10 Questions with Chris Timms
Chris is a GP in Australia and passionate about burnout prevention. He finds writing a powerful tool to de-stress and be able to serve patients better. Chris has been published in national journals including the Medical Journal of Australia, the Australian Doctor and Insight.
He started writing creatively to prevent burnout and the habit stuck. He now has two published books available on Amazon.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I grew up down near Batemans Bay on the south coast of NSW. I loved any chance to get my hands on the latest fantasy novel, because I would have to travel forty minutes to the bookstore to get one! I ended up re-reading them over and over. The same happened with PC games, I would replay the same ones, because it was such a big deal to go get new ones. The combination of the two interests sparked my love of the LitRPG (Literary Role Playing Game) genre, which I started writing in with The Aussie Mana Apocalypse.
Currently I work between Kiama and Sydney at the moment as a GP and write on the side where I can. I’ve moved around a lot with my training, having worked in Sydney, Tweed Heads, Port Macquarie, Albury and even western QLD doing some locuming.
2. What drew you to that particular genre?
I grew up reading fantasy and playing RPG’s. The combination of the two just gelled for me.
3. What’s your best known work?
My most recent novel, The Aussie Mana Apocalypse, is my best-selling work.
4. What inspired you to write it?
My latest novel came about because I wanted to write a LitRPG that looked at country kids coming of age. There weren’t a lot of Australian authors writing LitRPG, so I thought I’d give it a crack. I felt there was a certain comparison between moving from the country to the city and the traditional hero’s journey in a fantasy novel.
5. Tell us about your writing process.
I am a plotter...now. I say that with the full regrets of someone who tried to pants an epic fantasy novel. My first novel, King Tides Curse, took me two years to write by pantsing. My latest novel, which I plotted meticulously, only took three months.
My writing habits have changed with COVID-19. I used to love writing in a coffee shop, or at the Coogee Pavilion in the sun with a nice coffee. Since COVID-19, I’ve set up a great home office as an alternative. I’ve found that as long as I have my noise cancelling headphones, I can work most places now.
6. What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
King Canute and location of where he stood during his parable of commanding the tides to turn back. This formed a core concept for King Tides Curse. Although Westminster is the most commonly stated site, there is still debate.
7. What’s the most personal story/scene you’ve written and why?
In King Tides Curse I wrote a scene about a trainee wizard on the edge of burnout. I am very fortunate to have not suffered burnout, but many medical professionals do. It’s a tough subject that I wanted to examine in a fantasy novel.
Preventing burnout is a passion of mine. I even spent a year trying all the different things that are supposed to prevent burnout. I took up yoga, started meditating, and kept a journal. Restarting writing again was meant to be a month long task for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I found it so useful for me that I just kept doing it.
8. Who are your literary influences? In what way?
When I was younger I was influenced by a lot of epic fantasy authors. Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy influenced me heavily. Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen was a great buy for teenage me because it gave me so much content from one book (and trips to the Bookstore were forty minutes).
More recently, LitRPG authors like Tao Wong and Michael Chatfield have also influenced me.
9. What books are on your bedside table right now?
I have pre-ordered the Stormlight Archive 4: Rhythm of War and am currently reading Watcher’s Fate by Sean Oswald and Edwin Kirk’s The Genes That Make Us: human stories from a revolution in medicine.
10. Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
All my books are exclusively on Amazon.
Follow Chris on these platforms!
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