Tim McGregor, whose books including Killing Down the Roman Line, talks about his approach to writing and his plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
Like most, I have always loved storytelling in all its forms. My first loves were comic books and movies and novels and to date, I’ve tried all three mediums. I used to make my own comic books and that led to screenwriting and having a few low-budget films made and all of that seems to have culminated in books.
Tell me a little about your books.
The new book, Killing Down the Roman Line, is a thriller. Sort of a small town revenge thriller based loosely on a true crime. There’s a strong element of horror to it, which is the genre where most of my work lies.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
There are the greats like Cormac McCarthy, Vonnegut, the Brontes, etc but is there anything better than stumbling across an unknown writer and being blown away? Gillian Flynn, Ken Bruen, Belinda Bauer are all writers whose work has knocked my socks off. I just found one yesterday named Hugh Howey and again had my mind blown.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
It’s more of a time issue with me. I have two hours before the kids wake up and a few more when they go to bed. So it’s more a case of laser-focus and hammering keys in the time allowed.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
Nope. What appealed to me was the DIY aspect of self-publishing with ebooks. Working in film is a lot of fun but incredibly, frustratingly collaborative. Too many creative cooks in the kitchen can drive you mad after awhile. Trad pubbing is the same. When I learned one could do all it alone with ebooks, I got cracking! In a lot of way, it’s like the bad old days of making indie comic books but without the copier fees.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
My goal for this year is to publish another book before the holidays. And keep writing, keep publishing. Sales are great when they come but if you keep focused on writing and putting out the best books you can, the sales will come. Success for now is finding readers and hearing what they have to say. That may sound contrite but it’s true.