Interview with Tim Willard

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To bring ideas in my head to life and share them with others.
What are you working on next?
Tales of the Axe Vol 2: Of Sheep & Sisters and the third in the Damned of the 2/19th, End of Winter.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing video games, spending time with my teenage kids or my wife, or researching.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to envision an image that covers either a climactic point or that carries the weight of the story, then I sketch it out crudely before moving to photoshop and my stock image library.
Describe your desk
L shaped, smoked glass top, black metal skeletal frame.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
All over the West Coast. My family moved around a lot. It let me write characters that don't have real roots, like many people think of them, that don't come from 'my hometown', and let me write from the perspective of both an outsider and someone who is included in the group. It's had great influence on my life, as I was lucky and had a decent homelife where so many of the people I grew up with the 1980's did not, they were latchkey kids or worse.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a continuation of the Damned of the 2/19th series and deals with the fallout of Cold Hatred. It explores the narrator's mental state as well as his compounded injuries. It also deals with the consequences of the actions of the three protagonists, as well as explores their backgrounds further.
What made you go from writing RPG products to fiction?
I originally wrote (bad) fiction, and writing the fluff text for RPG products reminded me just how much I loved to write fiction. At the encouragement of several friends I expanded on some RPG products, making them into full blown novels.
Have any jobs you had before writing influenced your writing?
Definitely. Aside from my military service I worked in a slaughterhouse, a cannery, a factory, construction work, two summers as a carnie when I was teenager, a call center, and even more jobs. It's let me visualize and describe a lot of varied scenes, as well as exposed me to using a lot of different tools for a lot of different jobs in different locations under a lot of different conditions.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote a little story that got published in the local paper when I was nine, but didn't really write much until I was about thirteen. I wrote when I was in the service, but none of it really went anywhere and I quit writing when my oldest daughter was born. I didn't start writing again until I started writing RPG products in 1999. So I guess I started and stopped three different times.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's a new day. I'm lucky I made it this far, so each day is a gift, which motivates me to get out of bed and enjoy it.
Published 2014-03-06.
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