- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Most days writing leaves me energized. Some days I procrastinate, and on those days it’s exhausting.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
In the early stages of a project any distraction has the potential to be writing Kryptonite. When I get deeper into the story and the pages have started to add up distractions have less impact.
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I’ve never given any serious thought to using a pseudonym.
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have friends who are photographers, filmmakers, and musicians, but no writers. The closest thing would be a couple of professors who have had a strong influence on me.
- Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
So far all of my work has been stand-alone. I like the idea of doing a series, and plan to revisit the characters from my western novella “Gunmen” soon.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent as a writer was purchasing a copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing.” I highly recommend it.
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I was in the fifth grade my class read the Ray Bradbury story “All Summer in a Day,” and it put me in a deep funk. That was the first time I thought about words on a page having any sort of lasting power. Later in the year we read “Flowers for Algernon,” which further strengthened that notion. Looking back now, it seems the fifth grade was one seriously depressing year.
- What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
“The Girl Next Door” by Jack Ketchum.
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A giant tortoise. They’re slow and steady, and they live a long time.
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I currently have two unpublished books. One is a horror novel, the other is a crime novel.
- What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success, to me, is continuing to be published. Financial reward is always nice, but honestly, if money were the primary goal I would take up a different occupation.
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I don’t like to hold up the writing to do research, as that tends to kill off my enthusiasm. If I am writing about a different time period, or an unusual location, I’ll do some light reading on the subject before I begin writing. After that I limit my research to specific questions that arise as I’m working on the story. By the end of the process I find I’ve done a good deal of research in total, which leaves me prepared to fix my mistakes in the rewrite.
- How many hours a day/week do you write?
I try to write three hours a day, six days a week- 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
Names have to be just right for me be able to move forward. They can come from anywhere. I’ve found character names on road signs, cleaning products and old comic books. Sometimes they come quickly, sometimes they are a struggle. But when I find the right one I can feel it.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
Any scene where I have to kill a character I’ve grown to like is difficult to write. I wrote a death scene for a dog that was especially rough.
- Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I began writing horror, and most of my stories involved criminals. I quickly discovered I was more interested in the criminals than the horror, and so I shifted my focus to crime fiction. I find when I write in other genres I still tend to focus on criminals.
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since the second grade. That was the year children’s author Scott Corbett (The Lemonade Trick) came to my second grade class to speak. Up until then I had no real idea that making up stories was an actual job that people had. Once I found that out I knew no other job would do. I’ve been writing ever since.
- What inspires you?
Good writing inspires me. Especially by writers who have a better facility with language than I do.
- How do you find or make time to write?
I’m fortunate enough to have a schedule that allows me the time to write.
- What projects are you working on at the present?
At the moment I’m looking for a home for my crime novel “The Pretenders.” It was set to be released last year, but unfortunately the publisher closed shop before that happened.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
Future projects include the previously mentioned “Gunmen” sequel.
- You can find out more about my work here: http://www.timothyfriend.net/
Short stories included in:
Timothy Friend is a writer and independent filmmaker whose fiction has been published in Crossed-Genres, Thuglit, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir. He is the writer and director of the feature film, “Bonnie and Clyde vs. Dracula,” distributed by Indican Pictures. He holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.