Interview with Tom Rinkes, Author of Time to Quit

This is Rachael Angelo with Running Wild Press, and I am excited to be interviewing Tom Rinkes for the press today. Tom is the author of Time to Quit, which appears in our upcoming Running Wild Press Novella Anthology, available for pre-order on Amazon, (November, 2017).

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RA: Tom, please let me start by saying I enjoyed reading your story. I liked the multiple aspects from future to past and time travel mixed in. It’s intriguing to think about the conversations that took place then that we don’t know about or simple events we also don’t know of.

Thank you in advance for your time! I say let’s have some fun 🙂

A photo of author Tom Rinkes, go Pittsburgh Steelers!TR: Ready.

RA: First, tell us what inspires you both as a person and a writer?

TR: I’d say my mother. She loved to write opinion essays for her Baptist Church, and was even asked to read them at the American Baptist Conferences she was invited to. She would sit at her typewriter, write a paragraph and then read it out loud, a concept I use now when I write. I’m guessing my passion for writing was in the family DNA.

RA: Why this particular story? I find most people write with purpose. I am intrigued to know what your drive behind this one is 🙂

TR: First, let me say I’m deep into the theories of time travel. Personally, I think it’s entirely possible in our future, and may be happening today. Sometime, in 2013, I accidentally—I think—came across a picture of Lewis Thornton Powell while surfing the net. I looked hard at this man. The photo was taken in July 1865. This can’t be right, I thought. This guy could walk into any McDonald’s today and order up a Number 3, and no one would think anything about it. So, in Time To Quit, I replaced him with his nephew, five generations forward, who goes back to 1865 to stop his uncle’s murderous ways. Then, the rest just flowed.

RA: Have you always had a passion for history?

TR: Oh yes. Ever since I can remember. I was a C student at best, but I aced History Class every year. It has always fascinated me why the world keeps making the same mistakes over and over again, as if they can’t—or won’t—learn for it. I had an eighth-grade history teacher named Mr. Ayers who was fanatical about two subjects: the Civil War and the Mafia. I caught the Cosa Nostra bug from him, but not the Civil War until I started this story.

RA: Is your lineage tied to any of the characters from your story?

TR: I certainly hope not. All those involved in the multiple assassination plot were scoundrels, especially John Wilkes Booth. All my people were from Ohio and West Virginia, both Free States. If I did have any relatives who fought for the South, I wouldn’t admit it.

RA: Growing up, what was life like and what influenced you? Would you say this has shaped you as a writer?

TR: Growing up in the fifties, most of the men in my hometown either worked in the steel mills or the coal mines or services. My dad was a milkman and worked long, hard hours to make ends meet. Mom was a homemaker, and while we weren’t “dirt poor,” we didn’t have a lot of money. So, I did what most young kids do in that situation; I daydreamed of better things. I let my imagination—called by some family members as “wild-ass”—run wild whenever I could. Finally, six years ago when I retired, I decided to put it to good use. It remains to be seen if it pays off.

RA: Do you believe that things happen for a reason? For example, being able to write this story?

TR: I take Ecclesiastics literally. Everyone is appointed a time to live and a time to die. To me, that’s a birth date and a death date. Each person’s life is a Book, and at certain junctions in our lives, a new chapter opens and an old one closes. I’ve always went with my gut feelings, and something told me six years ago to start writing down all that my imagination had stored over the years. Time To Quit came easy to me because of my prior beliefs in time travel. And I’m not done yet.

RA: Are there any words of wisdom you may have for authors writing across time periods? 

TR: Three words. Do Your Research! I had a general idea of how I wanted this tale to go, but after I got into it and found out about the extended victims of the whole assassination plot, I spent many hours at Wikipedia and other Civil War sites. I needed to know a little bit about all the characters to place them in dialogue situation that would be believable to the reader. I was surprised to find the planners of this whole operation were safely—and might I add cowardly—tucked away in Toronto, Canada, and that even after the South surrendered the Knights of the Golden Circle were still financing a new plan to extend their slave empire southward. It was even rumored that Jesse James gave large amounts of the money he stole to them. Not only did I find this fascinating but I became engrossed in the subject and couldn’t wait to write more each day. This novel was an enjoyable learning experience for me.

