Interview with Tim Murr

Describe your desk
My desk is piled with a bunch of manuscripts, drawings, pens and pencils, toys, Halloween masks, horror magazines, comic books, and an old Mac computer.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 3rd grade. After I discovered Treasure Island in 2nd grade I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it took me about a year to come up with my first short story. From there I never stopped.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in East Tennessee. I think living in the South was definitely a huge influence on me as a storyteller, but I had to move to Boston to appreciate it. Now that I'm back in the South, I completely embrace my part in the legacy of Southern writers. I hope I can do the forebearers proud.
When I was very young we moved every six months. Even after we settled in Kingston, TN we still didn't stay in the same home for very long. I think growing up like that, always getting a new perspective on the same landscape, was an invaluable gift to my writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
On the one hand, Conspiracy of Birds was a writing experiment. On the other hand, it's a collection of my nightmares strung together into a narrative. Stylistically it's influenced by the films of Dario Argento, the novels of Jim Thompson, and the music of Pere Ubu. So it's a heady mix of hallucinatory violence and terror in an America that exists on the edge of a broken reality. The lead character is my alter ego, in a sense. He's all my darkest impulses.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Punk rock. Coming from the punk scene, being moved by Black Flag and Henry Rollins' DIY ethos really set me on this path where I just stopped being concerned about publishers and agents (not that I would turn down either!), because I knew I couldn't sit around and wait for someone to notice me. I had to just go for it, so I started publishing little booklets of my writing. They were my punk rock.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love this platform. Smashwords is allowing me to take my book-zine aesthetic into the 21st century in an eco-friendly way. I can publish a book the day I finish it and potentially reach a wider audience than I'd ever be capable of with little xeroxed fold and staple booklets. Success? Not so much. Not yet. But I'm an optimist!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finishing something. Long, short, doesn't matter. Having a finished piece I'm proud of is where the joy comes in. Everything else is war. War with the ego, war with self doubt, war with complacency. Everything is a struggle, so when a piece of art can actually be put to bed, I feel pretty great, even if it's a bit flawed.
What do your fans mean to you?
All three of them? I love them to death, though I'm afraid they're getting lonely. It'd be nice if a few hundred more joined them!
What are you working on next?
Speaking of struggles...My next two books are both labors of love. One is a non fiction book called My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters. It's the book version of my regular feature on my blog Stranger With Friction. It'll feature all new material and extended versions of chapters that appeared on line. As the title suggest, it's an extended fan letter to all the great horror, monster, and sci-fi films, books, comics, musicians, directors, and writers who inspired me to become what I am.
The other is a new novel that I've been working on for over half my life. Not joking. I'm on the final draft now and hope to be done by the first of next year. I can't give away any details just yet, but I can't wait to put this beast out on the road! All I can say is you've got mass murder, dirty cops, rock and roll, and romance in store for you in early 2015!
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Louis Stephenson, Flannery O'Connor, Kathy Acker, Lydia Lunch, Jim Thompson, Don Bajema, Hubert Selby Jr, William Burroughs, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Cormac McCarthy...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working. When I'm not doing that I'm trying to find time for my kids and later watch movies with my wife.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! It was a mash up of GI Joe and Transformers. I made up this team of super spies that traveled in transforming robot jets and fought an evil organization trying to take over the world.
What is your writing process?
Drink coffee, stare at computer, check Twitter, get more distracted, refocus, get angry, get depressed, then at the last minute write a little bit that makes me happy.
I usually have characters before I have plots. I just start fleshing out the character and the story starts to evolve.
Published 2015-08-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Last Mass b/w Seeing Her Again
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,050. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
The Last Mass b/w Seeing Her Again is a special promotional single being released ahead of the Tim Murr's new horrific short story collection Motels On Fire. In The Last Mass a young man comes home from Afghanistan and finds his hometown in the grips of unspeakable evil. Seeing Her Again finds a couple reuniting after a traumatizing tragedy.
City Long Suffering
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,360. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime
On the first day of summer, a mass murderer called The Terrible Head, resurfaces after two years. On the first day of summer, Maupins City will know suffering. City Long Suffering; First Movement launches a saga of Southern-fried crime and horror from the author of Conspiracy of Birds and founder of the blog Stranger With Friction.
Conspiracy Of Birds with Hounds of Doom
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,090. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
'I didn't want to burn any bridges, but I doused them real good with gasoline just in case.' Conspiracy Of Birds is the new novella from Tim Murr, creator and writer for the blog Stranger With Friction and author of Lose This Skin. It is a hallucinatory skin dive into the nightmare world of a failed writer living on the broken edges of America. Now includes the shorts collection Hounds of Doom.
Lose This Skin
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 24,360. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Lose This Skin collects the best of Tim Murr's short works from 1994-2011. From his early book- zines of vignettes and poetry to short stories (both published and unpublished) and lyrics to his recent on-line work.