Author Interview – Tim Kimber

I found Tim through a blog article he posted on point of view in fiction writing. I saw a kindred spirit and started stalking him. He is a short story king, interweaving horror, fantasy and science fiction with flare. When he’s not ripping off people’s skin in his stories, he is a staunch Whig and enjoys “debating” with Tories every chance he gets.

Tim is a sub-editor by day and a creator of scary by night.

Please allow me to introduce, Tim Kimber.

I do love to be scared, and I love your short story, Tartarus. But, I could never come up with such great suspense and scary stuff like you do. What drew you to write horror?

TK: Although my only published work so far is that short story – and it is admittedly in a horror anthology – I’m not an out-and-out horror writer. Truth be told, I like to dabble in the lot: sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction; even erotica when the story dictates it, though I’m a little too shy to share that with anyone yet.

My ideal writing portfolio would be something like China Miéville’s, who set out to write a novel in every genre, while twisting them into something new. So while my stories can contain horror elements, I much prefer to roam outside the parameters of established genre tropes.

Don’t be shy to share your erotica work. The secret to good erotica is to remember the emotions with the graphic sex. What are you currently working on and what is it about?

TK: My main project is a fantasy novel called Citadel. It’s set in the afterlife, but a non-secular one of my own devising, so there’s no Satan, no judgement, no hell-fire and torture. Instead, it’s about an endless war between a horde of imps and daemons, and the humans lucky enough to have found sanctuary in mankind’s only stronghold, the citadel of Val Halla.

I wanted to explore the idea that – if there was a Hell – we would not as a collective species yield so meekly to our captors. So, we rose up, managed to defend a cave for long enough to build a wall, and slowly grew out from there. When the book starts, a newborn man is taken to the citadel, after millennia of its existence, when it has become a metropolis with all the problems associated with mass urbanisation: overpopulation, inequity, squalor and civil disorder.

The central question posed is: Would you rather safety in slavery, or freedom in fear?

Great question! I’d like to say I would choose freedom in fear, but when push comes to shove everyone wants to believe that about themselves. Sorry for the ramble, let’s get back to the interview. How are you publishing your writing and why?

TK: When I’m finally finished with Citadel, I’ll look to send it out to beta readers, and if feedback is good, I’ll start sending out queries to agents. I prefer the idea of traditional publishing, if only because I’m not terribly fond of self-promotion. At least with a publishing house and an agent, a portion of that marketing burden is shared around (though I am aware a great deal still needs to be done by most authors on the social media front).

It might be a bit of a hard sell, though. There’s not much call for books in which every single character is already dead. Sure, maybe someone will see a gap in the market for my particular brand of steampunk-afterlife-epic-fantasy, but I won’t hold my breath, and I won’t hamstring myself by adhering to the traditional route.

I believe in my story, and I want to get it out there.

Wow, I think your story sound very interesting. I’d read it. What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?

TK: I’m going to answer this question with the caveat that much of the vocabulary and concepts involved make me uncomfortable.

But yes, I have a few social media platforms <shudder> through which I market myself, or my “brand” <cringe>. There’s my blog, over at rightplacerighttim.com, where I get to be free and frivolous with the content <wince> that I produce. This I then share on either Facebook or Twitter, or both.

However, I don’t have a Facebook author page, so when I share my blog posts on there, it’s to my friends and family, and I have a problem with spamming everyone with every last post I write on the blog. There’s far too much of the humble-brag at play, so I reserve it for the less author-centric content, like a post about my wedding, or on politics, or if I achieve something of which I am particularly proud and can’t help but broadcast.

This modesty is unfortunate, because Facebook is consistently my biggest channel from which to draw readers. I prefer Twitter, personally, but it simply doesn’t have the same click-through rate as FB.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

TK: I started writing when I was about 12, about the time I discovered the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels, The Colour Of Magic and the like. My story was set on a world the shape of an apple core, with one side having lost contact with the other, and the last bridges having been burned in some war with dragons centuries past. The protagonist was a down-on-his-luck hero for hire, with a magic talking sword, with issues controlling its emotions. He joins forces with a barbarian woman on a quest to the southern hemisphere, to find the last dragon and bring peace to a war-torn continent – or whatever.

Anyway, it’s full of zany japes and hideous dialogue, and goes on for 17,000 ill-chosen words. Still, I had apparently grasped at a young age the importance of narrative perspective. And it is marginally less embarrassing than the trite, Reservoir Dogs-inspired nonsense I was churning out at university.

My wife bought me the complete works of HP Lovecraft a few years ago. It has everything he published in chronological order, and starts with a story he wrote when he was just 15. It’s about a man who gets lost in a cave, is stalked by some unseen beast in the dark, only to shoot it and discover the hideous wretch was in fact a man, disfigured by decades of being lost in the bowels of the earth.

But we can’t all be prodigies.

That story sounds fascinating! You had more of a grasp on plot and story at 12 than I do now. You go with your bad self.

Aww, our time is up. Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me!

Be sure to stop by Tim’s blog where he speaks on a variety of topics with a good dose of humour, from politics to helpful articles for becoming a better writer. You can also find him goofing around on Twitter, and get a peek into his life on Instagram. To keep up with all of his works, visit his author profile on Amazon.

Bio:

Tim Kimber is a Dorset-born Londoner, writing fiction from pubs across the capital. His maiden publishing credit came in the horror anthology The Infernal Clock amid sparkling reviews. Tim hopes to release his first novel, Citadel, in the coming months – though he has been working on it for the best part of a decade (indeed, his wife is close to asphyxiation from holding her breath, so don’t do that).

Tim’s most pleasing anecdotes include tangoing with Helen Baxendale, accompanying Ron Howard to a roller derby match, and briefly renting with a woman who claimed she had sex with a ghost whenever everyone was out.

Unlike proper authors, Tim does not have a cat – but he is looking into it.

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