Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with T.M. Roy

Briefly describe your journey in writing.
My life as an author (of the legibly written word, anyway) started three or four years after my life as an artist (age 4). I was a fast and voracious reader and always running out of books to read (the library was 20 miles away from where I lived as a kid), so after reading and re-reading my library books as well as those my siblings brought home, I started writing stories to go with the pictures I drew. All my books since then have started that way: with a sketch. (I call those sketch characters--the ones who tell me their stories, anyway--the Pencil People.)

Did you query agents and traditional publishers?
I spent long years trying to go the query route. Some of the rejections were favorable and not form letters. I even had one book the publisher called me back about, on the phone (back in 1996 I think), she was so excited. I nearly crapped myself about that. But I ended up turning down that deal--they wanted to twist the thrust of the story far away from the original intent.

Did you design your cover art?
Yes. I create my own artwork, and do my own typography as well as interior formatting. It’s part of what I’ve done professionally for over twenty years now although sometimes I seem to have better success doing the work for other people. But since their success reflects back to me--that’s pretty cool, too. It’s always nice to see books for which I did covers, typography, or formatting in the top of their genre charts. Last week, there were three or four of them in the Top 100 of the Kindle Store, and I was very proud to think I played a tiny part in their success.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
All my books are available directly from the publisher website via Payloadz for secure downloading and secure payments via PayPal. The Epub version is also available at The paperback versions are available from any major bookseller online or can be ordered at physical bookstores since we distribute through Ingram Book.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Yes--no...well, I don’t belong to a group, but I have a small circle of friends over the years who give me detailed editorial critique and are not afraid of pulling punches. And those ladies and gents have certainly helped me to improve. My only stipulation for them is that if they hate something, they have to tell me why and give me a suggestion for change. When I get harsh feedback on a part I liked, it stings for sure, but when I get over sulking I see the suggestions were good ones (or get a great idea for an entirely different take that is better received) and make revisions.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I have at least two editors who go through my manuscripts at different stages of pre-publishing. I take blame for any errors that remain since I do the final formatting.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I find it more difficult to juggle marketing/writing my next book with creating covers, formatting, and editing for others. Sometimes the latter takes complete control. I’m working on finding a better balance.

What’s next for you?
Well, once I get the final book of the Journey to Nyorfias series out (STRATAGEM) this fall, I can finally look to publishing a space opera series I co-wrote with Sara V. Olds back in the 90s. Our writing styles have so improved and changed since then; and technology has also changed. The manuscript as it stands now is good, but a shakeout and tightening will improve it. We’ll see if it’s still as well received by betas as it was “back then” as well. I also have prequel and sequel novels for my current series, but I’m not sure if those will be published at this time. I also have some maps, lexicon, background materials, and some character/scene illustrations for my current series I’m considering packaging up somehow.

Zapstone Productions:
TM's Blog:

I've recently reviewed CONVERGENCE: Journey to Nyorfias. You can read my 5-star review here:

Review Snippet:

It’s fantastic to read a story with a strong female lead. Make no mistake about it—Sgt. Rett is a badass. The author weaves a story that captures the reader from the opening pages and refuses to let you go. Between Rett’s expertise running the military campaigns, the descriptions of the futuristic weapons and conversation between Rett and her merge Pam, I found myself turning the pages faster and faster to find out what T.M. was going to throw at them next. The other characters in the story are nicely fleshed out and came alive within the story. Battles are harsh and people die. When I read some of those passages, I found a little piece of me dying with them. That is the power of words this author has to make a scene vibrantly come alive for the reader.