Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Thom Collins author of Closer by Morning.
Hi Thom, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us about yourself and your background?
Thank you for having me. It’s especially exciting to be here this week when Closer by Morning goes on general release.
I’m originally from Northumberland but I’ve been living in County Durham for 20 years. I’ve written under different pen names in the past but Closer by Morning is my first MM romance book. I feel like I’m starting all over again and it’s very exciting.
What were you like at school?
In one word – geeky. I was a normal kid with a good circle of friends until I was about 12. Around puberty I became quite introverted and retreated into myself. I was skinny and wore glasses and I hated sport. I was always much happier by myself with a book. Hiding behind the gym reading Hollywood Wives. I started writing when I was about 12. Making up stories about people I didn’t like and getting my own back on them that way. Or having the kind of adventures I could never have in real life. I grew up on the coast and liked to take long walks along the beaches and moors, all by myself, thinking up new stories. My geek phase lasted all the way through puberty until I left school. I think I began to come into myself after that. By 17 I was going out, drinking, meeting guys and doing all the things ordinary teenagers do.
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character in Closer by Morning?
I would love to see the character of Dale, my sexy American actor, played by Mike Vogel. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him but he’s been in loads of movies and was one of the leads in the TV series Under the Dome. Mike has all the attributes to play Dale; he’s ruggedly handsome, super talented, blond, blue eyed, beautiful and with a great body. Oh, and did I say he was handsome. Mike tops my list.
Do you write full time or part time?
Part time. I have a day job in the Criminal Justice System but I’m lucky enough to only work 4 days a week. I have one full writing day and usually manage a few extra hours across the evenings of a week. I’d estimate 8 to 10 hours per week. I did have a period a few years ago when I wrote full time for about 18 months but I drove myself crazy. Being at home by myself, all day, every day, it wasn’t for me. Writing full time sounds like a dream but personally I need a bit of a balance. I need interaction with other people, otherwise I’d be in danger of becoming a recluse. That anti-social teenager is still lurking somewhere inside.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I aim for a set amount of words across a week. When I’m working on a first draft I aim for something between 3,000-5,000 words per week. That might not sound like much to anyone who writes full time, but it’s a reasonable amount when you’re juggling other jobs and commitments. Working at that pace you’ll have a sizeable first draft within 6 months. If I ever fall short I push myself harder one extra evening to make sure it all gets done. I don’t think it does much good to impose huge deadlines on ourselves, but I work best when I treat my writing like a job, with targets to be met. I wrote the first draft of Closer by Morning in 7 months, which included a holiday with my husband in the middle of it. So it’s a pretty healthy and balanced pace at which to work.
Do you ever get writers block?
I suffer from writers block when I try to work without a plan. I know some authors thrive that way and feel restricted when they write to an outline, but it’s the opposite for me. Enthusiasm will take it so far, but if I don’t know exactly where I’m going it’s easy to get lost. I plan all of my books in advance. Even short stories require a basic outline. It’s much less painful to discard a story at the planning stage than get stuck 20,000 words in. But everyone is different. What works for me won’t suit everyone. Closer by Morning began as a six page outline that included all the major characters, developments and, yes, the ending. It did change as I went along. The book doesn’t end exactly how I first intended, but by having the security of a detailed plan, I could take detours along the way.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
That’s such a great question. Wow. The book that springs immediately to mind is The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. I think I’ve read it 4 times and listened to the audio book at least twice and it breaks my heart every time. It’s a perfect book: short, concise, emotional, not one word is wasted. I chose a passage from this book for the reading when I got married. It’s so beautiful. I adore the movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, mainly because it was the first film I went to see with my husband, but nothing is as good as the novel. My old paperback is looking quite shabby, I must invest in a replacement and read it again. I would recommend it to all lovers of romantic fiction. It’s simply sublime
Title: Closer by Morning
Blurb: When Matt Blyth, a handsome young lawyer, joins an early morning boot camp, all he wants is to get in shape. His 30th birthday is approaching fast. He’s ready to throw away the past and embrace a new future. The last thing he expects is to fall in love … or become embroiled in murder.
Dale Zachary, an American actor, is stuck firmly in the closet. He spent his 20’s playing good-looking jocks in a bunch of bad horror films and romantic comedies. But that boy next door act has a limited shelf life. Dale has landed the role of his career playing a sexy psychotic killer in a major British TV series. It’s a part that could make him a star. It’s no time to fall in love but when Dale meets Matt, the attraction is impossible to resist and they both fall hard.
Someone is killing young men in the city. A killer like no other. The murders bear an uncanny resemblance to the script Dale is shooting. A devious mind is at work. As their relationship becomes more complex, Matt and Dale find the murders intruding further into their lives. The killer is closing in on his next target … it could be either one of them … or both.
To be in with a chance to win an ebook copy of Closer by Morning (retail price US$7.14 / UK£5.40) in ePub or PDF format, please leave a comment on this blog post, ensuring you leave your email address in the space provided.
The giveaway will end at 0:00 midnight GMT on Saturday 20 August 2016.
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Author Bio: Thom Collins lives in Durham, North East England. He enjoys writing racy, romantic thrillers and creating strong, sexy characters. He is currently working on a new romantic trilogy. He lives with his husband and two cats.
Twitter: @thomwolf @realthomcollins