Discover the Secrets to Becoming a Successful Author

Studies show 81% of people want to write a book. Unfortunately, 99% of them will never realize that dream.

I was 1 of the 99% until I found people who helped me believe in myself and taught me what I needed to know about #writing and #publishing.

Want to know those secrets? Now, you can!

Watch this FREE webinar with my writing coach tomorrow. It’s FREE!

There’s no catch! So, what’s stopping you?

It’s FREE!!!

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Author Interview: Tom Tinney #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Tom Tinney, author of “Blood of Invidia” and numerous other works.

Hi Tom, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

61dk10LR0gL._UX250_USA. Originally lived in Arizona, but currently, reside in Wisconsin. Travelled the world when I served in the USAF.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

An unforced story. No matter the genre, if it feels like the author is “Checking the PC/genre boxes”, it’s boring and contrived. I also love to become immersed. The author needs to help me suspend reality (especially in my favorite genres of Sci-Fi and Fantasy).

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I used to edit and write for a Biker magazine (V-twin, not peddle-type). People kept saying I should write a book. So, I did. Just not the book they thought. Instead of spooling out the next “Sons of Anarchy” with “Bikers, brawls, and broads”, I wrote the epic Sci-Fi Space Opera Thriller “Threads”. It’s why I’m the Biker-Nerd.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I start each session with a little clean up from the last sit down, then plow ahead. I have a spreadsheet system (and giant whiteboard) for capturing and refining my ideas. I use those to keep from straying too far off the planned story. Sometimes a writer comes up with a jewel, or two, worth pursuing and characters take on a life of their own. You should explore those, but they can’t overwhelm or distract from the story.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I can write anywhere. Noisy, quiet, busy, alone. Just write. I’m not one of those “Gotta have my music on” or “I need total silence” people. As a matter of fact, I’m REALLY bored with those sorts of questions in writing groups. “What music do you write with?” and “1st, 3rd or blah blah blah person point of view, which is best?” None. All. Who cares…just write the story that comes and be true to it.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

51FiQ8BzT2L._SY346_“Blood of Invidia: Book One of the Maestru series”, Sci-Fi/Galactic Empire/Paranormal. We blend old classics (Vampires/shape shifters) with SciFi (Gray Aliens, Hi-tech Yakuza ninjas). By “We” I mean myself and my son, Morgen Batten, who co-wrote it with me in the cloud. He lives in Australia and we have never met in person.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I could separate the “Dad-mode” from the writing effort. When we collaborated, we were both thinking about the story. We resolved differing views and nuances during great discussions (Usually via Skype) and by shooting each other examples via messenger.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Malikae focused on his prey’s back. He pressed his hands deeper into his coat. They rested not in pockets, but through holes that allowed him to grab and manipulate the weapons held up by their hidden nylon support straps. He wore a service jacket he’d purchased at an army surplus store. The weapons had been stolen from a nearby military facility. He kept pace with his prey.

Cla-clink-clink.

A minute, but very distinct sound. The sound of a mechanical lever being thrown and engaged. Simultaneous metallic clicks originating from both of the oversized front pockets of his jacket.

He wondered for a microsecond about the safety of the other beings between him and around his target, but the thought turned to grey mist and he became unconcerned that he was on a crowded street.

He was compelled to act. Something inside him screamed for him to turn away, to return to his companions. To take his new family and run back to— who? To her. But that screaming voice died in the fogginess of his mind, as well. He wasn’t sure if it was wrong or right, but it was necessary. He knew it.

He pushed the machine-pistols forward and up, so they brushed his coat out of the way, the trapezoidal metallic protrusions on the back of his hands catching slightly on the coat.

He raised the weapons quickly and took a bead on his intended target. He drew a deep breath and released it. Some of the more observant people in the crowd noticed the black metal shapes and looks of recognition began to appear. They wouldn’t recognize the metallic pieces embedded in his hands or the set that were attached on either side of his neck beneath his long black hair.

 The more observant people started to flex away from the obvious danger, or avert their course out of the path of the barrel tips pointed through them at the target. Malikae released the breath, and at the end of his expulsion of air, the point at which the hand is steadiest, he pulled the triggers of both weapons.

Although his mission briefing stressed that his quarry was dangerous, it was only at that moment that the truth of that statement became apparent. The pistols bucked in his hand once, twice, three times in succession and his intended victim seemed to blur and then simply was no longer in his line of fire.

He watched through the grey haze of expended gasses and burning gunpowder as his bullets passed through the empty space where his target had been walking. The projectiles from his weapons tore the line of pedestrians beyond to shreds. The air, moments before the domain of generic city sounds, now filled with the screams of the wounded, dying and those terrified that they’d be next.

And still, the guns fired, the barrels searching for a target that was no longer there. They swept right and left, wherever Malikae looked, the barrels followed and the people died.

Failure. His hands shook and his legs tensed. He screamed, but it came out as a howl. He saw red, knowing the element of surprise had been lost. The weapons in his hands were now useless. Anger and frustration took the place of calculation and cunning. The emotional shift set off a rush of endorphins and adrenalin. The magazines ran empty. He wouldn’t be able to finish this with machine pistols, so he let them go and pinched the strap release buckles, dropping them, and their harness, to the ground. He’d trained with these primitive weapons in order to blend in and they’d proven ineffective.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Lots. Currently working on “ManaTech: Mages” a new FantaSci/Alternate History series that is part of a book deal. Also have to do two more books in the “Fabric of the Universe” series associated with my first novel “Threads”, as well as three more books that will complete the “Maestru Series” that “Blood of Invidia” started. I also write a WEBisode series on my website called “PULPED!” which is near future detective noir set on Mars.

 Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

It’s a tie. Professional cover and professional editing. Elevated my novels.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Everything can be found on my website Https://www.tomtinney.com (If fans sign-up for my newsletter, they get a free copy of “Threads” to read.

Or on my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Tinney/e/B00EAWJWVM

Writer’s Block: Fact or Myth

 

When I sat in the writing panel of #1 New York bestselling young-adult author Rachel Caine at Wizard World Chicago in 2015, Caine presented the idea that there was no such thing as writer’s block. She explained there is nothing actually physically blocking you. Instead, YOU are blocking yourself.

“There are legitimate reasons a writer has to go idle,” Caine recently told Bubblelife in a recent author interview“illness, whether physical or caused by less obvious things like depression, are very valid and would be just as valid in any job in the world. But when we talk about a “block,” we’re externalizing an internal problem. Sometimes that problem can be solved by taking a vacation for a week and coming back fresh. Sometimes it’s the wrong idea or worked on in the wrong way. But regardless, if the story isn’t coming, change what you’re doing and try again. As the writer, you control the problem and the solution. You are the block.”

This, at first, I honestly had a hard time believing myself. I mean, it only took me thirteen years to write the first book in The Rite of Wands series! However, now that I have gone through the experience of publishing a novel, I can say what Rachel Caine preaches about writer’s block is true! The key is discovering the root cause.

So, you may be asking, what took me so long to write my debut book? Though at the time I didn’t understand the real reason, I later reflected and discovered it was because of a combination of issues: not giving myself the time to work on my series consistently, obsessively re-writing my story to get it just right (which led to an even further fascinating discussion on writing with Caine), and writing the character, Mierta McKinnon, the wrong way. Now, using Caine’s argument, how many of those things did I actually have control of? The truth is, all of them.

I could have found time to consistently write. Instead, I made excuses. While obsessively re-writing my story did eventually lead to how the story looks today, I also was permitting myself to delay my finished product. And then the issue with Mierta, well, he wasn’t convinced that I was serious to write his character until my encounter with actor Matt Smith.

Tips On Overcoming Writer’s Block:

  1. Write – Write about what you did during your day. You never know how doing something as simple as that may help to jump-start the muse.
  1. Erase the last thing you wrote. No, I don’t mean permanently. Save what you have already in a fresh document. Then make another document, copy and paste everything into that and then erase to the beginning of the last scene you wrote. Re-write it! It may take you in a direction you never expected.
  1. Look at books and websites of writing prompts. For example, I am writing two new short stories in The Rite of Wands universe for RustCity Book Convention, following the prompts origins and treasure. This has allowed me to explore and further develop characters that were already well-developed in the original novel, as well as led me to the answer to the burning question I’ve been asked by fans: what did Armand do to upset Mierta?
  1. Use a writing program like Write or Die. Yes, just the name can sound intimating, but if you’re looking for something that will force you to write without stopping, trust me, this program will do the trick! Rachel Caine uses this program to meet deadlines, and even I used this program this evening to complete this entry!

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.” – Maya Angelou

Whether you believe writer’s block is real or not, the key is to keep writing, even if it’s just writing something simple like a grocery list.

 

What Not To Do At An Author Event

Summertime for an independent author symbolizes more than just getting outside to enjoy the warm weather after a long, cold, winter, or getting the opportunity to write outdoors. It represents the beginning of one of the most significant times of the year: travel season. Comic cons, writing workshops, panels and other exciting opportunities which help to get out yourself out there to network and sell your book! After all, there’s no one out there who can sell your book better than you. You are the brand!

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(From the 2017 Ann Arbor Book Festival from left to right – Mackenzie Flohr, Richard DuMont, J.S. Bailey)

I have emphasized before how being an indie author has its own unique challenges. You must work extra hard to get your book out there, and even convince some people why they should pick up your book when they do not even know who you are. Author signings are one of the best opportunities for this. You will get to meet readers excited to learn about you and your book. There’s nothing like getting to see the look on someone’s face after purchasing your book and seeing you personalize their copy for them!

I find at each author event I attend, I learn something new. And I’m equally surprised by how many things authors continue to do that they shouldn’t. If you’re an author, discover if you may be guilty of doing any of these things, and readers, think about how many times you may have seen an author do this.

What Not To Do:

  1. Presentation – The presentation of your author table is important. You want something that helps bring readers over to your table. Don’t just stack your books on the table! It not only looks sloppy, but readers are not going to want to waste their time picking through your mess. Is that message you want to pass onto your readers? If you only have one title, the most you will want to put on the table is a max of six books. Then, include other things such as your business cards, bookmarks, brochures, etc.
  2. Avoid being pushy – You will find just like any other sales environment, some people are just there to look. They may not even want to acknowledge your presence. Respect their boundaries. Don’t alienate your customer by making them feel uncomfortable! Not everyone is there to buy your book. Instead, encourage them to take your business cards. You may be surprised how many sales you get after the event simply because you permitted someone the opportunity to take their time looking over your materials.
  3. Network – There are going to be down times. Use that opportunity to network with other attending authors! Don’t sit behind your table playing or texting on your cell phone.
  4. Engage – Remember that most of the attendees will have no knowledge of who you are or what you write about. Don’t sit behind your author table! Stand. Smile. Say, hello. Find ways to engage in conversation. New readers will feel encouraged to speak with you when they know you are approachable. Ask them about what they like to read, favorite authors, etc. Leave them with a good, lasting impression! For example, after my latest book signing on Saturday, I actually read on facebook one of new readers say about me, “I really enjoyed talking to her…fun!”