August 11, 2010

Interview with Mystery Author Tim Myers

Today I have a special guest! I'm happy to welcome multi-published mystery author Tim Myers.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim a few (ok quite a few!) years back when he came out with his first books, the Lighthouse Innkeeping mysteries, and followed his short stories as part of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

In his many mystery-writing personas, Tim has introduced readers to card making, pottery, lighthouse innkeeping, soapmaking, candlemaking, and more.

These days, he's writing about pizzas and math puzzles, as well as publishing several new middle grade/YA mystery and fantasy novels on Kindle. (He's even showing his "darker" side in a Werewolf PI book for Kindle. (See Amazon book list.)

Here's what Tim has to say about writing and his mysteries:

Q: What would you say is different now in this stage of your career (and in your writing?) vs. when you started the lighthouse books?

A: Publishing has changed in so many ways in 10 years, I wouldn't even know where to begin to answer that. I'm writing under several different names now, and Tim Myers is out of print, though I've never had more books published by the major houses: six this year from St. Martin's, Kensington, and Penguin/Berkley alone.

Q: What is your writing schedule? (Do you sleep? ha!) How much do you write?

A: I write seven days a week, almost without fail. It sounds boring, but I'm having great fun doing it.

Q: Is there a secret to such prolificness?

A: I've written millions of words since I started in 1993, and I still love the process, so that helps a great deal.

Q: Wow, that keeps you busy. So what's your favorite book so far and why?

A: That I've written? All of them! I tell my stories for myself, and hope other folks enjoy them, too. That sounds so arrogant in print, but I love to write, and love the process of finding out what happens next! Weeeeee!

Q: What made you decide to go direct to Kindle and begin doing your own ebooks?

A: As I said, I've got several books under contract with major publishers, but over the years, I've written books that many editors and some of my own agents had a hard time seeing me publish.

Kindle and other venues allow me to explore dark sides of the world I'd never be able to otherwise. I also wrote several books for my daughter as she grew up, some of my favorites, and couldn't find homes for them. With e-publishing, I can share them with the world! But trust me, I'm still working very closely with my agent and NY houses.

Q: What's the hardest part of your writing now?

A: Hard to say. I love what I do. It's tough not being able to claim some of my work in public, especially since some of it is doing so well!

Q: With so many books finished, how do you come up with new ways to solve the mystery? Does it make it that much harder, or?

A: There are so many ways to kill people! It's great fun, and I can always find a new victim to knock off. It makes you kind of sweet when you get your aggressions out that way! I am constantly thinking about new ways to kill people. Makes me sound gruesome, but I'm not. Seriously!

Q: What do you foresee as the future of publishing? Some authors have been cut; some houses may be in trouble in days to come. Your thoughts on the Kindle and ebooks?

A: I am happy to be living in both worlds at the moment. My out of print titles are on Kindle and Smashwords -- there's a list with links on my website. Wow, that was shameless, wasn't it? I absolutely see a place for both, and am happy to have them!

Q: How about some writing advice?

A: Write, all the time, whether you feel like it or not. Try new things if you're stale. Read, to learnand get better. Study someone who does what you want to do, and try to figure out how they do it. I still live by these words, each and every day.

Q: What was your worst writing moment?

A: Wow, when folks say no, it's never easy, is it? I still get bounced, and still don't care for the feeling!

(On a funnier note...) I had a woman standing in a line of about 50 clutching one of my books tightly. When it was her turn, she blurted out, "I just love your book. It puts me to sleep every night!" She was smiling, so I took it as a compliment and thanked her, though folks behind her were appalled by the implication.

Q: A closing thought?

A: I've never written so hard, or so much, or had so much fun doing it! The money's nice, I won't lie, but I love the story, first and foremost, and try my best to deliver every time!

Q: So what's next for you?

* In July and August, I have:
A Slice of Murder (Pizza Lover's Mysteries), written as Chris Cavender, paperback for Kensington.

In A SLICE OF MURDER, A Pizza Lover's Mystery by Chris Cavender (Kensington), Not too much happens in the sleepy little town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina--which is fine with pizza-purveyor extraordinaire Eleanor Swift. The spunky owner of A Slice of Delight is trying to mend her broken heart and could use a little quiet time. But when a late night delivery customer turns up dead, she's in for just the opposite in this delicious mystery series debut, featuring pizza as the prima character . .

* Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder (Pizza Lover's Mysteries)

When someone bashes in the head of Wade Hatcher, the brother of Eleanor's best delivery guy, Greg Hatcher, with Eleanor's maple rolling pin in her pizzeria kitchen, it appears at first that Greg killed Wade, who was contesting their grandparents' will. Eleanor and her sister, Maddy, join forces to investigate after the local police chief, Kevin Hurley, who always knows how to ruffle Eleanor's feathers, doesn't do much. As the sisters pursue some sticky but somewhat predictable clues, their suspect list grows. - Publishers Weekly

* Coming in Sept: A Deadly Row (A Math Puzzle Mystery) written as Casey Mayes (Penguin/Berkley/Prime Crime) comes out in September. The new Math Puzzle mystery series.

Math whiz Savannah Stone makes a living creating Math puzzles in rural North Carolina. But when the mayor starts receiving death threats, Savannah needs to solve this puzzle-before the next box to be filled is the mayor's coffin.

I also have three other novels coming out or recently out from major publishers under names I can't disclose.

Tim, thanks for sharing with us. Wishing you every success and can't wait to read the latest books!


  1. Congrats on all your successes as a mystery writer!

    Do you prefer using different nom de plumes or was that required by each publisher? Would it be better to have all your books published under your own name or a detriment?

  2. Tim, I remember the old days on SMFS when we were all struggling to get anything published. Even then, you did better than most, and I'm thrilled to see all you've accomplished since then. Best wishes for continued and even greater success.

  3. Hey Jacqueline,

    I would love to have all of my books published under Tim Myers, but I've been asked by different publishers to come up with new names, and I've obliged. I'm proud of all my work, and want the world to know what I've written, but in the current climate, at least for me, that's not possible.

    Still, I'm thrilled to be doing what I'm doing, and I have nothing but good things to say about my publishers.

    Hope that answers your question!



  4. Hey Earl,

    Or should I say Mr. President (of SMFS),

    Good to hear from you! Thanks for your good wishes, and let me send them right back to you! I haven't written a short story in donkey years, but they got my foot in the door of publishing, and I'll be eternally grateful for that!



  5. Oh, I am so glad to see you're doing well, Tim! I had no idea you were using pseudonyms. I still have the first two lighthouse books.

    (waves at Earl!)


  6. Thanks, Paula.

    I love the lighthouse books, and one of the greatest things about Kindles and other ereaders is that I get to put them out into the world again! Maybe someday I'll have time to write Lighthouse Inn #6 now that I have a platform! Plus, Kindle allows me to put books out that didn't find a home before. It's an exciting time we're living in for authors!




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