Michael Tinker Pearce is a veteran of the US Army. Throughout the 1980’s he worked at a variety of jobs: Security, college student, private investigations, Tobacconist, illustrator, small-town police officer, meat carver at a restruant, firearms assembler for Detonix, courier for an international currency exchange, pizza delivery, receptionist, file clerk, executive assistant… the list goes on and on. This was the period where he was given the knick-name ‘Tinker.’ He settled down to being a professional knife and sword-maker in Michael Tinker Pearce is a veteran of the US Army, an ex-police officer and has been a professional knife and sword-maker since 1992. He has written extensively about his profession, including a book, ‘The Medieval Sword in the Modern World.’ He lives in Seattle with his wife and co-author, Linda Pearce. Recently he has worked a s a consultant on ‘The Mongoliad’ and coauthored a novella set in the Foreworld Saga with his wife Linda. They published their first novel, ‘Diaries of a Dwarven Rafleman’ in early 2013.
What inspires you to write?
What doesn’t inspire me to write? Games, television, pictures, random comments… I have a lot of time to think while working at my trade, and often find myself writing in my head as I do other tasks.
Tell us about your writing process.
Much of my writing these days is done with my wife. We’ll brainstorm ideas about the characters, plot and get an idea of where we want the story to go, then I sit down and write. After I have written a bit we read it out loud to each other to catch mistakes and see how it scans. We work out corrections, add or delete material as need to advance the story and rewrite here and there as needed. We really enjoy doing this together.
My writing process for short fiction is rather simpler- Typically the idea for the entire story sort of hits me all at once, and I sit down and bang it out. I’ll have Linda or another author read it and help edit and maybe make some suggestions.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t hold cenversations in them in my head, but I take on their roles in conversations with each other. I definitely listen to the characters in terms of the logic of the story- sometimes as things progress it becomes obvious that they character wouldn’t do what I had planned and I have to take the story in a new direction.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write a lot. Then write some more, and when your done with that do some writing. This craft, like any other, requires practice to improve and the more you write the better you will be at it. The second piece of advice is publish- get your work out in the world where people can find it. The more work you have out the easier it is for people to find you. When you publish present a professional product with a minimum of spelling and gramatical errors, correct puncuation, good formatting etc.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
We asked around among our author friends, and wether they were NYT bst-selling authors, middle-rank or just starting like us every single one of them told us to self-publish. There were a variety of reasons for this, not the least of which was the turmoil in the publishing industry and the fact that much of the stigma attatched to self-publishing has faded in recent years. Also as first-time nevelists we would basically be responsible for our own self-promotion regardless, so we might as well get the work out there Right Now instead of messing about for 1-3 years getting it out through a traditional publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The two technologies that have turned publishing on it’s ear- the eBook and Print-on-Demand publishing- will continue to shape the industry. There were always worthy authors that never got published under the traditional model and now they can self-publish and get their work out into the world, even into book stores. The time of massive print runs, may be past, with publishers using POD technology to fill orders as they come in. This could reduce overhead enough to make trad publishers more willing to take a chance and could open things up significantly.
What do you use?
Co-writer, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
We right heroic and contemporary fantasy and I write military science fiction and non-fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print