Sunday Surprise

And we’re back! The first guest for this new cycle is Tim Flanagan, the mighty organizer of last July’s Kindle event! Not only he set that up, but he even was kind enough to answer my writerly questions! 🙂 I’ve read book 1 of his Moon Stealers series, and it’s an interesting mix of SFF – I mean, it has aliens, faeries, Arthurian legends… But I’ll let him talk about it. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Tim Flanagan!

Q. Where do you live and write from?

A. I live in Kent, UK in a hidden coastal town that still has fishing boats hauling their daily catches onto the shingle beaches to sell beside chalk board signs. I work as a Podiatrist three and a half days a week, whilst spending the rest of my time writing. I have an office under the stairs at home. It is only just wider than my shoulders and you have to step over the chair to sit in it, but it gives me a private place where I can close the door and pretend to work.

Q. When did you start writing?

A. I remember writing little stories with illustrations when I was less than 10 years old. The summer holidays seemed to last for ever, so I used to amuse myself by writing stories. I thought I would eventually draw a comic book one day, but instead wrote books. I think my artistic abilities enable me to write in a very visual way which appeals to children with equally vivid imaginations.

Q. What genre(s) do you write?

A. Difficult to define really. My current series, The Moon Stealers, is a mixture of genres, including Sci-fi, adventure, fantasy and dystopian. It seems to fit in this new genre called Urban Fantasy.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

A. I see inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it is in the most obscure of places and may be a word I hear, a phrase or a concept. I have a book with odd words and phrases scribbled in. Sometimes one word will spark a chain of events in my mind or be the core to an idea. I have a genuine interest in so many things that writing is a great way for me to learn about them as I write. For example – there is one book I am working on set in London in 1600’s, so I have enjoyed researching that period, and especially looking through ancient maps of London to see how it differs and get a feel for where my characters are living.

Do I put myself in the story – no, not as a character, but I live everything the characters are going through and every emotion they feel. When I’m writing a sad scene, I feel really down afterwards. When I’m writing action scenes, I feel alive with adrenaline pumping making me write twice as fast.

Q. Do you have a specific writing routine?

A. I write when I can. I have a wife and three children that also need my time. Sometimes I bargain with my wife – if I get the DIY jobs done, I get a couple of extra hours on a Sunday to write! I write all day Monday, as well as Tuesday afternoons – the house is quiet and I can concentrate. I can also drink as much coffee as I like without the intake being monitored! Evenings tend to be for editing, blogging, social media stuff etc.

Q. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

A. I know what my end point is, but I never truly know how I’m going to get there. That keeps an element of excitement in the writing for me. Sometimes it’s fascinating how the story turns a corner and takes you in a slightly different direction or you learn something from your research that makes you rearrange a chapter so you can include it at all costs! It surprises me sometimes how my brain seems to know whats happening more than I consciously do. Things I wrote in book 1 of The Moon Stealers, which didn’t seem particularly important at the time, become important in book 3 or 4.

I’m a fast writer – about 1,000 words an hour. But that doesn’t mean they are good words. I always review each chapter after I’ve written it, so those 1,000 words get rearranged, altered and elaborated.

Q. Tell us about your latest book

A. I’m working on book 4 in the Moon Stealer series. This is taking longer to write than the other three as I need to make sure that all the loose ends are tied up and everything has a purpose and direction, as well as conclusion. Due out in December.

The Moon Stealers begins with a meteorite that lands on our planet with a bacteria at its core. The bacteria grows and changes into something that threatens mankind. The story is told from two points of view – adults, who try to approach the problem from a scientific angle, and children, who resurrect ancient myths and legends to defend the human race.

Q. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

A. Indie. I like the freedom and speed of indie publishing. I have complete control over every part of the process; can change prices at the touch of a button, update cover art, change formatting etc. and without having to wait a year for publication as it is with traditional publishing. I’ve read so many articles and books that tell of traditionally published authors taking their backlist and self publishing them on KDP. The royalty percentages are something to be taken seriously. 70% compared to 12-15% traditional – it’s a no brainer!

Q. Any other projects in the pipeline?

A. I’ve recently started working with a great illustrator, Dylan Gibson, and we have a couple of joint projects on the go. The following is a vague list, in publication order, that takes me to the end of 2014:

Book 4 in the Moon Stealers – December 2013

Pre-teen detective story + illustrations – December 2013

YA Futuristic London Underground story + illustrations

YA London Dragon book set in 1600’s

(Possible) 2nd Pre-teen detective story + illustrations

Omnibus edition of all 4 Moon Stealer books, plus extra info, maps and appendices

2nd Edition of a Medical Textbook (Update from one I wrote in 2007)

phew! – think that’s everything!

Q. What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

A. I have 6 month, 12 month, 3 year, 5 year, 10 year and lifetime goals. My short term goal is to earn a living from writing and give up the day job. I have already been lucky enough to reduce it to 3.5 days a week in the last 6 months, but would like to write full time. To achieve my goals I am writing at every opportunity, building a quality following on social media (it’s the type of follower you have that matters not the quantity of followers!), linking with other creative people, blogging regularly, putting my name out there and helping other authors.


IMG_7117AAt some point in Tim’s childhood, he was abducted by aliens and sent on a voyage of knowledge and discovery across the universe. Eventually the aliens realised how pointless this was and, as a failed student, he was returned to Earth and left with a family who brought him up as a human bean. But, the persistent memories of new worlds, dragons and other creatures, continued to knock at his frontal lobe, desperately trying to break out. To avoid making a mess and calm his imagination, Tim began writing as a way to communicate with Earthlings. Fuelled by Chilli and Nachos and a bottle of wine, Tim manages to balance a love of loud rock music and fast cars (preferably red!) with emotional chic flicks, smart leather shoes and a well tailored suit. He has successfully infiltrated the humans and hides behind the façade known as a family. He learns from his children, but is regularly told to stop acting like a child by his wife. Naturally shy and unsociable by nature, he is selective of the human company he keeps, preferring to be around old books, bonsai and art. He cries at ‘It’s a wonderful life’ but sulks if fed evil vegetables disguised as Parsnips or Peas. He is bored by mundane conversation, excited by architecture and castles and fuelled by Caramel Latte Macchiato’s. Occasionally, he likes to catch up with old acquaintances on Tatooine, Westeros, and Middle Earth, and stare at fantasy and concept art as if it is a window to his childhood adventures. He is always trying to learn lessons from the masters; Mr Charles Darwin and Mr Lionel Ritchie, about life and love. Tim’s galactic mission is to translate his brain activity into a language that inspires and entertains you, transports you to different worlds and grants you an audience with the characters you have dreamt about, but never dared to remember. All of this in an attempt to redeem himself with his childhood alien abductors and travel the stars once more.



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Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure books for MG and YA:

The Moon Stealers and the Quest for the Silver Bough (Book 1) – 29 June 2012

The Moon Stealers and the Queen of the Underworld (Book 2) – 10 Sept 2012

The Moon Stealers and the Everlasting Night (Book 3) – 25 March 2013

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  1. Hi Barb – thanks for interviewing me on your blog. Have a great sunday. All the best, Tim.


    • You’re welcome and sorry I couldn’t send you the link earlier, but I was offline (traveling) until now! 🙂


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