This week’s interview is with Tom Tinney. Tinney writes in a broad spectrum of genres and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist for the Best Horror Novel with Blood of Invidia. You’ll see in the interview just how diverse that spectrum is.
Interview: Tom Tinney
What is your quest?
I have two goals. One is to achieve produce a body of work so exciting that my fan following lets me pursue writing full time. My writing is REALLY diverse. I like reading SciFi (Adventure, Space Opera, Cyberpunk, Dystopian, etc) and Fantasy (High and Urban). At the same time, I like writing in all of those sub-genres. Turns out I can switch writing-modes with relative ease. In the long run, I probably won’t appeal to the genre purists, but I will appeal to others like me that have a variety of genres they like.
The second goal is to keep shepherding my son, and co-author Morgen Batten, along so that his writing career takes off. The purpose of our first book together is to produce enough royalties that He and I get to meet for the first time.
Never met my son? Nope. Not in person. He and I are proof it’s about genetics and not environment. He is me. Same attitude, quick mouth, and smart. He also likes fantasy and SciFi. He’d probably be a biker, like me, if he lived here in the U.S.A. Once we started talking (and texting) we found out about our mutual loves for the genres. Funny side story, and how Jim Butcher played in our relationship building.
Morgen and I were messaging about favorite authors. I tell him that Jim Butcher is excellent, and he needs to check him out.
A few weeks later, he messages me that he LOVES the Butcher books. I get excited and text back about Harry Dresden and Murphy and the urban fantasy angle.
He messages back “Who the hell is Harry? The kid’s name is Tavi and it’s like Roman times with elementals.”
“WTF? What are you reading? I said Jim Butcher. As in Dresden files.”
“I’m reading Jim Butcher. As in Alera Codex. Who’s Dresden?”
After some back and forth, I go buy “Furies of Calderon” and he buys “Storm Front”. We were both right.
He and I both read Feist, Tolkien, and now love Butcher. He talked me into reading Wheel of Time by Jordan. NOBODY gets to gripe about my info dumps after that. My Scifi Influences were Herbert, Asimov, Gibson, Williams, Drake, Niven, and Bradbury. Later on, I came into David Weber, John Ringo, Larry Correia and Nick Coles. All good. All influential.
What is your favorite color?
Dialogue. Once you can get that right, the rest just flows. I blow through flowery descriptions. I think authors get to caught up in them. Going for that “Literary award” with every word and sentence. I like a real conversation. One where I feel I am sitting between the characters while they converse. I like to be pulled in. That is how I write my conversations as well.
What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?
Self-Published marketing is the toughest thing to do. The writing comes naturally and has improved in a short time-frame. I can now make my own book covers and poster art in 3D modelling programs, so another talent found. The process of formatting and manipulating the technologies that allow me to produce a quality printed or epub book (Along with hiring professionals when I want more polish) is straight ahead, as well. But the marketing takes the most time and creates the largest stumbling blocks. It is also the costliest when a mistake or miscalculation is made. Following trends, or listening to “Gurus and money grabbers” Spew their nonsense has drained a LOT of indie pocketbooks while preying on their dreams. It takes awhile for us, but we learn to ask a LOT of questions and demand empirical evidence of the snake-oil salesmen’s results before we spend a dime.
What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?
Brain worms. My talent and the bane of my existence. Once an idea gets planted, the back of my brain grinds on it, twists it, stretches it and flushes out the story possibilities. Then BAM…I start writing. I can scream along for days or weeks (Wrote my first 185,000 word novel in 6 weeks). I have learned NOT to edit while writing. Just freakin’ type. Let it flow. Go back later and tweak. Much later.
I have also learned to avoid conversations with people that start “You write? I have a story idea…” Nope. My response, as I hold up my hand, “Gotta stop you. I’d suggest you take some time and really hit the keys. Write that bad boy yourself. If it’s a good idea, you should profit from it.”
I’m also really good with the 3D programs (I use Poser11) to create covers. To the point I made an animated book promo. It’s a brilliant release, watching a character you’ve written come to life in 3D, then posing, lighting and rendering a scene from a story or book. Technology in creative tools has come a long way.
Favorite Muppet? Animal. Come-on…he’s awesome.
Crunchy or Creamy? Crunchy
Favorite Sports Team? Was the Steelers, but being a Veteran, I gave up on NFL.
Cake or Pie? Cake. If Pie had frosting, then pie would pull ahead.
Lime or Lemon? Neither unless we are making some sort of goofy new organic battery.
Favorite Chip Dip? Guacamole. Goes with any chip and meal.
Wet or Dry? Dry. I’m a desert rat at heart and I ride motorcycles, so DRY is always better.
Whisky or Whiskey? Whiskey. ‘MERICA! Favorite drink is JD and Amaretto. Over Ice. A shot of each. No other fillers. NUM-NUM!
Favorite Superhero? Thor. Ever since I was a little kid. Silver-age comics guy. “Have at Theeee!”
Steak Temperature? Medium Rare. Any more well done, you should just eat hamburgers and not embarrass yourself.
Favorite 1970s TV show? Tie. Night Rider and Battlestar.
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Summer. Hotter the better.
Favorite Pet? My Boston Terriers. All of them over time. The best Dogs EVER!
Best Game Ever? RPG: D&D. PC: X-Wing Fighter. Console: Assassin’s Creed.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. And it it takes you more than three syllables to order it, you should be slapped.
Sci-Fi or Fantasy? FantaSci. Deal with it.
What question(s) would you like to ask me?
If they made Adult Underoos, would you wear Superhero, Star Wars, or Disney character?
Rob’s Answer: I don’t get to wear more than one? Then I wear Han Solo underwear every day. And before you ask, Han Shot First, dammit!!!
If I can wear a few others, I would go with Robin Hood, still my favorite Disney movie, though you might get me to wear Baloo from the Jungle Book occasionally.
As for Superheros, I really never read a ton of comic books growing up. My favorites of the current Marvel heroes are Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Deadpool is fun, too. I also have to say I really like how they did Captain America. Much stronger character than I remembered, but then I didn’t know much about him to begin with.
Libertycon next year. Riding all over Wisconsin and Illinois on my bike. Online other than that.
Do you have a creator biography?
Who is Tom “PiR8” Tinney? He is the published author of numerous Science Fiction, Flash Fiction, FantaSci and Biker stories. Yes…a Biker-nerd.
His time in the service (USAF), and riding with two-wheeled ne’er-do-wells, has left enough skeletons in his closet to crush a small car. His political slant, biker attitude/lifestyle and previous experience editing a motorcycle magazine, along with homegrown writing skills, have led him to produce and contribute numerous novels, stories and articles into various genres (Science Fiction, FantaSci, Biker, Detective and technical).
Final question for you: What should I have asked but did not?
Can Bikers be nerds? Yep. There are a bunch of us. Tattoos, brawls, drinking, and hitting the open road, followed by binge-watching the Expanse, Lord of the Rings and Marvel Movies (Sorry, DC, you only make good animated movies). My “bucket list” has one line where I DM the largest game of D&D ever held at Sturgis. I kid you not.
Rob’s Note: I’d suggest a game that was less dungeon crawls and more cavalry and centaurs across the steppes 🙂
Thanks to Tom for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.
If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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