Friday, February 17, 2006

Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN, PT 3

Today, we conclude our conversation with novelist and fellow International Thriller Writers member Thomas O'Callaghan. His first novel, Bone Thief (Pinnacle Books), is already much acclaimed:

Bone Thief sweeps the reader along in its breathless,
tumbling course ... ” -- Peter Straub

“You won't soon forget this truly creepy serial killer -- or the haunted cop who struggles to bring him to justice.” -- P.J. Parrish

"Bone Thief is that rare commodity in murder-mystery fiction which can actually give the reader nightmares." -- WhoDunnit.com

So, without further ado, part three of our interview ...

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Part 3


Why would you recommend joining an author guild like ITW?
Support. As I'm sure you're aware, writing is a lonely profession. Aside from the fictional characters, there's just you. ITW allows me to feel connected to people who are going through exactly what I'm going through, the highs and the lows. It's great to have a network of people to share it all with.


Of all the fine author organizations available, what about International Thriller Writers do you feel sets it apart?

It's vibrancy. The fact that it's brand new makes being part of it feel like you, personally, make a difference in its expansion. And it's specifically geared toward the thriller genre. I feel at home.


What are your writing habits?
I write Monday through Friday. I find I'm at what I consider my best between 11 and 5. But, as you know, a writer continues to edit and rewrite 24/7. I usually get what I think are great ideas when I'm either in the shower or in bed.


Are you an "outline" writer or a "make it up as you go" writer?
The latter.


Are you a full-time novelist?
Yes. I’ve been blessed with the luxury of a very understanding wife who let me take an early retirement from a sales career to devote time to fulfilling my dream.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and keep at it.


What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers understood?
Unless you're Stephen King or the like, it doesn't come out of your head, hit the paper and get published. Writing is a process. A first draft becomes a second, then a third ... and, in between, many ideas hit the waste basket, never to be heard from again. (Well, maybe. I have retrieved a few and unraveled them.)


What one thing about writing do you wish other writers understood?
Each one of us has a different voice. Not summed up as "Good" "Better," "Best," but as "Different" and "Unique."


For the writer with a new book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she can do to promote it?
Consider the book an investment. If resources allow, spend the money on good, solid advertising. Let it be known to as many people as possible that the book is out there, for sale and for enjoyment. On the advice of my agent, Matt Bialer, I hired a Web publicist, FSB Associates. They've done a great job promoting it.

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Many thanks to Thomas for his time! Find him online at www.ThomasOCallaghan.com. Purchase Bone Thief at Amazon or any other fine bookseller. Read his essay on his 12-year journey to publication, "Recipe For Getting Your Book Published."

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Related links:
THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN, PT 1
THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN, PT 2
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A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.