Saturday, October 22, 2016

Books: Interview with Award-winning author Turner Tomlinson

We have another inspiring interview with award-winning author Turner Tomlinson. Read below to find out more about his writing and award-winning book!

Where are you from and what's your background?
I'm from Fayetteville, AR. Otherwise known as the HQ of Tyson, Wal-mart, and JB Hunt, and University of Arkansas. I spent my first year of college as a creative writing major, but then swapped over into Chemical Engineering. I've been working in the oil industry as a process engineer for a little over 3 years full time now, but have 3 years of experience in the field.

That’s a big change from creative writing into chemical engineering! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?
I realized I wanted to write in grade school. This is one of those typical "as long as I can remember" stories, ha. I started writing with intention probably about 7th grade, but didn't try to write a book until about 2013. Up until then it was just scratchings here and there, a few short stories and some poetry that is hopefully lost to the abyss at this point to ever be found.

You have the writer in you, then! What genre do you write and what's your target audience?
Right now I'm into a sort of near-future techno-thriller genre, exploring the implications of technology that will be deployed over next couple decades. This is sort of sci-fi, but also sort of not. My target audience is anyone loosely aware and/or uneasy about how fast tech is developed and deployed nowadays, and the adverse consequences it might have. Anyone who reads Michael Crichton, ha. As you can see, I'm not deep enough into the marketing side of things yet to have a good answer for this question.

Fair enough. How many books have you published? Do you have a favorite?

Just the one. The Shooter Act. But my new project--Cancer Was--is coming along very well. It's going to be a really fun ride, perhaps better than Shooter Act.

What is your favorite quote, and who wrote it?
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill. There's something very pragmatic, but also very ghostly about that idea.

Great quote; and it’s motivational nonetheless. Do you have a favorite author? Who?  What's your favorite book? Has this author or book influenced your writing in any way?
Phillip K Dick.
A Scanner Darkly.
I love how Dick plays with reality and keeps you guessing (perhaps too much in some of his other books) at what's really going on. I love the idea of questioning reality, rethinking assumptions, and constantly asking yourself if not "if" but "how much" you are missing. I don't think I write like PKD, or even in the same genre, but there's something about his work that is refreshingly unassuming and also magical...if a little zany.

Are you optimistic/hopeful/romantic?
I think I'm more pessimistic. Hopeful, romantic, yes, but also playfully pessimistic. I have a tremendous amount of faith in my characters to do the right thing...or what they honestly believe is the right thing...but I am pessimistic as to how much they can be tricked and led astray. They are fallible. My publishing firm--Dark Scan Publishing--is not just a shout out to PKD, but also a sort of code or ethos to my work as I see it at this point in my career: look out across the future and read it with a dark scan...assuming the things that could go wrong will. Assume that the ways technology could subverts or pervert do just that, and with gusto. Happy endings are for other people. But don't tell my characters that, ha.

Cool. What are you working on now?
The sequel to The Shooter Act (sequels, rather) as well as the new project Cancer Was, which is about a not-too-distant future in which we've beaten cancer and people can live forever. What could go wrong, right?

Sounds very exciting. Where can we find out more about you and your work?
My website,, is constantly in need of update but all the same serves as a good stopping point. I have a newsletter that you can sign up for on the site, which will give a sort of update/backstage look at my work periodically.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yeah. It's just me over here. I hire my own editors, did my own cover art (with some oversight from a friend heavy into graphic design), and scout/prod my own beta readers. There's something very guerrilla-feeling about it all, and I think that sort of manic-ness that's required (along with doing all that and a 50+hr a week job) gives my writing so far a very energetic feel. It's fun. Not light, but it moves quickly. If you try out The Shooter Act, you won't be disappointed. If anyone just starting out wants to reach out for some tips, hit me up on the site/facebook/e-mail, wherever you can find me. My digital door is open.

Congratulations on your New Apple award and thank you so much for stopping by to tell us more about you and your work. Good luck and success!

Click the link below to check out Turner’s award-winning book, The Shooter Act.

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