Interview with Tim Flanagan

Where do you live and write from?
I live in Kent, UK in a hidden coastal town that still has fishing boats hauling their daily catches onto the shingle beaches to sell beside chalk board signs. I work as a Podiatrist three and a half days a week, whilst spending the rest of my time writing. I have an office under the stairs at home. It is only just wider than my shoulders and you have to step over the chair to sit in it, but it gives me a private place where I can close the door and pretend to work.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing little stories with illustrations when I was less than 10 years old. The summer holidays seemed to last for ever, so I used to amuse myself by writing stories. I thought I would eventually draw a comic book one day, but instead wrote books. I think my artistic abilities enable me to write in a very visual way which appeals to children with equally vivid imaginations.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I see inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it is in the most obscure of places and may be a word I hear, a phrase or a concept. I have a book with odd words and phrases scribbled in. Sometimes one word will spark a chain of events in my mind or be the core to an idea. I have a genuine interest in so many things that writing is a great way for me to learn about them as I write. For example – there is one book I am working on set in London in 1600′s, so I have enjoyed researching that period, and especially looking through ancient maps of London to see how it differs and get a feel for where my characters are living.
Do you have a specific writing routine?
I write when I can. I have a wife and three children that also need my time. Sometimes I bargain with my wife – if I get the DIY jobs done, I get a couple of extra hours on a Sunday to write! I write all day Monday, as well as Tuesday afternoons – the house is quiet and I can concentrate. I can also drink as much coffee as I like without the intake being monitored! Evenings tend to be for editing, blogging, social media stuff etc.
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie. I like the freedom and speed of indie publishing. I have complete control over every part of the process; can change prices at the touch of a button, update cover art, change formatting etc. and without having to wait a year for publication as it is with traditional publishing. I’ve read so many articles and books that tell of traditionally published authors taking their backlist and self publishing them on KDP. The royalty percentages are something to be taken seriously. 70% compared to 12-15% traditional – it’s a no brainer!
Do you have a specific writing routine?
I write when I can. I have a wife and three children that also need my time. Sometimes I bargain with my wife – if I get the DIY jobs done, I get a couple of extra hours on a Sunday to write! I write all day Monday, as well as Tuesday afternoons – the house is quiet and I can concentrate. I can also drink as much coffee as I like without the intake being monitored! Evenings tend to be for editing, blogging, social media stuff etc.
Tell us about your latest book
I’m working on book 4 in the Moon Stealer series. This is taking longer to write than the other three as I need to make sure that all the loose ends are tied up and everything has a purpose and direction, as well as conclusion. Due out in December.

The Moon Stealers begins with a meteorite that lands on our planet with a bacteria at its core. The bacteria grows and changes into something that threatens mankind. The story is told from two points of view – adults, who try to approach the problem from a scientific angle, and children, who resurrect ancient myths and legends to defend the human race.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’ve recently started working with a great illustrator, Dylan Gibson, and we have a couple of joint projects on the go. The following is a vague list, in publication order, that takes me to the end of 2014:

Book 4 in the Moon Stealers – December 2013

Pre-teen detective story + illustrations – December 2013

YA Futuristic London Underground story + illustrations

YA London Dragon book set in 1600′s

(Possible) 2nd Pre-teen detective story + illustrations

Omnibus edition of all 4 Moon Stealer books, plus extra info, maps and appendices

2nd Edition of a Medical Textbook (Update from one I wrote in 2007)

phew! – think that’s everything!
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I have 6 month, 12 month, 3 year, 5 year, 10 year and lifetime goals. My short term goal is to earn a living from writing and give up the day job. I have already been lucky enough to reduce it to 3.5 days a week in the last 6 months, but would like to write full time. To achieve my goals I am writing at every opportunity, building a quality following on social media (it’s the type of follower you have that matters not the quantity of followers!), linking with other creative people, blogging regularly, putting my name out there and helping other authors.
Do you put yourself in your stories?
No, not as a character, but I live everything the characters are going through and every emotion they feel. When I’m writing a sad scene, I feel really down afterwards. When I’m writing action scenes, I feel alive with adrenaline pumping making me write twice as fast.
Your books are aimed at the teen market. What were you reading at that age?
I read loads of books as a child. When I was a teenager, I went through a phase of reading all 76 Agatha Christie books! I still have those old copies on my bookshelf. When I re-read them later in life, you can spot a familiar structure and order to the books – but it worked, and still works to this day! I also loved to read comics – especially 2000AD featuring Judge Dredd. I also loved going to the huge Virgin Megastore and buying a DC Comic. I always went for the ones in plastic covers so that I could keep them in perfect condition. Other things I read – Sherlock Holmes, Action Man and the odd Dragonlance book.
Published 2013-09-03.
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