Larry W. Timm is a husband, father, preaching minister with theMorton Christian Church (Morton, Illinois), and writer who loves creating stories with heart, soul, and high doses of adrenaline. For more information about Larry, visit his website.
If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
I’m torn between which of the following sentences best describes me (perhaps readers might weigh-in on this): 1)I’m a husband, father, preacher, and writer who loves to use the power of words to draw people closer to a loving heavenly Father who desires to redeem and embrace them. 2)I’m a harmless, yet slightly warped individual who hears voices and writes stuff down while eating cheese crackers and drinking Dr. Pepper. 3)I’m an obsessive worry-wart and control freak who knows it’s just a matter of time before the writing police arrest him for impersonating a writer.4) I’m a guy who frequently has people come up and say, “Do you know you look like Chevy Chase?” 5) I love to laugh and make others laugh too, as a way of enjoying and enduring the daily challenges of life. 6) All of the above.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
Well, my “day job” is being the preaching minister at the Morton Christian Church in Morton, Illinois. I also love spending time with my wife and children, whether we’re going on little trips, watching The Andy Griffith Show, or enjoying a Tim Hawkins concert or video. And I blame my eight-year-old son, Josiah, for getting me addicted to playing numerous lego-themed video games while mumbling, “Where’s the stinkin’ bonus brick?” Another thing I do is wander around the house turning off lights, closing doors, and mumbling, “What’s that smell?” One of my favorite “hobbies” is metal detecting (although the neighbors keep getting grumpy when I’m digging in their flower beds because “there’s something special down there.”).
What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
Great question. Way back in grade school, a teacher read a book a dog named “Prince.” I can’t remember the title, but I liked it so much, when I got a dog I named him “Prince.” (Yep, I was a deep kid). One of my favorite books as a teenager was PILGRIM’S PROGRESS.
Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers?
1)I’m terrified of snakes. 2)I want to be a full-time RVer someday. 3)While in college, a few friends and I put together a boy band called “S.S.Nichols & The Dipstix” and performed at two Youth Conventions. I was one of the Dipstix (oh, just hush up right now!).The kids loved it. The administration worried about the future of America.
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
Suspense has always been my genre of choice. It’s what I like to read, so it’s what I like to write.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Early on in the process of submitting stories for contests or for critique, someone told me my characters were uninteresting and underdeveloped and my scene descriptions were weak. It was a big wake-up call. I’ve worked hard to improve in those areas. Another time, a friend was reading over something I was going to submit to a contest, and commented that one particular section was so poorly written that she wanted to stop reading (I think she meant my story specifically, not all reading in general). Basically, the descriptions were not vivid enough, the pacing was sluggish, and the scene was bloated with too many words. Other than that, it was just fine. Ha! But those great observations helped me to focus in on some glaring weaknesses. It made me work to be a better writer. That is, of course, an ongoing process.
As far as the best compliment goes, it has been encouraging and refreshing to have readers tell me that, regarding MURDER FOR EMILY’S SAKE, they loved the characters, appreciated the descriptions, and found the pacing to be strong. And to have other writers think I did a good job with my debut book means more to me than I can say. Seven different writers, all of whom I admire greatly (Nancy Mehl included), wrote endorsements for MURDER FOR EMILY’S SAKE. That just blesses me beyond measure.
Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
I have a story idea for a series that, while still being “mystery/suspense/thriller”, has a “speculative fiction” feel. I’m not sure what genre it would fall in to. Most likely whatever I write will have some suspense connections.
If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
First of all, I wish I would have started earlier. But if I could go back in time to the moment I decided to get serious about chasing this dream, I think I’d start with a better grasp on what to do to make writing a career.
What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?
In the words of Michael Ehret (found in the endorsement section of my book), I’d like readers to come to the end of each book with a “deep soul satisfaction that comes from experiencing a story well told.” I want readers to feel like they just finished a thrill-ride and can’t wait to get back in line and do it again. I want readers to miss the characters and places the story introduced them too. And, most importantly, I want them to have had their hope in God renewed, their commitment to truth strengthened, and their journey of faith enlightened.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
I want to tell every unpublished writer that WRITING is what makes them a writer, NOT PUBLICATION. So write. Don’t stop writing. Getting published may put your writing into the hands of more readers—which is a great goal to have—but it doesn’t suddenly make you more important or more talented. Write as much as you can as often as you can. Accept the fact that crafting words into an engaging story is hard work, but you won’t get better at it just by reading books about writing or attending conferences and groups. Those tools and opportunities are wonderful—some would say even essential—but there is no substitute for writing. Write. Write. Write. Yes, there are other valuable pieces of advice that I’ve learned from people a whole lot smarter than me, but since you asked for one, I’ll stop at one.
On a moonlit night in Wichita, Kansas, a tormented father stands by the grave of his teenage daughter, Emily, and makes a chilling vow to avenge her death. Once he gets his hands on the threewomen he holds responsible for his daughter's death, they will regret the day they met Emily outside the abortion clinic. He will expose a dark secret. He will bury them, as he buried Emily. Bury them alive. And after their caskets are in the ground, they will die ... for Emily's sake.
For your chance to win a copy of MURDER FOR EMILY'S SAKE, leave a comment, along with your contact information. U.S. only, please.
You can also visit Goodreads for another chance to win a copy of this exciting new book!