A graduate of Otterbein College, Tim McWhorter is the author of the horror-thrillers, Shadows Remain, Bone White, and its sequel, Blackened. He lives just outside of Columbus, OH, with his wife, a dwindling number of children and a few obligatory ‘family’ pets that have somehow become solely his responsibility. He is currently hard at work on one of several ongoing projects and relies on interaction with readers for those much-needed breaks…
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m a writer who started late in the game and then pretty much only wrote for myself. A few chance meetings set me on the path I’m currently on. I now have five books out, with the sixth due in a few weeks. Writing is now taking me to conventions and conferences where I get to meet readers and fellow authors, alike. I’m having a great time with it. I currently live in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, but hope to one day make my home where six-month winters don’t exist.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I love to travel and would spend every dollar I make doing so if my children didn’t insist on eating and wearing clothes that fit. I really just like getting away, whether it’s family vacations, a weekend road trip with my wife, or simply hiding out in that remote cabin in the woods to write. I just want to be “gone” all the time.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
My favorite children’s book would be The Story of Ferdinand. Later, there was a book titled, The Ghost Next Door, by Wylly Folk St. John, which was probably the first “scary” book I ever read. After that, I was hooked.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
I listen to all kinds, from metal to indie to artists who have things to say like Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, John Lennon, Bob Marley. When I write, however, I only listen to film scores. They quiet my mind, allowing me to open up and think and feel. Of all the film scores I listen to, the score to Legends of the Fall by James Horner is my favorite. In my opinion, it’s the greatest collection of music ever recorded and I would be thrilled if it was played at my funeral.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
My favorite movie would have to be The Exorcist. It gets me no matter how many times I see it. I watched it in a theater a couple years ago, and my heart was racing, even though I knew what was coming. Very powerful.
As far as directors, it would have to be John Carpenter, simply because he’s directed a lot of my favorites, and the fact that many of his 70s and 80s films still hold up, while many from that era don’t.
KR: What are you reading now?
I’m currently trying to keep up with all of the great horror novels coming out lately. There are so many amazing horror authors setting the world on fire right now—Josh Malerman, Jeremy Bates, Jonathan Janz, Ronald Malfi, Bracken MacLeod, Paul Tremblay. Their prolificacy puts mine to shame. I’m also trying to make my way through every book and story that Kealan Patrick Burke has ever written. I am in awe of his imagination.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
I used to write literary short stories. Pieces about life and love and loss. And then I read the trifecta of Brian Keene’s Dark Hollow, Bryan Smith’s Depraved and Wrath James White’s The Resurrectionist, all in the same week. After that, I had to give horror a try. It’s so much fun to write, that I haven’t stopped since. I wrote a literary novel last year that, while reviewed well, didn’t sell very many copies. I think my readers prefer my horror, and I’m obliged to keep churning it out.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I don’t do outlines specifically, but I plot out chapters as they come to me. I can sit down with a new storyline and pants it until I run out of plot. After that, I need direction and something to work from.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I generally write the story, then go back and fill in the gaps with researched information. I try to keep things true to life as much as possible. It’s just a preference. And if that means filling my search history with flesh-eating beetles, medieval torture devices, or whether or not a hanging body will drain itself of blood if the feet are cut off, then so be it.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
Unless I’m in that cabin in the woods, there is no such thing as a ‘writing day’ for me. I have a full-time job and a family, so I squeeze in an hour here or there. I do hit the coffee shop early on Saturday and Sunday mornings before the household wakes up. That is probably the longest stretch of time I get to actually sit and work for a couple hours straight.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
That’s tough. It seems to change all the time. Of my books, I think Blackened is my favorite. It is the sequel to my first novel, Bone White, and is very dark. It also has a good deal of thrills and pulse-pounding action, as opposed to BW, which is more of a slow burn. When I was giving Blackened the final read through, the last third of the book had my heart racing, even after having read it numerous times. That’s when I knew I had something good. There are also several stories in my new collection that rank among my favorites.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I do, though I no longer live and die by them. When I first started, bad reviews were devastating and caused me to walk around the house like someone had shot my dog. But now I realize they are so subjective. Case in point: I once received two reviews for Bone White on the same day. One was a five-star, the reader loved it. It was the scariest book they had read in a long time. The other review was a one star. Hated the book and found the ending “idiotic.” Since then, I take each review with a grain of salt.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Just write. If you love it, if it’s who you are, then it’s not that hard. What’s hard is the marketing, the readership-building, getting noticed by publishers/agents/peers. That’s a bitch and you’ll have as many lows as highs early on. You just keep at it and love it for what it is. Writing is an art. Go and create. Lose yourself in it. Art makes life endurable. Any success that comes along the way is icing on the cake. Hell, I still feel like I’m fledgling sometimes.
