How are we feeling today? The days seem to be staying brighter longer, so that's got to be a good thing, right? Right! Today on the blog, we're chating with Pete Prown, author of Thimble Down. Let's get to know him and his book.
Welcome to We Do Write, Pete! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a journalist and editor for over 25 years, specializing in guitars and horticulture, as well as other subjects. I’ve also written some non-fiction books on the guitar.
How long have you been writing?
Since 1985, when I started writing Legends of Rock Guitar—a non-fiction reference book published a dozen years later.
Interesting! Tell us about THIMBLE DOWN. What’s the story about?
Essentially, it’s a mystery set in the Halfling village of Thimble Down and answers the question: “What if Agatha Christie wrote The Hobbit?” One of the no-good Halflings comes across a rare gem and parades it around town … until it gets stolen. It’s up to the bookmaster, Mr. Dorro, and his friends to find it before murder comes to the village.
Well, that's different. How did the idea of the story come to you?
I like English mysteries and vintage fantasy. I merely combined them into something new, and it’s working out quite well. I just started the fourth book in the series today.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I self-edit, but I’m pretty ruthless about it. If something isn’t good enough, it gets cut.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. I write based an outline, but that document can—and should—evolve as I write. Once I have a few chapters for an outline started, I’ll start writing the manuscript. After that, the outline and book grow at the same time. The more spontaneous I am, the better the story. I strongly believe that a story should end up in a far different place than you intended it to.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Actually, writing is easy. Once I get going each day, it picks up speed all its own and the chapters spill out. Now, picking a good title is hard and, of course, selling and marketing the hardest of all.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
All I need is my laptop. I can write anywhere—indoors, outdoors, on trains, in libraries. But I do like to have a Diet Snapple handy.
What are you reading right now?
I’m re-reading The Wind in the Willows—perhaps my favorite book ever. And I recently finished Enigma by Robert Harris.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Invisibility, of course. It’s a no-brainer.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
I google constantly, as I’m always following up on trivia, facts and history. Was recently looking up information about the Magna Carta and frontiersman Kit Carson.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: thimble, gravitate, and lethargic.
“Even when I’m lethargic, I gravitate towards reading Thimble Down.”
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
… on Facebook. I run a popular guitar page called “Legends of Rock Guitar.”
Cool. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
My wife, kids, and friends—the people who keep me sane.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?