T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post 'Living' section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein's stories on the Huffington Post.His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, was published by Penguin/Putnam on July 24, 2012 and is the first in a trilogy. It will be available in paperback in June 2013. The second installment in the Cold Fury series, FLICKER & BURN, will hit the market in August 2013. The author is currently working on the third book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.
1. Where is the current place you reside and can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I share certain traits with my protagonist, Sara Jane Rispoli. We both live in Chicago (and can’t imagine living anywhere else…except maybe Italy,) we’re both unrepentant Cubs fans, and we both box. She’s faster in the ring than me.
2. Have you always wanted to be an author and are there any inspirations that got you started?
I’ve always been a writer of some sort. I began in advertising and film, and somehow landed here. For me, inspirations have been people who make compelling, thoughtful art – filmmakers, painters, many other authors.
3. Is Cold Fury your very first complete novel written? If so, when did the idea for the book first come about? And if not, when was your first book written? Is it complete and has it been published?
COLD FURY is my first YA novel; its sequel, FLICKER & BURN, and the final book in the trilogy (untitled) are complete, as well.
I got the idea of a sixteen (now seventeen – Happy Birthday, Sara Jane!) year-old girl infiltrating organized crime by living in Chicago. The Outfit – Chicago’s version of the mafia – is an ingrained part of the city’s past and present. It’s also completely male-centric. I thought it would be interesting to place a strong young woman among a bunch of heartless criminals, especially one with the power to control them.
4. Do you take any part in creating your book covers?
My opinions are considered, and sometimes incorporated into the final product. But publishers consider cover design a science and an art, and employ a squad of professionals to execute the task. Thankfully.
5. With Cold Fury being the first book in the trilogy and Flicker & Burn being its sequel, which book (in your opinion) was the easiest to sit down and write? Why?
I consider COLD FURY to be the prequel to FLICKER & BURN. Young readers required some education on the history of organized crime in order to understand Sara Jane’s story; therefore, the first book started out a bit slower. Once it kicked in, the action and suspense that blasted through COLD FURY has continued into FLICKER & BURN, and into the final installment, as well. The books move very, very quickly.
Time for random questions!
6. Do you prefer a stand-alone novel or book series?
This goes back to the previous question. I love a series for the ability to tell a more involved story, but believe that every book should stand alone. That’s why I consider COLD FURY to be a prequel to FLICKER & BURN. You don’t have to read the first to love the second, but I guarantee that loving the second will make you hungry for the first.
7. Do you have any bad habits you do when you are reading? (dog ear pages, eat, etc.)
I catch myself reading character dialogue aloud, trying to hear if it sounds like words that real people would actually say. I don’t know if that’s bad, but I do it!
8. Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love Elmore Leonard for his terse story construction and dialogue, J.D. Salinger for the poetry of his prose, and Charles Bukowski for telling the truth about himself. In the YA world, Paul Griffin and M. Molly Backes are amazing.
9. Are you currently reading any books?
Yep, always. RAYLAN, by Elmore Leonard, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY by Patricia Highsmith, and AFTER VISITING FRIENDS by Michael Hainey. All superb.
10. Any advice for writers who want to become authors?
Read constantly and everything – fiction, non-fiction, history, film criticism, sociology, things you think you’ll hate (some of which you’ll love,) and also make a point of watching great movies. You can learn more about story construction by studying CITIZEN KANE, THE GODFATHER and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION than from a thousand creative writing classes. Oh…and write a lot, too.
11. Any websites where you can be found (social media) and where can your books be bought?
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, of course, as well as my website, featuring fresh content weekly: http://www.tmgoeglein.com/index.php. My books are everywhere - Amazon, Barnes & Noble - and in all of the great indie bookstores around the globe.