1) What made you decide to become a writer?—Question by reader Jill Bryant.
A: Who decided? It just came, as naturally as breathing. Even as a kid, I wrote.
2) Besides being a bestselling author, what other goals/dreams do you have? Aka: what do you wanna be when you grow up?—Question by author Shirelle Higgins
A: That one’s not enough? Oh, drat. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Beyond that, I try to stay politically active, as a volunteer. I’d like to use my writing to promote causes I care about.
3) When you write a story that does really well is there ever pressure to make the next one just as successful or do you just go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may? How do you handle the ups and downs of the business?—Question by reader A.W. Brad
A: Since I’ve never written a story that’s done that well, I can’t answer that. In terms of sales, it’s been pretty much down. I’ve enjoyed working with other authors and some fine editors/publishers. I’ll keep working on self-improvement and promotion.
4) What’s the one story line you haven't tackled but you'd actually PAY to be able to write?—Question by author Dréa Riley
A: I have an idea in mind to write a spy thriller with an underlying ecological theme. The premise is that elements of the U.S. military and intelligence services conspire to disable the fossil fuel industry and replace it with renewable energy grids in order to counteract global warming’s growing threat to national security. Of course, that’s a huge and complicated subject, in terms of science, politics and finances. A very daunting research project.
5) Do you research stories? If so, what's the furthest you'd ever go to get the story?—Question by author Eden Royce
A: Yes, I research stories whenever necessary. I use the Internet, of course. Or, I might base a story premise on magazine articles. I’ve bought educational literature to research a story. How far would I go? I'll devote a lot of time, but I won't go over budget.
6) When you write a character how much of you or people you know are that imitated in that character?—Question by reader Cherryce Williams
A: Occasionally, I guess more than I realize or care to admit. (Now and again, on purpose.) My characters are primarily defined by what happens to them (or, has happened to them) and the struggles they face. They’re essentially functionaries, not caricatures.
7) What hurts worse; a bad fan review, peer review, or critic's review?—Question by reader Cece Dreams
A: That depends on the source of their disapproval. If they just don’t like the subject matter, I don’t care. To each their own. If they say the plot is weak or the story badly written, that hurts, especially from writers I respect and admire. I just try to use what they’ve said and learn from it.
8) Which comes first for you; the character(s), or the story idea?—Question by author Thomas Olbert
A: The story idea.
9) Is your writing life imitating art or art imitating life? –Question by author Dréa Riley
A: Mainly, it’s either speculation on the nature or potential of life, or a primal scream against something that bugs me.
10) What’s next for you as an author?—Question by author Nikki Winter
A: I’m currently working on two stories, both Sci-fi (a weird contemporary spy drama, and a futuristic space opera.) I’ve also submitted a short horror story for the “Mocha Bites” event.
And there you have it my friends. Thomas didn't choose the write-life, the write-life chose him. Oh that was just bad. Sorry...lack of sleep makes me loopy. Now regardless of all that you can find more of Thomas here at his blog http://tomolbert.blogspot.com/ and one of his most recent works at MMP here http://mochamemoirspress.com/long-haul/. Now if you all excuse me, I'm going to grab my stuffed monkey and call it a week! Over and out.