In the Spotlight is a new feature here at Second Run Reviews. I’ve invited authors, publishers and editors to take part in interviews, guest posts, giveaways and anything else that they can dream up that is appropriate for a blog.
In the Spotlight Erik Therme
Today Erik Therme is In the Spotlight at Second Run Reviews. The author of Mortom, set in a fictional small town in Iowa has an expected publication date of late April 2015. In fact, Erik just shared on Facebook recently that he received copies of the book. And for added excitement, his publisher is sponsoring a giveaway of 20 copies on GoodReads.
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Erik! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
When I’m not watching movies or reading, I’m a semi-compulsive organizer who spends way too much time creating lists and spreadsheets.
As a project manager, I can appreciate your love of lists and spreadsheets.
Mortom is your first book and it will be released soon. What inspired you to set a pen to paper and write a mystery novel about family secrets?
Mortom is loosely based on the town of Farmington, Iowa, where my father grew up. I’ve always been intrigued by small towns. It has to be incredibly difficult to hide anything within a tiny population, but at the same time, small towns seem to hold the most secrets. It’s a fascinating dynamic.
I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota. Small towns definitely have their own dynamic and it’s amazing how gossip spreads and how secrets can be kept in seemingly tight-knit communities.
I saw on FB that Mortom received a pretty interesting review recently. With Mortom being your first novel, what has surprised you most about the reviews?
I continue to be amazed at how many readers comment on the antagonism between (siblings) Andy and Kate. Some love the dynamic, while others are confounded by it. Everyone seems to have an opinion, which means I’ve done my job as a writer. If the characters weren’t believable, no one would care.
When I started Second Run Reviews, many of my fans were surprised by the number of literary events I had access to. What’s the best thing about living in Iowa City, a City of Literature?
The community (as a whole) is hugely supportive of authors, and there’s a seemingly never-ending supply of author fairs, readings, and book clubs. I also continue to be amazed at how friendly local authors are. I have yet to meet someone who wasn’t willing to provide guidance or advice when asked.
As I’ve gotten more involved in the local author community, I’ve been amazed at how friendly they are as well to a reviewer like myself. I’ve received some friendly ribbing about my critical reviews. It’s all in good fun though!
I see that you are currently reading Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places. What type(s) of books do you enjoy reading most and what three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I’m definitely drawn to darker material and prefer my protagonists to waver between ‘good and evil.’ I’m also a big fan of ambiguous endings, especially when they keep me thinking about the story long after the last page has been read.
If I had to narrow book recommendations to three: The Reapers are the Angels (Alden Bell); A Simple Plan (Scott Smith); Winter’s Bone (Daniel Woodrell). I wish I could write half as well as these gentlemen.
It can be quite intimidating as a reader and writer when you encounter genius. It took reading all three of Flynn’s book to understand how masterful Gone Girl is and to come to grips with what made me so angry about it!
What’s your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you want to share?
My current obsession is playing ‘Dead Island’ on my Playstation3 (online) with my buddy in Seattle. I try to stay away from video games as they often cut into my writing time, but when I find one I like, it’s all I want to do. Dead Island fits that bill. I suppose this should also be a secret obsession, as the majority of men in their forties probably don’t still play video games. Hmmm . . .
Being I am married to someone over forty who is a gamer, I don’t find your obsession all that odd. Don’t be embarrassed about it. Embrace it!
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
Never give up on your dream. It took me ten years find a literary agent, and then another ten years before I was published. Timing, luck, and circumstance will always play a huge factor, and all you can do is believe in yourself and do the best work you can.
Excellent advice and I hope everyone takes it to heart!
Thank you again for dropping by Second Run Reviews today, Erik. I wish you luck on the upcoming release of Mortom. I hope you’ll stop by Second Run Reviews again and give us an update on your next release.