Multi-genre author Susan Whitfield writes the Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck,Hell Swamp, Sin Creek and Sticking Point. She authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook, and wrote a women's fiction, Slightly Cracked. She is currently writing an historical fiction titled Sprig of Broom. Susan interviews authors and industry experts on the blog. Web site: www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The Doc: Tim Desmond
Tim Desmond was raised in Madera,
California. He attended, on scholarship, California College of Arts and Crafts
in Oakland, CA. Later, after graduating from California State University Fresno
with a BA degree in Zoology, he earned his Teaching Credential. While writing
since the college years, he taught biology, chemistry and physics for
thirty-six years before retiring. He has written two novels, in 2005 a World
War II flashback For Thou Art With Me and
in 2010 the conspiracy thriller ebook version The Doc. He is married and lives in Fresno, California. He spends
time painting and Civil War reenacting.
your environment affected your writing?
TD – It has affected in every
way. Most of my settings have been in rural California. It’s not that I haven’t
lived in a larger city, which I did in college years, but I have included what
I have learned from travels.
books have you written?
TD – Three. The first book length
was an unpublished thing in 1983.
short synop of your most recently published book.
Doc –revised edition
The troubles of father and daughter Civil
War reenactors, Matthew and Dana Sweet, would not have mattered to most people.
However, California physician Henry “Hank” Houston cared. You will be immersed
into the reenacting world and these troubles. From
the yellow grain fields of the San Joaquin Valley to the granite monuments of
the Washington, DC area, Hank uncovered what Dana Sweet found. Her lover DHS
agent Jim Calder went missing, but not before giving her two encrypted flash
drives. It was only weeks before that in the glass walled cubicle of the
Intensive Care Unit, Matthew asked Hank to find answers about his daughter.
Hank is not a private investigator or a cop. But, as a pilot, past gun
dealer, and a shooting sports enthusiast, he has his resources. While Hank learned that his life is in danger
by a domestic black ops unit that does not want to be exposed, by Dana’s
knowledge of DHS and the information on the drives, he questions everything he
ever knew. He is changed, as he tried to be true to his friends.
of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
TD – Part of me is in all of
them, but I don’t know if it is actually hidden. I would think as with most of
us, trying to bring characters to life, we have to write some characters as
completely different from ourselves.
challenges did you face while writing this book?
TD – It was originally a
screenplay I wrote in 1999. Though registered, it never sold. In 2005, I began
to novelize it, adding back story and new scenes. That became the ebook only
version with a previous publisher. This version for the first time in print
needed more work. A lot had happened with the characters since 1999, which
included 9/11, and Patriot Act, which I had not really addressed in the 2005
travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places
TD – Both. Being in foreign
cities, either in Europe or the Americas, is a special experience. A friend
once told my wife, “Once you travel to Europe, you will never be the same.” It
is inspirational, and we have been fortunate to travel to Germany, the UK
twice, Mexico. But a special place I am using as a setting in a current new
work is Florida and the Keys. That will be different from my usual California
you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What
advice can you give new writers?
TD – One must learn to delete
your own words, words that don’t work. I tend to ramble initially, and write in
tangents. If that gets too long, it stops your story. Genres have rules. Keep
to those rules. Use Elements of Style by Strunk & White.
you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a
TD – I have manila folders and
files of notes scratched on various scraps of paper. There are some computer
files of ideas. Last couple years I’ve used SmartPhone memo pad app. But, once
I lost everything there as I had to get the phone reformatted, and, well, you
know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out
both off and online?
TD – It’s a tough business. With
one novel printed in mid 2000s, I had set up my own events and while I was out
there, I had sales. But, in that era I did not use online much. I had a
website, but no traffic. I did hard sells by email, and currently that is what
is being advised as opposed to pitching hard on social media. Blogging seems to
be the online route way to go. So, on FB and Twitter I reference to my blog and
author sites. A book in print gives you something in your hands to promote at
your own events.
tell us your future writing goals/projects?
TD – The latest novel was started
in November 2012, but was a story I had several buried outlines in a folder
over several years. A frustrated physics teacher has a theory that he has been
working on, and writes several papers and thesis type works, but he can’t get
published. Some of his theory is what in the past was called meta-physics, now
more referred to as “paranormal” things. In the academic world, these topics
are not considered “serious” by real PhDs. My character also has troubles with
his high school administration, his wife, an enemy colleague on campus, and
eventually the police. This is the Florida setting I alluded to above.
can folks learn more about your books and events?