Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Interview with Timothy Lyon

My guest today is Timothy Lyon, his first novel Ashes will be released on January 11th, 2016.

Connect with Timothy on: Facebook | Twitter | Webpage
and join his Facebook event for the Release Of Ashes, A Contrivance Novel

Thank you for joining me, Timothy and thanks for finding some time in your busy, pre-release schedule to take part in this interview.
Would you start by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Of course. My name is Timothy Lyon Jr. and I am pursuing my dream of becoming a published author. I was born in Northwestern PA and was raised there until my graduation in high school. I was heavily involved with music and possessed the ability to play several instruments. My talent had earned me three state qualifiers, ending 2nd in the state my senior year. I was also in jazz band, concert band and performed in Dublin and Galway with the local marching band. I also participated in Boy Scouts, receiving the rank of Eagle, was a student ambassador, and graduated with the highest GPA in my class.
After my senior year, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pa, where I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and earned my Bachelors’ Degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. I directed two short films before realizing that the industry was not for me.
I spent a year as a bike courier as I attempted to launch my first major writing epic, The 11th Hour, which would eventually burn out when self-funding failed. Soon after I started work on Ashes, A Contrivance Novel. I moved home to finish the novel and here I am. About ready to release it to the world.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
Throughout the years, probably starting around the age of fourteen, I had always enjoyed writing stories. Although, I did not do it often and I never fully realized how much I enjoyed it. The second to last quarter in college, my friend Joey expressed interest in creating a web series. By that time I had already written a few scripts for other classes so it caught my attention. I liked the idea of coming up with the story so I wrote the first episode of the series. However, I couldn’t stop afterwards. I was so infused in my imagination that I had to keep going. I kept writing one after the other until I had written a 20 episode series. Although the first episode was never produced, I saw how much I loved to write. I wanted more. I was addicted to it. I’m not sure there was ever really a place or time I really decided I wanted to be a writer, but by that point I knew writing was going to be a big part of my life.
When I was writing that web series, I had people reading it to see what they thought of the characters and etc. Watching them read and seeing their expressions excited me just as much as I enjoyed writing it. To see them get worked up and want to know more, to dive further into the story was a stunning sight. They were not just reading my story, they were falling into an experience. The outline of the book blurred away and they fell into the world I created, engulfed by their own need to be a part of it. That is half of the reason I want people to read Ashes. I want them to enjoy it, become part of this enticing world and want to talk about it with their friends and family.

Do you have a special time to write, how is your day structured?
My current job is on a rotating schedule so I do not have a set schedule for writing. I usually end up writing everyday when I have a free moment. I rest when I’m tired, I write more when I’m excited. Some days I spend almost ten hours working on whatever it is I have in front of me. On others I can only get a few minutes, whether it be a new idea or what not. As a writer, it is important to write and read almost every day. I tend to write better early in the morning or late at night.

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
Hmmm, I think my biggest struggle would have to be my mental endurance. I am very firm on not capping my imagination, thus it allows me to flourish when it comes to writing, outlining, brainstorming etc. I can easily spend a day writing. However, mental exhaustion can cause me to lose steam and slow down. I write so often and don’t want to stop and it is hard fighting that drive when your body needs to rest.
I do two things in order to overcome this problem. The first is I change it up. If I am outlining all day, I can easily burn my mental energy. What I tend to do is switch over to brainstorming, or writing out a chapter to get my brain activated in a different direction. It allows me to get just that much more done before I completely need to stop and rest.
The other thing I do is straight up take a break. Being a writer can be a hard experience. The long hours are brutal. The size of the project is daunting when you look at it inside and out. The time it takes to get one piece of work out there is insane. Everyone needs to chill. Go out with some friends. Take a day or two off and spend it with the family. Go lay in the grass outside and sit in nature. We are Human and we need to never forget that. Resting is just as important as writing itself in this industry.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Ashes, A Contrivance Novel. After I wrote the 11th Hour, I wanted to step away from the sci-fi and focus more on something else. I wanted something rich in culture, something that would capture the audience visually in setting and something that could be a thriller. I loved the idea of the four elements and I wanted to infuse them into a genre that they were not normally put into.So I got to thinking, what if inventors learned to not just harness technology, but the earthly elements themselves? Well the Industrial Revolution was a rich time so I started digging into the history books and found the Chicago’s World Fair.I eventually read “Devil In the White City” and was in awe of the time period and worldly changes. I knew it had been done to death, but adding a mythical feel with the four elements for visual appeal and bring a thriller setting to an inventor looking to start a new age... something just clicked and this book was born. It may have moved away from the original idea, but what was born from it is something no one, I believe, has ever experienced.

