TW: I have always wanted to be a published author, but this just seemed to be the perfect time in my life to follow that dream and make it a reality. At first, my sons and the elementary students I work with were my inspiration. Expanding on small moments from innocent discussions really allow a writer to become inventive! However, my desire to entertain adults had become my main focus. The children I encounter STILL inspire me - and I continue to pen children's books that I will some day publish, but capturing an adult audience with your writing style and earning their stamp of approval and desire for more, really inspires me to continue.
TW: Leaving Montana began as a journal. Most of the novel is based on real life experiences, spanning four decades. I am Benjamin Thomas Quinn. From as far back as I can remember, I kept journals in order to placate my anger and release my anxieties. In my adulthood, I went to visit Montana for the first time. At this point, I knew I had to journal the experiences, especially since the journey was going to unearth so many painful memories. Over the span of two years, journaling emotional moments and reliving past experiences slowly morphed into Leaving Montana. It was the most rewarding process I have ever had.
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
TW: Benjamin Thomas Quinn is polished on the outside but extremely complicated and cursed on the inside. The TYPE-A product of a mangled, turbulent, selfishly-toxic marriage, he becomes an adult with very limited patience for others with an overwhelming desire to constantly critique and over-analyze himself. After many decades of allowing accumulated anger towards his parents rule his life, he decides to "clean house", exposing secrets, lies and betrayals that are catastrophic for some but ultimately freeing for him.
TW: I am currently working on two books for very different audiences. After attending a bowling birthday party over a year ago with my son Andrew, I was inspired to write a children's book about the relationship between a little girl and a bowling pin. It defines bravery and self-confidence. The ability to stand tall. To believe in yourself, and try new things. That sometimes being the center of attention builds character and broadens your horizons. I am also writing my second novel, which I hope to have finished sometime next Spring. It is a psychological thriller that will challenge readers as to whether or not finding out where you came from and who you really are is always the best idea.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
TW: Readers can visit my website www.ThomasWhaley.com to learn more about me, read book reviews and enjoy a sample chapter from Leaving Montana. Readers can also follow me on Twitter @AuthorTomWhaley. Leaving Montana is also available for purchase in download and paperback format on Amazon.