Born in Darwin, Northern Territory, Mitchell Tierney started writing 21 years ago. He is about to release his 7th book titled The Immolation Game, a new trilogy of novellas. He has contributed to combined fantasy works such as Everdark Realms, and an American horror anthology called The Unknown to raise money for front line workers. He has a regular table at the pop culture convention, Supanova.
Genre: YA, YA horror, Adult horror and Weird Fiction
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Immolation Game. The inspiration came from a very unlikely place - lying on my bed. I heard what sounded like a clank coming from the ceiling and imagined a ball being released. I had to follow it until it was spat out of a spout. That got me thinking, what if you woke up with no idea of who you were and suddenly, you’re thrust into the midst of mind games that involve catching small silver balls that give you food and things you need. It led me down a path of exploring the world and what it meant to be trapped.
Q2: What are five words that describe your writing process?
Minimal – I plan as minimally as I can. It takes the fun out of spontaneity if you know what’s going to happen beforehand.
Keep – Keep everything you write. If you think it’s not great, you may read it in a few days’ time and think otherwise.
Originality – Some tropes have been done to death. I like unique takes of classic stories / characters / situations.
Incubation – Sit on an idea or character for a while, let it appear and find its own voice.
Finish – Finish your book. No matter if there are parts you don’t like, just finish it. You can go back later in second draft and fix it.
Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Alan Moore, Joseph Delany
Q4: What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Quietness. I could never go to a coffee shop to write. I need to be left alone, no talking or TV or music on.
Q5. What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?
Practice. Most people’s first books aren’t going to be the best. Keep writing. Finish a book. Start a new one. Let other people read your work and give you feedback without being offended. If you join an online group with people you don’t know, they won’t pull their punches.
Original ideas or original takes on old ideas, such as vampires and werewolves. They’ve been done to death, but you can reimagine them, make them unique and new.
For me, also good dialogue. Write how you talk, not how you think people talk to one another.
In regards to writing, ‘Why are you doing this?’ and ‘What do you expect to get out of it?’
‘Do you expect to be rich?’
People don’t understand that, for me, I’m compelled to write. I’ve been doing it for so long I can’t stop. I don’t expect fame or money, I just want to write and get my books out there. If people want to put you down, then that drives me even harder to succeed.
Q7: What is your favourite genre to read?
I like non-fiction like Hunter S Thompson and Charles Bukowski. I like their crazy writing adventures. Weird fiction like Ian Banks and H P Lovecraft.
I like horror and YA fantasy also.
Plot comes first. I can’t start writing just with characters, I need to head them in a direction. For me, it comes together like a puzzle. I’m given pieces of the puzzle, story, characters, setting, events, and when I can see what the picture is, I start writing.
Also, books will gnaw at me to be written.
Q9: What are you working on now?
I just finished the 2nd book after Immolation Game and will start book 3 shortly.
I’m writing another YA horror book called Charlie Gravedigger.
I’ve been writing my first sci fi book called Eon Empyrean for about a year now and it’s about a third of the way done.
I’m feeling the pressure to write the 2nd Wandmakers Apprentice book, which already has a few chapters down.
Q10: What are you currently reading?
I’m in the middle of the Expanse first book Leviathan Wakes. I’m also in the middle of Charles Bukowski’s book Women. Next in line is The Witcher first book and Spooks: A new darkness.Keep reading for an excerpt from The Immolation Game, released November 5th.
The sound of clanging metal echoed around the room. A girl was laying there on a cold, metal bench. She opened her eyes at the noise and was hit with confusion as she wondered where she was and how she got there. The entire ceiling was gleaming with smooth metal panels. She sat up and could hear something rolling around above her. She listened as it moved away, then came back towards her. Whatever it was suddenly dropped, still on the inside of the wall. She swung her feet onto the ground and its chill ran up her legs. Looking down, she noticed the floor was completely made of metal, like the bench, which appeared to be a bed. There was a single blanket and pillow, with nothing else in the room except a pair of white shoes, with white laces. They looked immaculate and new. She slipped them on and gingerly stepped towards the doorway. Outside was a long corridor, and she was the middle door. The doors on her right and left were both closed. Suddenly the door to the right opened. A boy emerged, his eyes wary and slightly confused.
Who is that? she thought to herself. Do I know him?
To find out more about Mitchell Tierney check out the social media links below:
Amazon Author Page