Thrilling Readers

Routine Is Important For Author

Tim Tigner loves the creativity and self-reliance of being an author.

You could say it’s what attracts him to writing.

“I decided to become a writer because there was nothing I loved more than reading a really good thriller,” the author said.

Tigner began his career in Soviet Counterintelligence with the US Army Special Forces, the Green Berets during the Cold War.

He recently released his 12th book “Boundless Ambition.” He said he spent about nine months to write and revise. “I hope to get my turnaround time down to 6 months some day. I think that’s the absolute floor for the sophisticated, non-repetitive, creative thrillers I write. I’m convinced that I could write conventional murder mysteries or detective stories in half that time, but ironically, those wouldn’t be the best use of my time,” Tigner said.

He does write in other genres, but he is most comfortable writing thrillers. “I have one novella that’s literary fiction. It’s a self-help philosophy book garbed as historical fiction, and is my favorite “me” book. I also have non-fiction (self-help) and children’s books raring to burst out of me, but have yet to make the time for them. Keeping my existing fans happy has me very busy creating new thrillers,” he said.

Tigner grew up in the Midwest, and graduated from Hanover College with a bachelor’s in philosophy and mathematics. After military service and work as a financial analyst and foreign-exchange trader, he earned an MBA in finance and an master’s in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton and Lauder schools. He said he brings 30 years of experience of adventure to his keyboard.

“That began at age 20 with the start of my Military Intelligence service in the Special Forces. It continued with international business assignments like starting up the Russian operations of a major German medical corporation, and running Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a Johnson & Johnson company. More recently, I enjoyed a decade working for high-tech startups, culminating in a couple of Silicon Valley CEO experiences. Add to that lots of adventure tourism, such as diving with sharks and trekking with gorillas (my 2019 adventures) and I find it easy to write convincing thrillers,” he added.

The author said that a writing routine is so important because writing is also a solitary, self-driven profession, so the smart move is to make routine the boss.

“I’d describe my writing routine as structured and disciplined. This manifests in two ways. On a daily basis I, go to work as soon as I get up and keep working until my brain wears out. Usually that means 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a lunch and exercise break,” he said.

On a book basis, his routine has six phases:

¯ Brainstorming-1 month

¯ Outlining-1 month

¯ First Draft-4 months

¯ Second Draft-1 month

¯ Beta Read with Revisions-1 month

¯ Editing-1 month

“During those 9 months I also do things like designing the cover and creating marketing copy. My daily word target during the first draft phase is 1,500. Phase X should be done before vacation Y,” Tigner added

Tigner said the transition of being a soldier to writing about soldiers sometimes overlapped. “Writing is much less dangerous, but considerably more scary. I’m only half joking. I was never deployed into combat, and despite serving in the Special Forces, was never scared sleepless by that job. Trying to launch a writing career, however, given that the odds of feeding the family are about 1 in 100,000, did lead to loads of sweaty nights. As an aside, I find that my imagined memories, those created while visualizing and writing the scenes my heroes experience, tend to merge with my observed memories. I don’t confuse them, but years later the recall experience is very similar.

The author said for writers attempting to get a publishing deal that counts — a deal that pays the bills — is like trying to make it into the Olympics.

“Those are the realistic odds. Treat your writing the same way you would train to qualify for an Olympic team, and you’ll have the right mindset.

Tigner’s books are available at amazon.com/author/tigner or timtigner.com.


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