My guest today is author Thom Reese. Welcome, Thom.
How many books have you written and in what genre(s)?
Wow! You certainly are busy.
Thanks for taking time out to visit.
13BODIES is a collection of short stories based on my audio drama series, 21st Century Audio Theatre, which began as a weekly radio program. Several of the audio dramas have since been published by Speaking Volumes. I was then asked by my publisher to write this short story collection based on the dramas. The book is a true mixed bag, there’s sci-fi, horror, suspense, psychological thrillers, even comedy. My favorite of the stories is FAMILY LEGACY, a tale about a family in which the greatest honor that can be given is for a family member to kill another family member with great creativity and style. There’s another story about a vegetarian vampire, some murders, a Twilight Zone style sci-fi. Every story takes the reader to a different place.
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?
How do you develop characters, Thom?
To me a story is always about the character. If I don’t, at some level, care about the protagonist than I really don’t care about the story. There can be wonderful plot twists, surprises, reversals, the works, but if it’s all plot with cookie-cutter players I’m not onboard. For my characters, I try to give strengths and weaknesses, goals and beliefs that are at odds with one another. Real people aren’t consistent. Someone who is for the most part a good person might make some horrible choices. A person might make one decision on Monday, but on Tuesday, when faced with the same situation, take another route. I give my characters detailed back stories. Even if the information never makes it into a book, I need to know where this person has come from, what he/she believes, what the person’s goals and ambitions are, what personal demons he/she faces. I never create a character based on a real person, but I do sometimes borrow traits from people I’ve encountered and throw them into a character’s mix. I’ll use speech patterns, mannerisms, style of dress, but never more than one from the same individual, and even these, I usually add a twist to make something fresh. Once I’ve created a character, I place him/her into a situation and try to write the responses based on how I believe this particular individual would react. This will often help to determine the direction of the plot. “What would this person do when confronted with this problem? What if this was revealed to him/her? What would be the reaction?”
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Blog: THROUGH THOM TINTED LENSES: http://thomreese.wordpress.com/
Blog: THE JOURNALS OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/
Thanks for dropping by, Thom, and continued success!