Featured Friday! Tim Baker
Originally from Warwick, Rhode Island, Tim Baker enjoyed a 25 year career in Architecture and Engineering, followed by short stints in the natural gas industry, construction and ice cream sales before moving to Florida in 2006
An avid dog lover, Tim was a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising and socializing potential guide dogs. Tim has studied and taught martial arts, and he is also a certified SCUBA diver.
In addition to writing Tim is also a disc jockey on WQFB – 97.3 FM “The Surf” – www.flaglerbeachradio.com
Inspired by his interest in Karma and the unexplained forces of the universe, he made his first serious attempt at writing in 1988 when he began writing a novel entitled Full Circle, a story about the far reaching effects one man’s actions can have on people he has never even met. Unfortunately, without the use of a computer or even a typewriter he shelved the project due to the difficulties of trying to construct a novel completely by hand. It was eventually finished and released in 2015.
In early 2007 a bizarre dream inspired his first novel, appropriately called Living the Dream, and he has been cranking out books non-stop ever since. Tim writes fast-paced, off-beat crime stories set mostly in Flagler Beach, full of colorful characters and loaded with unexpected and often humorous twists and turns. He has also co-written two zombie novellas and written a few short stories for horror anthologies.
Currently, Tim is enjoying life in Palm Coast, Florida.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I can only speak to the lifestyle of this author (me)…of which my favorite part is meeting somebody who has read my work and hearing how much they enjoyed it. For me (and I assume many authors) this is something that never gets old. It makes it much easier to sacrifice your free time to create something when you know others appreciate your effort.
What made you start writing?
I began writing (recreationally) in the mid 80s because I loved reading so much and I wanted to take a crack at creating a story that I would want to read. Nothing came of it at the time, and it wasn’t until 2007 that I began writing “seriously” – and then it was inspired by a dream. I thought the dream would make a cool story, so I started writing – and haven’t stopped since!
[The story of Tim’s beginnings can be found in more detail here]
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I remember picking up the novel Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard back in the 90s. I had never heard of him, but before I finished the first chapter he was my favorite author. I thought “Wow, this is different. This is cool. This is fun to read…it must be fun to write.” I think within 3 or 4 months I had read everything he had written (which is quite a lot!) and knew that there was hope for me as a writer.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
The most important thing for an aspiring author to remember is to Never NEVER Quit. Don’t let anything stand between you and your love of writing. There will always be nay-sayers…people who tell you you’re wasting your time…screw them. If you want to write, whether for pleasure, profit or both, then write. As with everything in life there is always a risk of failure, but quitting guarantees that you’ll never succeed.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I love a good historical fiction story, and if it takes place during World War II I will love it even more! It’s funny – because the stories I write are contemporary, fast-paced, action stories with some off-the-wall story lines and very colourful characters. It’s generally referred to as “Florida Crime Fiction” and the only thing it has in common with historical fiction is the word ‘fiction’!
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
That’s an easy one. There is one character who appears in all of my novels. His name is Ike and even though he is the hero in my stories, I know very little about him! I know he is 6’6” tall, weighs 275 lbs and is an ex-Navy SEAL with a tendency to bend the rules in order to see that justice is served. Other than that I don’t know him very well at all (I don’t even know his full name!) So if I could sit down and talk to him it would be great. I could find out why he has a Robin Hood complex, why he hates authority and what his real name is!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
For independent authors, the must-read book (in my opinion) is The Fine
Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine. This book saved me countless hours of research and who-knows-how-many dollars by avoiding the wrong way to do things.
For reading pleasure, my favorite book is Black Cross by Greg Iles. I’ve read many books that fit the couldn’t-put-it-down category, but this one was relentless.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
In the first draft of my novel Pump It Up I had written a final climatic scene which I really liked. Unfortunately, based on beta-reader comments and my own decision to rework the ending, the scene no longer worked. It was difficult to delete the scene because I loved everything about it.
Apparently, the writing gods liked it too, because years later, while
writing Unfinished Business, I realized that the scene could be resurrected. I reworked it to fit the story and it fit perfectly. Maybe even a little better!
I guess it’s true what they say…all’s well that ends well.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Can I pick a travel catalogue about SCUBA diving trips to the Caribbean?
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. I think I’d like to have a prologue written by Janet Evanovich, the main body written by Tim Dorsey and an epilogue by Stephen King. All three authors have writing styles I admire. I also think that, if they knew me, they’d all be able to write my story in the way it should be written!
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
One of my favorite movies (that wasn’t adapted from a book) is Kelly’s Heroes. It’s a hilarious World War II movie starring Clint Eastwood (and a cast of several big names) about a band of WWII soldiers who go AWOL to rob a bank behind enemy lines. I think it would make a great novel in the hands of the right writer! (I volunteer for the job if anybody’s hiring!)
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
I don’t think I could sum it up, but I could say “I never quit” – which isn’t bad.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I get excited about each new release simply because I enjoy writing so much. Each story, to me, is like doing a jigsaw puzzle where you are not only putting the pieces together, but you are also creating the picture at the same time. I love the process and when it’s finished I can’t wait to share it with everybody.
That being said…my next book has sharks in it, and that excites me because I love sharks!
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.” ~Chinese proverb
Tim loves to hear from his readers, you can find him all around the web below:
Living the Dream – Aug 2009
Water Hazard – Nov 2010
Backseat to Justice – July 2011
Pump It Up – Aug 2011
No Good Deed – May 2012
Unfinished Business – Aug 2013
Dying Days – The Siege of European Village (co-written w/Armand Rosamilia) – Dec 2012
Dying Days – Siege 2 (co-written w/Armand Rosamilia) – Dec 2013
Eye Witness Blues – Aug 2014
Path of a Bullet ( A collection of short stories featuring Ike) – Nov 2014
Full Circle – Dec 2015
Blood in the Water – scheduled release Nov 2016