Tim Downs Blog The Official Blog of Author Tim Downs

26Feb/10Off

Wonders Never Cease


It's been quite a while since I've published a blog post, so I thought I'd break back into it by letting everyone know about my latest novel, Wonders Never Cease, scheduled for release May 11th from Thomas Nelson. For those of you eagerly awaiting the next installment in my Bug Man series you might be a little disappointed, because this is not a Bug Man novel--but I'm sure you won't be disappointed in this story.

It's still almost two months until the book releases, so I don't want to tell you everything about it just yet--just a few details to whet your appetite. I came up with the idea for this story several years ago, but I was so busy working on Bug Man stories that I never got around to writing it. I finally sat down to write it two years ago, but just as i was finishing it my publisher asked for another Bug Man story instead. So I immediately began writing Ends of the Earth and Wonders Never Cease has been sitting on a shelf awaiting publication ever since.

Well, it's finally coming out, and I can't wait.

Wonders is a very creative story that I like to describe as part comedy and part romance--that's right, romance. A man writing romance...scary thought, isn't it? And if romance is not your thing, then just think of it as a comedy. If you've enjoyed the humor in some of my Bug Man stories, you're really going to like this one. Believe me, it was a lot of fun to write.

But Wonders Never Cease isn't just a comedy; it has some very serious and thoughtful themes in it. I think that's how humor works best--to illuminate a serious theme.

I'll be telling you more about Wonders in the weeks to come, but for now I just wanted to tell you it's coming and give you a peek at the cover. I'd love to hear what you think of it, so please post a comment and give me your opinion. Thanks!

19Nov/09Off

You Don’t Know Nick – Day 10

Last night's question: In Ends of the Earth, what was the name of the Russian farming region where Pasha Semenov was raised?

Answer: Podlesny

Winner: No Winner Last Night!

14Nov/09Off

You Don’t Know Nick – Day 5

Last night's question: In Ends of the Earth, what type of insect threatened to destroy Kathryn's tomato fields?

Answer: Tobacco hornworms (Manduca sexta)

Winner: Ashley Stangl

4Nov/09Off

The Polls are Closed and the Votes are Counted

Vote flags
SPOILER ALERT! THIS COMMENT DISCUSSES THE SURPRISE ENDING OF ENDS OF THE EARTH! READER BEWARE!

Midnight last night marked the final deadline for voting for the conclusion of my latest novel, Ends of the Earth. If you followed the voting results along the way (by clicking on the gigantic red-white-and-blue link on my website that said “VOTE RESULTS,” in case you overlooked it) then the outcome is not exactly a surprise to you: Alena Savard shot off to an early lead and never lost it. After more than two months of voting, Alena managed to capture 51% of the total votes with Kathryn Guilford managing only 29%. Almost 13% of you thought that Nick Polchak was actually clueless enough to propose to both women at the same time, while 8% concluded that Nick is just not ready for marriage at this point in his life.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to all of you who voted and especially to those who took the time to post comments and voice opinions on this blog. Leaving a story hanging like that was a creative experiment for me and I really wasn’t sure what kind of response to expect. I knew that everyone who read the book would have a strong opinion, but I wasn’t sure how many would bother to visit my website and cast their vote. But the response has been overwhelming, and I appreciate those of you who joined in the fun.

Now for the two questions on everyone’s mind: What happens next—and when?

As for what happens next, I’m not sure. Like any good writer, I like to keep my creative options open. I can tell you this much: If you’re counting on my next Bug Man novel to open with a wedding ceremony, you’re bound to be disappointed. All your votes have determined is that the Bug Man saga will move forward with Alena in the romantic picture. But how long will it take them to reach the altar and what hurdles will they have to overcome along the way? That’s hard to say, and I haven’t decided yet. (This is what’s known as “wiggle room”.)

As for when, I begin work on the next Bug Man novel December 1st –but I want you to know that my next novel to be published will not be a Bug Man story. My next novel is something different—something very special. It’s a story I’ve waited five years to write, and I can’t wait for you to see it. It’s called Wonders Never Cease, and it’s scheduled for release around Mother’s Day—but that’s all I can tell you for now. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more about it just as soon as I can.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work. I have a wedding to plan, and you know how complicated that can be—especially when the bride is a witch and the groom is an insect.

