Author Spotlight: ‘Merchant of Alyss’ by Thomas Locke

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Congratulations to the winner of the Author Spotlight giveaway of Where She Belongs, RANDY TRAMP. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Welcome Davis Bunn (aka Thomas Locke), author of Merchant of Alyss, to Author Spotlight! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy of his latest release.

Bunn_DavisIntroduce us to you as an author: When did you get bit with the writing bug? How would you describe your writing style?

I came to faith at age 28, and started writing two weeks later. Up to that point, I had never written anything longer than a business report. Within days, perhaps even at the moment I first sat down and wrote a story, I knew this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was, without question, a gift.

How can readers connect with you online?

www.DavisBunn.com
www.TLocke.com

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

For quite some time now, I have been writing four novels and one screenplay under contract each year. This is how the Thomas Locke pen-name came into being. I’ll have more to say about that below, if your readers are interested.

After you started writing seriously, how long was it before you were published?

I wrote for nine years and finished seven books before my first was accepted for publication. During that time, I worked as a business consultant based in Germany. I travelled to three and sometimes four different cities each week.

In my twenty-plus years as a published writer, I have yet to meet a successful author who has not been faced with some such ‘impossible’. Meeting this challenge has had enormous benefits for me personally, both in terms of my writing life and my spiritual walk. Accepting the fact that I was going to have to make some major changes in my life in order to keep writing, and have the creative energy to actually develop this craft, resulted in my walking away from any number of bad habits – collected over the years of living outside of faith’s reach.

Nowadays I feel this current level of output is not especially hard or taxing. It simply is. I feel so intensely fortunate to continue growing and extending myself in so many different directions. And from where I now stand, all this started with facing the impossible challenge when I first started writing.

Merchant of Alyss-Book CoverAside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

Again, many of the elements that help me enter the creative mode were developed while facing that impossible period of working full time, traveling full time, and wanting to do nothing but write. I call these elements my ‘triggers’. These are mostly things that I can do anywhere, carry with me wherever I go, and use them in any number of circumstances so that I can swiftly and completely turn away from the outside world and return to the arena of my current story.

What I do, and how they impact me, are very personal. I will give you one example. Music is an extremely important part of my life. When I begin a new story, I will often select a certain style, or artist, that I listen to while beginning the day’s output. The only time I listen to this music is while I am writing.

This is not unique to me. Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, has been listening to the same artist for his entire artistic career, before every recording session and every concert. That artist is James Brown.

The key here is to discover what it is that will fashion from your world the exclusive space where your creative focus is swiftly and completely realized.

Some examples of what other artists use are as follows: A computer that is never connected to the internet; a chair that is only sat in when they are creating; a specific time of day when they are always writing; a prayer book that is reviewed in advance of the creative hour; a book that is used instead of music in my case; and so forth. It is crucial that you identify what brings you to this state of creative readiness, and develop the habit of returning to this on a daily basis.

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

I think the worst review I ever received was from Kirkus, who reviewed my first mainstream title (The Great Divide, Doubleday) by comparing it unfavorably to three of my previous books. The problem was, I had not written any of those three.

Critics come, they go. Many in the mainstream are opponents simply because we come from within the faith community. It is all part of the ride.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. Edward Arrington says:

    Merchant of Alyss is a very interesting book. I have read it and posted reviews on Facebook, Amazon, and several other sites. I’m commenting more in support of the book than to win.

  2. Marilyn R says:

    Thanks for sharing, Suzanne. It’s always nice to read about an author’s faith and writing. I look forward to reading Merchant of Alyss. Blessings!