What can you tell us about your book?
Closer by Morning is a contemporary thriller set in Durham, North East England, which is where I live. It’s a love story and a murder mystery featuring two very hot guys; a young lawyer and an American actor. It’s a fast paced and sexy book. I’m a huge fan of film noir and erotic thrillers like Basic Instinct and Body Heat, and I’ve tried to bring a flavour of those movies to the book with a MM twist.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The hardest thing about writing any book is finishing it. It took 7 months to complete the first draft of Closer by Morning. Round about the middle of any project your initial enthusiasm can start to lag and it’s important to keep going. Whenever I’ve stumbled in the past it’s always because I started to write without a clear plan. The approach of seeing where the story takes you has never worked for me, it always leads to a dead end. So with this book, I had a well planned outline in place before I started. If you don’t make it to the end, all you’ll have to show for your effort is an unfinished novel.
Is this a standalone or a series book?
Closer by Morning is as standalone book. It was always intended to be and reaches a very definite and hopefully satisfying end. I love both standalones and series novels. Variety in everything, that’s what I’m all about. My next book will the first in a trilogy. I’ve already completed the first novel and have started writing the second. But what I will say about series books, I think each novel should work in it’s own right. I’m not keen on books that build towards a climax and instead of reaching it, they end on a massive cliff hanger, leaving everything unresolved. As a reader I find that massively frustrating. Personally I think a book should be reasonably self contained but leave something unresolved for the next novel. Chapters should end on big cliff hangers but not novels.
What books are you reading at present?
I’ve just started reading Stephen King’s IT which is a massive book. It’ll probably take me the rest of the summer to get through it’s 1350 pages. It’s epic. But as I said before, variety in all things. The book I read last was a short MM novella Enough For Him by Em Woods. I never like to read the same kind of books one after the other, but rather mix it up with romance, thrillers, horror, classics, erotica, biographies. Even when I read a series of books, I like to pick up something else in between each volume. I’ve got a massive pile of books on my to-read pile. This year is the 50th anniversary of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, the original glamorous blockbuster, so I intend to reread that right after Stephen King.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I wish I’d met the late, great Jackie Collins. More than any other author she’s had the biggest influence on me. She did a signing a few years ago at bookstore near me and I’ll always regret not taking the time off work to go and met her. Her novels are just effortlessly enjoyable and she had an incredible work ethic. As soon as she finished writing a book, she would start work on the next. Following her diagnosis with cancer, she wrote another 5 books before her death.
What advice would you give to aspiring writings?
Find the story you want to write and do it. And once you get started, see it through to the end. Your first draft might be rough and require a lot of work, but at least it’s a complete thing. You can’t polish an unfinished book.
And don’t make excuses. Don’t have the time? Find it. I don’t write full time. I wrote Closer by Morning on my evenings and days off. Do whatever it takes to get the book done. Set yourself a realistic target and deadline too. If you write 3000 words a week, which isn’t that hard, 600 words a day for 5 days a week, you will have a 78,000 word book within 6 six months. Another 4 to 6 months for revisions and within a year you’ve written a book. It’s totally achievable, you just have to do it. Don’t procrastinate, get on with it.
Title: Closer by Morning
Blurb: When Matt Blyth, a handsome young lawyer, joins an early morning boot camp, all he wants is to get in shape. His 30th birthday is approaching fast. He’s ready to throw away the past and embrace a new future. The last thing he expects is to fall in love … or become embroiled in murder.
Dale Zachary, an American actor, is stuck firmly in the closet. He spent his 20’s playing good-looking jocks in a bunch of bad horror films and romantic comedies. But that boy next door act has a limited shelf life. Dale has landed the role of his career playing a sexy psychotic killer in a major British TV series. It’s a part that could make him a star. It’s no time to fall in love but when Dale meets Matt, the attraction is impossible to resist and they both fall hard.
Someone is killing young men in the city. A killer like no other. The murders bear an uncanny resemblance to the script Dale is shooting. A devious mind is at work. As their relationship becomes more complex, Matt and Dale find the murders intruding further into their lives. The killer is closing in on his next target … it could be either one of them … or both.
Author Bio: Thom Collins lives in Durham, North East England. He enjoys writing racy, romantic thrillers and creating strong, sexy characters. He is currently working on a new romantic trilogy. He lives with his husband and two cats.
Twitter: @thomwolf @realthomcollins