Interview with Tim Wheat

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is named The Sentinel. Eighteen months has passed since Rex Chase and George Ahiga defeated Dietrich Hoff. Rex has spent his time buried in work studying scalar energy while George and Angela have been busy working for The Organization. An attempt on the President's life starts the action which leads Rex and George on a raucous adventure.

When I sat down to write my first book I had the second and third books pretty much mapped out in my mind. I stuck with a lot of what I had originally planned, but some great story ideas popped up when writing the second book that I just couldn't leave out. It was fun to write and I'm working diligently on the third.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I always wanted to write a book. I spent years in bands, writing music, and as I got older I started to realize that writing a book and writing an album aren't really all that disconnected. They both take a lot of focused creativity and organization. So, I had a bunch of ideas floating around in my head, but the most developed one was a three part series. That's where I started and Rex Chase was born!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I didn't find Smashwords until about six months after I published my first book. I wish I would have found it earlier because man did they sure make my life easier. First of all, the Smashwords style guide showed me everything that I was doing wrong with formatting my ebooks, and holy smokes were they bad before. Second, the marketing guide gave me some good ideas that I hadn't thought of yet. Last of all Smashwords made it possible to consolidate the myriad accounts I had all over into one place. I don't have to manage accounts on Kobo, Ibooks, Scribd, Barnes and Noble, and the like anymore. I can do it all from this one place, and that's great!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is when I'm grinding away and the creative bug hits me and all of a sudden sixteen hours have passed, I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, and I'm scrambling to put the ideas down on the page so that they don't leave me when I sleep.
What are you working on next?
I have two books I'm currently writing. One is the third book in the Rex Chase series. Its titled, The Russian, and picks up where the second book left off. The other book I'm currently working on is a modern action thriller named Patriot Tide. It follows a new main character, Wallace Marin, as terrorists plot to take down the United States from within. It'll be a lot more edgy than my Rex Chase series and is based on action, action, action while still developing meaningful plot and characters. I'm excited for people to read it!
Who are your favorite authors?
Growing up, I loved Clive Cussler and I'm told my writing on the first book is very reminiscent of his style. Clancy was always a favorite as well as Dale Brown. Now that I write, though, I find that I can't do a lot of fiction reading because it will permeate into my process and I'll find myself coming up with ideas that actually aren't my own. So, now when I read for pleasure its generally non-fiction books or magazines. It isn't quite as much fun, but I'll trade it for the writing!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Easy. My wife and kids. Well, and I usually have to pee.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working and playing outside. I'm a school teacher, so during the year I'm kept very busy with that. I also love to work outdoors. We have a hobby farm that I often piddle around on, keeping myself busy with projects.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do not. I'm sure there were lots of them when I was a child, but I can't place my finger on a certain story. As a father, though, I listen to my boys come up with these fantastic stories sometimes and I marvel at their imaginations. My eight year old has this whole plan for a series of books based on a mixture of Zelda like characters and a Last Starfighter mentality, mixing video games and fantasy. I'm not sure I was as advanced as he is!
What is your writing process?
I think about it a lot first. I'll think about my concept and mull the ideas over in my brain for months. I'm not a great sleeper so a lot of the planning gets done as I lay in bed. After I feel like I know what I'm going to do I'll sit down and write a ten to twenty page synopsis that outlines the book. A lot of my work involves certain aircraft, or weapons, and I do spend a fair amount of time researching those things so that I portray them accurately in my books. I kind of take that research as it comes, though, so that when I write the knowledge is fresh in my mind. If there is a dogfight in my books you can be assured I looked up the stress capabilities and top speeds etc. of the aircraft involved. I've also done interviews with experts in certain subjects to help bring more realism to the books. After all of that, I just sit down and write.
How do you approach cover design?
When I put out my first book I approached it as: "I can do it myself. I'm creative." I spent countless hours on my first books' cover and was very proud of it, until I had a professional look at it and tell me how horrible it was. So, I shopped around and found a cover designer I liked and bought some designs from her. Creative Paramita did my cover for Rex Chase, as well as the cover for my upcoming offering, The Russian. I guess the short answer to this question would be that I now approach cover design with a "let the professionals take care of it" attitude.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
In the world of ebooks I've yet to find a tried and true way to really get the snowball effect moving downhill. I've blogged, taken facebook ads, tweeted... You name it, I've done it. The best tool I've found online so far, is ereadernewstoday. They run my ad, and I sell books. I hear Bookbub is great, but I've yet to crack that nut with five or so rejections under my belt! Honestly, when I go to a library, or conference, or expo, and give a presentation, or sit on a panel of authors, that's when I sell books.
Published 2015-06-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Sentinel: A Rex Chase Novel
Series: Rex Chase Novels, Book 2. You set the price! Words: 110,730. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
Rex Chase is back! Disorder and confusion dominate after an unprovoked attack on the President speeds global consolidation of power and sinister plans come to the forefront. Costs are high, both in equipment and men, but with the clock ticking Rex deduces their tormentor's true goal. It is not subjugation. It is not adulation.The goal is obliteration. Only Rex Chase stands in the way.