Thursday, May 2, 2013

Vlog Post with Tim Shoemaker


Book Nerd Vlog Post

The Quick Bio
Happily married for more than thirty years to Cheryl, the love of my life.
Dad to three grown sons and two daughter-in-laws
Elder Chairman in my church and high school small group leader
Full time speaker and author since 2004
Living in the greater Chicago area
Grateful for God’s incredible grace and mercy to me in countless ways

My Passions
To be a man of integrity, who loves God and others with all my heart.
To be an extraordinary husband to Cheryl, the wife of my youth.
To love my sons, daughters-in-law, grandkids and extended family with everything in me.
To impact kids and youth in ways that cause them to become true men and women of God.
To help parents teach their kids about God and the principles He’s given us to live by.
To help couples experience the richness that comes from a marriage guided by God.
To help men see what a Christian man should be in all the various facets of life.

Social Media
  




“What fiction most influenced your childhood, 
and what effect did those stories have on Back Before Dark?”

As a boy, I devoured the Hardy Boys Series. I read every one of them as a kid. Kept them on my bookshelf in my room. I loved the covers. Loved them. I’d study the pictures on those covers as if it contained clues to the mystery inside. I’d get lost in those books, relishing the adventure. The mystery. The danger. The camaraderie between Frank, Joe, and Chet.

That series influenced my writing in more ways than I probably realize. The chapters in Hardy Boys books were relatively short—which works well with younger readers—or readers with shorter attention spans—and definitely with boys in general. I tend to keep my chapters short for the same reasons.

I end my chapters with cliffhangers. The cliffhangers kept me reading the Hardy Boys series as a kid, and it still works today.

I liked the close relationships in the Hardy Boys. Joe and Frank were brothers. And best friend, Chet, had an undying loyalty to them. I don’t have brothers in Code of Silence or Back Before Dark, but Cooper and Gordy are still blood. They’re cousins. And their friend, Hiro, would give her blood for either of their friends.

In the Hardy Boys series, Chet’s insatiable appetite and slight bent toward cowardice made a great combination—and I see some of that in Gordy’s character in my writing. I didn’t plan to bring in that similarity, but it’s definitely there. I think that speaks to how much that series impacted me as a kid.

Every Hardy Boys book I read ended well. I liked that. And I do the same today. Not just because I want a happy ending, but because I’m writing from my heart. And deep down I believe the best is yet to come.

But I learned there were things about The Hardy Boys that I definitely wanted to avoid, too. The series was pretty formulaic. Predictable. These were things I wanted to avoid. The books did a lot more telling than showing. And the books never seemed to get very deep in the heads of Joe or Frank or Chet. They were a bit distant from the reader. And sometimes, the stories were just a little unreal. I would have a hard time reading one of the Hardy Boys books now. As an adult, it wouldn’t be a satisfying read.

So when I wrote Code of Silence and Back Before Dark I wanted to write for kids, but in a way that was powerful enough to hold the interest of adults, too. I wanted to get deep in the heads of my main characters, and get that on the page. I wanted the characters to be more real. I wanted to show the story more—not do so much telling. And I wanted a much longer book that would give me enough space to develop real characters and a very plausible plot. I wanted books that were strong enough to draw in readers—even adults—and not let them go.

I still have my Hardy Boys Series. One book, The Secret of Pirates’ Hill, sits on the bookshelf in my office today. It’s a little reminder of my great childhood. And in a small way, the book represents that series that became my first primer on what to do and what not to do as a writer. As I look back on how the series affected me, I guess it still continues to bring me good things.



'Praise for Code of Silence: 'Deliberate, plausible, and gritty whodunit.' --Booklist Starred Review 

Taken! A detour through the park leads Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk straight into a trap, and Gordy is abducted! For the kidnapper, it's all a game, a way to settle an old score, with no one getting hurt. But evil has a way of escalating, and once his identity is discovered, the rules change. Despite the best of police efforts, the hours tick by without a clue or a ransom call, leaving everyone to their own fears. Gordy is gone. Cooper descends deeper into a living nightmare, imagining the worst for his best friend and cousin. Hours stretch into days, and talks of a memorial service begin to surface. But Cooper still feels his cousin is alive and develops a reckless plan, changing all the rules. Now the one who set out to rescue his friend needs to be rescued himself. Sometimes rescuing a friend from darkness means going in after them.


Tim Shoemaker's Back Before Dark is the epic suspense adventure about four close friends whose alternative trek through the park leads to one of them being abducted. For Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk, it is a total nightmare. But the kidnapper has other plans and uses the abduction for his own revenge. He plans on settling the score without causing harm. However, as things heat up, he drastically changes his own rules and with no clear lead for the police, everyone fears the worse for the kidnapped Gordy. Although the people are talking about holding a memorial service for Gordy, his cousin and best friend Cooper believes he is still alive and causes him to go into his own kind of darkness. Now it seems that two friends are lost into two separate kinds of darkness where one must go into the other in order to rescue him.

The grief that Cooper experience by the lost of his friend spins him into a wildly tangled web of mystery, crimes, and the never ending mission to capture the kidnapper and rescue his friend. Although he knows the steps he takes into finding clues about his whereabouts were outside the limits of laws, he felt it was justified because of the manner of how Gordy was kidnapped. Cooper was the perfect voice for this kind of story. His determination in finding Gordy will take readers along for the adventure. With every move he makes and every clue he follows, I felt like I was there beside him and assisting him.

Other characters are developed with much care and thought. Take for instance Hiro and Lunk, although they were not emotionally imbalanced by the situation as Cooper was, they were still a friend in every way for Cooper. Lunk was always there beside Cooper even when things seemed to be going in the wrong direction. Hiro was like his anchor and managed to stop him from doing stupid things.

The writing style of Tim is very mesmerizing. He places his characters into such an incredible situation that its makes it difficult to walk away. Cooper's own investigation made for suspenseful moments as readers get the full rush and sensation that he feels as he gets closer to Gordy's whereabouts. Back Before Dark delivers another amazing story of these four young men that readers have grown to love from Code of Silence. I am certain that we are in for another incredible ride when the next installment is released.


You can purchase Back Before Dark at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Tim for making this giveaway possible.
 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Back Before Dark by Tim Shoemaker.
1 Winner will receive a Poster and Bookmark of Cooper MacKinnon Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of Cooper MacKinnon Art by James Vallesteros.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Hardy Boys! My son devoured every book in the series, and then reread them and reread them. Then gave them away to another guy so he could read and reread.

    ReplyDelete