The finale of our three-part Q&A with novelist T.L. Hines, member of International Thriller Writers, Inc. and author of the debut thriller is Waking Lazarus (Bethany House). Hines has been a professional writer more than 15 years, with articles in such publications as Log Homes, Food & Wine, and Travel & Leisure. His fiction has appeared at Web Del Sol and Infuze Magazine. In 2005, he won the “Best Spec Fiction Novel” category in the Maryland Writers’ Association Novel Contest. Tony also maintains an active blog at TLHines.com.
* * *
WHAT ABOUT WRITING DO YOU WISH NON-WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That I'm not looking for ideas. I have plenty. I love to encourge the people who say, "I've always wanted to write." My reply is: "Then you should." But I get a little put out with the people who say, "Oooh, I have a great idea for a book." Especially when they get a little secretive, as if afraid to divulge too much of the Grand Idea. Really, folks, I have enough ideas of my own.
WHAT ABOUT WRITING DO YOU WISH OTHER WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That for every single one of us who has a book contract, there are at least 100 pre-published writers who would dearly love to be in our positions. That's why I'm mystified by writers who seem to constantly complain about their publishers or some other aspect of their writing careers. We're incredibly fortunate to be paid something -- anything -- for doing what we love, and I wish a lot more of us would act that way.
FOR THE WRITER WITH A NEW BOOK, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE BEST THING TO PROMOTE IT?
I think the essential for any new writer is a website -- at least a blog. If I could do only one thing, I think I'd put up a page at MySpace.com, then spend at least an hour a day finding readers and writers at MySpace and other communities on the Internet.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND JOINING AN AUTHOR GUILD LIKE INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS?
Absolutely. It helps you build connections, of course, but more importantly, it helps you learn. No matter what stage of this grand game you're in, you can always learn -- and in an organization such as ITW, you learn from some pretty great names. James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, James Rollins, David Morrell and hundreds of others.
OF ALL THE FINE AUTHOR ORGANIZATIONS AVAILABLE, WHAT ABOUT ITW DO YOU FEEL SETS IT APART?
I think I love ITW because it's active. I mean, it's always doing something, trying new things. The newsletter is great, because it doesn't just go to members; it goes to interested readers. The Thriller anthology is just a brilliant idea, and has generated an incredible amount of press. And let's not forget Thrillerfest in Arizona: they've gone above and beyond putting together the program for that con. Most organizations would be proud to do any one of those things, while ITW is doing all of them and more.
BONUS: THE MUNSTERS OR ADDAMS FAMILY?
Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I know that wasn't a choice, but really, there WAS no other choice when I was a young buck.
* * *
Many thanks to T.L. Hines. Find him online at TLHines.com and TLHines.com/blog. Visit his MySpace page at MySpace.com/tlhines. His thriller Waking Lazarus is available at Amazon and many other fine retailers.
T.L. HINES, PT 1
T.L. HINES, PT 2
Sign up for the FREE "Thriller Readers Newsletter" and keep up with the latest profiles, news and reviews in the world of thriller fiction. Subscribers are also entered to win FREE BOOKS!
More ITW links:
Q&A: KATHRYN MACKEL (The Hidden)
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)