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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Author Interview: Terry Cronin

Today I am pleased to present to you all the forty-eighth in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the skintastic Terry Cronin, and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  I like to start my interviews by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Terry:  Absolutely. When I get going I do things like tell myself I won't eat dinner until I've finished 5 pages or I won't turn on the television until I've completed 10 pages. Often this leads to me writing more but it keeps me disciplined as well.
Paul:  What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Terry:  Adventure is important to me. I like historical fiction, detective/crime novels, and horror.
Some of my favorite authors are currently Gary Jennings (Aztec, The Journeyer), John D. MacDonald(Travis McGee Series), Ken Bruen (The Guards), Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), George RR Martin (Game of Thrones), and Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself).
Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Terry:  Quirky snippets of excitement with a broad sense of humor. 
Paul:  What is a typical day for you?
Terry:  I work 8:30 - 5 and write after the kids and my wife go to bed.
Paul:  Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Terry:  In the Skinvestigator, the protagonist is Dr. Harry Poe a dermatologist who finds himself using his knowledge of the skin to help the Miami police solve murder mysteries. He's my favorite. As far as supporting characters, I like Detective Frank Martin, who believes in Harry but knows him well enough to constantly bust his hump, and Erzulie Murphy, the sexy Haitian-American tattoo artist who is much more than she seems. Readers seem to like Broder, the slimy personal-injury attorney who inexplicably is Dr. Poe's best friend.
I'm actually currently writing a spin-off novel about an adventure featuring Erzulie Murphy called "The Tattooed Lady"
Paul:  In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it? 
Terry:  Well, my biggest mistake is that I didn't start sooner. You need to believe in yourself and not let insecurity or others stop you from telling your stories.
Paul:  How do you find the time to write?
Terry:  I usually write after the family goes to sleep from about 10-12.
Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Terry:  One of the many reasons I didn't become a scientologist.
Paul:  If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Terry:  I started out as self-published because I didn't have the connections to get a contract with a publisher. No agent. No management. Thankfully a friend a Barnes & Noble liked my first book enough that she recommended it to the corporate office and they recommended Atlas Books to me who now publish The Skinvestigator: Tramp Stamp.
Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Terry:  I like to think of the ending first, the title second, and then develop the story to bring about the particular climax I envisioned.
Paul:  Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Terry:  I do self-edit my work at least 6-7 times before I let friends edit it and then I send it to my editor Michael Garret.
Paul:  Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Terry:  Absolutely. Particularly on the 2nd book The Skinvestigator: Rash Guard where I entwined the murder mystery with the history of syphilis. I also included the history of Saint Camillus and the development of latex gloves in surgery. That may sound strange I know but I always want the reader to learn something while we're having fun!
Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Terry:  The Skinvestigator: Sun Burn is the final book of the Sunshine State Trilogy. I like to say the first book was a murder mystery/crime novel, the second was a crime novel/historical novel and the final one is an international thriller. Doctor Poe has been abducted by Venezuelan thugs from his past. His aim is to save his friends who are under the control of these vicious corruptocrats. His travels take him from Miami to the Keys, Haiti, and Cuba. With the help of Detective Martin, Erzulie Murphy, and the State Department, he is able to engineer a showdown that may spell the end of The Skinvesigator.
Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Terry:  I had this story lurking in my mind. I wanted to do a John D. MacDonald book with a physician as the protagonist. But when my sister's poor dog, Dude, died because it had eaten a poisoned rat, the plot clicked and I began to put the story together earnestly.
Paul:  Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Terry:  I'm a comic book writer who created a comic horror adventure series called "Students of the Unusual". I also write for "Indie Comics Magazine".
Paul:  Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Terry:  Yes I have several screenplays and short stories that probably aren't ready for prime time. I have others on my shelf that are fantastic though particularly The Religion of Vitamins and The Legend of the Skunk Ape.
Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Terry:  I do a lot of what every indie writer should be doing. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads. Book fairs and comic book conventions. Encourage book reviews. Promote to anybody who will listen, basically!
Paul:  What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Terry:  My favorite experience is meeting readers who've enjoyed my novels, of course. My least favorite is getting critical reviews thankfully the reviews for the Skinvestigator have been incredibly positive. My favorite review called the novel "Skincredible!" The most surprising thing is the level of enthusiasm I get from female readers. In my comic book experience it was mostly male readers but with the novels the women truly dominate!
Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Terry:  I am very involved in the independent filmmaking world and help organize the annual Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival and the Megacon Indie Film Expo.
Paul:  That was wonderful, Terry. I wish you every success for the future.

About Terry Cronin: Terry Cronin is the author of The Skinvestigator series and the creator of the critically acclaimed comic book series Students of the Unusual. Many of his stories have been made into short films and are available on Youtube. He has lived in many states and traveled widely. He currently lives in Florida and enjoys hearing from readers about his work.

Terry's Blog: Not Available
Terry on Twitter: @Skinvestigator
Terry on Facebook: The Skinvestigator
Terry's latest book: The Skinvestigator: Sunburn (Amazon)

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  1. Thanks so much for the kind words and promotion!

  2. Terry's books are worth a read