It’s amazing to think of my journey from first reading books to writing my own. Before I worked on editing my novel’s chapter six of draft four, I finished reading, Wool, by Hugh Howey, the best Sci-Fi since, Ender’s Game, the Sci-Fi that showed I could enjoy a young adult hero, and which shocked me to find that it was over. Somehow I was so enthralled with Ender’s story that I didn’t realize I was on the last pages until that last page appeared. That was my first Sci-Fi, and from there I consumed the nine Dune Prequels. As a slow reader, looking at those books on my friend’s shelf, I thought I’d never read them all. The love for Sci-Fi, and Space Opera in particular, which those books created, inspired me to write my second novel—the current 4th draft—and if all goes as planned, a publishable book which will start my own Space Opera series.
Before that was a book called, Temple, by Matthew Reilly, a story about relic hunting in South American rainforests, and which showed me how an action novel could make me burn through the pages… unlike Tad Williams’ Otherland, which was also required reading in my semester studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Otherland had a great virtual reality world, but too much real life setting that I didn’t care as much about mixed in and not enough happening. I never finished that one, but the virtual reality idea found its way into my current novel—one which I hope is more like Temple in its action pace.
Before that was a strange, Fantasy book called, Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. I was twelve when I discovered that book. An older friend was reading it while on vacation at his parent’s house, and in my downtime I picked it up. I remember fighting him for reading time, and made my mom buy my own copy as soon as we could find it. I’d never read a Fantasy book before, and this was a real eye-opener to the amazing world and characters that one can find in that genre. I was a Fantasy-only reader for ten years after that, and I’m sure took that interest as inspiration to write my first novel, a Fantasy about magic scepters that has since been trunked.
Before that was the first novel I ever finished, The Shining, by Stephen King. The fact that I could finish an adult book like that is probably what gave me the confidence to read more fiction novels like Dragonlance. Sure, I knew I could read, but that was for school. I wanted to play sports and video games. Finishing, The Shining, and the thrill of the story showed me the worth of fiction novels.
Before that were the R.L. Stine Goosebumps series, which I collected up into the twenties from like 2nd-4th grade. Those are the beginning of my interest in Horror, and no doubt inspired me to write my current zombie series, along with a few other monster stories.
I won’t go all the way be to the picture book, Where the Wild Things Are, or that one about the Hungry Caterpillar, (… maybe I just did…), but lastly I want to point out the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I believe it is through those books, and the thrill I felt being in the story’s driver seat that ultimately created a desire to make my own stories. As you can see, through that series of books, I enjoyed quite a journey, and Lord willing, have many years left to read, write and see my own stories in reader’s hands. It’s so cool to think of putting a book out there that might fit into a similar timeline for a future author or reader.
Tim Ward is a fantasy, science fiction, and horror writer from Des Moines, IA. He is, as yet unpublished, but is taking his time to put his stuff out there, waiting until it is really good. He is a member of Team PYP, a mentorship program for Port Yonder Press, where there are top notch editors, publishers, and writers critiquing his work. He also hosts a podcast, AudioTim, for interviewing authors, publishers, etc.
You can learn more about Tim at: http://timothycward.com/.
Tags: choose your own adventure books, dragonlance, dragonlance chronicles, dragons of autumn twilight, dune, ender's game, goosebumps, guest post, hugh howey, hungry caterpillar, matthew reilly, otherland, r.l. stine, stephen king, tad williams, temple, the shining, tim ward, timothy c ward, tracy hickman, where the wild things are, wool