Interview with Tim A Hicks

What is your writing process?
Once I have an overall idea of a story and have an outline completed, I just sit down and begin to write. However, while I do have a general outline of what the book is going to be about, I don't like to restrict myself to the outline, because once I begin writing, the characters begin to take on a life of their own and I really don't want to restrict them. I discovered that as the story progresses, it goes an entirely different way. For example, in my book The Farm House, I did not know how it was going to end, until I finished the book. .
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was in the fifth grade, where my friend and I would have a contest to see how dark and terrifying our stories would be. Over the years, I have made several attempts at writing my first book, The Farm House, but it never seemed to really come together. So, I stuck to short stories and articles. In 2008 I started a blog and had a great deal of fun writing for that and while I enjoyed it, I still had an itch to write that first book. In 2010, I decided to scratch that itch and I made the decision to sit down and write it. A month later, the book was done and I spent the next several months editing it. Yes, it took longer to edit it than it did to write it (a lot harder, too).
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book, Building Your Retaining Wall, is a step by step guide to help anyone who is thinking of undertaking such a massive project. This book first started out as articles in my blog, but I soon discovered that it would make more sense to compile it into a book form. My main goal is to help people tackle a project such as this. I try to cover everything from planning, to tackling the problems I encountered. Yes, I did have problems, such as the bricks becoming off-center. I worked out the problem myself and then I share how I solved it. I'm not perfect and I feel that the problems I faced and overcame will help others when they face those same problems. In addition, if someone has a question or concern, they can still contact me through my blog and I will be more than happy to help.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Money! Well, lack of it :) I don't have the money to pay for someone to publish my book. So, I decided to go this route. I know that I will never get rich being an indie author, but that's not why I write. I write because I enjoy doing it. I enjoy telling a story or sharing information. If it helps someone or makes them happy, then I have accomplished my goal.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For my fiction book, it was giving life to my characters. they are all based on real people I have known. Fleshing out the characters and seeing how they act is very exciting. You see, even though they were based on real people, they evolve and take on a life of their own in the story.
For my non-fiction work, it is sharing information that will help someone.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a book of home repair and maintenance. I will take the reader step by step through a variety of projects that they can do themselves and save lots of money. I have already written the chapters for:1) replacing an oven element, 2) fixing a squeaky garage door, and 3) installing gutter shields. An example of how this book can help, take fixing a running toilet. If you call a plumber, they will charge you $50 or more just to ring your doorbell. Anything they do after that is more money. If you do the job yourself, you can do it for under $20. I show you through explanations and pictures how to go about it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working outside, reading, and cooking. I really like trying new recipes.
How do you approach cover design?
I try and find an image or photo that encompasses what the entire book is about. For the retaining wall book, I decided to go with before and after photos, since that produced the most dramatic results. For the Farm House, I had the brilliant idea of asking my brother-in-law of coming up with a design. He had already read the book and the design he came up with was his interpretation on what the book meant to him.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read the Ann McCaffery dragon series. I have read the entire series several times, but I never tire of going back and reliving those stories. You see, I have quite an imagination and I like to imagine myself on Pern and riding a dragon :)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm cheap and don't have one. When I can afford it, I'll probably purchase an iPad, though.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ann McCaffery, Stephen King, Stephen Lawhead, and Rick Riordan. These are only a few of my favorites, but you get the idea :)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The story that comes to mind was for my 5th grade creative writing class. Our teacher gave us a picture and we had to write a story about it. The picture was of the roadrunner (you know, from the cartoons) and a heart (it was a Valentine's Day assignment). My story was entitled the heart eaters. Needless to say, my teacher was not pleased :)
Published 2015-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Farm House
Price: $2.95 USD. Words: 51,480. Language: American English. Published: December 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller & Suspense, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
After Eric and his friend Pam take a trip to visit the farmhouse, they decide to invite a few of their friends and spend their Christmas Break there. As Eric and Pam continue to try and discover their true feelings for each other, the four best friends embark on what they think will be a fun vacation. Yet, soon after they arrive at the farmhouse, they discover that they are not entirely alone.