Tom Tinney: Sci-Fi with Thriller Elements
Paul Collins–Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
Tom Tinney- First and foremost, I am an Biker-Nerd. They seem like those two things would be in conflict, since wearing either hat (or doo-rag/leather vest) at the opposite event would surprise people. What it really allows me to do is toss out my opinions and ideas on any subject no governor in either, since neither “group” is sure what to make of me. Of course, being 6’3” of 300 lb. biker means people that are displeased with my position are polite with their response. I have always had an active “ story tellers” mind and the natural ability to capture listeners through humor and style. I am also an avid reader and a prolific writer.
I have contributed to and edited biker magazines, as well as blogs (political/biker/ rights) for about 10 years. Pounding out 5000 inspiring words in an evening doesn’t seem like work at all.
I served in the military (USAF) as a long range radar tech, worked in aerospace, ran tool shops, and became an instrumentation sales manager. I am also an engineering director…all with a basic high school education. The ability to get my message across and gain people’s confidence is part of what I am and it translates well into the written word.
When I was giving serious thought to writing a novel, instead of articles and short stories, most of my circle thought I would write a biker novel, but instead I went with the subject that lets the imagination fly and has unlimited options. I wrote a Science Fiction book instead. The first of many to follow.
Paul Collins–What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke for the reader?
Tom Tinney- I hit on quite a few. My biker attitude and evolution into a conservaconstitutionalibertarianism (a made up word, but you get the idea) led me to put my slant on the Fabric of the Universe series and the first book, “Threads”. Individual responsibility and triumph. You are stronger together than apart, but you must be strong within first. Slaying the “world owes me” mantra. Anyone can justify any action at any time…given enough moral latitude. The ends may justify the means, but the price is always high. The ills of socialism and the fact that corporations can’t be evil, but the men running them can. And never assume. I also take a “Tarantino-esque” approach to “Threads”. Time is relative, but the events need to be in the story’s order and not necessarily chronological. The story is meant to grab you. I really want the reader to reach the apex of a storyline twist and call me a bad name once they realize how I got them there. And then I want them to smile and say “Well done.” I have a two distinct genres at work in the book. A thriller with science fiction elements for the first half. And a science fiction book with Thriller elements for the second. For the reader, they will have a great bead on things at the end of the first half. And then we get a little wild.
Paul Collins–What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
Tom Tinney- Writing is natural for me and there is a stable of authors on my books shelves and in my E-readers that are phenomenal storytellers and masters of weaving plots. Herbert, Asimov, Gibson, Heinlein, Williams, Modessit for Sci-Fi. Butcher, Feist , Paul Edwin Zimmer, Jordan for Fanstasy.
Those are the authors I read from beginning to end in one sitting, if possible. The novel “Threads” that a fan will read is not the “Threads” I started out writing. I had a plethora of notes and spreadsheets in the pc, as well as plot arcs on white boards. Then I started writing and it flowed. 185,000 words in six weeks (that, and a full time job, blogging and other obligations). It is not rushed. It is intense. Afterwards, it took almost year to shake it out before publication. My best laid plans anchored the story, but I never let it tie me down. When I wrote the last words I so excited. It made sense and it made me smile. It was a helluva undertaking and I am really proud of the way it turned out. I am currently writing book two of the series and it is really flowing, since the Fabric of the Universe is already out there, I can focus on storyline and characters.
Paul Collins–If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
Tom Tinney- Danger Will Robinson! That list I threw out there a couple of paragraphs ago is full of icons in their respective genres and I do not warrant comparison to them at this point. Someday I would like to be in the same ballpark (even the cheap seats) but for now, I am a work in progress. Others (I stress: OTHERS) that have read “Threads” said it reminded them of Asimov and Gibson. My editor threw David Weber’s Honor Harrington series at me and said, “You have to read this guy. Your style, characters and universe building are wide and deep, like his. Your novel made me think of him.” Following his advice, I read them and I like them a lot. It’s nice to be compared to him.
Paul Collins–Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
Tom Tinney.- “Threads: Book one of the Fabric of the Universe”, only exists because I was telling a friend about “this idea I have for a book I should write “ and he was adamant I actually get it done. So I did. As I was writing, our personal lives were sent spinning when my best friend’s wife began really showing the symptoms associated with her ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). That is part of the reasons that 10% of the profits go to ALS charities. I am now writing the second book in the series “Weaves” and working on another book with my son (who I have never seen face to face) called “Blood of Invidia”.
Tom Tinney- My Blog