We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Tim Weed author of Will Poole’s Island. He had a very prestigious editor whom he worked with on his novel and we wanted to hear more. We also took the time to ask him about the writing process and a few other fun questions.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Stephen Roxburgh of Namelos Editions. Stephen is a great and distinguished editor; he worked with Roald Dahl on The Witches and other books, so he came to the task with a tremendous reservoir of publishing experience and storytelling chops. Stephen was referred to me by a friend; he liked the book and accepted it with a few changes. He is an extremely wise, knowledgeable, and exacting editor. I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him, and I think Will Poole’s Island is a far better book than it would have been without his counsel and guidance.
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your novel Will Poole’s Island?
I’m not sure. It would have to be a talented young actor, late teens or early twenties, an introvert and a rebellious type, probably English. All of the better-known ones – the cast of the Harry Potter movies, for example – seem to have grown up suddenly. So we’d have to identify someone new. I welcome suggestions!
Which established writers do you enjoy reading and feel have perhaps contributed to your style?
Phillip Pullman, Patrick O’Brian, Hilary Mantel, JRR Tolkien, Peter Carey, Ian McKewen, James Welch, and Ernest Hemingway, to name just a few. The voice and language of Will Poole’s Island also owe a great deal to primary sources, travel accounts by early English visitors to New England such as Roger Williams and William Wood. At the moment I’m very much enjoying All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I love the combination of lyricism and old-fashioned dramatic storytelling, because it’s similar to what I strive for in my own work.
A lot of authors set themselves certain daily or weekly goals in regards to number of pages or words written. Do you take this approach to your writing?
I write every day, including Sundays and holidays. The only exceptions are days when I have a particularly grueling travel schedule, or when certain, um, events of the previous night have rendered my brain a slow and useless instrument. I like to shoot for a minimum of 500 words. Sometimes I don’t quite make that, but more often I exceed it.
What do you find to be the hardest part about writing and what is the most rewarding aspect?
The hardest part is writing day in and day out without knowing if the novel you’re working on will ever find a readership. The most rewarding aspect is the work itself; the powerful healing magic of creating, in tiny increments of course, an expansive new world that has the potential to bring as much joy to a reader as it does to the writer himself. What could be better than that?
What are you working on currently?
I’m finishing the first draft of a contemporary novel set partly in Cuba, about a hapless fishing guide who becomes enmeshed in the illicit antiquities trade. When that draft is done I will put it aside for a time as I resume work an advanced draft of a novel set in the 1820’s, based on the true story of two British highwaymen who are forced to emigrate to America.