Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Erik Therme - Guest Author

Please welcome Thomas & Mercer author Erik Therme. He describes himself as pensive, focused, tenacious, independent, and wry. His writing is dark, brisk, suspenseful, tense, and flawed. (Although he may be picking on himself with that last adjective -- check out the blurb for Mortom at the end.)

Describe your most productive writing venue. What makes it best for you?

I’m fortunate enough to have a ‘man cave’ in my basement (complete with mini fridge) that doubles as an office. I love my family, but I require complete solitude to be productive. That, and a giant bulletin board for character sheets and timelines. Seriously. The thing is huge.

What is your most productive time of the day (and do you need caffeine)?

I tend to be most prolific during late evenings and weekends, and Mountain Dew is always a necessity. Inspiration is also always welcome, but not always present.

How many books do you read in a typical month? Do you read in your genre while you are writing? What’s your most recent “great” book?

I usually have two books going at a time, but I’m a slow reader, so I only get through 2-3 a month. I’m not very picky about genre, but I definitely gravitate toward darker stories. I recently finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and I still catch myself thinking about it from time to time.

Name three not well-known authors you would recommend and tell us what you like about their writing.

Rob Cline (Murder by the Slice) is a new favorite. He has a wonderful, quirky voice, and his writing is always fresh and sharp. Rachel Aukes (Deadland Saga) continues to impress me with new and unique twists on the zombie genre, and Jeff Menapace (Bad Games series) is always good for a wicked ‘not-for-the-faint-of-heart’ read.

What themes do you regularly employ in your writing?

Family is always a strong theme in my work. I’m endlessly fascinated by how supportive—or destructive—siblings and parents can be toward one another when it comes to family politics. I also love having characters out of their element, whether it be a strange town, abandoned building, or even a deserted road. In the real world I’m not much of a traveler, so it’s probably no surprise that I enjoy experiencing places vicariously. It’s a great way to save money on food and gas.

What is the most challenging area for you as a writer? What are you doing to address the issue?

I struggle with writing action. One of the golden rules of writing is ‘show, don’t tell’, but every time I put action on the page it feels like forced description. It’s not uncommon for me to spend hours on a single paragraph, trying to get the words right. At some point you just have to say ‘enough is enough’ and move on, otherwise it can drive you insane.

How did you develop the idea for your most recent work?

I have two teenage daughters, and I wanted to write something they’d enjoy. Resthaven (spring 2016) is about a group of kids who decide to have a scavenger hunt in an abandoned nursing home  . . . only to discover they’re not alone. If I say any more, I might ruin the fun.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received and why was it so valuable?

“Raise the stakes and continue to build them.” If you don’t put your characters in peril, why should your readers care what happens to them?

To learn more about Erik and his writing, check out his website www.eriktherme.com

And here's a quick teaser for Mortom:

After his estranged cousin dies, Andy travels to Mortom to survey the estate. When he finds a dead rat with a key in its mouth, he thinks it’s some sort of joke . . . until he discovers a letter left by his cousin, detailing the rules of “the game.”

All I can say is Oh Oh!  Check it out here.

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