Interview with Tom Reynolds
Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview. I feel honoured that you give me the opportunity to ask you some questions.
I suggest we just start!
I'm sure you have been asked this question many, many times but truth be told, I'm curious. What inspired you to become an author?
Since I was very young, I’ve always written. I think the first "book" I made was in 1st grade. The impetus to write my first novel came during a period after I’d been laid off from my job at the time and was looking for a change. I gave myself a few months to write a book so I could at least cross that off my bucket list before I went back to finding a new job. A few weeks after Meta came out it took off in a way I would have never expected and I quickly found myself able to write full time, which even almost 2 years later I still can’t believe.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Right now, my primary ambition is simply to keep writing and see where that takes me. I couldn’t have planned the career I have now so I try not to plan too much for the future, but I’d definitely love to try to tackle different genres down the line.
Have you got any role models in the world of literature?
Stephen King is definitely a role model for me. The volume and range of his output astounds me. On top of that he’s still active on Twitter, his blog, etc. You can just tell he’s genuinely doing what he loves.
Could you please briefly explain what the "Meta" books are about?
They follow a 16 year-old named Connor Connolly who lives with his older brother/legal guardian after their parents were killed 10 years earlier during a massive battle between a superhero and a supervillain. Since that battle, no one has really seen any metahumans on earth, but that changes when Connor becomes one himself.
Thinking of Connor, the main character in the "Meta" books, are there any similarities between you and him? Does he have any abilities you envy (apart from flying of course!)?
I hope that there are aspects to him that most people can relate to, but specifically I’d say we’re similar in our use of humour as a defence mechanism. It’s how I got through high school so that part came easy to me.
What are you working on at the moment? Can we look forward to a part 3 of the "Meta" series?
I’m neck deep in writing Book 3 right now which I’m hoping to have out around October.
Tell me a bit about your writing schedule. Do you sit down whenever an idea hits you or have you got a structured day during which you won't stop as long as you haven't managed to write a certain amount of words?
I write for a few hours every day, usually in the late morning / early afternoon at a writing space I go to in Manhattan [New York]. Depending on the day, I have different word count, editing or outline goals that I have to hit before I can go home. Outside of that, I always have a notebook or Evernote handy to take notes whenever an idea hits.
How do you write? On a laptop? Typewriter? Longhand?
Nowadays I mostly write in Scrivener on a little 11” laptop that I bought for under $200. It’s been working out really well since I don’t worry about taking a light, cheap laptop with me everywhere and it’s kinda underpowered, which means it’s not very good at running the kind of programs that would be distracting. :-)
Do you ever get distracted when trying to concentrate?
Constantly. I try to combat it by setting routines and automating as much of the process as I can.
Where do your ideas come from?
All over really. I’m a big science fiction and comic book fan, so I’m always fascinated by taking ideas from those genres and trying to add twists that haven’t been done before.
What do you consider the hardest thing with regards to writing?
I think just juggling the different aspects of the story and trying to make sure you’re serving them all properly.
And the easiest?
I might be in the minority, but I really enjoy the "marketing" aspects of writing. I really like being in total control over my work and trying new things (like translating a book into German) without needing anyone else’s permission.
Is there one particular thing you have learned since you've started writing which still fascinates or surprises you?
There’s lots. I think every day I learn something new. I’m still constantly surprised by how often ideas or solutions to problems will come at the strangest times.
Who do you think are your biggest supporters?
My family, for sure. They’ve always been massively supportive of me. Last Christmas my brother surprised me with a pair of "metabands" that he made himself from the books, which was amazing. I also would have never kick-started sales of the first book if it weren’t for listeners of "The Complete Guide to Everything" (the comedy podcast I co-host), who took a chance on the notion that I had any idea what I was doing when I first announced that I’d written a book.
What books are you reading at present?
I just finished "The Shrinking Man" by Richard Matheson, which I loved, and now I’m reading "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" by Brad Stone.
Do you prefer eBooks or print books?
I love print books and have actually been buying more print than eBooks lately, but living in a New York City apartment means eBooks usually make a lot more sense.
In your opinion, what importance does social media have for the marketing of your books?
It’s a big part I think, but I generally enjoy social media so that makes it easier for me. I really love Twitter, so probably only 1 out of 100 of my tweets is "marketing" related at all.
How do you relax in your spare time?
I read a lot, fiction and non-fiction. Walking my dog. I’m a big comedy and music fan, so I try to take advantage of how easy it is to see both in New York pretty much any night of the week. I’m also a bit of a TV and video game addict.
We all know that your first novel "Meta" was translated into German. Are you happy with the success of your first foreign edition of one of your books?
Absolutely. It still is hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that people are reading a story I wrote in a different language.
Are you planning on having further books translated? Maybe also into languages other than German (e.g. French, Italian, Spanish, etc.)?
I think Meta might be translated into Chinese relatively soon, and I’d love to eventually have the other books in the series out in German too of course.
Is there a closing statement you would like to share with your readers?
I’ll keep it short and sweet and just say thank you so much for reading what I write and supporting my career!
Tom, once again, thank you very much for this interview. It was a great pleasure, and I'm wishing you the best of luck for the future. I'm hoping we will still hear a lot from you!
Should you wish to learn more about Tom and his books, you can do so through the following links.