Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview with award winning Author T.J. Vargo - Author of Crime Series "Tombs"

If you would like to win an eBook of TJ's first novel in his crime series "Tombs", just leave a comment for the author below with your email address.

One lucky winner will be drawn on the 10th of February 2012. 

Hi TJ, where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and currently live in Ohio, but I wouldn't call it home. I've split my life between Virginia and Ohio, and I’m looking at possibly moving back to Virginia in the near future. Home for me is where I am at the moment.

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
I recently got involved with Community Shares of Mid-Ohio. They're a great organization that promotes 65 local charities around the Columbus area. The best thing about them is they allow local residents to donate to local organizations that help local causes. I love it when I can see who and what my donation is helping and Community Shares is an organization that allows you to pick a cause (the arts, hunger, health, etc.) and help that cause in your community. It's great.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent novel is “Tombs.” It’s about Curtis Monroe, a 26-year-old who is equal parts sinner and saint, fighting to escape his life of crime.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Curtis and his fellow crooks all have one motto… Trust no one. Steal from anyone.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Tombs is a series.

What books have influenced your writing?
I loved Robert E. Howard as a kid, so his books influenced me in some way, but the stuff I’ve liked lately includes Charlie Huston’s Hank Thompson trilogy, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Scott Smith’s The Ruins, and Chuck Hogan’s Prince of Thieves.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I like the sensibilities of Scott Smith and Charlie Huston. I think having an opportunity to talk with either one of them would help me become a better writer.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I’ll have to go with ebooks. I love reading anything, but ebooks make the experience seamless - no accidentally losing my place or worrying about not being able to read in the dark.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
I own a Nook, so Barnes & Noble works for me.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
I’ve written for many years and managed to get my last novel “Low Man” published by a small traditional publisher, Leucrota Press. Unfortunately, they went out of business. I know how long it takes to get anyone in the publishing industry to respond, so this time around I’m planning to self-publish my crime series Tombs as an e-book. 

 Patti says - Good Idea!

What book would you like to read again?
Hmmm… that’s a tough question. I guess I would read Scott Smith’s The Ruins or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road again.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
I thought The Town was a tremendous adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s Prince of Thieves, but in the end I believe it’s impossible to make a movie that’s better than a well-crafted novel. The novel transports you right into the world the author is imagining. I have yet to watch a movie that can match the emotional and physical experience of reading a great book.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m reading Zone One by Colson Whitehead. It’s an ebook.

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
Daniel Woodrell is an author I recently discovered. The movie Winter’s Bone is based on one of his novels. Woodrell’s writing is very, very stylistically entertaining. He has a great handle on voice in his novels. Also, his writing is very clean and spare. He’s a writer I have great respect for and, in a lot of ways, try to emulate.

Who designed the cover of your book?
I design the covers for my books.

Do you buy a book by the cover?
A cover can definitely help sell a book, but I wouldn’t say I buy a book because of the cover. I think the title in combination with the cover is more important. A good cover and title will make me read a little bit of a book to see if it’s something I want to read.

Do you have a book trailer?
I don’t have a book trailer, but I do have a short video on the making of my novel Low Man.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
If I could walk into a book store, say a Barnes & Noble, and there were kiosks set up throughout the store where I could browse professionally-done book trailers by genre, I would be ecstatic. That would be a tool that would really help me target the books I want to “experience.” I could even envision screens set up in the store like they used to have in video stores, showing continuous book trailers. But here’s the problem - the vast majority of book trailers are not professionally produced. Unless they are done professionally, I think they hurt a book more than help it.  

Patti says - That is a GREAT idea!!!

Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is never settle for anything but your best effort. Always do your best no matter how long you’ve been writing.

White wine or red?
I’ll have a beer, thank you.

Coffee or tea?
Neither. I have enough energy without the caffeine.

Do you have a favorite food?
Nothing beats a good steak.

Patti says - Well done, medium or rare??

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
I’m vanilla all the way.

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
Oatmeal or a piece of fruit works for me.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
I doubt I ever have four things with me. I travel light.

Sleep in or get up early?
I’m generally up around seven.

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Your favorite gadget -

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I like writing on the kitchen table, facing the rising sun.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Bear Grylls. That’s it, Bear Grylls. Oh, and maybe CNN news anchor Suzanne Malveaux. Bear would keep us alive and Suzanne is smart and pretty - nothing wrong with having a smart, pretty woman around.

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
Key West.

List 3 of your favorite movies?
Rocky, The Bourne Identity, Transporter

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?
Breaking Bad.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters? Feel free to add pics.
Charlie Hunnam, who plays “Jax” on Sons of Anarchy is a good fit

Where can your readers stalk you?

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? Low Man is my only print book. All others are ebooks.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me, it has been fun, and allowing us a glimpse into your writing word. I hope you share this interview with your friends so we can all get to know you a little better. Patti

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting interview. I love steak- and reading aobut it made me hungry! I also liked the idea of book trailers at book stores. Cool! I also agree that habing Bear with you on an island would be helpful!

    I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds fascinating. Thanks for the chance to win!

    ~Jess Haight
    haightjess at gmail dot com


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