I’m absolutely delighted to welcome the lovely Tom Winton to my blog today. Tom and I met several years ago on the peer review site YouWriteOn and have been friends ever since. Tom has done everything from pounding spikes on a rowdy railroad gang in the Colorado Rockies to driving a taxicab in some of New York City’s most dangerous neighbourhoods. He’s also been a Manhattan sales executive, a ditch digger/pipe installer in Florida, a house painter on Long Island, a go-for in Maine, an entrepreneur and a host of other things. Along with his wife and their Jack Russell Terrier, Ginger, he now lives a more toned down life somewhere in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He has always been a free spirit–doing what he wanted, when he wanted. As a result of his adventuresome nature, he’s lived a life of erratic twists and turns. And that is what today gives him a bottomless well of experiences to draw from when he sits down to write novels.
Listed several times as one of Amazon’s top 100 “Most Popular Authors” in both Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers and Literary Fiction, all of Tom Winton’s full-length novels have been bestsellers.
It’s great to have you here, Tom. How would you describe yourself as a colour?
I’m a chameleon, Siobhan. I can be any colour in the spectrum, and I can also change with very little warning. One night I might be a bright cheery red—the life of any party. The next morning something could set me off and I quickly become the darkest, most forlorn shade of grey. But believe me, since I’m an emotional person all that changing makes for a very colourful life.
Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
I’m definitely a morning person. I absolutely love watching the sun come up. The way I see it, nothing in this world can sooth the soul and fill it with hope the way that first rosy glow on the Eastern horizon does. Afternoons? I’m not much for them, particularly during hot weather.
Tell me something you would like your readers to know about you.
I’d like my readers to know that writing a novel is an extremely difficult process for me. I’m what I call a “grinder” and I usually move along very slowly. I don’t look to pump out a new book every three months like some authors do. Instead I try to get only my most creative ideas on paper and do my best to fill them with emotion. I want my readers to feel my words, not just read them.
That’s fab, Tom. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favourite song?
For the most part I’ve always been into what they now call “classic” Rock ‘n Roll. While coming of age in New York, I probably spent a thousand nights in clubs and discos. As for my all-time favourite songs, four I can think of off the top of my head are Gimme Shelter and Sympathy for the Devil by the Stones, Maggie May by Rod Stewart, and Take it Easy by the Eagles. I love dancing to them all, too.
I love the Eagles and dancing as well. 🙂 When writing, where do you get your ideas from?
I believe an author can only draw his or her ideas from three sources—experiences they’ve lived out, experiences they’ve heard about, and whatever useful ideas they can cull from their conscious and subconscious minds. Many of my best ideas—the ones I call “platinum” ideas, come to me when my mind is clear and I’m trying to fall asleep. Almost as if they’re being “delivered” to me, they seemingly come from out of nowhere and pop up in my mind. That’s why I always have a pen and little notebook at my bedside.
Good tactic! How did you come to write your genera of choice?
I’m a self-admitted genre-jumper. Although I believe that an author will make more sales if they stick to just one genre, but I don’t do that. If I’m totally convinced that I have a worthwhile story in my head, and that I’ll be able to go the distance writing it, I simply sit down and write it. Genre shcmenre, I don’t worry about such things. I’m just grateful to get a good story idea when I do.
What is your favourite part of writing?
My favourite part of writing is doing the second and third drafts. By the time I work on those, I only have to polish words and embellish characters and scenes. The heavy creativity is most necessary when writing the first draft, and that is far and away the most difficult part for me.
What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
I’m not sure of the title yet, but I might call it something like Trailing Steinbeck and Charley. It’s about a man who, like John Steinbeck did in 1960, sets out in a camper to rediscover America and its people. Also like the Nobel Laureate’s was, my main character’s health is failing, and that makes the trip both risky and a race against the clock. What genre would this one fall into? you might ask. I’d have to say it’s a bouillabaisse of Suspense, Adventure, and Romance with a slight literary edge.
Sounds great! Do you have a new book coming out soon or recently released? Tell us about it.
My most recent release, a suspenseful romance entitled Forever Three, was released earlier this year. The stand-alone sequel to one of my bestselling novels Beyond Nostalgia, it’s the story of a man who, for 22 years, has lived with the soul-wrenching misfortune of loving two women.
How can we find you, Tom? Do you have a web page, Facebook page or any buy links?
I most certainly do.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Tom. It’s been a joy to host you on my blog. All the best with your writing!
Thank you, Siobhan.