Erik Therme has thrashed with multiple garage bands, (inadvertently) harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. None of these have come close to the thrill of releasing his debut novel, Mortom.
When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his oldest daughter’s volleyball team, or chilling on the PS3 with his 10-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only 7 places in the world the UNESCO has certified as a “City of Literature.”
Visit with him on Facebook or direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What inspires you to write?
It’s been said so many times it’s almost cliché: ‘A writer writes because they have to.’ But it’s the truth. You write because you feel compelled to tell stories—simple as that. It’s an amazing experience to create a book you can’t find in a bookstore (but would love to read).
Tell us about your writing process.
It always begins with an idea. If you’re lucky, that idea branches into a scene, and from there—a story. Sometimes that story can be molded into a novel. If that’s the case, I push through the first draft without an outline, but always create one before my next draft. I also utilize timelines (to keep facts straight) and usually create character sketches.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m here to observe, not interact. My job is to follow my characters and record things they do and say. More often than not, they surprise me and drive the story in unexpected directions.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing is 10% writing and 90% rewriting. If you’re not prepared to live with your story for years, then a life of writing probably isn’t a good fit. And if you are fortunate enough to get your work into print, be prepared to spend endless hours promoting it. I’ve done everything from hang flyers to advertise on craigslist. Being a writer is a labor of love, and you have to work hard to make your own luck.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I finished my first novel (years ago) I was fortunate enough to acquire an agent. The book never sold, the agent retired, and I was back at Square One. When I began shopping Mortom, I managed to interest some high profile agencies, but—in the end—I was unable to secure representation. That left me two options: let the book languish on my hard drive, or take matters into my own hands. I set the book loose on Amazon, contacted an independent publisher, and I was off and running.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
In the past, ‘self-publishing’ meant paying hundreds of dollars in exchange for a stack of books. From there it was your job to dole them out from your garage or basement. The landscape is completely different now. With a few clicks you can sell your book from Amazon with no upfront costs, and—like traditional publishing—you receive royalties. The flip side is that the market is now saturated with thousands of people doing the same thing, so the competition is huge. The most important thing is to write the best book possible. If you do that, readers will find it.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print