2Nov/09Off

Last Chance to Cast Your Vote

Finish Line
Tomorrow at midnight (Tuesday, November 3rd) is the final deadline for casting your vote to determine the official conclusion to Ends of the Earth. I hated to have to set a deadline, since comments continue to come in from readers who just finished the book and barely cast their votes in time to be counted. I know there are lots of other readers who won't pick up the book until a month or a year from now (or a decade, thanks to libraries) and those readers will feel just as strongly about how the book should end as the readers whose votes were tallied.

But a deadline had to be set, if only because I need to know where the story will go from here. Hey--I need some closure too, you know. For the sake of those readers who come to the story later, I plan to leave the two alternate endings up on my website and also leave the voting function up and running to give them a chance to at least express their opinion. And if they want to express themselves further, this blog will always be here to allow them the opportunity.

For the rest of you, you have one more day to express your opinion--while it still counts. So tell your friends, it all ends tomorrow at midnight. Get that vote in!

12Oct/09Off

Go Ahead, Stuff the Ballot Box

ClockSPOILER ALERT! THIS POST DISCUSSES THE SURPRISE ENDING OF ENDS OF THE EARTH! READER BEWARE!

They say that all good things must come to an end, and that means I’m forced to set a deadline for voting on the cliffhanger ending of Ends of the Earth—so I’ve chosen Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd, at midnight. It seems fitting, doesn’t it?

I hate to see this end because I’ve really enjoyed saying "cliffhanger ending"--not to mention reading all of your comments and opinions on how the story should (and definitely should NOT) conclude. I think Alena and Kathryn would both be encouraged to know how many champions they each have on their side. But the vote has to end, and that means somebody has to win—and lose. So if you care about the outcome and you haven’t voted yet, you’d better get to it. There’s only three weeks left until the deadline, and after that Nick’s romantic fate will be sealed.

And don’t forget to tell your friends! Each person can only vote once, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask a friend (or two or three) to vote your way. So go ahead, stuff the ballot box—it’s the American way.

The clock is ticking. See you at the polls.

9Oct/09Off

Effort Like This Should be Recognized

Vote Button w TextSPOILER ALERT! THIS POST DISCUSSES THE SURPRISE ENDING OF ENDS OF THE EARTH! READER BEWARE!

I received a lovely card by snail mail today from Carol McKitrick of Findlay, Ohio. Her card reads:

Dear Friends,
I have no computer but I believe I have the best ending to your new book "Ends of the Earth." It should be Alena he has asked to marry him. He is not cut out for the snobby life with Kathryn. Alena offers a more challenging life & that is what Nick wants, a more knowledge-seeking life, plus she has taught her dogs to relax & be loving & that's what Nick needs to learn how to do.
Sincerely,
Carol McKitrick
P.S. This book gave me more science than I wanted to learn. Sorry. :)

I entered your vote myself, Carol. Thanks for going the extra mile.

28Sep/09Off

When Did You Know?

Ends_of_the_Earth_cover_178x270SPOILER ALERT! THIS POST DISCUSSES THE SURPRISE ENDING OF ENDS OF THE EARTH! READER BEWARE!
This whole discussion about the cliffhanger ending of Ends of the Earth seems like a study in psychology to me. Why do people vote the way they do? Do men, on average, vote differently than women? Why do some people seem to feel so passionately about their decisions? In my last post I posed the question, “Do women have a greater need for closure than men?” In this post I’d like to throw in yet another question: “When did you know who you’d vote for?”

20Sep/09Off

Men, Women…and Closure

SPOILER ALERT! THIS POST DISCUSSES THE SURPRISE ENDING OF ENDS OF THE EARTH! READER BEWARE!
It’s clear from the comments being posted that you readers have strong opinions about the way you want my novel Ends of the Earth to end, and it’s fun (at least for me) to read well-reasoned arguments on both sides. I can’t resist making a few observations of my own—not about the ending of the book, but what the comments seem to suggest about a difference between men and women...