Please be sure to check out the entire blog for there is a nugget in there that might reward one of the readers. As they say, "You'll know it when you see it." But to avoid being too mysterious and driving you nuts, it's The Icing on the Cake.
So here's Tom Mach.
Why did you decide to write?
Do you have a favorite theme or message for your readers?
My favorite theme is compassion and forgiveness. In fact, I’ve devoted my entire blog site (http://tommach.com/ ) to compassion. Sometimes it’s difficult for a reader to see where this theme fits into one of my stories, but it does. For instance, in “The Crossword Puzzle Murders” (a story in Stories to Enjoy), Detective Pulaski feels badly about her brother being confined to a mental hospital.
How do you approach a new book? Outlines? Just an idea?
I generally take an idea and then try to do an outline for it, if it’s a short story. If it’s a novel, I work up a synopsis. What I find, however, is that as I write, my story or novel does not follow my outline but rather goes in a new and better direction.
How do you develop your characters?
I let my imagination create the characters, trying to imagine them as real people have certain distinct personality traits. As I write my story, I discover more about these characters and soon they take on a life of their own. I don’t like to write a comprehensive bio on each one because doing that makes my characters seem too artificial to me. You can’t force a character to act in a certain way just because you said so in a bio.
How much research do you do?
The amount of research really depends on the story I’m writing. For a historical novel, for instance, I do a ton of research because I want to be sure everything I say is dead-on accurate. For other stories, I may rely on my personal experience (such as my market research manager background when I wrote “The Lead Bird” in Stories to Enjoy.) I also have to do research in contemporary fiction where I’m not familiar with certain scenes (such as the interior of Air Force One in “The Assassin.”)
Who are your favorite authors? Have any authors inspired you or influenced your work?
I have a broad range of favorite authors. If I had to pick three, I’d say John Steinbeck, O. Henry, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Steinbeck wrote with true compassion. O. Henry takes us through unusual twists to get to a surprising conclusion. Dostoevsky can get into a torture mind better than any writer I know.
What makes a great book in your opinion?
Where do you see the publishing industry going in the next few years and where do you see yourself within this industry?
Although the industry is going in the direction of eBooks, I think there will continue to be a large population of readers who want physical books with pages and covers. I can’t see myself lining my bookshelves with Kindles and Nooks. I will continue to write in both media—for eBooks as well as perfect bound books.
Tom Mach’s Bio
Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.
His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: www.TomMach.com He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at http://tommach.tumblr.com/
This unique collection of 16 short stories written by prize-winner Tom Mach includes stories such as "Real Characters," which is about a writer who gets his wish--that his characters come alive.... "Breakfast, Over Easy" makes you wonder about loyalty in the face of temptation.... "When Kansas Women Were Not Free" takes you to a time when women were less free than former males slaves.... "Son" make you think differently about compassion. One novelist describes STORIES TO ENJOY as "memorable and intriguing, with O. Henry twists that are sure to surprise and entertain."
Detective Pulaski agonized over the challenge. This one was tougher to solve than the other three. When she finished the upper portion of the puzzle, adrenaline again pumped through her body. She felt a pain in her chest as if she were about to have a heart attack. Aggie blinked twice as she stared at the answers to today’s puzzle:
“Agatha Pulaski,” she said aloud, her voice quivering. “Policewoman, Sib, Twelve.”
That’s crazy. My own brother wouldn’t rape and kill me, would he?
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The Icing on the Cake
At the end of Tom Mach's blog tour, he will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a lucky person who leaves a comment. So be sure to give him a cheery hello and throw your hat into the ring!