Introducing one of the most motivated authors I’ve ever met. Well, technically we’ve only met online. He lives across the pond. Tim’s new book The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown (A Lawrence Pinkley Mystery) is a hit with teens! Check out his awesome blog and Author’s Marketing website.

Author Interview – Tim Flanagan 

Tim Flanagan


  1. What books did you enjoy reading when you were growing up?
    I think a lot of things that influenced me as a writer stem from early in my life. I read loads of books as a child. When I was a teenager, I went through a phase of reading all 76 Agatha Christie books! I liked the set structure to her murders; she actually created a fool-proof formula for crime fiction. As a child I also enjoyed reading comics – especially 2000AD featuring Judge Dredd. I also loved going to the huge Virgin Megastore in the city and buying a DC Comic. I always went for the ones in plastic covers so that I could keep them in perfect condition. My appreciation of artwork as well as written work has helped to define my writing style as being very visual.
  2. What books do you enjoy reading now?
    I read a wide variety of writers in different genres, including my current favorites George R R Martin, Philip Kerr, C J Sansom and George MacDonald Fraser. My all time favourite book is Michael Cox’s The Meaning of Night. I came across it by accident and have read it several times. It reminds me of Dickens. His characters are so believable that you actually feel their emotions inside yourself. I wish I’d written it. I’m always reading a book or two. Sometimes one fiction and one non-fiction. The non-fiction is usually something to do with marketing for books.
  3. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
    No. I wanted to be a Doctor. I ended up working in the medical field but my passion is writing. I began writing out of pure stubbornness! When I was about 14 years old my English teacher said that I could never compose complete sentences, so being a stubborn person, I set out to prove him wrong. I remember sitting in my bedroom spending ages writing the greatest piece of descriptive work I possibly could about a tree. Yes, you read it right – a tree. The Thesaurus had never been used so much! But the important thing was that I went back over the 500 word piece of writing and edited it several times joining the short sentences together to improve it. I realized that I couldn’t write as fast as my brain worked, so editing and rewriting were vital if I wanted to improve the structure and flow of my work.
  4. What inspired you to write The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown?
    When I was eighteen I drew a picture of an old fashioned film noir Chicago detective in a sepia suit. In my head I knew he wore a fedora hat. In the picture there are shadows in the window of the door of someone being strangled, but the detective is oblivious to it. He’s too interested in the mysterious piece of paper he’s holding. I liked the idea of a detective that was totally blind to everything else that goes on around him, but for that to happen, he would have to be a comical character. In the late 1990’s I wrote the first draft of the Professor Brown story but left it on the shelf until 2013, when I rewrote it, taking out the alcohol and sexual references to make it suitable for a young audience.
  5. What’s the best thing about being a writer?
    The unknown. Have I just written a best seller? Who’s reading my books? But also the creation of something that no one else knows about and having complete control over where characters go, what they say, what they do. As a writer you create worlds that run according to your own rules!
  6. Why did you decide to make your protagonist 18 years old?
    I wanted my character to feel out of depth in the situations he is placed, so who better than an 18 year old in a job he didn’t want. He has a naive charm about him that I can relate to. If only life could be that simple.
  7. Please tell about your collaboration with Dylan Gibson.
    For this book I wanted to create something that was not only a journey in words, but also a journey for the eyes. I have always written in a style that is visual, so it only seemed natural for me to one day get those words converted into pictures. But not in the form of a graphic novel. I wanted the pictures to feed the imagination of the reader and take them into the story and involve them. I came across Dylan Gibson, an illustrator, and presented the project to him and explained my ideas for the illustrations. We took each chapter separately discussing ideas for illustrations and colour scenes. The aim of the coloured scenes was to provide a visual supplement to the story, or if the reader took the time to study them, they could find extra information and additional jokes in the background that the main characters are oblivious to. These are the sort of pictures that I loved as a child that would make me get my pens out and copy. We are already talking about other ventures – the next should be out at Christmas!
  8. Do you outline your books or are you a pantser? pantser: write by the seat of your pants.
    Bit of both really. I know what my end point is, but I never truly know how I’m going to get there. That keeps an element of excitement in the writing for me. Sometimes it’s fascinating how the story turns a corner and takes you in a slightly different direction or you learn something from your research that makes you rearrange a chapter so you can include it at all costs! It surprises me sometimes how my brain seems to know what’s happening more than I consciously do. For example, things I wrote in book 1 of The Moon Stealer series, which didn’t seem particularly important at the time, became vital in books 3 and 4.
  9. How much time do you spend writing? How much time do you spend promoting your books?
    I write when I can. I have a ‘real world’ job, but I’m fortunate that I was able to reduce the time I spent at work to just 3.5 days, releasing 1.5 days to write. I tend to work on social media and promotion in the evenings, but leading up to the release of a book, tend to spend longer on promotion.
  10. Where’s your favorite place to write?
    I have an office under the stairs at home. It is only just wider than my shoulders and you have to step over the chair to sit in it, but it gives me a private place where I can close the door and pretend to work. At 6 foot 1, I just have to remember not to stand upright! The walls are painted pink – not my favorite colour, but I’ve never got round to changing it. I suppose it’s quite soothing and relaxing, so it doesn’t bother me.

The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown, or The Pumpkins of Doom.

A Lawrence Pinkley Mystery

By Tim Flanagan with illustrations by Dylan Gibson


Eighteen year old Lawrence Pinkley is Whitby’s greatest Private Detective. In fact, he’s Whitby’s only Private Detective.

Pinkley’s skills are called into play in the first case of a reluctant career.

One night, in a high security laboratory, a scientist mysteriously disappears, leaving behind an overly nervous assistant and a trail of pumpkin juice. Pinkley is hired to investigate the disappearance by the professor’s beautiful daughter, forcing him to quickly learn the skills he needs to solve his first major crime.

But every move Pinkley makes is being watched.

As he blunders from one clue to the next he stumbles across secret messages, talking pumpkins, the Russian mafia, and hired hitmen. His life now depends on him solving the case. Not to mention the future of mankind!

Publication date : 15 November 2013

Available on Amazon Kindle $2.99 / £2.99
and full colour paperback $25.96 / £14.99


More About Tim

At some point in Tim’s childhood, he was abducted by aliens and sent on a voyage of knowledge and discovery across the universe. Eventually the aliens realised how pointless this was and, as a failed student, he was returned to Earth and left with a family who brought him up as a human bean. But, the persistent memories of new worlds, dragons and other creatures, continued to knock at his frontal lobe, desperately trying to break out.

To avoid making a mess and calm his imagination, Tim began writing as a way to communicate with Earthlings. Fuelled by Chilli and Nachos and a bottle of wine, Tim manages to balance a love of loud rock music and fast cars (preferably red!) with emotional chic flicks, smart leather shoes and a well tailored suit. He has successfully infiltrated the humans and hides behind the façade known as a family. He learns from his children, but is regularly told to stop acting like a child by his wife.

Naturally shy and unsociable by nature, he is selective of the human company he keeps, preferring to be around old books, bonsai and art. He cries at ‘It’s a wonderful life’ but sulks if fed evil vegetables disguised as Parsnips or Peas. He is bored by mundane conversation, excited by architecture and castles and fuelled by Caramel Latte Macchiato’s.

Occasionally, he likes to catch up with old acquaintances on Tatooine, Westeros, and Middle Earth, and stare at fantasy and concept art as if it is a window to his childhood adventures. He is always trying to learn lessons from the masters; Mr Charles Darwin and Mr Lionel Ritchie, about life and love. Tim’s galactic mission is to translate his brain activity into a language that inspires and entertains you, transports you to different worlds and grants you an audience with the characters you have dreamt about, but never dared to remember. All of this in an attempt to redeem himself with his childhood alien abductors and travel the stars once more.


The Moon Stealers and the Quest for the Silver Bough (Book 1)
The Moon Stealers and the Queen of the Underworld (Book 2)
The Moon Stealers and the Everlasting Night (Book 3)
Book 4 coming out end 2013
The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown


My blog is the best place to get an insight into my mind. There are various posts and videos that have nothing to do with writing, sometimes just things that made me laugh or made me think.

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Links to books:

The Moon Stealers and the Quest for the Silver Bough (Book 1)
The Moon Stealers and the Queen of the Underworld (Book 2)
The Moon Stealers and the Everlasting Night (Book 3)
The Curious Disappearance of Professor Brown

Comments to "Author Interview – Tim Flanagan"

  1. Jamie Ayres

    December 5, 2013

    Great interview! I’m a bit of a plotter and pantser combo, too. The book sounds wonderful 🙂

  2. Tim Flanagan

    December 6, 2013

    Thanks so much Krista for interviewing me. I appreciate your support. Hope you have had a great holiday! Jamie Ayres – I think a plot/pantser combo is a great way forward, that way the story is always a delight to write, and hopefully, a delight to read. Thanks for your comment.

    • kdrausin

      December 18, 2013

      You’re very welcome, Tim. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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