Interview with Jeremy Tyrrell

When did you first start writing?
A few years back. I got to thinking that I had enjoyed writing when I was a tacker, through school and in university, and really had no good reason not to continue. I had toyed with the idea of knocking out a book on a few occasions but did not know where to start.
Then, one day, I read a particularly brutal book. Not brutal in that it was confronting. Brutal in that it made me annoyed just to read it. It was an arduous task to turn to the next page. I won't mention the title, but let's just say that I thought it did not deserve its acclaim.
"Really?" I yelled at the pages, "Really? Come on! That's a terrible story!"
A little voice said, "OK, fine. So you write something, then!"
So I did.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Frustration, I guess. Once I neared the end of my first serious bit of writing I sought to have it published. That's when the headaches began. The traditional print industry, it seems, is a different world to anything I could imagine. The are authors, of course, and agents and editors and proof readers and various publishing houses, vanity publishers and distributors and retailers! It drive me bonkers!
I could not get published without an editor. I could not get an editor without an agent. I could not get an agent without having already been published. I just wanted to write a book!
Then I stumbled across Calibre e-book generator and I gave that a crack, which got me a little excited. Seeing my own book (Shockingly unedited and formatted) on an e-reader drove home just how real it could be. Then I scoured the net and came across Smashwords. I was skeptical, at first, but, once I read through the literature and style guide and concept behind it, I embraced it.
Go Smashwords!
What are you working on next?
Starting from the top and proof reading what I've done and fix up a lot of the silly errors so that I can crack on with the rest of the Adaptation series in peace. The are a few books left to go before I can close the lid on it and I don't wish to leave anything out because I was hasty. I also have a couple of other stories, unrelated, that need a bit of love. I'm a little scared, truth be told, in revisiting them. The last time I went back and looked over something I'd written earlier I nearly gagged from embarrassment. Admittedly, it was code, but that's beside the point.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Programming my guts out. There's always so much to do at work, with deadlines to meet and new features that need to be developed and bus that crop up (bugs? What bugs?). I take a break for lunch to type out a bit more of a story, swapping one monitor with piles of code for another with piles of words.
When I'm not at work or writing, I'm with my lovely wife and boy, enjoying my family.
What is your writing process?
Believe it or not, it's similar to how I approach software development. No, I cannot apply test driven development methodologies. Not really. But I do plan ahead, get the big picture and then work out down to the finer details. It's an incremental thing. Sometimes I know what I want to be on the page, but it just doesn't fit. Other times I have to start again with a Chapter, tearing it out, throwing it away.
One thing I have learnt is to start with a premise, as a argument or statement that needs to be proven or demonstrated. That then gets placed on top of a theme. With these two constructs I can keep the idea focused.
With the Adaptation series, each book has one premise for the antagonist and one for the protagonist, allowing me to work with a broader scope than a single premise would allow.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm not a graphic designer by any measure. So to make the cover design I had to come up with something that would convey the message of the book without presupposing plot points or cheapening the context. It had to be obscure but obvious, familiar and yet distant. And I had to make it such that it would fit across the series. Considering humanity is related to the body, and the body is familiar, it was only natural to concentrate on the eyes, hands and mouth.
What do you read for pleasure?
At the moment, old school Horror. It's not particularly horrific in the sense that it makes one's skin crawl, but there definitely is a suspense relating to the unknown, the hidden, the forbidden. Even though the books are from the early part of the 20th century and talk of horse and carts and gas lanterns, in a way the ideas are still very appropriate today.
The imagery conjured up would be something a Hollywood CGI crew would spend weeks on, and yet the author is able to express it in a handful of precise statements, driving my imagination to picture exactly what he wants it to see. Compelling stuff!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Currently it's my nexus phone with Aldiko as the application. It's not too bad under normal light, but it does hurt the eyes, some. I was tossing up whether to buy an e-reader when they first came out. I guess I never got around to it. I still think I should buy one, though. I love the e-ink, it's so easy on the eyes! I guess if I was pressed, I'd like to save up and get a Kobo Aura. Those things look shmicko!
Where do you find the time to write?
It's a bit cliche, but I *make* the time. I first started off tapping out my books on a little palm-pilot device. Completely unsuited to the task, of course, and I'd be dropping letters here and there as the screen became more worn and unresponsive. But at least I could type anywhere I wanted; in bed, out at lunch, at a friend's place. I upgraded to my laptop and little by little I concentrated my efforts.
The television goes off. Surfing the net has to wait. My own little hobbies and programming projects are put to the side. At least half of my lunch break goes toward it. I bought a little stand that goes next to my bed on which I can put my laptop so that I can tap away in bed.
A word of warning to those thinking of doing the same: Writing in bed can be great, and relaxing and productive, but, when you hit that edge where your brain starts to wander about and your fingers get free run of the keyboard, you can end up writing some real tosh!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't say I remember the first story. I imagine it would be a Mister Men book. But when I was a pup I'd read (and re-read) a green and gold bound 'Celtic Fairy Tales'. Each of the stories were fantastic. I knew what the outcome was going to be, having read them so often, but still I was entranced at the possibilities, of the strange creatures and happenings.
I remember a fair bit of Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Tolkien, Clive Lewis, Robert Stevenson, all of which I got fanatical about at some stage. I'm not sure it was their story technique or the characters or the message they were driving, but I loved them all.
I read the Bible a fair bit. I can't quote chapter and verse or anything but there is a plethora of wisdom bound in those pages.
