Continuing our “Meet the Authors” series, here is a guest blog post by best-selling author, Tim Tigner
What’s your most challenging job, mentally and physically?
That was me back in 1987, a college sophomore querying an Army recruiter at the height of the Cold War. The week before, a Marine recruiter had pitched me outside a theater showing Top Gun. He’d gotten me thinking about something I’d never seriously considered, and I’d decided to explore.
Soviet Counterintelligence in the Green Berets, Sergeant Spooner said. Of course you have to pass a few tests first, and the training is intense—it will take years.
I was just looking for a summer job before heading to the UK for a junior year abroad. This option would put college on hold. Unthinkable—yet irresistible. At age twenty, my adventurous life had begun.
Little events change the course of our lives, and before we know it, we’re looking back on a path we could never have predicted. That’s what happens in my thrillers. Ordinary people get swept into extraordinary situations, and end up struggling for the greater good as well as their lives.
Summarize your novels for us in a couple sentences.
My catchphrase is: Devious devices, international intrigue, and the deadly mistake of messing with the wrong guy. My promise is a gratifying rendering of justice, by heroes you’ll really like, against villains you’ll love to hate.
What can readers expect from Tim Tigner thrillers?
Structurally, I aim to give my readers an experience analogous to Disney’s Space Mountain: High-speed thrills packed with unexpected twists and turns and a satisfying ending that leaves you breathless, content, and longing for more.
Dramatically, my readers can expect fresh storylines. I accomplish this by building each plot around a fictitious but plausible device, and then putting it into devious hands. What if someone invented X? What if that someone were Y? To create these devices and situations, I draw from my Special Forces years, a career on the cutting edge of the biotech/medical-device industry, and a decade of living and working overseas.
Intellectually, my readers can expect to explore a What would you do if… question along with my villains. Everyone’s character is challenged and shaped by his or her circumstances, and my villains are no exception. They just begin with a moral compass that’s a bit twisted, so before they know it, they’re way off course.
Who will enjoy reading your thrillers?
I write for people who love mainstream thrillers, and find that my audience includes pretty much everyone old enough to vote. If you enjoy what these guys write (oddly, they are all guys) you’ll likely enjoy my novels as well: David Baldacci, Dan Brown, Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, Joseph Finder, Vince Flynn, Ken Follett, Brad Meltzer, James Patterson, Andrew Peterson, Daniel Silva, and Brad Thor, to name a dozen. It would be easy to name a couple dozen more.
Tell us about your creative process.
I start by inventing a devious device, and then I place it in the most dramatic circumstances I can imagine. Something with global impact. Something plausible. I outline the whole novel up front, so as to pack it full of twists and turns while still moving the reader quickly toward a satisfying end. This takes a month or two, but I still inevitably adapt the structure during the first draft, as better ideas come along, and the characters guide things.
As for my schedule, I start early in the morning, seven days a week, and keep going as long as my caffeinated neurons are still firing without faltering. I shoot for 1,500 to 2,000 words a day, but can get as high as 5,000 if the stars are aligned and the scenes are firmly in my mind. Of course thrillers aren’t written, they’re rewritten, time and again. My net output is about 500 words a day when all is said and done—that’s about 1.7 minutes worth of reading time.
Thomas & Mercer just published my latest novel, Coercion, on Tuesday. Coercion is the story of one prescient man’s attempt to save his sinking nation. It’s the story of KGB guile coupled with devious invention, and the moral compromises that come into play during extended covert operations.
Set in 1990, between the Berlin Wall’s collapse and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Coercion plunges the reader into the world of Cold War espionage as experienced by both perpetrators and victims. It rips open a conspiracy that could have been, exposing one hero as he first falters, and another as he ascends.
Thank you, Tim! Tim Tigner is the author of three #1 best-selling conspiracy thrillers. You can check out his Amazon author page if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/timtigner into your web browser, and be sure to stop by his personal website at timtigner.com for more information and a free e-book.