INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR TIM BAIRD!
Please help me welcome author Tim Baird to Jemsbooks Blog Segment, Interview an Author. I met Tim recently at an N.E. Expo Author Event. It was a pleasure talking to him and sharing a little about ourselves and our books.
Thanks again for taking the time to speak with me and review my writing, my works, and my personal background. I hope that you enjoy the answers below and I look forward to speaking with you again at our next book fair together.
You are more than welcome, Tim. It’s great to have you here. The platform is all yours.
1. Please tell us something about yourself.
Hi there! My name is Tim Baird and I am a fledgling fantasy author based out of Holden, MA. I am a mechanical engineer by day and a writer by night. While I enjoy my engineering work, I love the creativity and fun that comes with writing my own stories and sharing them with friends and family.
Jjspina: I’m happy to have you here today, Tim, to learn more about you and find out what makes a fantasy author tick.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
My path to authorship took an unusual route. As a child and young man, I was interested in the mechanical world and engineering in general, of which I ultimately pursued as an academic career. Having earned a BS and two MS degrees in the engineering and business areas, I went on to work as a mechanical engineer. I am still working as an engineer full-time to keep my mortgage in good standing.
However, I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and some of my favorite activities during high school were free read and creative writing periods. While I was only writing three to ten-page stories at a time, I found them to be fun and relaxing, yet oddly, boring. I was typically drawn to the more difficult and confusing math and science tasks which perplexed me and caused many sleepless nights, but I loved the challenge.
It wasn’t until I was a little older, around 2011, when I began writing what I would call my first real story. I kept a Google Doc going in my email account and would add a page or two here and there, but never really spent significant time on. This went on for several years, and to my amazement, I found that the document had passed the fifty-page mark. It was at this point that I made some decisions. I figured that if I had gone this far, I should probably just keep going. I also decided that I wanted to someday read this to my future son and give him a place in the story. I added in a second protagonist based on my yet-to-be-born child and barreled on ahead. I then hit 100, 150, and so on, and before I knew it, I had a full-length novel on my hands. I loved the process so much, that I went on to write a second novel, and am now in the process of writing my third and planning out several others.
jjspina: That was a good way to keep at it and eventually complete your book. Good for you!
3. What process do you need in order to write?
I approach writing in the same fashion which I use for engineering. A ton of planning with minimal, efficient effort to write. The more I plan out, the easier I find the writing process to be. Historically speaking, I have come up with my story ideas over the course of several months thinking on it while driving my car, lying in bed at night, or pondering in the shower. I’ll often write an email thread with myself where I hash out story arcs and character traits. Once I feel comfortable with where the story will at least start, I typically commence formal writing by drafting a one-page synopsis of what the story will entail. I then take that one-page document and turn it into a long series of bullet points, each one consisting of story plots, locations, characters, or anything else that I deem prominent. I then take those bullet points and turn them into paragraphs, which often end up in an Excel spreadsheet to better organize and flesh out, especially if I believe that this story will comprise more than one book.
Once I have the elements turned into paragraphs, I then break them up into chapters/parts for organizational purposes. With this done, the work feels less overwhelming and I can compartmentalize the work into tiny chunks. With long hours at work and a toddler running around the house, I don’t have much time to write, so the easier that I can make my writing sessions go, the better my work will be and the more productive I’ll feel overall. I then can write here and there as my schedule allows until I hit the end, at which point I’ll reread, edit, write, etc. until I’m happy with the product.
jjspina: You certainly are organized and compartmentalized as an engineer would be.
4. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
I have always had an over-active imagination, and find myself typically dreaming of cooler, more exaggerated versions of whatever I’m doing. This makes aspects of my day job interesting as I can find new ways to design old objects more efficiently. It also helps with making writing fun and dare I say, easy.
Additionally, I usually find myself watching movies, television shows, or reading stories where I think of better ways that the writers should have progressed a story to either match canonical information/ideas or push the envelope on what’s possible within the confines of the story, location, or character usage. Some of my ideas have been spring-boarded from other small snippets from a movie or a story, to which I’ve now made it more to my liking.
Another way that I come up with stories is to take wonderful places of which I have visited and dream about what could happen there. The first novel that I wrote, ‘The Dragon in the Whites’, largely takes place in locations that I have visited. The island in the beginning was a real place that I camped at in Iceland, and the mountains in the end have been in the heavy rotation of my favorite hiking spots.
jjspina: It’s always good to write about places you have been to or know from your travels. It makes the scenes more realistic.
5. What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, my main writing project is the third and final novel of the ‘Dragon in the Whites’ series. This concludes the story created in my first two novels, ‘The Dragon in the Whites’ and ‘Washington’s Dragon Hunter’.
Additionally, I’m planning out a standalone fantasy novel about Mars, as well as a children’s robotics book. I can only focus on one writing piece at a time, so these latter projects are on the back-burner for the meantime and will be coming down the road in a few years.
Jjspina: They all sound interesting, Tim. That robotic book would be fascinating for children who are interested in science.
6. What is your target audience for your book?
My target audience is a combination of Young Adult and the young at heart. While my content and stories may appeal to younger audiences in the same vein as a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings novel, I’m hoping that they also attract older readers who never managed to fully grow up. The kid at heart is always welcome in my library and I hope to entertain readers of all ages.
jjspina: I believe your books will attract anyone who is intrigued by fantasy. I read some fantasy myself but of course, I am young at heart too.
7. Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
I currently have two novel self-published and available for purchase. Please see below for information on each one:
The Dragon in the Whites
A young Viking boy named Tryggvi is exploring an island off the southern coast of Iceland when he stumbles upon an unusual stone. Left forgotten for most of his life, the stone sat in solitude… and waited. Centuries later, a dragon is awoken from a long slumber and terrorizes the people of Maine and New Hampshire. Only the determination and resolve of a young man can save the people and put an end to the mythical tyrant. But will he be strong enough to take down the beast?
Washington’s Dragon Hunter
After their failure at the Battle of Tuckerman’s Ravine, Liam and Rob join forces with the Program to take down the dragon once and for all. Picking up new skills and state-of-the-art equipment, they’ll now be unstoppable in their quest against the deadly creature. But a chance discovery of a long-forgotten Viking relic in the mountains of Newfoundland spins Liam off on a different mindset. Is the dragon the real enemy to be worried about, or has he found himself trapped in a deadlier game?
Jjspina: These books sound imaginative and fascinating.
8. Please share your links and where to purchase your books.
My novels can currently be purchased online via Amazon and in store at several small bookstores in the area. That’s Entertainment (or That’s E, as some call it) in Worcester, MA and Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT have been kind enough to stock my novels.
The links to the Amazon pages can be found below:
I’m online via my personal writing website, www.timbaird.us, as well as on Facebook via @timbaird.author.
Thank you, Tim, for coming today. It was nice to learn more about you and your books. I wish you much success. Please feel free to come back again with future releases now that you are part of Jemsbooks blog family.
Thank you, readers, for stopping in to read about this talented author. I hope you will check out his books and links above.
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