:
A confessed short story junkie with a range of books and genres, I was intrigued to learn about his writing process:
What's the best part of writing scary stuff?
Getting to kill anyone I want! Actually it's trying to come up with something new. Having a character take a left turn.
Who, or what, is your greatest inspiration when you write and how did you find them?
So many great authors. So many great people have influenced me. An Indie author named Valerie Lioudis got me writing again after many years of me saying I'm not good enough. I got ripped by a publishing house twenty years ago and had not written in years. Val asked me if I wanted to submit a story for Mad Like Me. Twenty-four hours later I sent her a rough draft. My editor said it made her cry. Maybe I can do this.
Where is your favorite location to write and why?
Favorite place? The woods. Nature has a way of putting this modern life into perspective. It helps move a plot along by keeping it simple so you can focus on the action.
How would you describe your writing process?
Chaotic - I'm a pantser. I write from an idea and see where the characters take it. Very little outlining and no set formula. Scribble ideas and occasionally plot twist or important points in "the book", my leather-covered note pad.
Tim loves to interact with his readers via Facebook. He can be found hanging out at reanimated writers page and his author page or just as himself. He loves hearing from readers. Good, bad or you suck, everyone has an opinion. Just saying hi is cool. Met some great people. Like his biggest fan Pam TroupeJones. Oh and Tamra Crow - Mistress of Words aka his editor
You can find him on : https://www.facebook.com/tim.ricketts.10
I hope you can take a moment to support him, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Bobby has one of the most extensive collections of writing I have ever interviewed, so I just had to know how he does it and this is what he said:
You have a massive range of writing you have done, what drives you to write?
I love telling stories. I think my love of writing and my desire to sit down and write these characters begins there. I like looking at situations from different characters’ points of view, learning who they are, getting to know them, and then putting them through hell. You know, it sounds a little sadistic that way, but it’s true. I like seeing how these characters I love survive adversity and, if I’m doing my job right, thrive. Well, at least the ones I don’t kill off. Ha! Ha!
What is your favourite genre?
I love thrillers, but the beauty of thrillers is that they pair so well with all genres. You can have action/thrillers, mystery/thrillers, horror/thrillers, sci-fi/thrillers, etc. I like putting my characters in a thriller setting. I have fun with them there. I also like action in my stories. I like them to move. The last thing I ever want to hear from a reader is that my story was “too slow” or “boring.” So far, the only person to have ever used the word “boring” that I know of was my mother. She was trying to tell a bookstore owner about my first novel, Evil Ways, and was trying to describe the slow burn of the mystery part of the thriller, but the word that came out of her mouth was “boring,” which did not foster any book orders from that store, I’m sure. If nothing else, we got a good laugh out of it.
I also love science fiction, although I don’t get to write it as often as I would like. This year, I had a novel come out called Nightveil: Crisis at the Crossroads of Infinity from Pro Se Productions. Based on the AC Comics character, Nightveil battles an enemy at the center of everything to save the multiverse. It was fun writing a super-heroic sci-fi story like this, but even more exciting for me as a creator was getting to write one of my favorite comic book characters. I first read a Nightveil comic in the late 1980’s. It was’86 or ’87, I think. I know I was in high school so… I loved the character and I remember telling a friend of mine that I would write her one day. Well, it took thirty years, but that dream finally came true. Now, if someone can help me make this dream of writing Marvel’s Thor or Fantastic Four happen…
My Snow series is action/thriller based, but one book can have a mystery element, another suspenseful, or crime, or whatever.
Which character you have created have you connected with the most and why?
FBI Agent Harold Palmer from Evil Ways is a lot like me, personality-wise. When I was writing the first draft of Evil Ways, I was taking some night creative writing classes. As part of the class, we would read our work aloud and get instant feedback from the instructor and the other writers around the room. The two main protagonists of the novel are brothers, an FBI Agent and a local newspaper reporter. They haven’t seen one another in a few years, living in different states. When I read their first interaction in the novel, some of the feedback I received said that the characters did not “feel” like brothers. I took the advice, went back and re-read it. I have a brother so I asked myself how would my brother and I handle this interaction. It worked really well so I gave Harold part of my personality and his brother, Ray, got my brother’s personality. Suddenly, the scene came alive. So, yeah, there’s a little bit of me in Harold Palmer, at least at the beginning until he became his own character.
I have also connected with the Snow family in my Snow series. Abraham Snow is the main character, but his family members have become bigger parts of the story than originally intended because they are great characters who demand more time. Archer Snow, the main character’s grandfather, has especially won over readers. I get a lot of requests to see more of him. Archer is my idealized version of a grandfather. There are currently four Snow novellas (Snow Falls, Snow Storm, Snow Drive, Snow Trapped, and SNOW Series 1, Vol. 1 collecting the first 3 books) and more to come. Snow Business is scheduled to debut in November 2019.
If you could meet any author (living or not) who would you pick and why?
This is always a tough question for me. Sometimes it’s best not to meet your heroes. That said, I have met many wonderful authors over the years. On the list of people, I would like to meet is Michael Connelly, who writes the Harry Bosch novels and works on the Bosch TV series, both of which I highly recommend. I would love to pick his brain about writing and character. I imagine him to be a wealth of knowledge.
Runners up, who I wish I could have met just to say thank you to would-be Richard Martin Stern, who wrote the first novel I ever read called Snowbound Six. That was the book that kicked off my love of adventure and reading. I would also like to meet Lars Anderson, the creator of the Domino Lady in the 1930’s. I’ve written a number of Domino Lady stories and I would like to thank Lars, which was a pen name, how much the character has meant to me.
Bobby is pretty easy to find. He has a website – www.bobbynash.com – that has information on his books, appearances, acting gigs, interviews, art, reviews, blogs, the list goes on.
Please look him up and say hello as a show of support, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler