Monday, August 31, 2015

A Conversation with Novelist Erik Therme

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Erik Therme

We are delighted to welcome author Erik Therme to Omnimystery News today.

Erik's debut novel is titled Mortom (Thomas & Mercer; April 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the chance to catch up with him to talk more about his work.

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Omnimystery News: Into which fiction genre would you place Mortom?

Erik Therme
Photo provided courtesy of
Erik Therme

Erik Therme: I believe an author should write the story they feel compelled to tell, regardless of the genre. Mortom began life as a horror story before eventually transmuting into a mystery, whereas my current "work in progress" is more action-driven and targeted toward young adults. Part of the joy of writing is being able to follow your imagination wherever it takes you, but at the same time, publishers need to market your work to a specific audience to be successful, and not focusing on a genre could prove problematic in the long run.

OMN: Tell us a little more about your writing process.

ET: It always begins with an idea. If I'm lucky, the idea branches into a scene, and from there — a story. Sometimes that story can be molded into a novel. If that's the case, I push through the first draft without an outline, but I usually create a timeline and character sketches before the next draft. For the most part I try and let my characters do what they want, and they often surprise me and drive the story in unexpected directions.

OMN: How involved were you with the cover design?

ET: Mortom is my first published work, so I had no idea what to expect when it came to the cover. A few months after acceptance, the publisher sent me four possible designs and asked for my feedback. Two were very generic, one I absolutely hated, but the last design blew me away. I relayed my thoughts to the publisher, and shortly thereafter they approved my selection with no further discussion. Needless to say, I was beyond relieved.

OMN: What kinds of feedback have you received from readers?

ET: I continue to be amazed by how many readers comment on the antagonism between (siblings) Andy and Kate. Some love the dynamic, while others are confounded by it. Readers also regularly ask about a sequel. It was never my intent to continue the story, but if the book does well — and the publisher is interested — I would definitely be game to revisit the town of Mortom. No pun intended.

OMN: When selecting a book to read, what do you look for?

ET: I'll sample anything that looks interesting, but I tend to gravitate toward stories that are dark. My most recent reads have been When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord and Ugly Young Thing by Jennifer Jaynes. Both were excellent and kept me thinking long after I had finished the last page.

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Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he's not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his oldest daughter's volleyball team or chilling on the PlayStation3 with his eleven-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa — one of only seven places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Mortom by Erik Therme

Mortom by Erik Therme

A Novel of Suspense

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)

Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he's especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig's will. Not that there's much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house.

Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he's drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin's true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets — and unanswered questions about Craig's untimely demise — arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he's playing the game … or if the game is playing him.

Something's rotten in Mortom. And this dead man's game might not be all that Andy is doomed to lose.

Mortom by Erik Therme


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