, pub-4807045201008872, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 meta name=", pub-4807045201008872, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Ginger High- Books R Us: INTERVIEW OF T. KLEIN AUTHOR OF THE SAGA OF ELLEN JANE


Saturday, September 29, 2012


 I want to welcome Timothy Klein to Books R Us. Timothy is the author of The Saga of Ellen Jane. Thanks for stopping by.

Title: The Saga of the Ellen Jane: Inventing a Legend.
Author: Timothy Klein
Stearman Press.
Date Published:
July 9, 2012
Purchase Book:

Read and Excerpt


Can you tell me who or what was the inspiration for the book?

About two years ago, while skimming the romance novel that my wife was reading, I proclaimed, "I can write better junk than this."  She told me, “Go ahead.” So I did. 
This wasn't completely out of character for me. My mother and grandmother were both English teachers, and so are both sisters. I had written several short stories while in high school and was "published" in a Sci-Fi "fanzine" back in the '70s.  (I think it had around 400 Trekie subscribers.) I also started on some non-fiction several years ago.  I had been too busy to really think about writing until my wife issued the challenge.

Anyway, my office is in an aircraft hangar. Hence, airplanes were going to play a major role in the story line. However, most aviation literature is ALL about airplanes. I wanted to come up with a story that both pilots and non-pilots would enjoy. 

I found that it was remarkably therapeutic. I started in Sept of 2010 and soon realized that the story was going to be at least three volumes long. 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I think everyone does! At least once in a while. For me it usually means that I’m not sure of what direction the story should be going or that it’s already gone off course. The best approach is to move on another part of the story (or sometimes a completely different story.) But just keep writing.
In severe cases, open a blank document and start writing something completely out of your genre, just a train of consciousness kind of thing. Turn of the spell checker and just type. Make up goofy characters and ridiculous circumstances. Once you’ve pushed through the writer’s block, delete it. (Or, who knows, it might be worth saving for later.)

Can you tell me your experiences in finding a publisher for the book?

Okay, you asked for it. Here are my three axioms regarding publishing:
1.    It is more work to get a book published than to write it.
2.    Even if you’re published by one of the big guys, it is up to the author to market and promote the book.
3.    The only people that are making money in publishing are the publishers.
Now these rules don’t apply to the big guys like James Patterson and I’d be happy to expand on them sometime.
With these in mind, we never pursued a trade publisher, even though I have connections in the industry.  We decided it was much easier to just start our own publishing house, Stearman Press LLC.  Now, if Random House wants to cut me a check for seven figures…

How long did it take you to write the book and how long did it take to get the book released?

I started Volume I in early September of 2010. My wife informed me that it had to be under the tree by Christmas Eve. It just barely made it.  Once we decided to publish it, I had to edit/rewrite some of the “edgier” parts (the original manuscript was intended for her eyes only.) Then we had to setup the company (that’s the easy part), find an editor (two actually) and then learn all about formatting, book design etc. Fun but tiring.
The formal release was at AirVenture 2012 in late July. This is the largest airshow in the US and they have a “Featured Author” corner in their main gift shop/bookstore.  It was quite an experience!

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

Absolutely no question about it: Jeni!  She is smart, cunning, and sexy, everything that’s scary to men.  She’s always surprising me, and I invented her!
The strangest thing to me was how Jeni took over the entire plot. Frankly, I had planned on Mark being the main character, but she just pushed him out of the way!

What are your current / future projects?
I am supposed to be re-editing Volume II of the Saga. I gave my wife the unedited draft last Christmas and we want to publish it by Thanksgiving.  I need to get a polished copy to our editors soon.

However, the CEO of Stearman Press has informed me that Volume III must be under the tree by Christmas of this year.

Unfortunately, I've gotten re-interested in the sci-fi series that I started years ago and have been playing with that when she isn't looking.

Do you have any tips for a young writer just starting out?
I have seven guidelines for writing:
1.    Don't write anything that would embarrass your mother or upset your God. (That's a good rule for anything you're doing, though some may think I blew it!)
2.    Write about what you find interesting and enjoyable.  For me that's airplanes, adventure, war, babes, firearms, Nazis etc.  Notice that I didn't say "write what you know"; you'll learn what you need to know along the way.  (I knew very little about Brazil before starting this book.)
3.    It has to be plausible. On a "believability" scale of 1 to 100, with James Bond at 007; I want my stories to rank at least a 70.
4.    Have a positive message. The world has enough stories about cheap sex, senseless violence and people having cheap sex while committing senseless violence.
5.    Define your audience and then keep them happy! For me, the "audience" consists of one woman, my wife.
6.    Don't follow a boilerplate! I could write a computer program to crank out romances using the standard formulas. You know: girl meets a boy she hates but has to marry because her dad owes his dad money and he drags her off and they kiss once and then she's kidnapped but realizes that she loves him and he rescues her while wearing just a kilt and they discover she's pregnant.  (That sentence didn't deserve any commas.)
7.    There are no rules. Well, there are rules but most people agree that they're now meaningless.  If you doubt that, go read The Sound and the Fury or some of David Foster Wallace.  I agree that you need correct spelling, verb tense and grammar but everything else is negotiable. Well, everything except semicolons; my editors don't like semicolons; but I do; they make me take them out; I guess I have a fetish.
Remember, my advice is worth every penny you’re paying for it.

If your book was to be made into a movie, Who would you like the main character to be played by and why?

Frankly, I haven’t seen enough movies lately to answer that!

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?  Where do you like to vacation?  Can you tell us briefly about this?

Writing is what I do for fun when I’m not working! I do enjoy flying a buddy’s Cessna and chasing our kids around. Vacation? I’ve heard about those; sounds dull.

Can you tell me where we can purchase your book?

The easiest and fastest would be from Amazon. You can order an autographed copy from our website:

1 comment:

  1. Eileen,
    Oops, I goofed on my own URL (saga not sage)! The correct address is:
    I guess I need to come up with shorter book titles. You can also find me at:




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