Author Interview – Todd and Tim Wynn

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Todd Wynn and Tim Wynn

Author Interview / July 29th, 2015

Todd and Tim, thank you very much for taking the time to share with us your journey in writing and publishing your debut novel, Trespassers.  Why don’t we start at the beginning and ask you where you found the inspiration for this book?

TIM(Left): I don’t know. That’s always been a tough question. People always want to know where the ideas come from. The main inspiration was actually the first line of the book, “Earth hovered a hundred feet below.” That was the first thing we wrote on the blank page, and it set the tone for the rest of the novel.

I know you write screenplays too and movies are where I began my love of stories.  Could you tell us, in which genre your screenplays are written?

TODD(Right): We’re all over the place with genres. We have a romantic-comedy that follows the adventures of five couples over the course of a single night. We have a high-concept heist movie. We have an action-adventure mystery-romance that’s set on a cruise ship. We have a fantasy romantic-comedy about the true nature of love itself. And we have a family fantasy about being careful what you wish for.

What a broad range of talent there, please keep us updated on any developments there. Let’s get back to Trespassers, could you give us some insight to the main Character(s).  What makes them so special?

TIM: There’s an underlying tone that all the characters are going through the same challenges, just from different points of view. We also like the idea that one person doesn’t have to lose for another to win. And these characters are finding ways to reach outcomes that benefit everyone involved. That’s what many readers have responded to: the fact that the book isn’t about good guys battling bad guys.  It has become boring and stale to throw away a few characters in a novel just because they’re the antagonists and they’re supposed to be evil and hated and they’re supposed to lose.

There are a lot of characters at play in the book, were there specific challenges in coming up with so many or keeping them straight?

TODD: Yeah, the names. Names are always the hardest part, and they’re usually not settled until the final draft. As for keeping the characters straight, this turned out to be a large story, so many characters naturally developed. We didn’t force any of them into the novel, and when each has a natural place, it’s easier to keep them straight. Not that we didn’t get a few of them confused from time to time.

That’s good, I appreciate not forcing characters in. As a reader you can tell those kinds of things and I thought your characters flow well with each other.

“The story flowed so well and kept me engaged. . . . a hilarious novel! If you enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy or Men In Black, you would love this  book. It easily gets 5/5.”

The Bohemian Housewife – Link: Click here for the full review.

How long did it take to write the manuscript?

TIM: Working on it on and off while we were doing other things, it took about three years.

TODD: Was it that long? I would have said a year.

Was there a lot of research that went into developing this story?

TODD: You have to research the real parts, of course, not the completely made up parts.

TIM: That’s true. There’s always research about the little details. And apparently we missed a bit of research, because we had a reader in Scotland inform us that Scotch Whisky is spelled without the “e” whereas Irish Whiskey is spelled with the “e.” So, we got that wrong.

TODD: So, we upset someone in Scotland.

TIM: She actually liked the book . . . except for that.

Hmm…What’s worse? Upsetting the Irish or the Scottish?  Wait, better not answer that! Who would you recommend this book to?

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TODD: Our ratings and reviews come from all across the spectrum. We’ve had people in their seventies telling us how much they enjoyed the book, and we’ve had a mother tell us that she reads it to her daughter at bedtime.

TIM: It sounds like a cliché to say it’s for everyone, but we’re really hearing that from people. Lots of readers tell us that they don’t normally read sci-fi, but they enjoyed our book.

Actually, I think it’s a fair assessment. You haven’t targeted a specific audience so I think it will work for the adventure types. Sci-fi sure but I think anyone would enjoy reading about how these aliens work out their mission while being hunted.  Who wouldn’t?!

“TRESPASSERS is an eloquent science fiction tale, with some romance and mystery mixed in…both funny and touching, a book I can see easily translating to the big screen.”

Bibliophilic Book Blog – Link: Click here for the full review.

As co-authors, what does your writing process look like?

TODD: We don’t even know the answer to that really.

TIM: We discuss it a lot. We form ideas. Then paragraphs begin to appear; then when we have several chapters finished, we go over it and get real nitpicky about what’s working and what’s not. Then we adjust it from there, chapter after chapter until we have the whole book. At that point, we do an intense line-by-line polishing.

TODD: I guess we do know the answer. Well said. Tim writes more. I revise more.

TIM: That’s true.

TODD: As far as writing with a partner, that’s not something we would be able to do with anyone else. We have a certain sibling telepathy that makes it work.

Yeah that makes sense and I believe it manifested well in your writing. Did you fight over what to include or not to include in the story?

TIM: When we disagree about a word, a sentence, or a chapter, we write something better to replace it.

TODD: Nothing gets in the book that we don’t both approve of. If there’s an issue, it’s the job of the one who wants to keep it to convince the other.

Seems to be a system that works well. You two seem to get along pretty well. Has it been that way since childhood?

TODD: Yeah, pretty much. Our whole lives people have asked why we get along so well and if we ever fight.

