About R.J. Timmis

R.J. TimmisI have been writing stories since my first year at school. I love escaping into a book, the more enchanting and out-of-this-world, the better. Writing for me started out as a way to take all the imaginary games I played with my My Little Ponies and Barbies and put them on paper. I loved the idea that while thoughts and playing pretend were fleeting things, if you wrote things down, those thoughts became something permanent.

During school I devoured every creative writing assignment and always kept a diary (most of which I still have, and just about die of embarrassment when I re-read them). Much of my spare time was spent reading, writing and drawing; and, admittedly, watching a lot of TV. Without even realising it, the hours I spent watching cartoons and sitcoms was an education on story-building techniques like foreshadowing, point of view, cause and effect, character development and more.

When I left high school I studied animation at Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art. To be a successful animator you have to be talented, accurate, and above all FAST! I preferred a looser, more relaxed approach to drawing. I changed direction after two years and branched into design and illustration. At the same I enrolled in a professional children’s writing course through correspondence. During that course I wrote my first award-winning short story, The House on Connor’s Street, which was Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s Short Story Competition and read aloud on international radio. It was a huge buzz and fueled me through the rest of the course.

By the time I finished the final assignment of my writing course I was halfway through the initial draft of my first ‘real’ novel for children. It was the first story idea I’d had that was so powerful, so tenacious, it wouldn’t let go. I spent every spare second scribbling away in cheap exercise books until I had a box full of them. Then came the meticulous task of deciphering my godawful handwriting and typing up each chapter (if I thought that was hard, I had never edited a book before. Talk about ignorance being bliss …). Twenty-two exercise books and three years later I had my first completed manuscript, David and the Heart of Aurasius, all neatly typed up. After another year of editing, researching publishers and sourcing manuscript appraisals, I started submitting my book to editors. The rejection letters flowed in! While I was well-educated on the competitiveness of publication, I was still disappointed. My list of potential publishers grew shorter every month. Friends and fellow writers started suggesting I approach overseas publishers, but after the first few rounds I realised spending $60 on postage per submission was going to send me to the poorhouse pretty quickly (this was quite a while ago, before most publishing houses started taking submissions by email). Not only that, the months of waiting between submissions and rejections were adding up into years. I was going to be old and grey before I found a publisher!

Eventually I decided to self-publish David. It was hard work and a big learning curve. I suddenly had to look at my writing career in an entirely different light. When I’m writing, my book is a journey, a form of escape. I now had to re-train my brain to think of my writing as a business. I worked hard, and launched David and the Heart of Aurasius in October 2010. After six months I had sold 400 copies of my book. Since then I’ve published more work, tucked away a few awards and most importantly, I’ve just kept writing, writing, writing … and I will keep writing until I have no stories left.

And I don’t think that will be for a very long time.

Visit my Author Central page on Amazon at https://amazon.com/author/rjtimmis

© Copyright R.J. Timmis, Australia, 2020