Saturday, 11 January 2014

Meet my featured author for January, Tom Winton.


Introducing the best selling author Tom Winton










About Tom Winton:  

Said to be a man who writes with his pen dipped in his soul, bestselling author Tom Winton has been listed as one of Amazon's Top 100 "Most Popular Authors" in both Literary Fiction and in Mystery, Thriller and Suspense.
Born in New York City, he has done everything from working on a railroad gang in the Colorado Rockies to driving a taxicab in Manhattan. He's been a mailman, a salesman, an entrepreneur and more. Now living in Florida with his wife Blanche and their ill-tempered but lovable Jack Russell terrier Ginger, Tom is working on his sixth book.
Tom's novels have been likened to such classics as Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and more. His titles are Beyond Nostalgia, The Last American Martyr, Four Days with Hemingway's Ghost, Within a Man's Heart, A Second Chance in Paradise, and a short story collection The Voice of Willie Morgan.

My featured book from Tom Winton is 'A Second Chance in Paradise.'

Book description: 

Long Island salesman Sonny Raines has had it. He’s sick and tired of living in a world where wrong always wins over right. Then, on his thirty-ninth birthday, when he loses his job and comes home to the most devastating shock of his life, that’s it. He’s dropping out. 

With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van fifteen-hundred miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that’s exactly what he thinks he’s doing when he settles on a paradisaical speck of an island known as Wrecker’s Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home. 

But all isn’t blue skies, swaying palms, and coconut oil on Wrecker’s Key. There’s trouble wafting in the warm breezes that caress the island. Although Sonny certainly isn’t looking for romance, he finds himself falling for his next door neighbor. Ex-model Julie Albright just may be the kindest, most beautiful woman to ever grace his eyes, but there’s a snag. She has a small physical flaw that, no matter how hard he tries, Sonny can’t overlook. And his feelings are no secret to Julie. She can read them, and they weigh as heavy on her heart as they do on his. Then things get even worse. One night, under the cover of darkness, danger drifts up the deep, silent currents from the lower keys—serious danger—life and death danger. And Sonny Raines finds himself right in the middle of it. 
 
Welcome Tom and thank you for taking part in my featured author spot.

How long have you been writing? 

All tolled I’ve been writing for eight years now, Sarah Jane. The first four were from 1994 to 1998, when I wrote two books. But after the second one “Beyond Nostalgia” was looked at and rejected by three agents, I disgustedly threw the manuscript into a closet with my first one and wrote nary a word for eleven years. I got back into writing on December 8th, 2009 and have been at it since. I’d tell you why I remember date but that’s a long story.        

What inspires you to write?  

I punch, kick, scratch and wrestle with words because some unknown force inside me demands it. And for some other unknown reason, I feel I have a deeply-rooted personal responsibility to try and put sentences together the best I can. I’ve never done any harder work in my life, and over the years I have done a lot of different things to earn a living. The upside is that, when I finally finish a novel, I get this immense feeling of accomplishment that no other activity on this crazy planet has ever given me.                 

How many books have you written?

Four full-length novels, a novella, and a collection of short stories.             

What genre/s of books do you write?

I’m what I call a “genre-jumper.” Three of my books are actually categorized as romances, but I like to think they are far, far more than all those run-of-the-mill bodice-rippers out there. I also like to think that just like my favorite read of all time, Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides”, my romances have lots of meat on their bones and a slight literary edge. Two of my other books would have to be categorized as Suspense, but I hate like heck having to label them with just one genre also. 

How long does it take you to write a book?

I’d say six or seven months is the norm for me.
              
What was the title of your first book?

The first book I had published (by a publisher by the way) was “Beyond Nostalgia”. But the other one that BN’s manuscript laid in a closet with those eleven years I actually wrote first. Its title is “A Second Chance in Paradise”. Originally called “The Overseas Highway”, I reworked the book for five months last year before changing the title and publishing it just two months ago.  

What was your first book about?

