Erik Therme is an author with a lot of hustle who is on top of what it takes to be an author in this day and age. He self-published his first novel, which was later signed to Amazon’s genre imprint for mysteries Thomas & Mercer. He’s also published under Kindle Press. This interview provides a good overview of the many roads an author can take to get their writing in the hands of readers.
Official Bio: Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his oldest daughter’s volleyball team, or chilling on the PlayStation 3 with his twelve-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only seven places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Resthaven follows a pack of girls who have a scavenger hunt inside an abandoned retirement home, only to discover they’re not the only ones roaming the hallways. I wanted to write a young adult story that my two teenage daughters would enjoy, and I’ve always been intrigued by old, creepy buildings.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I’ve always loved to create. As a kid I made everything from comic books to bubble-gum cards, and I was certain I was destined to be an artist. Eventually I started writing more ambitious, complex comics, and I realized that telling the story was more fun than drawing the pictures. When I tried my hand at writing novels, I knew I had discovered my true passion.
3. Writing aside, what passions drive your life?
I have a wonderful wife that loves to travel and two teenage daughters who enjoy sports and movies. My guilty pleasure is video games, and I’m a sucker for organizing anything I can get my hands on, whether it be closets, kitchen cupboards, or subfolders on my computer. One of my absolute favorite things to do is take a week off from my day job and toil around the house. I’m exciting like that.
4. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
If I had to pick one novel, I would have to say The Stand by Stephen King. King’s character development is always excellent, but there’s no question he raises the bar with this one. Even his most flawed characters have redeeming qualities—so much so that you sometimes find yourself empathizing with the bad guys. “Tell a simple story with complex characters” is one of my all-time favorite writer adages, and no one does this better than King.
5. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
I don’t blog, but readers can find interviews, reviews, and information about me at www.eriktherme.com. I occasionally do guest posts for other sites, but between writing, working full-time, and raising daughters, trying to maintain a blog is simply too time consuming. That said, I work hard to stay active on Facebook and Twitter, which is a great way to connect with readers and other authors.
6. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
First drafts always depress me. Some authors revel in creating something from nothing, but for me it’s the equivalent of staring down an endless hallway with too many doors to count. My fun begins once I have a draft on paper. I love to tweak, polish, and rewrite until the words are exactly the way I want them. Once I’m satisfied, I’ll put the book aside for a few weeks, which allows me to revisit it with fresh eyes. After another round of polishing, the book goes to the publisher, who sends it to the editor.
7. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
My debut mystery, Mortom, was originally self-published and then acquired by Thomas & Mercer. My second novel, Resthaven, was published through Kindle Press. Working with a publisher definitely has advantages—especially when it comes to marketing—but I would have no qualms about self-publishing again. Many established authors have a foot in both worlds. It all depends on the project and your goals. In either case, the most important thing is to write the best book you can.
8. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
I think the biggest mistake a new author can make is to believe that once your book is published it’s going to find an audience on its own. That might be the case if your name is James Patterson or John Grisham, but the majority of authors—myself included—work hard to market their books. Even with a publisher, I spend hours promoting my work and trying to find new readers. A successful writer is always writing and marketing. The trick is finding a good balance.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
My third novel, Roam, is going through the editing process and will hopefully see publication by the end of this year. I’m also planning a limited release of my first (unpublished) novel, Kat, which will only be available through giveaways and to subscribers to my website.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
The world of publishing is a crazy, subjective place, and anything can happen from one day to the next. I once had a literary agent tell me I should write more like Gillian Flynn . . . and shortly thereafter Gillian Flynn’s agency requested one of my manuscripts. I’d love to say that good writing is most of the battle, but it’s not. Timing, chance, and luck play a big factor. All you can do is believe in yourself, never give up, and try to make as much luck as you can.
You can connect with Erik and his social media accounts via his website.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about Erik Therme?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2016.