Guess what, everyone? It’s launch day! T.H. Morris is releasing his new novel, Item and Time, and we’re so pleased that he agreed to give us an interview. If you’re looking for a new novel (and you should always be looking for a new novel), check it out!
We’re so glad to have you here. Tell us a little about Item and Time.
Item and Time is the sequel to The 11th Percent. After the events of that novel, Jonah Rowe’s life is going pretty well. It seems like the puzzle pieces are falling into place. Then a mysterious woman enters his life and warns him of an imminent threat that involves “time.” She warns that the danger will serve to intertwine both of their fates.
That sounds so exciting! Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I think over this question, I have to say that the answer is yes. I’ve always been fascinated with books and the stories they held. The taller and more fantastical the stories, the better. I even wrote 5-10 page “books” as a kid. But as I got older, I allowed the “well-meaning” folks to get in my head when they insisted that things such as writing were dead-end and provided no security. Some people even said “Who would read something YOU wrote?” But in 2011, I eschewed all the free advice and followed what was in me.
And we’re so glad you did! What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?
The sheer creation of it. When you stretch your mind, and have your thoughts come together in such a way that you turn intuitions into stories, inspirations into volumes, and ideas into intricate quotes…it just doesn’t get any better than that.
What was the hardest part of writing Item and Time?
I don’t know if this is an issue for other writers, but since I know that my series will eventually be seven books, and I know what goes where (for the most part), the biggest challenge was making sure the events of this book remained in the context of Item and Time. What I mean by that is that I didn’t want to try too hard to make references to future books in the series. Of course, it’ll occur occasionally, but I didn’t want it to become the norm.
What snack keeps you going on those late night writing sessions?
Cereal used to be my favorite nighttime junk food, but now that I’m trying to make better dietary choices, I would say mixed fruit in cherry gelatin for the win!
Yum! Which writers have most influenced you?
Beverly Cleary, Lynn Reid Banks, R.L. Stine, J.K. Rowling, Sharon Shinn, Patti Roberts, Nat Russo, Alan J. Garner, Dzintra Sullivan, Meg Cabot…the list goes on and on.
What led you to indie publishing?
When I wrote The 11th Percent, I queried a great number of agents and publishers. All of them shot it down. And the recurring theme that I kept seeing was that it “wasn’t a good fit.” It didn’t “fit” anywhere. It was quite demoralizing. I mean, to see so many agents and publishers label my novel as “too leftfield to properly market,” and then see “leftfield” books represented by these same people. Then I stumbled across something that an indie author wrote. She said, “When your art is judged based on marketability and not artistic merit, you should reconsider the vehicle in which you are trying to showcase your work.” That was all I needed to hear. I’ve been on the indies ever since.
What advice would you give to aspiring novelists?
Always remember why you love writing. Know it, keep it in your heart, and hold it close. Sometimes that will be the only thing that keeps you sane when people discourage you by warning about how “tough” the business is. It will keep you strong when your work gets rejected and insulted by people who didn’t have your vision and don’t understand how you tick. It will reassure you when you come across people who aren’t fond of your work (and that’s an inevitability. You’re not going to please everyone). Never lose the excitement that you have for creating. And most importantly, write. Write all the time. And when you’ve written as much as you possibly can, write some more!
Thanks so much! Check out The 11th Percent and Item and Time on Amazon–want to know a secret that’s too good to keep? For a limited time, The 11th Percent is available as an ebook for only 99 cents! And don’t forget to follow T.H. Morris on social media! He can be found at: