Our next author Thomas J. Eyre has been a thriller/action/crime writer for a few years now and is participating in the Notorious Minds Boxset with a story that is taking place in the Iraq Dessert.
Here is what he has to say about his writing in this detailed interview.
1 When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
- I suppose I had ideas when I was around eleven and in primary school. I wrote a piece all about Christmas and my English teacher decided that it was so good, I should read it out in the church at the annual Christmas carol service. So at the appointed time I stood in front of the whole congregation, which was basically the whole school, plus all the parents.
I was not a large child and I felt very small that day. I was in my full school uniform including grey knee-socks and grey short trousers. I dare say they could all see my little knees knocking together. I read the piece I’d written and from that moment on vowed NEVER to write anything that would get me in that position again. It took thirty years to overcome my nightmares of that day and to write something else.
2. How long does it take to write a book?
- Around three months to get the first draught done. However my first novel, The British FrontLine, took nine years because that’s how long it took me to overcome the imposter syndrome.
- What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
- I like to get at least 2000 words per day on paper when I’m writing, but some days when the creative juices are flowing nicely 5000 words + can be produced.
- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
- AC/DC When I’m writing I listen to them live at the River Plate… loud. I know the words to all the songs off by heart. Their noise and energy keeps me separate from distractions and I don’t even notice them singing after a while, I just tune everything out and write. Well that and tea anyway.
- How do books get published?
- I have an amazing editor, cover designer, and file organiser and I upload the books to Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes and hit the publish button. Then try to figure out how to market them.
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
- For my first novel I read a LOT of true life books by combat veterans. That mistake led to the imposter syndrome and caused me to not finish it for nine years.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
- Tinker. Prior to being an author I was an aerospace engineer, but that career path ended the day I got killed in a road traffic accident. Fortunately paramedics revived me and after a three month stay in hospital followed by six months at home in bed I picked up my keyboard and started to write. So when I’m not writing I like to keep up my engineering skills by helping out a mate building hotrods and dragsters.
- What does your family think of your writing?
- I think on the whole they approve. Though it’s fair to say I get a lot more support from one side of the family than I do the other.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
- How hard it is to actually write a novel. Pretty much ANY story can be told in ten pages or less. The hard part was trying to make a story last and be interesting and keep your readers engaged for over three hundred and fifty pages.
- How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
- I’ve written four full novels, a novella and a few short stories. My favourite has to be my second full novel, The British FrontLine.
- Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
- Get a brilliant editor, someone you trust and can work with. Listen to their advice and read books on how to format speech, beats, action, grammar and all the other little quirks you’ll come across in writing fiction. Read books by published big name authors like Steven King, Dean Koontz and Lee Child, edit their work and get a self satisfied grin in place when you spot a type-o or a line of text that doesn’t work. There’s no feeling to beat it.
- Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
- I get a few emails occasionally, mostly about when my next novel is due for release. Occasionally I will get someone who has spotted a type-o or something. Sometimes they just write to tell me how much they enjoyed my book.
- Do you like to create books for adults?
- I love writing books for adults. There is something quite satisfying about seeing the F-bomb on paper that makes writing adult fiction so exciting and vibrant, talking in the language of adults. You just know this book was written for adults.
- What do you think makes a good story?
- Keeping your readers invested in your characters. Love them or hate them, it doesn’t matter, they have to experience emotion. Two dimensional characters just don’t cut it and will see your readers disappear in short order. There also has to be twists and curve balls to keep them guessing as to where the story is going and it definitely wasn’t the butler wot done it.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
- My dream was to be a fighter pilot. Though that did wane a little when I realised Spitfires were no longer front line fighters and these things called jets had replaced them. My eyesight let me down and stopped me fulfilling my dream, it also stopped me from being a firefighter and a police officer. So I ended up with a slide-rule and Zuess book as an aerospace engineer.
Find out more about Thomas through his author page on the Notorious Minds Boxset. Listen to him speaking about his book and how he started to write and discover how you can follow him.