Friday's 5 with Tim Aker

Tim Akers was born in deeply rural North Carolina, the only son of a theologian. He moved to Chicago for college, where he lives with his wife. He splits his time between databases and fountain pens.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) When I turned 30. I had been talking about being a writer since high school, and had some publishing credits, but on my thirtieth I decided to get serious. I went out and bought copies of every sf/f magazine I could find, started researching the markets, and began researching the various awards, conventions and organizations in the business.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) Revision. I want to write the next book, no rewrite this one. Ten times.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Pretty ecstatic at first. But it quickly settled on my mind that it was only one step in the larger project. Writing is something you do over the course of a lifetime, not something you do and then have done and then move on. Being a writer is so much more than one publication.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) I don't think there's anyway to remove one from the other. Characters in a void are just dull, and a story propped up by boring characters are just flash. I don't think you can do one of those things correctly without proper support from the other.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  My wife and I are both self-employed. While that comes with a lot of troubles, from unstable income flows to sketchy health insurance to endless trouble trying to get a loan, it has some pretty unique benefits. We've committed to an alarm clock free lifestyle, so we get up when we're no longer tired and are able to take time off during the day. It's pretty grand. That said, I get at least two or three writing sessions in each day. I can't sit and write for eight hours, so I break my tasks into two or three hour sessions. I don't hold myself to particular goals in those sessions, unless I'm under immediate
deadline. Going to the empty page with no real expectations actually does wonders for my productivity.

Tim can be found online at:


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