Interview Q & A
Author of Ripples Through Time, Lincoln Cole
Lincoln Cole is a Columbus based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster puppy, Luther, and family. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.
His first published novel was “Graveyard of Empires”, and he won the Literary Classics 2015 Book Award for Inspirational/Visionary YA novels with his novel “Ripples Through Time”. His upcoming book, “Second Chances” is the spiritual successor to “Ripples Through Time” and confronts many social and cultural issues.
I’ve been writing since I was fourteen years old and never really stopped. My first major published work was Ripples Through Time, and I was inspired by listening to friends and family tell me about their lives, as well as growing up around some very interesting people.
I wanted my title to reflect the contents of the book. Ripples Through Time was one of the first titles I came up with and served as the stand-in. The story is told in vignettes over the course of one man’s entire life, looking at small moments that create an entire person. I thought the title was apt and flowed well, so I stuck with it.
I tried to make the book as realistic and personable as possible. If anything, I want readers to see the futility of holding grudges and not forgiving the people closest to them. Holding grudges can do more damage to us than the other person. I watched my grandpa push everyone away and then die miserable, and I’ve taken some pretty strong lessons from that.
Stephen King’s book about writing influenced me the most by far. Before I read that, I used adverbs literally every other word, and his novel counseled the power of them when they are used sparingly. Beyond that, I read a lot of Goosebumps when I was little, and then a lot of fantasy and science fiction novels, but too many to point to any particular ones.
A friend of mine I met on WriteOn put it together for me. That’s why I consider building a community of friends and advocates one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. There are people out there who will help, you just have to find them.
Editing is by far the hardest and worst part. Putting those final touches that make all of the difference. It’s hard to put something like this together because months of your life go into it, and most of the tedious work is right at the end.
Get to know other writers and build a support network. There are some great communities out there, and the one that inspired me to really get started was WriteOn. People are really helpful and it’s a great place to interact with other people going through the same journey you are.
All the time; usually, when I get stuck on a section and can’t continue forward, I go back and edit/rewrite what I’ve already written. Usually replaying the journey will either inspire or remind me about what comes next.
I like to create an outline, but then I just throw it out the window once I start writing. My characters never do what I expect them to do, so I’m usually just along for the ride and trying to keep up. I have trouble following the outline of a chapter, but sometimes I write it out anyway just to get my brain on topic and start connecting the dots.
I was a misfit in every group. I was in things like Power of the Pen and Quiz Bowl, and then I played football, soccer, and other sports. I never really fit into the jocks or the nerds, but was a little of both.
I was fairly good at it. I loved the creative writing projects, and would usually end up writing a forty-page story when the assignment was for three pages. In most cases, my teachers wouldn’t even bother reading it; they would just give me full points. I don’t blame them.
My main character in Ripples Through Time is a man who’s made up his mind about how he wants his life to end. He’s made a lot of mistakes, but he’s a good person at heart and just trying to get by now that his wife has passed away. I wanted him to feel real and approachable, the kind of man everyone knows at least one of.
I honestly never really thought about that. Maybe Sean Connery. Probably not.
I love to tell stories, and I get inspired by my vivid imagination to put these ideas to paper. I don’t really have a choice, and anyone who is passionate about someone will understand. When I’m not writing, I think about writing.
I write whenever I can. I’m usually incredibly busy, so any few moments I can spare go toward trying to finish stories. Sometimes I’ll even be up late at night or early in the morning because I have some section I need to finish and can’t stop.
Computer. I grew up writing on the screen, so it seems the easiest for me. I like the fact that it feels like a living document because changes are so easy to make. Constantly improving.
Impossible question, because I write so many different genres. Some books take a year; others might take three or four. I’m usually working on a few projects at a time to keep myself from getting bored and trapped.
I like reading on just about anything. Paperback is what I grew up on, so I make sure my books are available in all formats, but I’m generally fine with my kindle as long as it’s a good read.
I like to read a lot of different books, and I just started the Dark Tower series by Stephen King for the second time. It’s one of my favorites, and I always find some inspiration to write in it.
Basically I give everyone I can a copy and ask for feedback. A lot give me something, and sometimes I get even more than I expected. There are also a lot of services available to get free reviews (OnlineBookClub.org, undergroundBookReviews.org, ReadersFavorite.com, Booklife.com) and those can get some great editorial reviews to help showcase my works.
Not everyone is going to like what I write, whether for personal reasons when I pick a topic that is controversial, or for stylistic reasons if maybe it’s not the kind of book they were expecting. In general, it’s nice to hear feedback from anyone who is willing to give you his or her opinion because it’s always worth trying to improve.
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