Interview with Author Tim Loge and Giveaway!

Freebooter's Paradise by Tim Loge

Freebooter’s Paradise by Tim Loge

I’m celebrating self-publishing this week and had the pleasure of interviewing author Tim Loge about his book Freebooter’s Paradise.   You can read my review of his book on goodreads, but for now, just imagine a pirate ship coming to town on dust devils!  I first became acquainted with Tim when I interviewed author/illustrator Denise Fleming.  He shared photos of her story park on behalf of the Sanger Branch Library in Toledo, OH where he is a children’s librarian.  I was excited to meet a fellow librarian, especially one who is also a middle grade fantasy writer like me!  Enjoy his interview.  Watch out for pirates 😉     

How long have you been writing?

Back when I was in 3rd Grade, our local newspaper, The Toledo Blade, held a coloring contest. The winners received free tickets to see a marionette show. As luck would have it, I won; I remember my Mom and I thoroughly enjoying the show. Well, for months afterward I had written and performed marionette shows for all of the neighborhood kids. We set up benches in my garage and from the attic a couple of us dangled down homemade marionettes onto a makeshift stage. Of course I needed help, so everyone in the audience usually participated in some way or another, maybe as an usher or a second act puppeteer. Boy, did we have a lot of fun! Back then we thought our shows were spectacular, but I remember the marionettes weren’t. They were a stringy mess of painted cardboard. Honestly though, I think that was when I was bitten by the story bug. As for writing proper stories, that had to wait ‘til I started working on my Agricultural Degree at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. How I found time to study and write I don’t know because I was in class 38 hours every week. That meant I had to spend at least that much time doing homework. Writing stories was a joy while earning my Creative Writing degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

What made you want to become a children’s author?

J. K. Rowling. Her Harry Potter stories have engaged children and adults in a way that makes them want to read more. How many kids read today because of Rowling? The Harry Potter novels are:

  • Fun
  • Adventurous
  • Scary
  • Relaxing

Her characters are friends you miss after you finish reading the series. It almost feels like you have lost some close friends. Now, that’s magic I wish to create!

You self-published your book.  Why did you decide to take this route and would you ever consider traditional publishing?

Unless you’re a celebrity or a darling to someone in the publishing industry, you will never be a shoe-in to get published. In fact, finding someone to seriously look at your work can be very hard. Most of the time it’s college students surfing the slush piles of manuscripts that publishers receive. College students? Yep. So, does that mean anything original and unfamiliar will probably be ignored? Maybe. I’ve heard, and have grown to believe, that attending a writing conference is a good way to get proper exposure for you and your story, and I plan on attending more of those myself. I self-published Freebooter’s Paradise as an eBook first. eBooks are exciting creatures right now. I uploaded my novel to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple, and Smashwords on September 5th, which just happens to be Jessie James’ birthday. How cool is that: being that Jessie James was sort of a pirate in his day? The problem with eBooks for me was that kids knew what eReaders were, but a lot of them didn’t have access to them. So, it looked like I needed to print my novel to get my story out. The way I went about printing it was by creating a project on the crowd sourcing company called Kickstarter. The project is still on their website. Go check it out.

Self-publishing is very trendy these days.  Can you tell us a little bit about the process?  Did you hire your own editor?  Find your own cover artist?  Handle the layout and design?

Ah yes, I had to do everything. I hired an editor, and then another and another. I commissioned an artist, contracted a printer, and secured an ISBN number. I contacted schools and book stores for visits. Would I do it all again? Yes, it was a blast! Do traditionally published authors understand exactly what has happened for their stories to become books? I bet most do, but not many have done it all by themselves. My plan, after getting picked up by a major publisher, is to become the best team player/author a publisher has EVER come across. I KNOW what has to be done to create a book, and I will so much appreciate their help! I also know I still have much more to learn about the whole industry; I have so much more to give. Catch me if you can…

In what ways have you promoted your book?

Like I mentioned earlier, I visit stores and schools. Both are fun adventures, but the school visits are the most fun. I usually sell more books there too. I also meet really awesome librarians and reviewers like you, Angie.  I’m so happy you enjoyed Freebooter’s Paradise!

Now let’s talk about the story itself.  How did you come up with the idea?  Were you always interested in pirates?  Did you do a lot of research on the topic?