KR: What scares you?
Failure. In anything.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
Hardbacks all the way. It’s what I grew up on. I do read a lot of e-books. The convenience is undeniable. But for my favorite reading experience, nothing compares to a hardcover. In fact, seeing one of my novels in hardcover ranks at the top of my author bucket list.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
My latest release is titled, Let There Be Dark, and is due out August 21st from Hydra Publications. It’s a collection of eight short horror stories that range from the paranormal to creature features to psychological horror. I tried to mix things up this time and had a lot of fun doing it.
KR: What are you working on now?
I’m working on two novels right now. One is about an old historic theater that may or may not be haunted. It’s nearly complete, and I hope to be shopping it by year’s end. The other involves an indie band whose unscrupulous manager rents an infamous murder house for the band to record their next album in. It’s a promotional stunt that goes horribly, tragically wrong. Believe it or not.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
Ernest Hemingway. Not only do I love his writing and find his life fascinating, but I also enjoy a good Cuba Libre. Captain Jack Sparrow. He seems to have a knack for getting off of deserted islands. And finally, my wife. She would encourage me to use the time to write instead of wasting it passed out under a palm tree with Ernest and Jack.
KR: Thank you very much Tim.
You can follow Tim on Twitter @Tim_McWhorter
You can visit Tim’s official website www.timmcwhorter.com
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You can visit Tim’s Author Page here
From an oddities shop looking to expand their macabre collection, to a back roads bridge with a horrifying past, Let There Be Dark is a collection of eight, sinister short stories full of ghostly phantoms, savage beasts, and the most frightening creature of all: humans. This first horror collection from the author of the best-selling novel, Bone White, thrusts you beyond the fringe and reminds us why we should all fear the dark.
New Paris, Ohio has a problem …
Teenage girls are disappearing, leaving panic in the small town. Luke and Garrett, two high school seniors, escape from the growing paranoia with the well-worn routine of a fishing trip. But when their boat breaks down and the storm of the century rolls in, they’re forced into a different sort of refuge …
one that may cost them their lives.
The fast-paced sequel, completing the terror arising in McWhorter’s Bone White!
Luke knows two unfortunate truths: sadistic killer Corwin Barnes is still out there, and someday, he’ll come calling.
A year ago, Luke put an end to Barnes’s barbaric bone harvesting operation, but it wasn’t without consequence. With a team of doctors, Luke has finally dealt with his heart-wrenching losses and the heinous crimes he uncovered. He’s getting on with his life.
But his nemesis hasn’t done the same, and Luke could never imagine just how brutal Barnes can be.
Swallowing the Worm and Other Stories is a collection of 17 short stories. Some are old, some are new, all of them are a departure from the scariness. In these stories, you’ll find love, heartbreak and loss, and characters who deal with the varying stages of each.
1987. Broken Tree, MN. A scream erupts in an old cemetery, shattering the innocence of three young boys and sending a family fleeing from a once-quiet small town. Now, twenty-five years later, Adam Bishop has returned with his wife and young son in tow, confident that what happened in the past will stay there. But, when his son comes home from school talking about the ghost of a boy who resides in the very cemetery where the unspeakable tragedy took place, Adam finds that, although you can indeed go home again, it’s not always a good idea…