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into you characters?
One of my biggest challenges in life is dealing with my own internal struggles. These struggles are what craft people along the way and I feel are the biggest influence on our decisions externally. Depending on the age, place in life, along with their temperament and situation, they could do something stupid late in the evening after a day of sulking when they would otherwise take a more calming approach if they had a good night’s rest before making a major decision.
Seeing my characters struggle within themselves as the world continues to move forward around them, pushes and pulls them into a story that could never be repeated.

Who designed your book cover/s?
I had an illustrator by the name of Johnny Morrow create the front cover. I in turn finished it with text and final coloring for the books scheme. He created an amazing foundation for what the cover has turned into and I couldn’t be happier with it. Old but fresh, I feel it captures the eye differently than what most books do today. Giving them something special to look at.

What made you decide to self-publish?
I was actually writing the book before I even thought about publishing it. I eventually thought about it and saw the long, tedious, money costing process that traditional publishing brings. One day I saw something on self publishing and I loved it, the idea and process behind it. I controlled everything and was able to handle every move. I of course had much help along the way, but going through every step on my own, learning so much at every corner, is something I am very thankful for. It is much more cost efficient I believe in the beginning and if I market this correctly, I could make more as a self publisher than at a traditional publishing house.

For those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?
Isn’t that just a loaded question. For those of you who like thrillers and mysteries, you will want to read this book. For those who like period pieces, historical fiction, you will like this piece. For those who like steam punk and science fiction, you will like this piece.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many genres this book crosses. From drama, to thriller, to adventure, to action, it has a little of all. Just like life itself.
Expect the unexpected. Expect to be pulled from page to page, wanting to know what happens next. It engages the reader into the world of Aleksandar Scott, an upcoming inventor who is looking to do good in the world. After creating his invention, The Red Breath, he learns the hard way the dangers of bringing forth a new era. After his invention falls into the hands of a deranged serial killer, Aleksandar is put against the clock as everything around him turns against him, leaving only himself to clear his name and regain his passion of being the next greatest inventor.
If you are looking for drama, action, thrills, physiological twists and turns, hope and inspiration, this is the book for you.

Can you tell us a anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
I have already dove into the next novel of the Contrivance Series, Lunartide. I have created the overall story arc and am filling in the blanks right now. Trying to top the predecessor is never an easy thing, but I think I have found the right components to ramp up the intensity and bring forth a sequel that won’t disappoint.
However, waiting another year seems like something I would hate for my fans to do, so I am revamping my old web series, which is under the working title of Disclosure, named for my old college buddy. It is a 1960’s Irish Mafia piece that takes place in Galway, Ireland. I don’t want to reveal too much, but it is heavily influenced by The Troubles, where a lot of political, religious, and violent reform was taking place. I will release it in short stories, hopefully every few months, allowing my readers something to look forward too while Lunartide is in the works.

Your book is being made into a movie, which star would you cast as the lead character?
I would have to cast Jake Gyllenhaal. He is a very talented actor who I could see representing Aleksandar Scott perfectly. Aleksandar goes through a huge transformation over the Contrivance Series (yes I have planned out all the books) and Jake has shown his range of acting skills over his career. He would be able to bring a performance most will never forget.

How do you spend your free time?
Hah, I would have to consider my free time anytime I am not writing. I tend to spend time with my family and relax, trying to enjoy the little things. I am very interested in helping others, so I would believe myself to be a humanitarian. I’m always trying to find ways of bringing people together and helping them realize what we are capable of. I feel everyone is able of reaching their potential if they put their mind to it.
I enjoy biking, watching tv shows and movies mainly, but I always surprise myself when I end up doing something random.

What is your favourite book and why?
I have many books, but one that tends to stick out is Skin by Ted Dekker. I always seem to go back to it and recommend it to other people. His style is very impressive to me and I am always turning the page to see what is to come. His balance between dialogue, exposition, pacing, drama, etc... it just all comes together. Skin is an incredible read and ends in a way that I hate to love.

If you could go out to lunch with any literary character, which would it be?

I would love to eat with Sir Author Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes series is a great influence on Ashes in terms of time period and culture. Something about Sherlock just draws me in and I would love to see how he comes up with the pace of his novels, along with the knowledge he brings to both of the main characters. Just outstanding.

And just before you go lets have a few quick fire questions…

Favourite colour?

Favourite season?

Favourite food?
Is tea food?

Favourite animal?
Hmmm...let’s go with Owls... maybe penguins... but wolves are cool too.

Favourite film?
That changes everyday haha. My, what movies I don’t like might be shorter than my favorites. But let’s go with Mad Max Fury Road today.

Thanks again for being here today, Timothy. I wish you every success with the release of  Ashes.


  1. Fantastic interview! It's always great to get to know the author more and realize the background to the story written!