E H Timms won the BBC Wildlife Young Poet of the Year award, hasn’t managed to stop writing since, and now lives in South West England with a computer tethered to one elbow and far too many books.
CONNECT WITH E. H.
Welcome to SPFM, E. H.! Since we already have your bio, describe yourself in three words.
Quiet, Determined, Self-contained
Summarize your book, Create My Own Perfection, using one gif.
If you could recommend three self-published books, which would you choose and why?
That’s a hard choice, there are so many options, but three I’ve read and enjoyed are:
The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion by Dove Cooper – A sapphic retelling, in verse, of the fairytale King Thrushbeard. I would choose this one because it’s beautifully written and immense fun to read all the banter between the main characters (who are aromantic asexual and in a wonderful queerplatonic relationship). It struck something of a chord with me, and I would love others to have that same experience.
Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault – A story of enemies to queer platonic partnership. Baker by day, Thief by night Claude/Claire investigates the disappearance of mages and tries to evade the detective who has also become one of his favorite bakery customers. The world-building is grand, wonderfully wide, inclusive, and all but guaranteed to make you hungry (for both pastries and more stories set here). It deserves a wider audience than it currently has.
The Second Mango by Shira Glassman – The story of a young queen who recruits a warrior and her dragon-horse to help her find her lost lover, and ends up tangled in magic and adventures. It’s the first book in the Mangoverse series, opening up a glorious world, and it’s become something of a comfort read for me.
What is your favorite part, and your least favorite part of self-publishing?
My favorite part of self-publishing has to be that I can write the stories that sing for me, to their natural length, without having to worry whether any gatekeepers will be able to “connect” with them enough to want to publish them.
My least favorite is the long chore of formatting the books so that they will be easy for readers to read in any format they prefer. While promoting the book once it’s out comes a close second and makes me feel like a chicken laying an egg, I don’t find it quite so much of a grind as formatting.
When did you start writing?
I’ve been making up stories as long as I can remember. I started writing poetry when I was about ten, and started writing down my stories a few years after that. I’ve never really stopped since.
What’s your social media platform of choice, and why?
By preference, I can be found on Twitter (@birdinflyte_). I lean much more to written words than to pictures or videos, so twitter suits me in that respect, and quite a bit of my target market also spends time on twitter, so we connect there.
You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
I start by putting on music – something that meshes well with either my own mood, or with the mood of the piece I’m working on – and rereading through a part or a story that I have already written. That helps to ease me back into whichever world my work is set in. Most of my books end up with a theme tune or two as a result of this – something that makes me think of the story, and to which large chunks of the text have been written.
If that fails, I resort to pen and paper to break through the resistance, and a timer, alternating periods of scribbling words down, with periods of an activity that will absorb the thinking/editing side of my brain while leaving the creative part free to spin.
If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick and what would it be about?
Aphrodite shows up briefly in Create My Own Perfection to support the main character, and I’m very tempted to add a retelling of Aphrodite and Hephaestus to the list of possible stories, if only to see what it turns into after I get my little aroace hands all over it. Two apparent opposites finding things they have in common and forming a friendship as they work together to outwit other members of the Pantheon? Very much up my alley, if I can only find the time.
Tell us what lies ahead for you.
I have another Guildverse book due out in December, a prequel to Birthday Landscapes. It’s called Testing Grounds, and it’s a fantasy slice of life story featuring Warrior training and a hero in disguise. Other than that, it’s a case of wait and see.
(And of sending in this interview, of course, but that’s history by the time you read this!)
Thank you for having me.
About Create My Own Perfection (Olson College #1)
“It’s not every day you get to put the fear of Medusa into a god.”
Emma Stone, medusa, is the groundskeeper for Olson College of Extensive Education, a place where everyone is welcome, from the mythical to the magical. When her selkie best friend loses her skin in Fresher’s week, the race is on to find it before someone uses it against her.
The search brings Emma face to face with her oldest enemy – and forces her to confront the worst nightmares of her past.