Hi there, guys and dolls! Well, can you believe it’s the last Sunday of the month already? Time is just whizzing by for yours truly and it was so nice to spend some time with one of my new good friends, author Tim Hall, whose Bert Shambles series has recently been published by Cozy Cat Press. Tim’s got a great sense of humor, so pour yourself a hot toddy and enjoy our little confab.
1. So tell me a little about your series and main characters.
DEAD STOCK is the first installment of the Bert Shambles series, which features a young man who is living back in his suburban Long Island hometown after he got into some serious trouble trying to protect a woman he loved. He’s kind and chivalrous but a bit of an airhead. It’s a cozy series but it could also be considered a New Adult mystery in the sense that he’s 23, underemployed, and struggling with the new-found realities of adult life. Also his mother.
2. What is your writing process like? Do you thrive on routine or work spontaneously as the whim takes you?
As much as I would like to imagine myself as a wild, spontaneous guy, routine is what makes my best work possible. I’m an early riser, so I try to put in an hour before I go to the office, and another hour after my son goes to bed around 8pm. On weekends I try to allow more time in case I get into a good groove. When that happens it’s not unusual for me to write 8 or 10 thousand words over a weekend. But, like every other writer I’m also prone to laziness, despair, insomnia, random freakouts and the like, which occasionally slows production.
3. What exciting moment or moments that made you realize that you were really an “author?”
The day I got health insurance, no question. I remember it vividly. I was in my late 20s and was sick of temping, and was offered a very cool graphics job at a wonderful nonprofit. After a few days I was called into HR and given my medical insurance card. The first thing I thought of was “now I’m a writer.” I could finally stop worrying about such a basic need and focus on my creativity. That was the day I became a “real” writer.
4. What do you do to spark up your creativity when you feel the well of inspiration is running dry?
Watch movies, read, look at art, meditate, terrorize the wife and child. The usual.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors and how do you feel they have influenced your desire to write?
Lawrence Block taught me through Bernie Rhodenbarr that crime could be lots of fun. John D. MacDonald taught me that thrillers could have serious moral and literary heft. Janet Evanovich taught me that uncool places could be cool if you had enough style and verve.