TIM: We really should fight more.

TODD: I agree. We don’t even fight about that.

What character from the story do you each most identify with?

TIM: I doubt there’s a single character that we identify that closely with, but we certainly identify with the sibling relationship between Lyntic and Dexim.

TODD: They’d probably be good co-authors.

Nice! What’s the thing that makes co-authors work well as a team?

TIM: Trust. That’s the most important element. I trust that when I listen to Todd the book gets better. And I assume he feels the same way.

TODD: Absolutely, when you listen to me, the book gets better.

TIM: That was totally my fault.

We are proud to announce that TRESPASSERS by Todd Wynn and Tim Wynn is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!

5 Star review by indibrag on Barnes and Noble

Did you use any people you know as the basis for any of the characters in the story?

TODD: Not on purpose, but some traits always slip in here and there.

TIM: In other works we have, but I don’t think we have any real people in “Trespassers,” probably because we don’t know that many aliens.

If you could go back in time for the distinct purpose of giving yourselves insight into writing Trespassers, what would you tell yourselves?

TIM: Probably the biggest thing we could tell ourselves is that it’s going to work and it’s going to be well received. That would make some of the process easier.

If your book went to film (hey that’s another question, PIXAR or Film?) pick three characters and tell us what celebrities you could see playing them.

TODD: Film.

TIM: We had a reader suggest Olivia Wilde for Lyntic, and that seems to work. Chris Pratt would make a good Stewart. And maybe Mark Ruffalo would be a good Bruner.

TODD: Tom Hardy would work for Dexim.

I would certainly show up for Trespasser movie with that cast! Okay, so where can we find Trespassers?

TIM: It’s available as an e-book on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million.

TODD: And it’s on Kindle Unlimited.

What other works do you have available to your readers?

TIM: This is our debut novel. We’re still working on the next one.

TODD: We do have free short stories and poetry on our website: WynnBrothers.com.

Let’s switch gears a little and get into the publishing side of things.

I understand that you published Trespassers yourself.  In which avenue did you decide to publish? What was that experience like?

TIM: First we published across many platforms. Then we settled on Amazon exclusively, to take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited program, which allows members to read the book for free.

Did you attempt traditional publishing? What made you decide to self-publish?

TIM: I think an author should always try traditional publishing, but should only sign if the publisher puts up enough money to prove they are serious. Self-publishing allows the writer an opportunity to get the publishers’ attention.

Did you have a marketing/book promotion plan in place? What does Trespassers book promotion look like now that it’s out there?

TODD: There’s no great way to say this, so I’ll just say it. When we released “Trespassers,” we did everything wrong. We really learned the hard way. We thought that since people liked the book it would automatically fly off the shelves. But the trouble was that people didn’t know it existed. So we had to shift gears and focus on letting people know the book was available. People are so accustomed to large book releases that we ran into a lot of people who had the book marked to read and would ask us when it’s coming out. Of course, it had already been out for months. As for the book promotion now, we’re focused on getting reviews and getting the word out, which has gotten the book a lot of attention on GoodReads and Amazon. So, we’re getting a lot happier with our marketing.

TIM: Also, we’re doing a book interview at this very moment.

Well I hope I do you justice with this interview. What was the most difficult part of publishing your work?

TIM: Setting up the interior design for the book was the hardest part, choosing the fonts and spacing. I’m not trying to make that sound more difficult than it is. That was just the hardest part for us.

What was the least difficult part of publishing your work?

TIM: With the self-publishing platforms out there, it’s really simple to get a book in the market, as long as you take the time to learn the mechanics.

Did you, at any point, seek out a professional non-biased 3rd party book review? Why or why not? What was that experience like?

TODD: Yes, we did a round of sending out the manuscript to people we trusted. We tried to pick a diverse group to get as much feedback as we could from many different perspectives. We used the notes that came back to make a few adjustments, and it definitely made the novel better.

If you could go back in time for the distinct purpose of giving yourselves insight into publishing Trespassers, what would you tell yourselves?

TODD: Be patient. Market the book months before you release it.

I can see that, probably gold information for us aspiring authors.  I think there will be many authors that will read this and appreciate the publishing advice.  My hope is that we reach lots of readers for you and give them a little insight into who you guys are as writers and to encourage them to check out Trespassers and anything else you’ve written.

Thank you all for reading along, I hope you’ve enjoyed our look into the lives of authors Todd and Tim Wynn.  Please check out the links below again to their website as well as the online stores where you can find Trespassers. It is their debut novel so you’d be helping a great couple of gents continue to live a dream many of us share.

And a huge thank you to Todd and Tim for giving me their time for this interview.  I truly hope it helps you reach more readers and bring your dream a little bit closer.

‘Til next time friends.

Todd and Tim Wynn Website – www.wynnbrothers.com

Purchase ‘Trespassers’ at these online stores: (you may click the name)

BAM!     Barnes and Noble     Amazon

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