Digital Reads Reviews

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Today I take great pride to interview Thomas Zman, author of

Before It Began

1. Hey Tom, welcome to my blog. I hope you have a fun time with me. Tell me something about yourself? Who is Thomas Zieman?

I am a retired baker who’s always had a fascination with science fiction. I worked for the same company for 37 years until its closing in 2016.

2. What inspired you to write a sci-fi thriller with a core of theology? This genre is almost unheard of. How did you get into writing one?

I’ve always believed in God. I believe all the world’s religions are just different ways to worship the same Superior Force. Of course, this has been the root of many conflicts over time. Yet in the same instance, there have always been unexplainable events witnessed by all walks of life as to “extra-terrestrial phenomenon.” This has fascinated me my entire life. So, with a little imagination, why not blend the two into a Series that compliments the two.

3. Did you have to do a lot of research for Before It Began?


Before it Began started as a short story. Exodus. But I knew I needed to expand that to bring about a book that further explained my imaginings. Fortunately, there have been many ancient alien theorists whose wild theories fueled my imagination. It was fun, however, to research ancient history (thanks to the Mighty Computer) and manipulate events, speculative half-truths, into a viable plot.

4. What is next in line? Have you started work on your next book?

Next in line is a psychological thriller. I’ve taken my alien theme about as far as it can go. So, sticking with my main character, Steve Coleman who has a great amount of “mental luggage” from all that he (and Omegan) has endured, I’m working him into a storyline that takes place midway through the Apocalypse. Just how would someone as he behave who has experienced all he has?

5. How do you write your book, plan the chapter, and then flesh it out or write it at one go along with the flow? Paper and pen or directly on the computer?

I work every day on my computer. I start with a bunch of ideas and get them all down in brief choppy chapters. Then as the days progress, I dwell upon the story, its characters, writing down things in my ever-expanding notebooks. I go back and forth from my notebook and add into what I have on the computer. Over a period of time, I’ll come out with a first draft. Then I go over it, chapter by chapter, adding more and more, then refining, editing, polishing, then turning it over to Shalini and others for a look. Once I get it back from them, I do a complete rewrite and fix things, then edit, polish, and finally submit it.

6. Do you have a nook where you write? How is your desk arranged?

I have my downstairs “computer room” where I spend a good part of my waking day. Sometimes I think of the room as a “thought chamber.” My desk is an old wooden one that once belonged to my grandmother and that my dad had refinished about 40 years ago. Atop it, I have my Apple desktop computer, a simple desk lamp, and a small illuminated globe my daughter had bought for me. That is my nook.

7. Can you write with music or do you prefer the silence?

When writing I like it to be quiet – which is never really possible for myself since I suffer from severe tinnitus. I do however enjoy the simple sounds of the outdoors, when it is comfortable to have the window open, letting the sounds of nature in. I also enjoy rainy or snowy days. Those I find very comforting. I cannot work well with any other distractions. Music, though I love it – never.

8. What is your favorite music?

The Beatles are my all-time favorite. Listening to their music immediately brings me back to my childhood, which I loved very much.

9. What are your other interests other than writing?

I have an interest in real estate. I own a couple rental homes, which supplement our income along with my pension. I find buying real estate to be profitable, far better than the stock market, which I also tend to dabble in. There is a pride in owning and maintaining the property and I have done so my entire adult life. I also enjoy NASCAR and helping out with my youngest son’s Boy Scout Troop. Bradley is working his way towards Eagle Scout.

10. Writer’s block – myth or truth?

Writer’s block is where I take to my notebook and just start scribbling tangents of a story. Some of them I use, most just fall to the wayside where I’ll refer back to, sort of like the unmentioned “sub-plot” of the backstory. I have several things to switch my writer’s brain off when I feel I have nothing to give to a story. I’ll do yard work or clean something, or talk with an old friend on the telephone. Any kind of “writer’s block” for myself has always been very short-lived.

11. What is the one fun thing about yourself that is a secret or hardly anyone knows?

The strangest thing I have always found out about myself is that people tend to think I am far smarter than I actually am. Even though I’ll always stress that what I say is strictly my opinion and that I really haven’t any credible evidence to substantiate my claim, most everyone tends to cling to my conversation and rarely challenge me on topic.

12. Any last words at the end of the interview? You can praise me, hehehe! Go on… just being narcissistic…. Or not…

In conclusion, I would like to thank Shalini for all the support she has given me over the past year I have come to know her. She exhumes wisdom and guidance and has no doubt set me on a surer path towards my own personal goal of building a substantial audience. Eternally grateful I shall be.

Omg omg! I am both honored and grateful by your words. Thank you so much, Thomas Sir.


14 Responses

    1. Read with an open Mackey. His books have a very formal style of writing. But I enjoyed this book as it went with my beliefs if you could say!!

  1. Nice interview, Shalini. Thomas and his story sound interesting. And of course you deserve the praise (you’re not a narcissist at all). You’re awesome, girl! 🙂 Wishing Thomas luck on this and any future works! Have a great Thursday, Shalini!

  2. I agree that research is a fun part of writing. I also like to clean when i’m expiriencing a kind of writer’s blok, and if that doesn’t work for me, i bake. They’re both therapeutic, and never fail to bring me back to writing.

    Great interview, Shalini.

  3. Loved this interview! I would love to interview the author of a book 📚 Great blog, as always. Will definitely give this book a go! 😊

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