Hello! I'm Tim Weaver. I'm the author of nine novels, all of which feature missing persons investigator David Raker. Hopefully, you might have heard of some of them –– or, even better, read them and enjoyed them. They have, over time, been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, been shortlisted for a National Book Award, been nominated for both the Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger awards, and they've charted as high as number two in the Sunday Times bestseller list (so... close...) and been number one on both Kindle and iBooks. Away from writing, I live in Bath, home to overpriced real estate and genteel Georgian terraces, and thanks to the amazing support of readers like you, I'm able to write full-time, allowing me to build my day around the things I do best: staring out of the window, and making endless cups of tea. If you want to find out more about me and my work, just scroll down, where you'll find videos, interviews and more…
VIDEOS: ME, DAVID RAKER, MY WRITING AND MY RESEARCH
I chat with Richard and Judy – OFF THE TELEVISION! – about Never Coming Back.
The lighting makes it look like I've got a serious case of the sweats. So, er, enjoy it.
MISCELLANEOUS: PODCASTS, JOURNALISM and INTERVIEWS
The Penguin Podcast (09/08/17)
Shortly after I Am Missing was released, I was interviewed by the brilliant Paul Smith from the band Maximo Park about the book and my inspiration for it.
Dead Good Books (16/07/15)
Alongside the release of What Remains, I wrote this piece, 'Lost People, Lost Places', for Dead Good Books about my fascination with abandoned places, and how they run in parallel to David Raker's hunt of the missing. You might like it.
To coincide with the U.S publication of Never Coming Back, I wrote this piece for Signature about the difference between British and American crime fiction.
My Bookish Ways (08/07/14)
Here, I introduce U.S. readers to the world of David Raker.
Mystery Tribune Q&A (01/07/14)
To celebrate the release of Never Coming Back in the U.S., I did a Q&A with the guys over at Mystery Tribune. To prove that they always do things bigger in America, MT refer to the Q&A as "brief", even though it's the size of Godzilla.
Richard and Judy Book Club – My Top 10 Thrillers (29/08/13)
"I wonder what Tim's top 10 thrillers OF HIS LIFETIME are," you've probably spent zero minutes of your life thinking. But anyway! That didn't stop me writing something for the Richard and Judy Book Club about just that. And, as you'll see if you click the link, I break my own rules straight off the bat. Poor show by me.
Crime Fiction Lover Q&A (21/08/12)
My good pals over at CriFi Lover try to catch me out with canny questions about the Tube and why I set my books in London, but – in a Raker stylee – I manage to sidestep the difficult parts and power through to a Book 4-related conclusion.
Shots magazine (16/06/11)
Make sure you've got a comfy chair. This interview with the lovely folk over at Shots covers off all sorts of stuff: my writing routine, books I love, and how much of Raker is in me. (Clue: all the really, really handsome parts.)
RADIO INTERVIEW: BBC Radio Somerset (26/02/11)
The lovely Emma Britton gave me the opportunity to talk about my books and my life as a writer on her Saturday morning show. Just click on the link above, scroll to the bottom of the page and the entire interview is on there. Just press Play.
FINALLY: 5 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME
1. I started out life as a journalist.
And, for eighteen years, I got to write about all the things I love (and some of the things that I don't): TV shows, the books of John Connolly, English football, South African cricket, the awfulness of videogame movies, how to complete GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, incredibly flashy mobile phones, Star Wars, Stephen King, and plenty else. I’ve been lucky enough to write about the things I love for some of the biggest magazine brands and tiniest specialist publications in the world.
2. I'm not really one for the gym.
I do enough exercise to ensure I don’t wake up one day looking like the Goodyear Blimp, but the one time I joined a gym I spent the whole time so depressed about the hour a day I had to spend there that I packed it in after a month. I prefer to put all my efforts into the really important things in life, like spending too much money in bookshops, buying boxsets I’ll never have the time to watch, drinking far too much tea, trying to convince people that Robocop is the greatest film ever made (not a joke), and constantly rearranging my book collection.
3. I'm a book geek.
I have a lot of books in my house – and I love rearranging them. By author, by title, by publication date – the choices are endless. (This is not a joke.) Sometimes – don’t tell anyone – I just like to sit there and look at all the books I’ve read and remember what was great about them. Does that make me vaguely nuts? Er, yeah, probably, but books have such a wonderful way of transporting you back to the moment in your life that you read them – and, without some of the books I've kept and cherished, I wouldn’t have ever written Chasing The Dead. In fact, three take pride of place for being the novels that made me want to write a crime thriller: The Poet by Michael Connelly; Every Dead Thing by John Connolly; and A Simple Plan by Scott Smith. A Simple Plan is probably my favourite crime thriller; it’s a beautifully written and brilliantly structured novel, which snowballs from one tiny decision into a series of increasingly horrific set pieces. It’s so clever in its relationship with the reader; the whole way you’re nodding in agreement with what protagonist Hank does, because you’re still with him, despite what he’s done, and his next choice seems like the best way out of the new, even worse situation he’s found himself in… then you step back and realise you’ve consciously advocated the terrible act he’s carried out.
4. I was a late convert to thrillers.
Because of that, I feel like I’m constantly playing catch-up, especially where some of the classics of the genre are concerned. I frequently have my head turned by other types of books too, which doesn’t help fill in the blanks. One of those which had a profound effect on me, and was a direct influence on Chasing The Dead, was The Bang Bang Club by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, an account of photo-journalists working the South African townships in the run-up to the elections in ‘94. It’s a devastating, incredibly affecting piece of work – and was essentially the reason I decided to have David Raker start out life as a journalist… and why his years in South Africa play out so heavily throughout the course of the early books.
5. From start to finish, my debut novel took 10 years to get published.
With Chasing the Dead, I had a (very basic) story and a hero, but what followed after that were years of false starts, aborted attempts, ideas being scribbled in a notepad, snatched minutes in the evening after a long day at work, distractions, disappointments and – one of my favourite pastimes – staring into the middle distance wondering how I was going to tie up a storyline I’d just invented on the fly. The watershed moment, though, was about six months after the birth of my daughter in 2006. For half a year I did nothing on the book that would become Chasing the Dead. Zero sleep, changing nappies and shuffling slowly out of public spaces after ten solid minutes of high-pitched screaming forced me into a kind of semi-retirement, so when I eventually went back to the book at the beginning of 2007, it was a genuine epiphany. That time away was the best I ever spent on it because I could suddenly see all its problems. So, I went back, stripped about 70% of it out, fleshed out the story again, reinvented the characters, upped the pace and scares – and a year later, I had an agent, and five months after that, I was signing with Penguin. It was definitely worth all the struggle.
Photographs on this page © Bill Waters 2014