Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview with Timothy J. Meyer

The Digital Ink Spot interviewed Timothy J. Meyer. Meyer is a Los Angeles-based playwright, screenwriter and novelist. Born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Meyer began his career as a playwright for the Minneapolis Fringe Festival, penning Burning Bridges (2006) and Adjective (2008). His screenplay credits include Safety (2012) and Stall (2012), both of which are currently under development with Clever Lever Pictures. His first novel, Hull Damage, was self-published on June 1st, 2012 and is currently available for free download from eBook sellers everywhere.

The Digital Ink Spot: Tell the readers about Hull Damage.
Timothy J. Meyer: I would best describe Hull Damage as a "spacepunk crime caper", a blending of the two rarefied genres of crime fiction and space opera. It follows Captain Nemo, a daredevil space pirate captain, as he leads his cutthroat crew of interstellar buccaneers straight into the crossfire of a bidding war between three of the galaxy's least forgiving crime lords. It's an action-packed sci-fi romp, full of colorful characters, pithy dialogue and a sprawling science fiction setting. In short, it's tons of fun.

The Digital Ink Spot: Your trailer is awesome. What made you decide to produce a short?

Timothy J. Meyer: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Well, I'm currently a founding member of an independent film production company, so shooting a short film to help promote the book was something fo a no-brainer. Adapted from a flashback sequence in the book, Hull Damage: First Mate is directed by Dan Glaser (Pinching Penny) and stars Steven Molony (The Joker Blogs) as Nemo and Joanna Canton (That 70's Show) as Moira. I think the total production budget ended up at something like $250, for costumes, props and catering. Yeah, we basically grabbed a camera, some friends and ran around the desert shooting for two days and change. We had a blast and we've received nothing but positive feedback, which is always a plus.

The Digital Ink Spot: You are also a screenwriter. Do you write so that your stories can translate to a screenplay easily?
Timothy J. Meyer: Actually, no. When you're writing a screenplay, budget restrictions are a looming and ever-present danger and can often frustrate or limit creativity. So, when I wrote Hull Damage, it was a great relief to get to write these crazy zero-gravity action sequences or these massive, sprawling locations, things that, in a screenplay, would require a sky-high effects budget. Writing with practically no ceiling on scope was extremely liberating. Now, that being said, I'd love to pen a Hull Damage movie someday. Whether or not I get a chance to, of course, depends mostly on money...

The Digital Ink Spot: What inspired you to write your first book?
Timothy J. Meyer: Little known fact – Hull Damage's earliest incarnation was actually an audio drama podcast called The Endless Night back in 2009. It was set sometime after the novel and while that iteration eventually fell through after only eight episodes, I had created this whole cast of characters with this expansive backstory. I was looking for some way to explore those ideas and those stories and I eventually happened upon the idea of a novel (now a trilogy), which would help me purge these ideas and these characters from my system. I'd still love to return to that format down the line, but I'll probably want to finish up these books first.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect from you in the near future?
Timothy J. Meyer: Well, Hull Damage is still pretty young, so most of my efforts are towards promotion these days, but we are about to go into production on a full-cast audio book version of Hull Damage. That'll also be free and hopefully available through Podiobooks at some point in the near future. I've also got a short graphic novel in the works, set sometime before the book itself, but that probably won't see the light of day for several more month. Beyond that, Hull Damage is the first book in what I'm now calling the Bad Space trilogy and Book II, Galactic Menace, should be finished around 2014. After that, in 2016, will come the third installment, Unconstant Love. So, if you liked the book and want more, don't worry – there's plenty more space pirates adventures in store.

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