A couple weeks back I posted a review for a completely unique, and totally awesome, novel called This Never Happened (You can read my review HERE). Well, now you get to know a little more about the man behind the curtain. I am so pleased to be here with R. Tim Morris today.
Q: To begin with, can you tell me a little bit about your background before you became a published author?
RTM: I studied fine arts and classical animation after high school, and worked in the animation industry for ten years before deciding to get out and make a career change. I was never really a big reader, but had begun looking for unique stories to help avoid my creativity being stifled. Once I’d begun discovering new books and how these authors crafted their tales, I started to take my own ideas more seriously, to the point where writing was a big part of it. I think it was the right time to make the career change too (I work as a library technician), as being surrounded by books on a daily basis would not have appealed to me before then.
Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, when did you begin writing, and why?
RTM: Writing a book was never really on my to-do list, but once I’d convinced myself it was something I wanted to tackle, I couldn’t turn it off. “This Never Happened” is actually the third novel I’ve written in the last ten years, which I’d say is pretty good considering writing books wasn’t on my radar before then.
I love crafting new characters and storylines, and always crave something completely fresh with each new book. I’ve gone from Mystery/Science Fiction (“Molt”) to Contemporary Literary Fiction (“The Falling”) to Speculative Fiction (“This Never Happened”).
Q: I just read your latest novel, This Never Happened, and could not put it down. Can you tell us about the novel and what inspired you to write it?
RTM: It really came from two sources. The first was an independent film from 2011 called “Another Earth” and the second was reading the novel “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami. Both stories share similar ideas, and my own story was the culmination of the seeds that were originally planted when I’d first seen the film and read the novel.
Setting “This Never Happened” in Coney Island was a product of really just wanting to explore that special part of New York; there are a lot of dark undertones in Coney Island, as well as feelings of loss and melancholy, which are ideas that I really wanted to explore and run throughout my book.
Q: This Never Happened is a very unique book. And one of the things that makes it so unique is that is written in 2nd person (which means instead of ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘I’, the author draws in the reader by referencing his main character as ‘you’). It took me a minute to get used to, but it made the novel so interesting and was really the perfect perspective for your character, Epic. What led you to choose to write in 2nd person instead of from a traditional perspective?
RTM: Initially, I wrote it in 1st-person, but I felt like something about the book just wasn’t working. Not plot-wise though, it was just that something was off. I couldn’t pinpoint it. When I considered that maybe the reader’s connection to my MC should feel a bit more distant (something that is not usually warranted in novels), the switch to 2nd-person felt like the right move to make. It was a long re-write, and I had to lose some of my favorite moments, but I think it ended up being worth it. Epic Small is the kind of character that demands a bit more distance from the reader, but I think it pays off in the end.
I agree that the 2nd-person narrative can be an awkward perspective (I think I’ve only ever read one book in 2nd-person: “Bright Lights, Big City”), but when it works, it works. As a writer, you can’t ever be afraid to tell your story in a unique way, but you also have to be cognizant of when you shouldn’t.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books that have inspired your writing?
RTM: James Lasdun (“The Horned Man”); Jonathan Lethem (“Chronic City”); Haruki Murakami (“1Q84”); Chuck Palahniuk (“Fight Club”); Douglas Coupland (“JPod”); Carlo Dellonte (“The Hollow House”)
Q: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do to relax or have fun?
RTM: My family keeps me busy, with my wife and two young boys who make me smile and laugh every day. For fun, I love playing boardgames with friends and am an avid hockey fan. Go Rangers!
Q: Do you have any advice for those who are wanting to break into the publishing world themselves?
RTM: Be patient. Publishing is one of the most difficult/frustrating industries to break in to, and unfortunately, a lot of it comes down to luck and timing. Also, learning to deal with rejection is a must. If you think you can just write a book and instantly have everyone fall in love with it, you’re already fooling yourself. Write because you love to write, not for fortune and glory.
Q: Where can we learn more about you, your work and any upcoming releases?
RTM: I try to keep my website up to date with important, relatable news of my work. You can find me at rtimmorris.com, and on Twitter and Facebook under the same name: @RyMo89
Also, my wonderful publisher is great at keeping things fresh on their website: endeverpublishing.com. Check them out!
Thanks again for being here and giving us a glimpse of the method behind the madness.
For those who want to learn more about This Never Happened, click on the image below. And as always, Happy Reading!!!