Today’s guest is a return visitor. Tom Mach was first here on Nov 29 where he talked about his mystery novel An Innocent Murdered.
Today he’s here to talk about short stories. His collection called Stories to Enjoy is now available. There’s a giveaway during this virtual book tour. Details are at the end of the interview.
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Tom.
What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
I like writing short stories because it forces me to focus on particular event or problem in the story. I don’t have to be involved with a larger number of characters and an equally large number of subplots as I would in a novel. It’s also easier to come up with different ideas for short stories, as is evident in the wide array of genres I have in Stories to Enjoy.
Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories—perhaps some of your favorites?
In “The Stamp Prisoner,” a psychic named Laura discovers she has the power of telekinesis, where she can make objects move with the power of her mind. When she finds she can erase rare postmarked stamps and change them into mint condition she gets in trouble with the law—but is able to hide in a stamp. Find out what happens next in that story. You’ll be shocked.
In “The Crossword Puzzle Murders,” Detective Pulaski is baffled by a series of murders and a strange clue the murderer leaves behind—a copy of a newspaper on the body of each victim. But when she finally discovers who the murderer is, will it be too late?
What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
Actually, I LOVE historical fiction, having written three novels—Sissy!, All Parts Together, and Angels at Sunset. In my collection of short stories I have two historical pieces. One is called “When Kansas Women Were Not Free” and “The Plot to Kill Lincoln (Again)”. I guess I like writing historical fiction because I enjoy digging out facts from our past and combining historical figures with my fictional characters to weave a fascinating story.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, I am introducing my latest historical novel, Angels at Sunset in 2012. I don’t want to give away the plot here, but I had a famous person write the foreword to it. If readers will contact me privately, I would be happy to tell them more about this novel which I am sure will become a best-seller.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always enjoyed the printed word. When I was about eight years old, I received a toy rotary printing press where I had to insert each letter into a metal slot and then glue down pictures that would go with it. I ended up producing a neighborhood newspaper with that press. At age 17, I wrote a complete novel called The Boss’s Son. But it wasn’t until I got into my 30s that I took writing more seriously and published an article a week for a newspaper chain while I worked at a full time job. It was a gradual process for me in realizing that I wanted to be a writer full-time, if I wanted to risk financial uncertainty in doing so.
How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Writer’s Market is a great tool that lists different markets for various types of writing—whether articles, books, or short stories. I highly recommend it. I also would tell writers not to give up. Even famous authors had received hundreds of rejections in the past. But do a lot of reading of successful authors and dissect their work, see what makes it “tick.” Go to a few conferences, mingle with other writers—but by all means, sit down and write. Don’t THINK about being a writer, just write and BE one!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I know you are supposed to write without immediately worrying about mistakes or a better way of saying it, but sometimes I ignore that rule. After I go through a paragraph, I may reread it and come up with a better, stronger way of saying it. Or sometimes, I’ll be in the middle of another chapter that reminds me of something I wrote earlier and I’ll go back and rewrite it. It slows down the writing process.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I’ve always had a love of the printed word. I also loved cartooning and would try to imitate a given cartoon in a comic book. But later I realized I had no talent for drawing. I never thought of myself as a writer until I became a junior in high school—all because of an English teacher who inspired me.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. If any of you are interested in learning more about my upcoming historical novel called Angels at Sunset, please hit the “Contact Me” button on my website and I will be happy to reply.
Readers, Tom is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter at the end of his virutal book tour. I encourage you to comment here and at some of his other stops. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win.
Tom, thanks for coming back to Reviews and Interviews. Happy writing!