Today I have the pleasure of writer, Tim Ahrens, in the interview chair.
Please join me in giving him a warm welcome. Make yourself comfortable well we talk about fantasy, the importance of strong characters and the tales that have inspired him over the years.
girl with a quill: If you were a character in a story, how would you describe yourself in 6 words?
Tim: Short in stature, strong in heart.
girl with a quill: How long have you been writing for?
Tim: I have been writing since I was about thirteen. That would make it about 33 years I think.
girl with a quill: Who or what influences your writing?
Tim: Oh I go way back. Lets see there was Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, among others. What got me writing was the urge to tell stories that would spirit others away on new and wondrous adventures. Much as the writers I have mentioned did for me.
girl with a quill: What aspect of the writing life do you find the most challenging?
Tim: Finding the energy to write. I work full-time as well as care for my mother and my home. I try to squeak in what little time I have to continue my writing.
girl with a quill: Do you have a Write time of day set aside or do you write when the inspiration strikes?
Tim: Both, On my days off I read what I have completed and get inspiration from that. On work days I wait until the sun has set and the house is quiet so that I can slip into the world I am weaving.
girl with a quill: Tell us what inspires you as a writer?
Tim: The tale itself is what inspires me. Really I am sometimes as eager to see what will happen next as my readers are.
girl with a quill: Do you have a Muse?
Tim: Music and mood is my Muse. I can sometime start and finish an entire chapter just based on one song I am listening to or the mood I am in at the time I start to write.
girl with a quill: Where do you write? Describe your place of writing to us?
Tim: It a room about ten feet by ten feet. I have taken great pains to fill this room with things that I have grown up with as well as figures and posters and such that I have collected over the years. An oak desk sits against one wall of the room giving me a view of everything within it. A computer sits on the desk, with a large stereo near by. The floor is carpeted in grey shag. On the walls there is a star-scape painted.
girl with a quill: Are you a pen and paper writer/typewriter/digital writer?
Tim: I use a computer and word processor. I am hopeless without my spell checker as anyone who knows me will tell you lol.
girl with a quill: Do you have any writing superstitions or traditions that you follow?
Tim: It has to be dark outside and I have to have a hot cup of coffee near my right hand at all times.
girl with a quill: What genre do you write in and why?
Tim: I love fantasy. But I also write some sci-fi, horror, and contemporary. I try to keep my hand in a little of everything just so I don’t get stuck writing only one genre. It also keeps my mind and writing nimble and fresh.
girl with a quill: What genre would you like to write in but have not yet? Why?
Tim: Mystery. I really don’t think I have any talent for that genre.
girl with a quill: Do you have any beta readers or critique partners? Do you think they are a necessary resource for writers?
Tim: Yes I do. Several close friends as well as a few great friends on Facebook give me their take on how things are going. I think this is very necessary! Even if you do not end up taking their advice you do get a look at what you have written with fresh eyes.
girl with a quill: Would you describe yourself as a pantser or a plotter?
Tim: I would have to say pantser. I have a rough outline in my head when I begin a tale. But never really know where it’s going to go until I am in the meat of it. I think it’s more fun that way.
girl with a quill: Tell us about your process of getting a new idea for a novel or story?
Tim: I first create the type of character that I want to write about. I then build his world around him or her based on the type of person I have made him or her. From that point I fill in the people and place around him or her. Then when I have a complete picture of who he or she is what he or she looks like and who is most important to him or her I set up the reason for the need for his story to be told. The character is everything for me. If they to not live in my mind at the time I am writing the story then there’s no point.
girl with a quill: Are you working on anything now? Can you share a little about your latest WIP?
Tim: I am trying my hand at an epic. It will have seven central characters not including the villains. Its fantasy and will take place in several countries with the central characters being drawn together to do battle with a massive foe. I am shooting for something at least as big in scope as Lord of the Rings was. I hope 🙂
girl with a quill: What publishing market are you aiming for?
Tim: All of them. I want as many people who like my style of writing to have a chance to read it.
girl with a quill: There is a lot of talk right now about Digital Publishing (Ebook) versus Traditional Publishing?
What are your thoughts on this debate?
Tim: Although I like the feel of a real book in my hands, as well as the sensation of the pages being turned; I can understand that not everybody has the space or the money to buy a real book. In that case I feel e-books are just fine. Anything to get the written word out to people who enjoy reading a great book.
girl with a quill: What is more important to you: Story or Character? Why?
Tim: Character. They create the story in my opinion, not the other way around.
girl with a quill: Who is your favourite character that you have created and why?
Tim: His name is Torg Stumpchewer. He is my favorite because he is half-human and half-troll. But accepted by neither group. Although he has a massive and somewhat hideous appearance he is still a kind and heroic figure on the inside. It’s kind of my way of saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
girl with a quill: Who is your favourite character in the literary world and why?
Tim: His name is Dar-elLan-Martak. He is from the Cenotaph Road series. By Robert E Vardeman. Not only is Dar a heroic and steadfast hero. He is also thrown into the situation he find himself in by accident. With only his companion, Man sized spider, to help him he travels to unending world on the Cenotaph Road. Trying to find his purpose and his way home. What’s not to like?
girl with a quill: If you could throw a dinner party and invite 5 famous creative people, who would they be and why?
Tim: Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Vardeman, Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have learned how to write what I like and how to build a great character all by reading their wonderful work. In short without them and many others I would not be published today.
girl with a quill: If you could throw a dinner party and invite 5 of your favourite fictional characters, who would they be and why?
Tim: Super girl (from the comic) Ayane (from D.O.A.) Inyx (from the cenotaph road) Sassafras one seven four ( from the story with the same name) Circe ( from remnants of the gods) What a party they would make!
girl with a quill: If you could give yourself one piece of advice at the beginning of your writing career, what would it be?
Tim: Never throw anything out!!!!
girl with a quill: What is the one piece of writing advice you could give your future self, 10 years from now?
Tim: See I told you, you were a good writer!
girl with a quill: What do you want your lasting legacy, as a writer, to be?
Tim: That anyone can pick up one of my books and escape into a world of wonder.
girl with a quill:Tell us where we can find you and your work on the World Wide Web?
Tim: Please look for my book, The Salvation Of Tanlegalle, at any fine online book store as well as Amazon.com. You may also find it as well as my self and more samples of my work at www.Creative2at.com/client/tim-ahrens/home.html
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