Yes, I love pirates! But, let’s start here: I’m also a big fan of Rick Riordan’s novel The Lightning Thief. I loved the fact that reluctant readers enjoyed its quick pace and ton of adventures. So, I decided to write a story in that same style. When I started Freebooter’s Paradise there were only a couple of middle grade novels which took place in the Superstition Mountains or The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Nothing modern anyway, and no one had considered flying pirates to Arizona, let alone Captain Blackbeard, who has been dead for centuries! Yes, I did research, but after all, it’s a made-up story. I stayed true to what I needed to, and then, I did what authors do best—I made up the rest. Haha!

Some people say my family is related to Captain Kidd 😉  Who is your favorite pirate and why?

I’m thrilled you’re related to Captain Kidd! Apparently his blood line has grown large over the years. You all should hold a family reunion. I bet you would get TV news coverage, if not the History Channel. Personally, I have great sympathy for Captain Kidd. He was an excellent Privateer, a private citizen who hunted ships of the enemy (like you know), but through political maneuvers and King’s favors he ended up an enemy of the King. Ugh. Look for Captain Kidd as a villain in my book two of Dangerous Tandem Adventures. He might finally get what’s his, after being Blackbeard’s lackey in their magical new lives. Where Kidd’s real life story is interesting, Captain Blackbeard is my favorite pirate for a lot of reasons. First, I couldn’t imagine lighting a fuse in my hair just to look menacing. That’s not because I don’t have much hair, ahem, but just because. I mean: Who puts fire near their face? Let alone in their beard/hair? Secondly, according to most pirate historians, Edward Teach (or Thatch) 1680 – 22 November 1718 was the most famous Pirate King of the Caribbean, and only for two years 1716-1718. I use the term ‘Pirate King,’ but he wasn’t called that then. After all these years, he’s remembered to be the fiercest of pirates. Shipping Captains would just give up when they found out Blackbeard’s ship was chasing them. Have you seen Captain Blackbeard’s flag? Talk about creepy. Not only is it a skeleton stabbing a heart ‘til it bleeds, it’s the skeleton of a devil! And it’s holding a time piece in its other hand, sort of saying, “Your time’s up, Matey!”

You chose an interesting setting for your pirates—the desert.  What made you choose Arizona as the location for this story?

I chose that setting because I love Arizona, and at the time there weren’t a lot of middle grade stories set there. I wouldn’t say so now, lots of stories now, but in any case, the American Southwest is an amazing place. Everyone, please go visit it someday; you’ll see. Also, I enjoyed the idea of pirates finding a gold mine. Would they mine it? Or would it be too hard for them? After all, they’re pirates. They enjoy stealing! LOL

I read on your blog that you hiked in Northern Spain.  Tell us about that experience.

I’ve hiked The Way of Saint James three times now. That’s an ancient Christian pilgrimage. One can actually start anywhere in Europe and walk their way to The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Usually most folks start in Southern France and hike across the Pyrenees, through Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon all the way to the Cathedral where the bones of Saint James the Greater are buried. If you do that, you’ll have hiked 500 miles. I never thought I could do such a thing, but what strength I’ve gained from it for my body, mind, and heart. And really, isn’t everything in life about the heart? I made friends from all over the world. Would I do it a fourth time? You bet!

You’re also a librarian.  How has that helped or influenced your writing?

I’m a Children’s Librarian, so I probably read too much middle grade fiction! They’re at least fun stories, and most of the time enlightening, unlike other genres. Maybe I have a leg up in writing because middle graders tell me what they like or don’t like about stories. They share titles they enjoy with me all of the time. From that, I try to build good, fun stories. It’s a challenge, but it has been a fun adventure for me.

What’s up next?  What are you working on now?  A sequel perhaps?

Yes, definitely! I’m working now on book two of the Dangerous Tandem Adventures. I’m also working on a teen and an adult novel. I have lots in the works actually. I’d be thrilled to have you, Angie, be an advance reader for book two! What do you think? Thank you again, for taking a chance on reading Freebooter’s Paradise. Cheers!

***To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of this book!  For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post either about the interview or the blog or both.  Also include your name and email so I can contact you, if you win 🙂  You must reside in the U.S. to be eligible.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danielle Hammelef
    May 20, 2014 @ 16:20:34

    Wow! So much work to self-publish, but you did it the right way. I hope to win a copy of your book and let others know about it. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    Reply

  2. Dana Scott
    Jun 07, 2014 @ 01:36:08

    Been there from the beginning, Tim! You are such an awesome teacher,writer & friend. You know you have my support from Arizona. What a great interview.

    Reply

  3. Sue Dessner
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 15:39:39

    Great interview – thanks for asking such great questions – learned a lot about Tim and his journeys! Looking forward to his next book!!

    Reply

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