Today I am welcoming the very talented author Tom Hobbs to the Willow Tree. Tom is the author of "Trauma Junkie." I read “Trauma Junkie” and I finished it in only a few days. It grabbed my attention and held it. I think you will find it a very good read. I look forward to the sequel. Welcome Tom.
What are you currently working on and when do you plan to release your next book?
I am currently working on a follow up novel to Trauma Junkie as well as a with a producer and screenwriter friend of mine to them into a cable TV series. I'm always outlining new stories, mostly as screenplays, but I use that framework to write the novels as well.
Do you have a favorite genre for your writing or do you write whatever moves you?
I would have to say real life action. I feel that I don't have to look further than across the street to find a good story. I kept a journal for 10 years as an NYC paramedic, so i drawn on that as well as the stories from my partners.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about writing?
Just write, and write about something you care about. The first draft is always going to stink. Writing is 90% revision.
Learn to write good dialog. My prose is the weakest part of my writing and I tend to rely on the dialog probably much more than I should. Then again my background is screenwriting.
The trick to dialog is not so much what is being said, but how it is being said. When people speak the do so with a rhythm. Nail the rhythm and you can get the words right. I always speak the dialog out loud immediately after writing it, or sometimes even before I write it. I cut no corners with the language for the most part, because most people don't do so when they speak.
I often write from the end backward or the middle out. That's just me, I like to know where I should end up and then fill in the space to get there.
Do you have a special spot where you like to write or are you a “have lap top will travel” writer?
I take my lap top everywhere and sync it to dropbox with my work computer and home desktop as well. I write at work (I can get 95% of my job done in the first couple of hours and fake it the rest of the day), at home, on the train, and where ever else I can. I will often come home with a pocket full of paper scraps that I have made notes on.
What is your favorite book and favorite author?
First and foremost The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I still have the copy I used in college and have read it well over 100 times, because I find something new every time I do. I'm also a huge fan of the old pulp fiction series "The Destroyer" by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. That's the style I model my Trauma Junkie books after.
When did you discover your passion for writing?
When I was about 10. I rewrote the ending for "The Towering Inferno" for an essay in a 5th or 6th grade English class. I went on to revise episodes of "SWAT" and a James Bond movie or two.
Do you have a favorite beverage or snack you must have while writing?
No not really, I find that I get so wrapped up in writing that I seem to lose all track of that sort of thing (that's saying a lot for me.)
What inspires you?
I know it sounds corny, but I get all the inspiration I need from living in the world. For example, after I left the medical field as a paramedic I took a job as a door man at a swanky upscale building in Manhattan. When you are invisible to people like that they tend to show their true nature. That sort of thing writes itself.
I get a lot of my dialog straight from the source, My paramedic Brian, is based on several medics I knew over the years, and a lot of his dialog is simply transcribed. I ease drop on every conversation I can hear, on the bus, in Starbucks, on planes, where ever I can.
Do you have a favorite vacation destination and do you write while vacationing?
Hawaii, specifically Kauai or New Mexico. I also have a degree in Photography from the University of New Mexico, so it is great to go back. Yes, I take my laptop, and write there as well.
Do you have any advice for other writers on any subject you choose?
Choose a subject you are passionate about, and know really well. It goes back to the first rule of writing "Write what you know." One of the worst books I ever read was "Dog Soldiers" by Robert Stone. Yes it won a lot of awards, yes it was very well written, but totally unbelievable to me as an ex-soldier because none of the jargon was right (on the first page he referred to a soldier of the rank Spec-1 and anyone who has been in the military knows that there is no such thing.) The only reason I finished the book was because it was required reading for a class.
Any last thoughts you would like to add?
Nothing other than thanks for taking the time to check out my books and I welcome any and all feedback.
Like Trauma Junkie on Facebook (Excerpts and links to Amazon there as well): Tom's "Trauma Junkie" Facebook link.