TheOpenEnd: Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
JR Tomlin: Mainly just Butt-in-Chair. I don’t outline. Characters are generally lurking in the corner of my mind somewhere or stomping around demanding a story. If they’re fictional characters, I dump them into trouble and see what happens. If they are historical characters, I let them tell me their story.
TOE: Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
JRT: I edit as I go. I tend to get into the story again by going over what I wrote the day before.
TOE: Do you hire a professional editor?
JRT: Yes, I have my novels edited and critiqued by beta readers.
TOE: Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
JRT: Depends on what I’m writing. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while I write, but I listen to a wide variety, everything from the LotR soundtracks to Scottish folk music Chopin to Tchaikovsky. It’s hard for me to write without music playing.
TOE: Did you submit your work to Agents and Publishers?
JRT: Yes. I went through the whole miserable, humiliating process. For a while, I was represented by an agent, as a matter of fact. I had a couple of novels published by small publishers as well.
TOE: Why did you go Indie?
JRT: I published several novels with small publishers, and then I signed with an agent who pitched one of my novels for a year. It didn’t sell, and in the meantime, the whole indie thing started with the use of the Kindle and Nook burgeoning. I had these novels on my hard drive. I had to make a choice. I’d read what Joe Konrath was saying on his blog, read as Kris Rusch changed her mind, and watched Vicki Lieske have a tremendous success. Eventually, I felt it was the only logical step for me.
TOE: Did you get your book covers professionally done?
JRT: I have some professionally done. JT Lindroos did it for me and I am extremely pleased with how it came out. My co-author on the fantasies, C. R. Daems, does the very covers on those and we’re very pleased with them.
TOE: Any advice that you would like to give to others about becoming Indie authors?
JRT: Read what Joe Konrath and Kris Rusch have to say. Talk to some indie writers at places like Kindleboards. Going indie isn’t for everyone. It is a lot of work. It’s not going down the easy road. But it is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.