My Writing and Me by guest author Tim Chant
Today, I am delighted that my friend and fellow author, Tim Chant, has made time to visit the blog and discuss his writing. It is an interesting journey. Thank you for taking time to stop by today, Tim. Now, over to you.
Starting a blog entry, it turns out, can be harder than starting a new novel! Normally, getting started isn’t a problem for me – the problem comes with having so many ideas rattling around and started but not having time to finish them.
I’ve got a few finished pieces under my belt, under the name T Q Chant. Science fiction is my usual genre, both for reading and writing, and I’ve self-published four novellas (the Sam Cane Trilogy and the first book of the ‘Cane’s Laws’ series that follows on). I went straight to self-publishing with these. I’ve been writing for a while, and really wanted to get something out there to see what would happen. Self-publishing has been an interesting experience – it’s a lot harder work than I first thought, between getting the formatting right and sorting out the cover, not to mention the marketing. I’ve found it rewarding, though – particularly when I get the occasional review.
The next step has been getting a contract with Unbound, a sort of hybrid between crowdfunding and traditional publishing – I’m working on achieving the funding target for the book to be published. I’m very excited about this project. ‘The Frost Fair’ is a sort-of-steampunk novel set in an alternate timeline (https://unbound.com/books/the-frost-fair/) in which technology has evolved to the point where skyships are plying the skies over a world dominated by the Habsburg Empire in the 18th century. I’ve always liked steampunk (I have a think for airships) but feel that it can sometimes focus too much on the upper echelons of a society. I’ve gone the other way with this – it’s dark and gritty, filled with complex characters, and focuses on the clash of superstition and science.
One of my favourite things about reading, writing and roleplaying is the world building that goes into any setting – not just to make the story work, but as an exercise in its own right. I quite often find it slightly disappointing when I come across some little nugget in the backstory of something I’m reading or a game I’m playing in, but it’s set dressing and doesn’t get expanded on or used further. Similarly, I’ve always been interested in how events in a story will affect the world that comes after. Possibly because of my interest in history, I want to know how a fictional world came to be and what happens after the ‘happily ever after’. That’s why all of my science fiction is set in the same universe, quite often just at different points in the timeline. ‘The Frost Fair’ is also part of this timeline, and I’m looking forward to developing the events from my alternate 18th Century further and seeing how they’ll influence the societies and worlds of the future I’ve imagined.
I’m also working on some straight historical fiction (as T J Chant – it’s good to have spare initials!) – that’s a whole other ballgame and a discussion for another time…
About T Q Chant
Tim Chant grew up (mostly), went to school in East Anglia and university in Scotland. He took his History degree and did the only thing he could with it – joined the civil service. When not shackled to his desk he writes science fiction, alternative historical fiction, historical fiction and any other fiction that takes his fancy. When not doing that, he’s an inveterate roleplayer and wargamer (and getting back into historical fencing). He lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their two rabbits.
Follow me on Twitter for the occasional update, ramblings about my other interests and publication news: https://twitter.com/ReaverRedemptor
I also have a Patreon page, where I share samples of works in progress and am publishing The Contact War, set a couple of centuries before Sam Cane’s adventures, in serial form: https://www.patreon.com/tqchant