John Timmons: Charity and writing passions
Meeting the Rising Writer No. 21
Our Tale Tuesday featured writer today, John Timmons, creates new worlds with characters that even he doesn’t expect to love until he finds himself empathizing with each one. When he isn’t writing, John works for an animal charity or helps to raise Wolf, his son.
John has agreed to a virtual interview with me today, where we will dive into his inspiration and world creation, as well as his life as a rising writer.
Thank you, John, for interviewing with me today.
Does your charity work with animals take part as inspiration for your writing?
No. My charity work has enabled me to repair the damage that was done to my confidence, but the inspiration to write comes from somewhere else. Would it be cheesy to say inspiration comes from my soul? It has always been there inside; I just only used to tap into it now and again whereas now I’m pretty much living it.
When did you start writing?
I decided to write my current novel back in January 2015, but I was always writing or creating something for as long as I can remember. The earliest I can think of is I used to draw and write my own versions of Slimer comics (from Ghostbusters).
What are you working on?
I am currently working on a fantasy novel which focuses on a group of Wood Elves and their adventures since leaving the isolation of their homeland.
Give us insight into your main character.
My main character is an Elven female named Bay who has to not only find her way in the world outside her own but also has to find her place in her own world as she is a bit of an outcast.
Where do your characters come from?
They are an amalgamation of warriors created in a fantasy tabletop roleplay game I have been playing for 20 years and from myself and people I have met. For example, Bay, despite being female, is heavily based on myself.
How are you and Bay similar?
We have the same likes and dislikes. The same pet peeves. She is more wild than I am and her temper is worse. Also my eyes aren’t a weird green-yellow color. It’s funny because when she was introduced she was intended to be an annoyance, but she grew into a hero
What’s the most challenging thing about writing fantasy? How do you work through it?
For me it’s about doing the ground work. If you’re going to create a fantasy world, then you need to create a world! I found that drawing maps help—lots and lots of maps.
Which authors inspire you?
I love a good horror or fantasy tale and I try to combine the two. The authors I look up to and the ones who inspire me are James Herbert, Kristen Britain, Kristen Cashore, Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley.
Were you always good a writing?
I always enjoyed writing. Whether I am any good or not remains to be seen! However, I did win the Year 7 and Year 8 story competitions at school, so I must be doing something right.
What is one major thing you’ve learned as a writer?
I find that I feel bad for characters that get a rough time even though I’m giving them a rough time. I guess I never expected to get attached to characters as if they were actual people. The amount of times I’ve wanted to give my main character a hug is ridiculous.
What genre do you enjoy most and what draws you to the genre you write?
I have always loved fantasy. If I could live in any world that wasn’t this one, I pick a fantasy world. I like sci-fi too and will probably write a sci-fi novel at some point (with a horror element of course), but my main love is fantasy and, honestly, I have no idea why this is. I’m just drawn to it.
Do you have any favorite books? Favorite motivational quotes?
I have a few quotes that I really like but my favorite is “It’s not the falling down what counts, what counts is getting up again.” I live by this.
BONUS QUESTION: If you were born into a fantasy species of your choice, which species would it be and why? What would you do?
I’m going to say an Elven mage. It combines my two favorite bits: elves and magic. I would certainly be a hero, fight evil and protect the innocent. Although having magic would also scare me. Too much power. How long would it be before you crossed the line?
How can others find you online?