Friday, April 15, 2016

Interview with T. L. Bainter, HOW I RUINED BY LIFE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
My latest novel, How I Ruined My Life, is a YA literary piece centered around the important role friendship plays in our lives - particularly when it comes to personal development. I had several friends growing up, but one stood out in particular. I would not be who I am today had it not been for his friendship and guidance. I hope that his personality is well-represented in the pages of my novel and that readers will feel just as close to him as I was.

Do you have a favorite character?
Absolutely. My favorite character by far is Isaac. He’s a friend that Kyle makes about halfway through the story, and he does a great job of lightening the mood. A lot of the themes in How I Ruined My Life are very dark and sometimes hard to swallow, so having a jovial and fun character like Isaac in the mix is quite beneficial - both as a writer and a reader.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your books?
I feel like the world is moving into self-publishing more and more. Agents are bombarded with stacks of proposals and manuscripts that they may never find time to read, and it’s difficult to put yourself on top of that stack when you’re a first-time author. I believe it may actually be a bit presumptuous of me to try my hand at querying agents with my book before I’ve really proven myself worthy of their time. If I can make How I Ruined My Life successful on my own, maybe I’ll take the traditional publishing route.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I absolutely listen to music! I have a playlist on Google Play that’s filled with instrumental pieces. When I’m writing a scene, I like to pick a song from the playlist that fits the mood of the scene. I’ve found that music really improves my writing quality.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
It’s a combination of both. How I Ruined My Life was a bit of a special case. I essentially wrote a two-page synopsis of the story and used that as a makeshift outline to work from. When I felt the story going in a direction that the synopsis wasn’t, the story took over and the synopsis was left in the dust.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. I’ve seen how passionate readers (including myself) are about picking apart bad grammar and poorly edited manuscripts. A single error on a page can jump out and bite you, destroying your immersion while a good editor can make a decent novel an incredible one. The woman that I worked with, Ara Burklund, was immensely helpful and I’m so grateful for everything she did for me.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
It can be difficult to divide my time, but promoting How I Ruined My Life always takes precedence over writing my next book. If I have an opportunity to speak about the book or present it to a potential group of readers, I will find a way to make that happen. From what I’ve been told, marketing the book is going to be a lot of work. I think I’m ready, though.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I’m very creatively-minded and almost always have some sort of project in the works. Sometimes it’s another book, but I also enjoy creating games and composing music. Right now, I’m actually working on the official novel soundtrack for How I Ruined My Life!

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs (but don’t tell my cat), vanilla, coffee, text, and night!

What’s next for you?
The plan right now is to keep pushing How I Ruined My Life. I want to make sure that it reaches its full potential before I start promoting a new project. I’m enjoying the marketing process so far and hopefully I can keep this momentum going. Every single individual book sale makes an enormous difference, and I intend to promote How I Ruined My Life for quite a while.

Book & Author Details:
How I Ruined My Life by T. L. Bainter
Publication date: February 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Kyle has gone unnoticed for the vast majority of his life and he’s always preferred it that way. Homeschooled, shy, and only attending church because he’s forced to, there’s not really anything outstanding or interesting about him. That changes, however, when he meets James Porter. The two are fast friends, but Kyle isn’t sure if that’s a good thing or not. While some of the experiences resulting from their friendship are grand, many other experiences leave Kyle broken, angry, and depressed. Is Kyle’s friendship with James really such a good thing, or would he have been better off if he’d simply remained the quiet, lonely boy that no one seemed to notice?


T. L. Bainter was born in 1994 and began writing short stories not long after that. Since the age of six, he has been churning out short story after short story. After receiving an award from the renowned Writers of the Future competition for his short story Edwin, T. L. Bainter found the confidence and encouragement that he needed to write and publish his first novel: How I Ruined My Life. Currently, he resides in Kansas City with his cat, Sooba.

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