Interview with Tom Goymour

Published 2013-11-18.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The earliest book I remember reading for myself was 'The Last Battle' - the final part of the 'Narnia' chronicles by C.S.Lewis. My Dad used to read me these when I was very small. I can't really begin to describe the impact the whole thing had upon me, it's just such a great work throughout that makes you really think about . . well, everything!
When did you first start writing?
This is an interesting one to answer. Although I'd 'dabbled' - (I wrote stories as a child and teenager), I didn't really write anything serious until I hit my second half century.
Music is my greatest passion, - serious classical music. I have written many piano pieces. Also, my entire family seems to possess strong artistic talent with my father having been somewhat distinguished and successful as a watercolour artist. I have a few works to my name and have created some wall murals in my time as well as fine art paintings.
For me, writing is part of the creative jigsaw. I am a creative person, writing is something I do whenI have something to tell people about.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a vicarage. my Father was a C of E Vicar, - my eldest son is a Roman Catholic priest! - work that one out!
All these things greatly influence my writing. I believe that all your personal life experiences are the core for good creative ideas. I am currently into writing ghost fiction, short stories with strange twists etc. and my early happy days from a strong family background sowed many seeds . . (and yes, the vicarage was haunted!)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had a book taken up by a publisher who then apparently went bust! this motivated me into doing it myself. If I think something needs to be done I do it. If I'm not sure I probably end up leaving it in the 'to do' tray.
I don't need any more motivation other than if I believe something I've created needs to be out there, seen by others, then i will learn what I need to learn and take the action I need to take to get the result one way or another.
How do you approach cover design?
Ah well . . i have to come clean here; I'm far from being an expert, but thus far I have done the work myself. I have a bit of knowledge and experience in the print/graphic design trade, so undertaking the work and setting up the files etc. isn't a problem for me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My computer. I don't have time at present to use a Kindle, Nook or ipad etc. Life is just so busy - that would be a luxury. On screen right in front of me when I want it suits me best.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The age old question: Answer? the same as for all other marketing I have ever done in any other fields: word and mouth.
Whether it's been by face to face conversation, email contact to people i know, Facebook friends, work colleagues etc. word and mouth and getting key people to endorse for you has been the most succesful.
(- Get quite a few hits each week to my website as well.)
Describe your desk
Computer, printer, keyboard, square foot of actual desk space piled with papers, notes, leaflets, folders, full of crazy plans/draught ideas etc. (I have a large family and little space - my room really is a cubby-hole!)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
As a kid I was entranced by 'Thomas the Tank Engine' I reckoned I could make up some exciting stories to go along with those of the Rev. W.D. Awdrey, so I did.
Somewhere in my loft are some old pencil written originals of these first stories I wrote when about 10 or 11 years old!
What's the story behind your latest book?
As I answer this one tonight, it's a very strong emotive story I talk about, - A Christmas Ghost story with a real spiritual meaning I want the reader to wake up to. There are so many strands of experiences that led me to write this particular book, I made a whole web page all about it:

My next book (nearly finished) is a series of short Ghost stories about the Peterborough area (UK) It's fiction mixed with historically documented facts and ghostly interventions! The truth about this is some of the strange things that have actually happened to myself and other family members are embroidered into some of the stories.
For me there is always a story behind anything creative.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's this:
I get an idea, I might be in the car hanging around waiting to watch my sons play football. I might be in the bath, about to go to bed, driving to work . . I never know when inspiration will strike, but the point is, as long as I jot it down some time soon after, - I'm happy. I know the seeds have ben sown and i just work at it from there in the days after.
I love the fact that I am wired this way. I know once I have an idea banked that it is going to develop some day and that always gives me the greats kick. - I love just getting those ideas down and working them over and over. I don't find it a chaw!
It means that I could stop this interview, go into my 'resources' file and just . . start writing. I don't have to be in the right mood, it always seems to work out well for me (except when I'm really tired - and that's my biggest weakness - late nights fuelled by enthusiasm . . . that's when it doesn't always work!)
What do your fans mean to you?
When people show interest in something you've done and bother to let you know, that's the biggest compliment you can get because it's always genuine. This is what true fans do for any creative work. It means so much. It brightens your week when you read another review about something you did a while back and you know that someone out there is rooting for you. Fans mean the world . . you gotta listen to what they want from you next!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Man, is that a serious question? . . .Life!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work at two other jobs as well. My day is 7.00 - midnight every day including weekends. I have several children that keep my wife and myself busy. In the evenings I split my time between the necessity of taking kids to clubs and activities and things that bring in the pennies.
Fortunately for me, whatever the task for the day, I generally embrace it and enjoy the hard work.
To wind down I listen to music . . .( but usually while I work!
What is your writing process?
Always starts with an idea written out in a paragraph or two. Where and when these ideas come I have alreay talked about . .I have little control over that process I just regard as necessary inspiration, but I never just sit down and think 'Now, what shall I write?'
I then file the idea away and either get it out sooner or later - sometimes much later.
Once I start I generally just keep going as most of my work to date is short stuff, but i do rework the final draughts over and over. even this week I have re-edited a couple of short stories i wrote a year ago.
When I think it's finished I file it away on my computer, then over the next few months i do the re=read and re-edit bit.
When I'm happy I'll format it for publication if I think it's worthy.
What are you working on next?
I have two projects, the one I already mentioned that is definitely going to happen - the peterborough Ghost story collection, and then I am probably going to put out another series of 'short stories with a twist' that I have been writing the last two years or so.
But, maybe, I'm about to embark on something a bit bigger? Maybe one of my ideas will develop into something else over the next few months and beat the other thing to the post!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
So far so good. Smashwords makes things as easy as they could be (there is still a lot you have to learn to get right yourself though! - always take that responsibility)
The distribution of multiple file formats to several outlets once you get premium listed is something you could end up having to pay for in other places.
Also, the advice, ebooks, website itself is very helpful and common sense, - no leading you round in circles.
Smashwords seems to me to be the ideal platform to launch your book from digitally.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

The Spirit of Peterborough
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,210. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Peterborough, just an ordinary city full of people like you and me, steeped in history, totally unique. We all know the past can affect the future, but what if it was more than perhaps you might think? These fictional contemporary adventures each present a ghost mystery as ordinary folk find themselves drawn in. There are links both to the true historical past and documented ghostly occurrences
I'll Be There For The Replay
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,970. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
As Paula's big day approaches strange almost spiritual events start to befall her and her family. First there's the accident, then the Christmas book that seems to be telling them something, and then that haunting piano piece; - the piece Paula is to perform just before Christmas. A big football match takes place on the same day as her concert but who is it that must be there for the replay?