“Beyond Nostalgia” is about two underclass kids who share a world-class love affair only to be ripped apart after just twelve months. For the next two decades the male MC struggles through life and continually kicks down his spirit for committing the grave misdeed that separated them. They are reunited twenty-three years later, when they are both married—him with two children. Do they get back together after missing each other for so long? Ya gotta read the book to find that out.
              
What do you feel makes a successful writer? 

Sarah Jane, in my eyes I haven’t come close to becoming successful yet. Yes, I’ve had quite a few wonderful things happen as a result of my work. All my novels have been bestsellers on Amazon and some in the Barnes and Noble Top 100. I’ve been listed as one of Amazon’s Top 100 “Most Popular Authors” in Literary Fiction and in Mystery, Suspense and Thrillers. I was asked by Wattpad (The largest reading site in the world) to be a featured author, and I accepted. I put my novella “Within a Man’s Heart” up there and in just three months had more followers than International superstar writers Margaret Atwood and Paulo Cuelho—who’d both been on Wattpad for over a year-and-a-half. They have now eclipsed my 20,000 plus followers, but I did blow by them for a while. I have no idea why so many chose to follow me, but it is hugely flattering.          

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes, keep writing and try to get as many books “out there” as you can. If you can write a good story, and you get enough of them published, you will eventually sell books. You may not get that six-figure contract from a “big 6” publisher, but you’ll sell and possibly in very nice numbers.

What do you feel makes a good book?

Readers expect books in different genres to do different things. When I write—no matter what genre, I try to arrange the perfect words in just the right way so that instead of just reading those words, they will feel them as well. I believe that if I do anything right when I put pen to paper, it’s touching people’s emotions. Fortunately, most of my readers and reviewers seem to agree.              

Do you base your characters on yourself or people you know?

In all my books there’s a lot of me in the leading men. I also draw from my experiences, people I know or knew, and the ideas that constantly whizz around inside my head.

Have you, or would you, consider having any of your books adapted into screenplays, if so which one and why?

Heck yes, Sarah Jane! I’d love for all of them to be made into flicks. Quite a few folks have used the words “very cinematic” when talking about or reviewing my novels.

Which of your books did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Probably “Beyond Nostalgia”. I was working full time back then and wrote whenever I could. Since I’d never been published at that point, I didn’t have to worry about letting down readers who’d enjoyed my earlier stuff. There was no earlier stuff! And I didn’t have any readers! Now I have a bit of a following and I of course love them all.

What stops you from writing?

Occasionally depression, hard times, and when there’s so much clutter in my head that I can’t concentrate.

Have you ever considered writing in other genres?

The funny thing is, when I begin to write a book, just like the title, genre is the farthest thing from my mind. Another tip to aspiring writers I’d like to add here though is “Don’t try this at home.” If you stick to one genre, whether it’s romance, mysteries, graphic novels or whatever, you have a far better chance of being successful. As for me, though, I have a hard enough time coming up with stories that I think are going to be worthwhile enough to invest seven months in. When I get what I call a platinum idea, I’m running with it.

What is your favourite book and author?

As I said earlier, “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy. I also LOVE Steinbeck’s little book “Travels with Charley” and Stephen King’s “On Writing” The latter is a must read for anybody who’s even thinking about becoming an author.

What can we expect to see from you during 2014?

I’ve recently taken all my books off Amazon Select and now have them available in many brick and mortar stores in the US. I’ve also got them on hundreds of retail platforms around the world. I want to really go global. My good friend Mark Williams (who, by the way, probably knows more about the book biz than anybody else on this planet) has been encouraging me for over two years to “go for it”. And I feel it’s time I did.

Tom that was an amazingly honest, and genuine interview and once again I would like to thank you for taking part.

For more from Tom Winton visit his website at:



Or visit Tom’s Author Page with his books on Amazon: 


The featured book 'A Second Chance in Paradise' is available at:


Tom’s books on Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/tom-winton


Connect with Tom Winton at: