KARMA GIRL: Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I'm glad to have you.
Before we start, I'm going to give you my USUAL UNUSUAL DISCLAIMER: No bikers or writers will be harmed in the making of this interview. No hippies either. Sorry dude.
TOM TINNEY: LMAO!
KG: Are you ready?
TOM: Yepper. Have you turned on the "fat finger" correction feature?
KG: Oh yes. Even though I'm an excellent typist...an excellent typist....(Insert Rain Man impersonation here.)
According to an interview you did with Indie Author Land, you are a self proclaimed "Biker-Nerd". Can you explain how this concept is possible without ripping a hole in the space-time continuum?
TOM: Sure. As a biker nerd, I am predisposed to ride with a rough crowd, enjoy the freedom of the road, get tattoos of skulls and admire scantily clad women with questionable moral standards. As a nerd, I think it would be cool to be that biker guy but keep getting distracted by science fiction/fantasy, computers and scantily clad women with questionable moral standards.
KG: I'm seeing a common link between these two states of being. Interesting. It's good to know boobs can bring all classes and cultures together, though in my case, it would be men with questionable moral standards. Or as I like to call him, "My Boyfriend".
You served in the United States Air Force as a long range radar tech. Is this correct?
TOM: Yes. The service was a great experience. I scored high on the ASVAB test and found an interesting field. I was able to travel quite a bit and work on the oldest (Vacuum tube technology) and newest (Digital) systems at the time. I honestly believe more young people would benefit from a stint in one of the services. They learn chain of command, personal responsibility, teamwork, how to work in adverse conditions and come out with self confidence. I look for those qualities in a potential employee.
Plus you get to shoot guns.
KG: You sold me with the word "guns".
Would you say your service in the USAF has influenced your writing, and if so, how?
TOM: Yes. I was exposed to different cultures, political systems and personalities (Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Germany, etc.). I was also exposed to technology and adversity when stationed remotely. That all plays into how my characters see and deal with situations and give me a better world view. I can write the "military/technical" aspects of the novel accurately and push the limits. I can also flavor the intrigue and political aspects with "experience".
KG: Who were your literary influences growing up?
KG: Can you tell us a little about THREADS? How did the idea for this novel come about?
TOM: The basic idea had been rolling around in my head for years and I had even written a few outline paragraphs when I got my first PC (like everybody else... "I have a word processor, now I can write that novel I always wanted…”). Of course, writing is work, and the project went static.
I don't want to put out a bunch of spoilers, so let’s just say the characters, plot and direction of the book were always in my head, it was just the execution lacking to finish it. Lots of surprises and "I did not see that coming, but should have" moments in the book.
Last August I was telling a co-worker about the idea of THREADS, and he kept on me to write the novel. So I did. It took me 6 weeks to write the entire book.
I realize that if I had written it 15 years ago, it would have been very "candy" sci-fi. But with more life experience and lots of writing experience from editing biker mags and blogging, it flowed out and became the interwoven "page turner" that is the final novel.
KG: I've done National Novel Writers Month for years now. I have to say, I'm impressed with your work output.
As you've said before, you've had experience both writing and editing biker mags. What was the strangest story you've ever edited?
TOM: When I say I wrote it in 6 weeks...that was beginning to end, straight through. It only took another year to go back and fix all of the grammar, missed dates, plot holes, etc. The final product is very refined for a first novel.
Strange biker stories? OK. There is a Nude Biker Rally in Missouri. Seriously. The guy that wanted to write an article about it was not a regular contributor. Instead of focusing on the event as an event (Who attended, what entertainment, what charity, how many people, etc.), he went "penthouse letter". He also submitted pictures, but they were all full frontal nudity. We could have done some creative editing with the pictures, but the story was so badly written that I had to turn it down.
I also had a regular contributor that fancied himself a "Model Photographer". He had a little digital camera and was trying to convince attractive gals to do Easyrider ( another more men's-only magazine) type poses on choppers. The magazine I was editing was oriented to go on shelves in dealerships, so we had to be a little more discerning in what we printed.
The contributor talks these gals into doing risqué shots "for the mag" and submits them with an article, which I have to shoot down. A few weeks later, I get a call from a very pissed off boyfriend of the girl wondering why she is not in the magazine. I said "We don't do risqué stuff and if we did, there would be bars and stars over the fun bits." Turns out the photographer had her do full nudity and kept the shots for himself.
On a "regular stories" note, I was with the magazine at the height of the biker craze (American Chopper, Biker Build-off, Jesse James, etc.) so I was in the thick of it. I was able to interview famous biker builders, icons in the industry and attend events that were amazing. I was even recognized in Argentina by a club owner/biker and ended up writing an article about him while I was there.
