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#Author #Interview Timothy Brommer

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When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I worked full time and went to college full time. When I finished my degree, I needed a new hobby to occupy my time and explored writing novels. So through a process of teaching myself, doing tons of research about how to write fiction, and joining a writer’s workshop, I spent three years writing The Heretic of the North and beat out many other writers in an open call from Runestone Hill. Before I wrote my first novel, I had not written a thing, no short stories or novels, nothing.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about a year to get a book written and edited to the point where I’m comfortable presenting it to an agent. However, I spend about six months conducting research and sketching out the plot of the novel prior to writing anything. Snorr’s Saga is my latest example of this process.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I try to keep an eye on what’s currently popular in the world of books. I then hopefully create something that contains some of those elements, but then work on a plot that is different and stands out from the crowd.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written four complete novels. The Heretic of the North was my first novel, which was published by Runestone Hill. My favorite and latest one is Snorr’s Saga. I chose to self-publish that one as an e-book, because I was tired of many reputable agents saying “this isn’t a fit for us at this time, but we know someone will pick this up.”

What do you think makes a good story?
Good characters with problems the reader can relate to on an emotional and personal level. I would also say constant tension built into the plot and tense dialogue keeps the reader turning the pages.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my first novel was published, I officially considered myself a writer since I was paid for that work.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I guess one message I imbed into my stories is that gaining power always bears a price and somebody always wants to take it away, or there are serious consequences that always follow getting power.

How much of the book is realistic?
I try to make my fight scenes and the injuries characters suffer as real as possible, because I want the reader to know my characters are playing for keeps. Also, in the case of Snorr’s Saga, those who wield frodleikur (Icelandic word for magic) always pay a physical price. In addition, I am a former Marine and a law enforcement officer, and I have been subjected to my fair share of exhaustion, stress, and danger. I try to use some of those emotional experiences and knowledge to flavor my writings.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing books is finding the time to write.  I am convinced anyone can set aside two hours of their day to write, but dedicating oneself to even that small daily goal is difficult.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Failure at getting published is always a hard cold reality. Agents and publishers have “x” amount of time and money to spend on publishing a novel. Furthermore, there are as many writers competing for the public’s attention as there are fish in the ocean.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am currently working on Snorr’s Exile. It is another stand alone novel about Snorr and his adventures, but the events that took place in Snorr’s Saga affect this story.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would probably rework the first few chapters of Snorr’s Saga to create a stronger hook and characterization. Agents and publishers are, and can be, very picky at what they choose to represent. But I also did not write another dystopia/vampire-slayer/zombie apocalypse novel either.

What are your current projects?
In Snorr’s Exile, Snorr and Krym get exiled from their homeland as punishment for all the chaos created by releasing the draugr from its grave.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Practice, practice, practice. To be able to write, you have to write. Be open to constructive criticism. Let  down your ego and admit there are problems with your story and fix them. Joining a writing workshop is very helpful.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The most honest thing I can say is this: Why do I write? Simple. I want to tell a tale that gives my readers the same satisfaction I get out of reading. If I satisfy you, then I have done my job. 


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