Published 2013-09-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 80,620. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Living on Borobo Reef is tough, especially if you're a spud who's down on his luck. Ex-detective Tedrick Gritswell just wants to be left alone, but a visit from a drop-dead gorgeous dame coupled sees him take up the case of a missing VIP. With all the heavies, whores, wise-guys and simpletons swimming about, it gets more than dangerous, it gets downright deadly.
Portsmouth Avenue Ghost
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 31,260. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Beyond the familiar and the safe lies the unknown, an infinite land of fear, doubt and confusion. In Exeter, bustling, impersonal and unforgiving, my relationship with the Professor was strained under the weight of a malevolent entity and mysterious gypsy. This is the fifth book in the Paranormology Series.
Adaptation - Part 6
Series: Adaptation. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 100,440. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Master Pietro's discovery precipitates a rapid chain of events. Ryan is confronted with the terrible truth about his ancestry, and his destiny, and must decide for himself which path he will take. Ottavio, held on a leash, is a fly in everyone's ointment. The individual players will be thrust together in a cataclysmic conclusion to the Adaptation series.
Jolimont Street Ghost
Series: Paranormology, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 29,480. Language: Australian English. Published: February 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
The supposition that darkness is merely the absence of light is both popular and false, as those who practise the occult can affirm. In the dark cellar of number thirteen Jolimont Street, a house we had assumed benign, I unwittingly brought forth an ancient evil that threatened not only our reputations, but our souls. This is the fourth book in the Paranormology Series.
Hampton Court Ghost
Series: Paranormology, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 27,630. Language: Australian English. Published: September 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
Necessity forces us all to make uncomfortable choices. The Professor, operating in such a fringe discipline as Paranormology, bore a greater burden than most. Every decision held the potential to bring his work into disrepute. Our investigation at Hampton Court taught me that, for ghost hunting, a proper grasp of politics is just as necessary as the ability to read a thermometer.
Adaptation - Part 5
Series: Adaptation. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 97,580. Language: American English. Published: July 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Adaptation - Part 5 takes up in the aftermath of the showdown in Minneapolis: Houston is rocked by the chaos Ottavio wrought and Project Adaptation is threatened. Although Von Braun and the crabman virus have been retrieved, Ottavio must still tread carefully around those who seek his hard-won prizes. Ryan, bolstered by the news of the virus, must decide what he truly believes about humanity.
Beaumaris Road Ghost
Series: Paranormology, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 26,130. Language: Australian English. Published: March 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
The path of science is convoluted, as I discovered during the first Winter of my tenure with the Professor. There are people, upon whom we must rely, that would prefer to see our research into the paranormal abandoned. The investigation at the Beaumaris House revealed to me a secret; the biggest threat to our scientific endeavours did not lie in old, creaky houses but in old, creaky minds.
Atlas, Broken
Price: Free! Words: 20,570. Language: Australian English. Published: October 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Transgressional fiction
“Things go right all the time, Hank. Just not for the right people.” Henry Ludlow is a man being crushed by the humdrum of modern life. His will is eroded as the world takes its toll on one little man. A depressing tale of a man's struggle against his life, 'Atlas, Broken', explores the burden of present-day strife.
Grosvenor Lane Ghost
Series: Paranormology, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 25,590. Language: Australian English. Published: October 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
As the Professor's assistant, it was my duty to perform whatever tasks he laid out for me, and so it was until he took me on my first investigation at a run-down house in South Entrance. The house at Grosvenor Lane showed me a view of the world beyond that exists with or without my blessing. My investigations also revealed that Paranormology is anything but straightforward.
The Bullet
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 17,550. Language: Australian English. Published: June 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Classics
A Bullet, forged within an ammunition factory, is on a path to its destiny. It faces a confusing time, trials and anguish as well as elation and shame as it comes to discover its true purpose. How will the Bullet face up to its ultimate task?
Adaptation - Part 4
Series: Adaptation. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 98,250. Language: American English. Published: July 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Adaptation Part 4 reveals what went on inside the Wheaton Facility following Ottavio's rampage. Father Abraham must come to terms with the loss of decades of planning. Ryan is equally devastated until he realizes that the quest to reignite the struggle applies also to himself. Ottavio, having escaped the explosion in Wheaton, must walk through Hell and face his demons to find salvation.
Adaptation - Part 3
Series: Adaptation. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 96,820. Language: American English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The failure at Tucson by the hands of the Directors has Master Theodore enraged. His ire is directed squarely at Agents Ottavio and Cassandra and they are exiled from the sanctuary of the Vigils. Ryan's destiny is revealed to him when Father Abraham shares his biggest secret, but Marcus has other plans for him. As true natures are revealed, the darker side of humanity comes forth.
Adaptation - Part 2
Series: Adaptation. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 98,950. Language: American English. Published: July 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
The next compelling book in the Adaptation saga. Ottavio forms an uneasy alliance with his liberators, the Vigils, after his escape from Houston Corps. Ryan is tested in his dealings with the Directors. Both are caught on different sides of the Director's plot, and the two eventually cross paths, with painful results.
Adaptation - Part 1
Series: Adaptation. Price: Free! Words: 105,420. Language: American English. Published: June 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Agent Ottavio, showpiece experiment for Houston Corps' secret Project Adaptation, fights to retain his humanity and compassion. Meanwhile Ryan, an Acolyte of The Vigils, commits an atrocious act in order to gain the favor of a mysterious Father Abraham. Leading different paths, each finds that decisions have consequences, and humanity is not mere flesh and bone.