INTRODUCING AUTHOR TOM HOBBS
In the spotlight this week is Author Tom Hobbs. I am delighted that Tom agreed to stop by to chat and I think you’ll enjoy learning about him. His answers to my interview questions are witty, honest and fun to read. Almost immediately after I published my first novel this summer I contacted Tom about listing my book on his Kindle Mojo site. I found him to be very helpful and eager to help a new author out. I reviewed his book and loved it. I was intrigued by his fast-paced, gritty style and I read Trauma Junkie in one sitting. You can read my review here. Tom Hobbs has qualities that exemplify the Indie Author. He knows where he came from and is willing to help others gain success. The link to his site is at the end of this interview. Check it out if you haven’t had the opportunity.
Interview with Tom Hobbs
1. What makes you stand out as a writer?
I’ve been told it’s my dialogue. I love to listen to people speak, and will sit in places with my iPod ear phones in, but nothing playing so I can listen to the conversations people are having. I rely heavily on dialog to define my characters, rather than their actions in a given situation. Some might consider this a flaw, but I find that it works well for me.
For me the secret of dialogue is the rhythm of the speech and not so much the words that they are speaking. Listening to candid conversation has the same effect on me that classical music has for normal people. I find it very relaxing and often find myself replaying various conversations in my head which I will adapt to my writing.
2. What is your favorite type of reading material?
I love reading screenplays. I’m more of a visual person with a background in photography and film. I love to find original versions of various screenplays and compare them to the final product to see how they evolved. I also like reading classical American Literature (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner being my all time favorites.)
3. If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?
If I had to pick one I suppose I’d have to say Fitzgerald. I have probably read The Great Gatsby more than 100 times and have several versions on my iPod. I find something new every time I do, and it is the quickest cure for writer’s block that I know.
4. Where do you get your ideas for writing?
For my Trauma Junkie series I was a New York City paramedic for 7 years and I kept a journal. The characters in those books are amalgams of people I knew and the situations are either firsthand accounts, or stories I was told by my friends. Believe it or not, a lot of the situations are actually toned down due to the fact that they would not be believable. Some of it is pure fiction, but probably could have happened.
My other books are based mostly on personal experience, though it’s highly fictionalized.
5. Are you a pantser or an outliner?
A little of both; I do most of the outlining in my head and play a movie from start to finish on the big points and will often build chapters around a single scene I’ve played out. I often have several stories going on in my head at the same time, and it can get very confusing, but also plays into the fact that I am writing a series. Then when I sit down to write the story will often take on a life of its own and I have no idea where it’s going. Most people would call me a very unorganized writer, but it works for me.
6. Finish this sentence: One thing very few people know about me is…
I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. It’s true!
My wife is the strong personality in our marriage, I cry when we argue. I like to cook – I love the fact that they have the Julia Child kitchen in the Smithsonian. I sew and would rather watch the home shopping network than pro football.
7. If I had a choice, every day would include…
Sandy beaches and clear water, I have a real fetish for Kauai, but wouldn’t want to move there because it would ruin it. I used to have a New York fantasy and loved to visit. When I finally moved here with my family all I can do is think about moving back to New Mexico.
8. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?
Oh definitely the internet. In fact that would be the ideal fantasy for me, to be stranded on a deserted island with a T-1 connection. I write on a computer, I watch movies , TV and play online games. I don’t even have cable because you can pretty much get everything they have to offer that’s worth having from the internet.
9. Do you hear voices? What do they tell you? What do you tell them?
I don’t really hear voices, but I see lots of stuff in images. I’m a very visual thinker. The voices in my head take some effort on my part and I mostly talk through conversations I plan to write.
10. What is your very favorite part of being an author? Your least favorite?
Finishing a project is my favorite part and starting on a blank page is my least favorite.
11. Where did you grow up?
My father was a National Park Ranger so I grew up in places like The Grand Canyon, Kennesaw Mountain, Acadia, and Bryce Canyon. As soon as I got out of the Air Force I moved to the big city (Albuquerque) and haven’t given country living a second thought.
12. Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)
Just sitting on the beach in Kauai with my wife and kids is what works for me. It’s pretty simple, but it’s my dream vacation.
13. If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat? Why?
A cat. Cats are free thinkers and don’t have to listen when they are told to do something.
14. You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?
Man, I would love a sit down with William Shatner. Not because I’m a trekkie (which I am), but because he doesn’t seem to take himself so seriously.
15. Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?
Brian Sheahan is a New York City paramedic who has had a rough time with his life. He’s a compilation of several people I’ve know over the years in given situations. At the beginning he is suicidal, a heavy drinker, and just generally no fun to be around. He does have one redeeming quality and that is that he obsessed with saving lives. He takes it very personally when a patient dies, especially a child. He tends to personalize a lot of things he shouldn’t, and often rubs people the wrong way in the course of his job.
I would hope that by the end the reader is in his corner.
Tell us a little more about yourself:
I run the website www.kindlemojo.com that promotes indie authors. The links to all of my books are on that page. I do offer free advertising to anyone who will write an Amazon review of my first Trauma Junkie novel.
I plan on putting out at least six Trauma Junkie novels, (The Ghost of Bellevue Past is the next installment) but am also working on a couple of other things – Zen and the Art of Narcolepsy- My year in the Lobby, a fictional memoir of a New York City doorman and Jonesin’ for Grey Matter a dark comedy about the end of the world as we know it via zombie apocalypse (yeah, I’m gonna jump on that hula hoop.)
I am also putting out a series of photo books designed especially for viewing on the new Kindle Fire and iPads.
Thank you for being my guest, Tom, and for all the great promotional work you do for Indie Authors. Readers, please leave Tom a comment to let him know you enjoyed this interview.