THIS WEEK WELCOME my friend Tim Gilbert. Tim and I go back at least ten years and share a passion for fiction writing. Tim lives near me in West Des Moines and is my annual companion to the great LoveIs Murder mystery conference each February in Chicago. Tim is married with 4 children and works in the finance industry. Although he is now a Midwesterner, he grew up in the Northeast, where both of his books (thrillers) are based, and is a graduate of Princeton University.
Mike: Welcome, Tim, to my blog. Can you first tell us a little about your books?
Tim: Thank you, yes, my first book, Damage Control, was ripped right out of the headlines of 2008 and the Bernie Madoff crisis. Drug cartels and financial scandals are a sign of our times even today in 2011. Damage Control is a subtle thriller (no car chases, big explosions), where a New Jersey doctor is faced with planning an escape from a Mexican drug cartel that is using his inside knowledge of a pharmaceutical drug trial to game the stock market. Overload is the sequel to Damage Control and is a little more violent.
M: You are doing something interesting as I can see; your first book is posted for a free download, and your second is available for purchase. What was the thought behind doing it that way?
T: I have seen other authors do this. I am trying to get people hooked on Damage Control so maybe they’ll spend a few bucks on Overload. You hate to give away product that is your baby, in essence, but that is sign of ebook times. There is a TON of free novel competition on the Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Smashword etc.
M: How easy (or difficult) is the marketing for books distributed that way?
T: You have be on either Twitter or Facebook and spend an hour a day at least building your fan base. It’s not easy, but marketing never is. Both sites have wonderful author groups, though, that are going through the same difficulties we all are.
M: We’ve had a lot of discussion here on e-books, especially by Robyn Gioia who writes here each First Monday. What do you think is their future?
T: They’re here to stay for good. Borders is being liquidated and Barnes & Noble isn’t far behind. eBook pricing starts under $3, though for 99.9% of authors. It so easy to get your ebook on Amazon, the number of authors out there has exploded tenfold or more in the past two years.
M: Let me direct you back to your novels. Can you give me a little background on your main characters?
T: In Damage Control the two main characters are Nick Johnson, a family doctor in New Jersey and his friend, Peter Hansen, who is a celebrity money manager. The two have a relationship mainly because their sons are best friends. When Peter allows a Mexican drug cartel to infiltrate his investment operations, Nick and Peter’s relationship become far more intimate and intense.
M: What started you writing?
T: I mainly started writing because I had this story in my head and I just had to put into words. Both novels took about 11 months to write.
M: What are your writing habits? In other words, do you write each day, morning, evening, etc.?
T: I write over lunch hour at work and in the evenings when the kids go to bed. Not a ton of time.
M: Anything upcoming? Do you have another sequel you are working on?
T: I am working on another thriller, this time a short story about a detective who is thrust into the middle of saving a business man with the sign of seven mark from the radical, centuries old religious group, Leucippus Zeno who intends to kill the business man.
M: Any hobbies, etc. for spare time?
T: Children sports and school activities eat up most of my spare time
M: How can readers contact you?
M: How can readers get your books?
M: Tim, thanks for dropping by today.
T. You’re welcome. Thank you, too.