Welcome Tom! Thanks so much for taking time out to be here today. I've been looking forward to chatting with you and finding out more about you. :) How did you start your writing career?
I was a bit of a dreamer at school. I think I must have driven my teachers nuts trying to hold my attention. I was always looking out the window or inhabiting the inner spaces and playing fields of my imagination. I found that writing stuff down gave me a focus for all my random thoughts and bizarre plotlines that rattled around in my head. And then, when I was about ten, I won a local short story competition, and I think it was then I realized that I could put my failings at school to some good use after all, and make some money at the same time.. har har.
Painting by Numbers is a psychological drama about an Earth Scientist, Jacob Boyce, who becomes obsessed with a 17th Century allegorical painting. He believes that somewhere inside the composition, there is a mathematical code that will help him to formulate a theory to predict earthquakes. But as he delves further into the painting, strange things start to happen around him, and the object of his obsession begins to move.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I find that when I’m locked down into writing, I need to follow a strict routine. My favourite time to write is between 5 and 8 in the morning, when it feels like the whole world is still in bed, and I can let my characters run around the house without bumping into anyone. Then I’ll have breakfast and carry on until 12.00. Then I won’t look at anything again until the following morning.
Where do you research your books.
I work at the
which is an amazing place to be in terms of access to research material and expertise. Painting by Numbers includes quite a bit of art history and also some weird science, and I was fortunate to enlist the help of a mathematics researcher and an Art Historian, to help me concoct my tall tale. Although my book is a work of complete fiction, I wanted the fabricated facts to feel authentic, and my colleagues provided me with the language and ideas to do that. University of Bath
Do you have critique partners or beta readers
I have three main beta readers. They provided me with invaluable support and advice throughout my journey to complete my book They each looked at slightly different aspects; one checks the language and looks for clunky, weird or weak expressions, the second is brilliant at checking the structure and how the whole story flows and fits together, and the third critiques my dialogues. Writing dialogue is particularly difficult and needs quite a bit of attention.
I also have a couple of theta or gamma reads who read the finished work and make general comments. And then there is my editor who contradicts everything the beta and gamma readers have said.
How do you describe your writing style?
I love writing that is terse, minimalist, hyper-realistic and ambiguous, where layers of meaning are conveyed using a concise and economical style. I want readers to speculate on what might be going on, and draw their own conclusions.
What do you think makes a good story?
Theme, character, narrative arc, surprise, delight and beautiful language.
Who should play you in a film?
I would hope for Humphrey Bogart or Jean Gabin, but I would probably end up with Forrest Gump.
LOL!! Somehow I don't think so! Thanks again! I've enjoyed chatting and wish you every success with your novel.
Tom Gillespie, also known as Tom Reid was born and grew up in a small town just outside
. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the University as an academic English lecturer. Bath
Tom writes long and short fiction. A number of his stories are published by www.eastoftheweb.com . He is also a regular contributor to fridayflash.org.
Tom’s writing has been described as terse, minimalist, hyper- realistic and ambiguous, where layers of meaning are conveyed using a concise and economical style.
He is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
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Giveaway ends September 29th 11:59PM Central Time.