Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I’m Tom Fallwell and I’m 66 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a retired, mostly self-taught software developer of about 30 years. I received an Associate Degree in Computer Science, but taught myself the programming languages that I would use throughout my career. I’m currently divorced, have one son who is in his forties, and love playing role-playing games, watching movies and reading books.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I released my fourth full-length novel on August 5th, 2017, titled Dragonblood Throne: Legacy. It is the first book of a planned duology. I’m currently running a giveaway for 5 Kindle copies of this book. The instructions and entry form are on my website at tomfallwell.com.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’d always loved creating stories and adventures, which I did a lot as a game master for role-playing games, where I created adventures for other players to experience as characters of their own creation. When I retired from programming, I started writing down my stories, and an author was born. I strive for my stories to be entertaining, as well as thoughtful.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I started writing. Anyone can be a writer by writing. The difference is, to strive to become a good writer. But I’ve always been a writer, as far as I’m concerned.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel was inspired by a character I created for playing the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’d created a female character and a backstory for her. She had slit-pupil eyes and her backstory identified her as the daughter of a dragon. From that, I pictured in my mind and opening scene, as in a movie. One day, I began to write down that image from my mind, and the story just evolved and flowed out, as if the characters themselves were relating it to me.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Originally, the title was Dragon Rising, as the story was about Delina, the main character, learning to become the dragon she was meant to be. However, that first novel was plagued with errors, and I’ve learned much more since that first attempt. So, having recently rewritten the entire story, it has now been released as Dragonblood Throne: Legacy, and I have plans for a second story as a sequel. Even so, the first book is a complete story on its own.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I believe, over the course of four novels now, that I have developed my own unique style. Originally, I probably tried to write like my inspirational author, J.R.R. Tolkien, but I have found myself and how I want to write. I have tried different points of view for writing, but what I use in my novels, I believe, is best for me, and that is third person omniscient. I think it works well for my stories. My greatest challenge, is simply improving myself every day, in every way. And to keep going, no matter what.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of my life experience will always be in anything I write. I believe that is inevitable. But I don’t consciously draw on people I know. Perhaps I do to some extent, but not intentionally. For me, as an avid movie fan, I envision the scenes in my head, and write them down as I see them, adding in things about the characters that could never be seen in a movie.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Not yet. Perhaps someday.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For the four novels I now have released, my cover designer has been Molly Phipps, from wegotyoucoveredbookdesign.com. For my short stories and magazine serial, I created my own covers with purchased stock images.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There’s always a message, as that is who I am. My main themes have been to show the folly of prejudice and hatred, so far. And perhaps the importance of striving forward, regardless of the obstacles one must face. To press on, no matter what.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
One author who’s writing and style I love is one whom is now co-authoring a new fantasy novel with me. Her name is Aaron-Michael Hall, and we work very well together, I believe. Another who I have enjoyed a lot is Patrick Hodges, who happens to also be my editor. There are others I have found very enjoyable to read as well.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My church family has supported me from day one, as did a friend name Jeri. In fact, not one single person or entity has been a discouragement to me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as fun! I’m not concerned about becoming rich or famous. If it happens, it happens. Regardless of that, I will write until I can’t. Perhaps for the rest of my life. I do it because I enjoy it, even if no one else will. Even so, it’s very rewarding to hear someone say they enjoyed what I’ve written.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. I’m sure I would always be able to find ways to improve parts, but I’m satisfied with the results.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I always learn something, every day. If you stop learning, then you’re going nowhere. To move forward, one must always learn. I am constantly learning better ways to write, to structure sentences, to improve character development, etc. Always.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I really do not know. I suppose there are many that could play the part of Delina. And I’m equally sure that who I think would be best today would likely change tomorrow. Since Delina is quite young, it would need to be a young actress, and I’m not real familiar with them. I love movies, but care little for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If writing is what you want to do, then do it. In the words of Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) in Galaxy Quest, “Never give up! Never surrender!” The more you write, the better you will become. Stick with it, if you truly love it, and don’t let anyone or anything discourage you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If you are a fan of heroic fantasy and action/adventures, I hope you will read my books. If you do, I hope you will leave an honest and thought-worthy review, whether good or bad. What you will find in my books is good wins, evil loses, at least in the end. I write what I like, and I hope you will like it too.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently, I’m reading The Rites of Heirdron, by Newland Moon, a science-fantasy romance.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Afraid not. The first would be way, way back in grade school, probably first grade, or maybe even kindergarten. At 66, not many of those memories back that far come to the forefront of my consciousness. More likely than not, it had something to do with Dick, Jane and Spot.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Humor and sadness. Seriously. If it’s funny, I laugh. If it’s sad, I cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would sincerely love to have met and talked with J.R.R. Tolkien, about not just his books, but about his philosophy on life and the spirit of humanity as well.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Gaming, movies, gaming, writing and gaming. 😊
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like most anything based in the science-fiction or fantasy genres, and all things in between. However, I am rather sick to death with vampires, zombies and werewolves. Also, I do not read erotica.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Banana anything, blue, and classic rock and blues.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Tell stories to others via voice.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
A man after God’s own heart.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Absolutely. Just come visit me at http://tomfallwell.com . I have a book store, information about my books, a bi-weekly podcast, and blog. Stop by and say help. 😊
Rangers of Laerean Series: https://www.facebook.com/RangersofLaerean
Dragonblood Throne Series: https://www.facebook.com/DragonbloodThrone