About Joel Thimell:
Passionate about writing, food and travel, Joel’s love of adventure led him to hitchhike from Kenya to South Africa, whitewater raft the Zambezi River, canoe the Okavango Delta, explore the Ngorongoro Crater, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and hike the Chimanimani Mountains. The thrill and terror of those first hand experiences are brought to life in his character’s adventures.
Joel began his career as a government bureaucrat and erstwhile journalist and is now making amends to society as a starving author. He shares his non-existent garden with endless hordes of mosquitoes, mobs of psycho squirrels, three jackrabbits, a ravenous herd of deer and an elusive mole named Darwin.
What inspires you to write?
I write Biblical fiction because I want people to hear these familiar stories in a fresh way. I hope my readers will see these heroes as real people not perfect saints.
Most of all, I hope they see that the Creator of all is still full of mercy and grace for rebels like us.
Tell us about your writing process.
As a historical novelist, my job is not only to immerse the reader in an unfamiliar time and place but to help them understand WHY people do what they do.
I spent 18 months researching ancient Sumer before I writing a single sentence of “Long Road Out of Ur.” I learned not just their history but their food, poetry, proverbs, religion, family ties, economics, agriculture, legal system, education, climate, and geography — everything that creates a culture.
I also re-read every Bible passage that describes my characters and used those descriptions to develop a profile of each of them. I deliberately chose NOT to read any other author’s interpretation of my characters or the story I was retelling because I wanted my story to be fresh and unique.
Although I came up with several plot ideas and possible outlines before starting, those were soon abandoned as my characters and their story quickly developed a life of their own.
I am very much a perfectionist and do NOT create a rough draft. I am constantly polishing and editing as I go. My writing has a cadence to it, I hear it in my mind when it is flowing. The description and the narrative are like the background of a painting where every brushstroke and every color create a mood and sensation in the viewer.
I never throw anything out. The perfect “turn of a phrase” is worth its weight in gold. As I rewrite scenes and chapters, I often remove large chunks which I copy to a scrapbook file where I can retrieve it for later use.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters talk to each other. They create new scenes and dialogue at all times of day. More than once I’ve woken in the middle of the night to write several pages they’ve brought to me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Respect your readers. Don’t allow your characters to do stupid stuff just to create plot twists or drama.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried for 8 months to get a traditional publishing deal. I queried publishers, editors and agents without success. Having spent years completing my book, I was determined to get it in the hands of readers regardless.
I would advise new authors to explore the market BEFORE they start writing. If you don’t enjoy selling, marketing and networking this might not be the career you hope for.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
My greatest concern is that the new economics of publishing are pushing authors to write faster and take less care in completing their books. In the past, successful authors would receive advances that enabled them to take 2-3 years writing a book. Nowadays, even best-sellers like Bernard Cornwell and Daniel Silva are compelled to put out a new book every year and the quality has clearly suffered.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Christian fiction, historical fiction, mystery, satire
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Joel Thimell Page On Amazon
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.