Author Interview: T.W. Dittmer

May 13, 2017

Today I’m re-interviewing a fellow Michigan writer, T.W. Dittmer, the author of the interesting novel, The Valley Walker, about his new effort, Five Toed Tigress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


T.W. Dittmer, Indie Author.

Welcome to “Painting With Light,” Tim.
Thanks for having me, Ron.

I enjoyed your first novel The Valley Walker, and I’m fascinated with your new one, Five Toed Tigress.
Thanks, Ron. I’ve been hoping you’d like it.

As I recall from our interview about The Valley Walker, you have an interesting background. What were you like in school?
I grew up in Gary, Indiana. My father worked in the steel mills, then turned to preaching the Gospel. My mother was a legal secretary. I was a dreamer in high school – not a bad kid, but not very motivated, so my grades were poor.

I liked reading, though, which got me pushed into the advanced English and Composition courses. After graduating, I joined the Army and volunteered for Vietnam, then actually reenlisted for Vietnam.

When my military service was complete, I went to college and studied music. My college grades were better than high school and I really loved music, but ended up working in an automobile engine testing laboratory. I have a two-year degree in Digital Electronics and a Bachelor’s in Information Technology.

Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Thomas Harris and John Steinbeck.

Where do your ideas come from?
They can come from anywhere. An idea occurs to me, then works at me until I spend a lot of time pacing the floor and imagining it coming to life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Toed Tigress

Do you have an “elevator speech” for your new novel?
The Five-Toed Tigress stalks the night, gliding effortlessly through the canopied forests of Cambodia – the Tiger’s Dance Floor.

She is on patrol, her mission to protect the downtrodden from the power of the greedy. Her movements are so fluid and graceful that her prowl is a thing of beauty, a dance to the music of life and death.

The Tigress is a solitary hunter, and she dances alone on her mission. She gives herself wholeheartedly to her dance, but desires a dancing partner – a mate.

How have you evolved creatively since your first novel?
I’m not sure I have. I want to do my best, though, so I keep trying to learn and improve.

I asked you this before, but I wonder if anything has changed for you since then. What’s the hardest thing about writing?
Worrying about whether people will like my work.

You told me before you don’t have a favorite quote, but almost everyone has one that sticks in their mind. What’s yours?
“All these negative waves.” – from the movie Kelly’s Heroes.

Do you have anything else in the works right now?
I have my next novel in mind. I’m doing research and tossing around some thoughts, scribbling on the whiteboard.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot / avatar / spirit animal?
The coyote. I know he’s a trickster, but I seem to get along with him.

Do you base your characters on real people?
Bits and pieces of people I’ve met find their way into my writing. Colonel Nguy, from The Valley Walker, is based on a Hoi Chanh I worked with in Southeast Asia. He joined our unit as a Kit Carson scout after coming over from the North Vietnamese Army in the Chieu Hoi Program.

What kind of research do you do?
I do a lot of reading, some travel and conversation.

What did you edit out of this book?
Not much. I thought about editing out the sex scenes, but was advised against it. A lot was changed as it was written and rewritten, but not much was actually cut.

How do you select the names of your characters?
I don’t have a real system. I just try to come up with a name that sounds cool.

What was your favorite childhood book?
I think White Fang was my favorite. I was a big fan of Jack London and Jim Kjelgaard.

Have you considered entering your books in any review contests? If so, which ones?
I’ve considered the Readers’ Favorite contest. I used them to get some initial reviews for The Valley Walker and was pleased with their service. It was nice for me to get some feedback from someone that I wasn’t related to.

Good luck, Tim … and thanks for doing the interview.
Thanks for having me, Ron. It was a pleasure.

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I’m just about finished reading Tim’s remarkable book, and I already know what I’m going to say in my review:

Five Toed Tigress is one of those rare stories that grabs you by the lapels and forces you to keep reading. The character of Preston Hawke is so totally believable he will keep readers turning the pages to find out how his story ends. Well done! 5-STARS!

Five Toed Tigress is available as an eBook on Amazon, and you can discover more about this interesting author at these locations:
FacebookTwitterWebsiteLinkedInGoodreads

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Visit my web site to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show. By the way, “Blood Lake” was recently selected as a 2016 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Finalist!

