Tim Munnerlyn: Victory in writing
Do you go by that name as a writer?
My name is Tim Munnerlyn. I go as tmunnerlyn. I know that’s not technically a pen name, but it’s honestly just what I like. I’ve considered using a completely different name but I’m a tad paranoid of people pretending to be me.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I try to run a business called Game of Foams, which strives to provide Nerf gun based games for kids.
I also do some reading although I have this bizarre fascination with My Little Pony fanfiction. (MLP)
When did you start writing?
I started writing in 8th grade a bit. I never really finished anything until recently. I wrote poems and some screenplays. My first ongoing series was Jack Stone, which is a parody of every cop movie and pokes fun at stereotypes. I started writing it in my early 20s then stopped because the guy who was going to help film it went his own path.
I started writing seriously about the beginning of February. I have an ongoing main story and several side stories as well as bringing Jack Stone to MLP.
What are you currently working on? How did you begin working on it?
This is going to sound odd, but I started having mad anxiety attacks. I’d suddenly get the feeling that characters from MLP were judging me, and it drove me mad. Like I’d get angry and hit a desk, then I’d feel like Cadence was judging me for it and I’d feel guilty, then suddenly remembered SHE’S NOT REAL! Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t hallucinations. It was just an odd emotional cave I was in. This continued, changing from character to character, driving me insane.
I tried cutting out MLP completely, and it did almost nothing. The smallest thing would remind me of an Equestria Girls movie, episode, or song. So, I tried overdosing on MLP. Listening to the soundtrack of Rainbow Rocks for three shifts at work, all day long. No luck, didn’t even make a dent.
It got to the point where I was about to pay out of pocket for a therapist because I couldn’t take it anymore. I talked to a friend of mine, Livvy, and she suggested doing some writing. I was opposed at first, because “self-insert characters” were WAY beneath me. She informed me that they’re actually very therapeutic and aren’t necessarily meant to be the most original ideas. Out of options and patience, I started writing. I wrote down every little fantasy that crawled into my head, every plot point, every scene.
Before long, my character had gone from me, to their own person, their own ideas, their own flukes, everything. My brain started cranking out backstory and curve balls. I had done plenty of writing but I had never finished anything, honestly. Slowly but surely, what started as a story that would never see the light of day, became one of my favorite works.
So, my main story is King of the Dead. I have PTSD and when I started getting anxiety attacks, I discovered writing almost completely negates any strange emotional spikes I get. It’s also a creative outlet for my overactive imagination. I have this issue where I daydream a lot very easily, and I can waste a few hours without even noticing it. I channel that into my writing, which is nice because those ideas don’t go to waste.
My second work is called the Nikky Fabulous series. It’s honestly a cross of fanfiction and erotica. I began writing it because I wanted a long project to work on that was both erotic and romantic.
My third is Jack Stone in Equestria. I wanted to have something to work on when I just wasn’t in the mood to think terribly hard. Jack Stone is a very random comedy that I can do anything I want in, as long as it’s funny. It’s a good stress reliever.
Has writing continued to provide that relief for you?
It has honestly. At first, I just poured my negative emotions into it. Now I’ve hit a point where if I don’t have some way of expressing romance, happiness, excitement, anything really, I put it into a story/scene.
What is King of the Dead about?
King of the Dead is about a warrior who’s being emotionally abused by his king. He comes from a world that has been at war for hundreds of years. His kingdom decides to use a device they found, thinking it’s a weapon. It ends up transporting their entire city to a world that is basically the most idealistic society. Unfortunately, they bring an enemy with them that seems to be able to replicate in ways they don’t fully understand. The main character is now torn between the loyalty he has to his last city and the new kingdom they’ve discovered that offers him the peace he’s always secretly longed for.
The story is a subtle expression about the vicious cycle of abuse and the lies we tell ourselves, while also being full of drama, adventure, and romance.
What inspires your writing?
When I get emotional flares, I think of a scene for King of the Dead that conveys those emotions and write it. That and I’ve had an “interesting” life, so writing those past events in the form of scenes in a story is also fun.
What’s your favorite part about writing a novel?
Seeing my work begin to pile up because I start forgetting what chapter has what in it. It’s nice seeing all my hard work become one massive project that I can share. Also getting feedback from the small fanbase I’ve acquired.
Give us insight to your main character. Who is he or she? What is his or her purpose?
The main character’s name is Raiden.
He’s a warrior who comes from a world full of violence and war. He has suffered years of abuse under his King and now fights to protect the new world they were sent to, as well as uncovers the secrets of why his original world has been plunged into chaos.
What does your character mean to you?
Raiden represents the part of me that knows I’m better than most people see and struggles to shine at every opportunity, despite getting the short end of the stick.
What/who are your favorite or most reliable support groups?
The community of fimfiction and a few friends who pre-read my stuff before posting it. Their kind words and encouragement have done wonders for me.
What is the biggest mistake you think you make while writing? How do you overcome it?
Waiting until the last minute of my personal deadline to start writing. Also focusing too much on characterization or plot, but not both. I’ve found that spreading out my writing throughout the week helps me focus.
What genre do you enjoy most, and what draws you to the genre you write?
Dark adventure. Watching a character slowly struggle to gradually come to the end of their story. It almost feels like a secret part of me comes out when I write.
Are you reading any books right now? If so, what are you reading? If not, why?
I have a hard time reading for long periods. Also, the creative part of my brain is usually in hyperdrive, and when I’m done taking care of it, I don’t have a lot of energy left to do much reading. I may not read books, but I read other fanfiction when I have the chance.
When do you usually write?
I write at work, usually around the last half of my shift when things finally slow down. I write almost every other day because I want to make sure I don’t burn out. That and writer’s block or lack of motivation. My normal chapters are around 2-3k words. I find that a lot of my readers prefer a bunch of short chapters, as do I.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stick to it and plan it out. Imagine every detail, and describe it as easily as possible.
How can readers and fellow writers discover more about you and your work?
Ya ok, I’m one of those people that can go on and on and on. When I can’t write, I explain.