KG: Is it true that you are currently coauthoring a book with your son? What's it about, and when can we expect it to be released?
|Blood of Invidia|
We are the ultimate in "genetics vs. environment". We look very similar (tall and handsome). He is smart, creative, loves sci-fi and Fantasy. He writes and is a smart-ass with a wicked sense of humor. He is me, just 22 years younger.
He was raised in Australia and still lives there. We correspond via text, Facebook and occasionally Skype. During one of our marathon texting sessions, we started outlining a book about vampires as aliens. As it evolved, we came up with the initial arcs and characters. Since then, I have been writing the meat of the book and he has been writing the action scenes. Its very well written at this point, and the prologue and first chapters that I have shown to people has elicited an overwhelmingly positive response. It will be titled BLOOD OF INVIDIA and all funds generated will be put to he and I getting to meet face to face.
BTW, I should mention that 10% of all sales from THREADS goes to ALS research and patient care.
KG: That's amazing. And I know I enjoy a book all the more when I know some of the proceeds go to a good cause.
You have proudly proclaimed on your blog that your political views are to the far right. Have you ever met or talked with a liberal that, while they didn't convince you their position was the way to go, had you thinking that if you were to write this person into one of your stories, you totally wouldn't kill them horribly?
Just kidding. I love most of the liberals I know. they are great people with big hearts for the most part. In the second novel, WEAVES, in the FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE series, one of the new characters will be a die hard liberal trying to live the utopian socialist dream. He doesn't die and is a likeable, if not misguided, fellow.
Liberalism is a wonderful idea, but the execution almost always dictates a serious intrusion into people's lives "for the greater good" and that "greater good" is determine by a politic filled with angry, ambitious and self righteous people who refuse to accept any input or reasonable argument to their world view. If you do present a fact filled reply that disproves their position, they attack the messenger, not the message. If the hippies of the free love seventies met the liberals of today who are running things, they would be disgusted and disenchanted. (And that is where I lose 47% of my potential sales. Oopsie).
This is one of the reasons THREADS has a slim to none chance of ever being turned into a movie. I would have to retain final script and release approval. The Hollywood mantra would be to turn the storyline in to something they could palate. I would end up smacking the hell out of the director and script writers.
KG: What's your deal with hippies, by the way? Are you allergic to patchouli? Did they give you a bad batch of brownies? Seriously dude, what's up with that?
TOM: Maybe it's jealousy. When I became a teen, I just missed the hippies by a couple of years and never had a chance to convince a hairy pitted, paisley sporting and completely stoned out girl to do obscene things behind the stage of a Grateful Dead concert. That must be it.
KG: Yes, you have missed much, my friend.
Now it's time for a little thing I call...THE SERIOUS THREE! This is the thrilling part of the interview where I ask my rough and ready interviewee three shockingly pensive, electrifyingly sincere questions. Are you ready, Easy Rider?
TOM: Umm...er...OK. I. AM. READY.
KG: QUESTION #1: You find a lost puppy on the sidewalk. It's dog tag list its name as Prius. The owner's home address is written on the back along with instructions begging the finder not to feed this dog meat as it is being raised vegetarian. What do you do, man? What do you do?!?!?
TOM: I take the dog home and feed it a nice meal of hard boiled eggs, bacon and salami. I then take the dog to the vegan home knowing that I have restored the natural order.
The vegans get to enjoy my accomplishment and philosophical triumph through the continuous effervescence my meal has produced from the puppy. Also, if they have a mail slot, I come by every few days and slip some bologna through the hole.
KG: You are truly a benevolent soul. Bacon cures all ills...except, you know, high cholesterol.
QUESTION #2: If you were a witch, how would you "soup-up" your broomstick?
TOM: BTW...Prius is Japanese for "Self righteous Douche".
You know that, right?
Soup up a broomstick? Since I would be a very cool wizard, I would trade in my broomstick at "Potters used Brooms and Notary public" shop (Seems he fell on hard times after he graduated) and get a sigil engraved staff. Then, donning my black duster and strapping on my 44 magnum, I teleport to Hogwarts and yell "fuego" until my voice gave out.
Yes...HUGE Dresden (and Butcher in general) fan.
KG: LOL. I'm going to have to check that out on Google Translate later.
QUESTION #3: Where can my readers follow/stalk/ride pillion with you (Facebook, twitter, blog, biker hangout, etc.)?
TOM: Twitter: @FOTU_Threads
Paperback at: https://www.createspace.com/4053965
To get definition of Dresden Fuego spells: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/The-Dresden-Files-262557.htm
And please tell me you read The Dresden Files....if not...you should. They are awesome.
KG: I haven't, but I'm doing a 50 Book Challenge this year so I might include one or two for my last five.
Thank you for taking time to answer all my whacky questions, Tom. I'll be keeping an eye out for BLOOD OF INVIDIA, hopefully to be released soon.
TOM: Thanks Karen, This has been a fun interview that made me think outside the typical interview box. Have a great day.
KG: You too. And may all your rides be patchouli free!