RA: Tom, I really enjoy your answers. Thank you again for giving me some of your time! 

TR: It was my pleasure.

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You can read Tom Rinkes’ Time to Quit and stories by more authors in the upcoming Running Wild Press Novella Anthology, available for pre-order on Amazon. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.

call for submissions

Call for Short Story Submissions

Submissions for short stories to Running Wild Press are officially open until September 15! Send us your short story – fiction, nonfiction, or narrative poem – for our second volume of short stories. Requirements: up to 15,000 words. Genre agnostic. Great writing and great stories that cross genres. Submit your work to Running Wild Press via Submittable.

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Submissions for Running Wild Press anthologies are open for short windows each year. Our response time for submissions is three to six months. The readers and editors thank you for your patience.

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Interview with Jack Hillman, Author of Magic Forgotten

Welcome to Running Wild Press’ first edition of Meet the Author. We’re Elizabeth Nazario and Jodie Wilson, avid readers and aspiring novelists who love a good story and getting to know the scribes behind the words. We are preparing Jack Hillman’s newest novel, Magic Forgotten, for release in September (available for pre-order on Amazon).

So Jodie and I teamed up to interview Jack to ask him about his work.

EN & JW: Tell us about your novel.

JH: Magic Forgotten is an Adult Urban Fantasy set in Eastern PA. It is the story of a paraplegic, freelance writer who has withdrawn from the world only to be dragged back out by the appearance of two strangers in his back yard.  They are a Sidhe, the old elves of England, and a human wizardess, a captive of the elf, and they are here to take over the world. The writer and the wizardess have to stop the elf from achieving his plans.

EN & JW: What inspired you to write fiction? What moment in your life can you recall knowing you needed to write.

JH: I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember.  I think part of this comes from reading books for my whole life. When you are lying in bed in a hospital you have a choice of building models (which I built a LOT of) or reading books. Libraries are cheaper than buying new models every few days.  And so it goes.

EN & JW: How did this particular story come about? Did it come in pieces over time? All in one flash of genius?

JH: I’ve been a reader of Celtic mythology for many decades, being Celtic by heritage myself.  I think this story started with one of those offhand comments someone said one day,  “So where DID the elves go when they left England?” And so I said, “ I know where!”

EN & JW: If you could pick one author to spend the day with, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

JH: Samuel Clemmons.  We’d probably spend the day trading tall tales back and forth.

EN & JW: What is your writing process like? How did you get from the idea to publication for Magic Forgotten?

JH: A lot of organization, outlining, changing of outlines, and persistence. With some research thrown in to make sure I spell stuff correctly since I’m a lousy speller. The persistence part comes easy since I have to do that all the time just to get up each day and move around.

EN & JW: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

JH: Far too many.

EN & JW: What is your favorite childhood book?

JH: Glory Road by Robert Heinlein

EN & JW: What are your future project(s)?

JH: A Science Fiction novel that solves the two main problems of generation ships, a horror novel about an alien creature in an old slate mine, a YA SF novel about a kid solving the problems of why an alien planet is trying to kill everyone, an SF mystery novel that brings back Psionics (You, know:  All that ESP Stuff), an end of the world novel about the times in Revelations when bugs take over the world. And probably a few more by the time I get that far.

EN & JW: What does literary success look like to you?

JH: The ability to write all day and still pay all my bills.

We want to thank Jack for allowing us and readers to get to know a little bit more about him, the writing life, and his upcoming novel. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates on how you can get a copy of Magic Forgotten by Jack Hillman this September.

Happy Reading,

Elizabeth Nazario & Jodie Wilson


Want to learn more about Jack? Glimpse Jack Hillman (& his gear) with this personal interview by Rafael Taffy