Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hi Fiona, thank you for this Interview, I am really excited!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Russell Trimble, but I go by Rusty and I am 47 years young.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am a proud San Diego, California native – the most beautiful city bar nonee!
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am the proud father of two kids, ages 12 and 6. I grew up in San Diego, graduated from Clairemont High School and attended college in both San Diego, and Arizona where I spent 5 years working in the 90s.
They say “Like father, like son”, so I will share that I am Autistic and my two sons are also both on the Autism Spectrum.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I recently release my latest novel Middle School Madness. I am proud of this one as it was over two years in the work. It has over 300 illustrations I did along with a “fun fact” at the bottom of every page, most of them educational, though some are Pop Culture facts and I also do a “Shameless book plug” for fellow authors.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a little kid. At age 14, I wrote a book called “30 Tales of Terror” which was Twilight Zone inspired. However, I really began writing due to my oldest son. When he was not even 3, he was diagnosed with Autism. He did not like reading, so I began writing and illustrating books with him as the star to get him interested. When he reached first grade, his teacher suggested switching to novels appropriate to his age, so I wrote Andrew and the Pirate Cove, my first novel that was not self-published.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I would say when Andrew and the Pirate Cove was picked up by a publisher, I felt I had really become a writer. Also I would say that when Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore (www.mystgalaxy.com) invited me to a local author Meet and Greet and later on offered me solo events, this helped me believe I arrived.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, as an adult, it was really the desire to get my son to read. I had given up being a writer when I was a kid, but this really got me motivated to try again. I love drawing and writing stories and I found myself self-publishing eight in just over a year!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’ve done over 20 books. If ok, I’ll speak about my latest. My son is a big fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and he wanted me to write one. I certainly cannot plagiarize Jeff Kinney’s work, so he suggested making my own book. Since my son was in Middle School, and my own Middle School experiences were sometimes bizarre, I chose the name Middle School Madness as I thought it captured the idea and was catchy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
It depends on the genre or as I do mainly Young Adult the “sub-genre”. I am a big fan of Jude Watson and like to think I “channel” her style. However, when I wrote Middle School Madness, I read several of Jeff Kinney’s books, not only to get an idea of the genre, but to make sure I was not aping his style, while still writing within this genre.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Middle School Madness was heavily inspired by my own Junior High experiences 35 years ago. Many things in it really happened to me or someone I went to school with, but it is retold in an (often) humorous style, so in this case, it is pretty realistic, though it also has the kids dressing as superheroes, which is of course, far-fetched
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wish I could say I do, but I am a homebody and a bit of a wallflower. I actually LOVE San Diego and therefore use it as the setting of many of my books.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most of my books I did the cover myself. My friend Erika Peters did my cover for The Fun House Mystery Adventure and my former publisher did Andrew and the Pirate Cove and The Revenge of Jack Frost, but I did most of my own.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Bullying is wrong. I was a victim of it all throughout school and the news is filled with tragic cases of kids being bullied. Middle School Madness strongly speaks out against bullying in between the humor.
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?
My latest influences and friends are James Matlack Raney who wrote the Jim Morgan series and Lord of the Wolves as well as Marie Andreas and her Asarlai Wars series. My favourite writer is Nelson DeMille, his stories are at once both funny and serious and the tales grab you and do not let you go.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Scott Adams, whose games I based several of my books on was a strong motivator and person who encouraged me, he is a true friend and someone I recommend as a coach for anyone needed writing or life advice.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope that I can someday, but like most writers, I have a day job. If I could write exclusively and still provide for my family, I would for sure!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Off-hand, maybe I would add even more illustrations, but the two-plus years I spent on this book, I made sure I got everything I wanted into it, so this is one of the rare times I would say “Not really”.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Save your work often, I lost a lot of it during a crash. Also, get people who are in your target audience to do readings of it to see how you are doing. I had over 30 kids read Middle School Madness before it was published and their feedback was overwhelming and helped me as I finish putting the end to it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For Hugo, the Kid from the movie Wonder, I have an actress friend named Victoria Stevens who would be perfect for his mother and for his dad, Andrew Garfield, no question. There are a ton of characters that are teens, so maybe I could hijack the kids from Stranger Things
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I have several:
1: Don’t give up, what got you to write is what will keep you going. Remember, writing is progress, not perfection.
2: Make friends with other authors, especially on social media, they can really help you with advice and getting your book out there.
3: Challenge yourself. Go to www.nanowrimo.org and compete with yourself.
4: Remember, your first draft will never be your best, keep at it and if possible, find friends to read your work.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love making new friends, send me a request and I will accept it. I also love casting the children of my friends in my book, so if interested, let me know.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Nelson DeMille’s The Gold Coast
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Best Nest I think was my first or The Sneetches
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Good comedy makes me laugh, my kids make me laugh. Seeing anything bad happen to kids or animals makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Nelson DeMille, I think he could give me great insight on writing.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I mainly love writing as a hobby and hopeful career. I play the odd classic video game (80s and 90s Commodore and IBM Dos games are my favourite), and of course being a dad is a fun hobby.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The InBetweeners, The West Wing, How I Met Your Mother, Impractical Jokes, and even though it is a kids show, YoGabbaGabba
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
French Dip, Purple, and I am a huge Cheap Trick, Rush, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, and Poets of the Fall (they are a Finnish band) fan
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I cannot imagine such a future, but I would probably try and write video games with my kids
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Take my kids to Disneyland and have as much fun with them as possible.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Well, that was a unique way to die…”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a website on wix.com,. but it is under construction. I do most of my marketing on Facebook under the name Rusty Trimble and I have an official R. D. Trimble Page, but I mainly used my Rusty Trimble area as I like to communicate directly.