Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harboured runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.
Tell us about your latest book
Resthaven is about a pack of kids who have a scavenger hunt inside an abandoned retirement home . . . only to discover they’re not the only ones roaming the hallways. I have two teenage daughters, and I wanted to write something I thought they’d enjoy. I'm also a big fan of horror movies, and it was a lot of fun to employ a creepy, abandoned building as a backdrop for the story.
As a hybrid author, which model do you prefer?
One of the advantages of self-publishing is having complete control over editing, cover design, and retail price—three things that can greatly affect a book's success. On the flip side, traditional publishing brings a marketing team into the equation, which can be invaluable when it comes to finding new readers. In the end, the most important thing is to write the best book you can, work hard to promote it, and try to make your own luck.
Do you have an agent, and if not, are you looking for one?
I've been fortunate enough to have my first two novels released through publishing houses, and both contracts were straight-forward and easy to manoeuvre. One of the (many) jobs of a literary agent is to place your book with a house, so as long as I continue to have success with publishers on my own, I probably won't pursue an agent. That said, if an agent expressed interest in me and my work, I would absolutely listen to what they had to offer.
I often joke I “learned to write by reading Stephen King,” but it’s the absolute truth. I discovered Misery in junior high and immediately began crafting my own tales of horror. Most were pretty lousy, but the more King I devoured, the more respectable my writing became. Eventually I moved away from the supernatural elements and found my own style and voice.
What’s a typical writing day?
It can be a challenge to maintain a routine—especially with a wife, two teenagers, and a full-time day job—so the majority of my writing is accomplished during evenings and weekends. If I’m especially inspired, I might try to sneak in some pages over lunch. The important thing (for me) is to write every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.
What is your ultimate writing goal?
To write the best book I can, and to continue to hone my craft with each new project. I'd love to (someday) be able to support myself through my writing, but that's a luxury few authors are afforded, and I'm OK with that. At the end of the day, I ultimately write because I love to write.
Where can we find out more about your books?