About D.L. Timmerman:
I have been failing miserably at the craft that is writing since the ripe old age of five. It was then that I penned the tale of children, swamp beasts, and evil corporations threatening to build luxury hotels. Oh sure. I have written short stories like “Nebula” that go on to win awards. Or “Christmas Day” that won an Author Fest. Or “HeadSpace” that won a 24 Hour Film Fest. But awards do little more than offer you a trinket and a nice little pat on the back.
For me, writing is a journey. And really, I am just along for the ride. I have had over a hundred articles, reviews, devotionals, short stories, and poems published in over a dozen publications. I spent a year the OC Register as a Teen Movie Critic. I spent another year doing freelance writing for Renown Magazine and CM Central. I then spent three years of my life at Infuze Magazine as an entertainment journalist. I have written crazy comic strips like “Insanity 101.” Radio scripts that have made their way to broadcast. I wrote and directed my own silent film noir. Done work on a TV set. And I have even written a graphic novel script.
Writing novels is where my real passion is at. Entertaining people with stories that make you think, that engage both your brain and your heart, that always leave you wanting more. If I make you cry, or cringe, or leap for joy, then I’ve done my job. The readers. Like you. That’s who i work for. And I love it.
What inspires you to write?
Everything. No seriously. I have this terrible problem with daydreaming. I can become so easily lost in a piece of music. Three minutes go by, and I’m putting the finishing touches on a brand new world I created piece by piece. Scenes randomly play out in my mind like sequences from a film. The piece plays over and over again until it comes out just right. Then I spill it out onto the page. Or maybe I’m just a little crazy and should stop listening to all the voices in my head. But seriously, why do I write? I do it to entertain. To inspire. To spark an emotion within another human being. To make you think. To impact your heart. That’s why I write. I do it for the readers. In turn, they inspire me to get better.
Tell us about your writing process.
A book that changed my life is “Story Trumps Structure,” by Steven James. Essentially, it is story first and everything second. That’s how I approach my storytelling. I have an idea. I put it on the page. And then I see where it takes me. I do things in a natural, but exciting way. My first novel, Creed, how more outlining involved than I care to admit. However, since I read that book by Steven James, the entire process of approaching writing has been radically transformed. It put the joy back into writing for me. It made me want to glue my butt to my chair so that the words can flow.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They interact with me. My characters take a life of their own. I never knew what that meant. Until recently. I always thought that was some sort of mystic writer talk. “Oh yes, my characters talk to me and take on a life of their own. They even brew me coffee in the morning. Yum. Yum.” Right. Sure they do. Then I started working on a fantasy novel. I let my characters be who they are. And who they are is quite different from who I am. They do and say things that I may disagree with. But i can’t interfere with that. They need the freedom to be who they are. That’s when characters come to life. That’s when characters take on a life of their own.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. And read “Story Trumps Structure,” by Steven James. Oh, and never give up. No matter how many rejections you receive. Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up. That’s what Winston Churchill used to tell college graduates. He would repeat that same phrase over and over again. As a writer, there will be times you need to do the very same thing. You need to simply stop giving up. Stop beating yourself up. Grow some thick skin. Get off your coach, throw away the excuses, and write. Keep at it. Never give up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I went to several publishers and sat down with a handful of agents. All of them were very nice and polite. However, none of them really liked science fiction. This was a problem because my first novel was a science fiction thriller. And while the novel I am currently committed to has generated a lot of interest, my debut really struggled to get over that science fiction blockade. A couple years past. My calendar changed to 2015. That’s when I decided to just go for it. So, I self published on Amazon. And yes, I’m glad I did. I wanted to get feedback on my work so I could grow as a writer. The results have been fantastic for me. Whether or not this is right for you, well you have to decide that. Just do not be afraid to explore new avenues or take a risk. It’s difficult to move a ship that’s anchored. Sometimes you just have to cut loose the anchor and go for it. And then see what happens.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t know. I am not a fan of digital only content. There’s something about having a physical copy in your hand. Whether it be a book, a film, a video game, or even an album. I can definitely see this coming to a head. We could go from “owning” what we buy to simply “leasing” it. I think that would be a shame.
I also see a changing in the guard of the so-called “gatekeepers” of the industry. Now, they are nice people. Don’t get me wrong. However, many of them are stuck in personal bias. And this creeps into their ability to see anything outside of a genre they like. To the point that they begin to hate on other genres. This in turn has led to not only a lot of frustrated writers, but readers as well. I feel for the gatekeepers. It can’t be easy being a “gatekeeper.” The ebook age is changing the way the publishing industry works. It allows for more and more novels to be published. This appears to have made the gatekeepers obsolete, but this has a negative effect as well. They prevented a lot of poorly written material from flooding the market. But those flood gates have now been opened.
Is all of this change good or bad? I can’t say for certain. All I can do is challenge myself to be a better writer. I have long way to go. Baby steps. Always looking to improve one day at a time. Always learning. Staying teachable. Loving the craft.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: speculative fiction, mystery, thrillers
What formats are your books in?: eBook
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