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I plan to attend the next Freelance Marketplace Writers’ Group Meeting at Barnes & Noble on May 16, 2017. I also plan to attend the 10th Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Your Platform Provides Vital Support

May 4, 2017

Indie fiction authors sometimes say this platform-building stuff doesn’t work. But the truth is, after your network of family and friends has been tapped out, if you aren’t continuously putting your book in front of new readers, nobody is going to see it.

A writer’s life isn’t a cakewalk at the best of times. But no platform-building means no significant web presence, no engaged audience of fans (or at least no direct access to them) and wasted opportunities for book marketing, promotion and visibility.

Okay, you say you’ve tinkered with a blog, only to have it succumb to a quiet, anonymous death. You’ve dipped your toe into the social media whirlpool and found yourself repeatedly dragged under.

Branding, guest posting, speaking engagements, blogging, media kits, email marketing, blog tours, networking, interviews, conferences, webinars … you’ve tried everything.

Or maybe you haven’t tried at all.

The web is full of stories of the fruitless efforts of writer wannabes who’ve already attempted the “platform thing” … and failed miserably.

If so many others have tried and failed, the concept clearly doesn’t hold water, right?

Why bother?

Still, if you decide building your writer platform is a colossal waste of time, what’s your Plan B? How will you connect with your target readers, promote your work and build your influence as an author?

Inaction Leads Nowhere
Avoidance may be a good strategy for some threats, but not this one.
The opportunity for interconnectivity that social media provides will only increase over time.

Don’t fear innovation and change, embrace it.

Choose growth and strive for continual learning and self-improvement. Be a problem-solver. Stop avoiding challenges and, instead, accept risk as part of the game.

Remember your skills and abilities aren’t fixed. They can be honed and improved. Being a writer doesn’t preclude you from being a savvy business owner, or a clever marketing strategist.

Successful writers are constantly seeking, asking questions, and applying what they’ve learned.

So, beat inertia by taking the first step.

Mindset Changes Everything
As writers, I think we can be especially creative with the mental barriers and invisible scripts we allow to run on a loop in our brains.

But in order to move forward, it’s vital you throw out any negativity. If you want people to recognize the quality of your work, your talent and your voice, take responsibility for your own actions. If something doesn’t work out the way you hoped or anticipated, learn from the situation and move on.

Prioritize What’s Important
Use your time wisely. Focus on tasks that can really move your career forward and be prepared to make some sacrifices to attain your goals. If you find yourself unfocused or procrastinating without taking the next step, stop. Most of the time, “busy” doesn’t equal productive.

Write down your goals and develop a simple strategy to get from one point to another. Recognize mistakes so you don’t repeat them, and look for what you can improve.

Building a writer platform takes time and hard work, so don’t expect instant gratification. Learn to control your time, rather than allowing others to control it for you.

Knowing the ‘Why’ and ‘Who’ Makes it Easier
What’s your purpose? What excites you? What exactly is it that you’re striving for and why have you chosen this particular path?

Knowing your “why” and being able to communicate it effectively to the “right” people (i.e., your ideal readers) makes marketing your work infinitely easier.

How do you find this elusive group of people?

You look for them.

Everywhere.

Don’t expect them to find you. Follow the breadcrumbs they leave as they seek to satisfy their interests. They’ll leave clues in the form of comments on blogs within your genre or niche. They’ll pose questions and state opinions on forums and Facebook groups. They’ll follow similar people on Twitter, and likely be influenced by the same sources and speakers.

Find the intersection between their interests and your purpose.

It’s all right to start small. The size of your readership won’t matter nearly as much as the quality of your connection to them, so take great care to form this relationship early. Don’t just “collect” readers or followers. Invite them to join your community, believe in your message and take part in your journey.

It’s this small … but loyal … group that will help you build a writing career that matters.

Oh, and don’t forget that you also have to write a book worth reading. Even the sturdiest of platforms won’t support a book that’s garbage.

So, what’s stopping you?

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Visit my web site to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show. By the way, “Blood Lake” was recently selected as a 2016 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Finalist!

**********

I plan to attend the next Freelance Marketplace Writers’ Group Meeting at Barnes & Noble on May 16, 2017. I also plan to attend the 10th Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.


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