Every time I have a conversation with Tim, no matter how brief, we end up with some silliness. I love playful banter—spoken or written, and Tim is a wonderful author to banter with. Why? He’s intelligent, incredibly funny, and dare I say it, he’s a bit crazy. I think he needs to be slightly off centre to write his satirical news site Height of Eye. Afterall, it boasts the tagline “Nonsensical News and Curdled Current Events.” That’s just wacky!
I enjoy Tim’s humor and his love for history. Lucky for us, he’s combined both into his newly released book, George in London, so without further ado, please welcome the sharp wit of satirist and author, Tim Queeney.
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In Tim’s own words
I am a magazine editor, writer, filmmaker, celestial navigation instructor, dad and offshore sailor.
My new book George in London has been variously described as an alternative history, a secret history, a historical novel, a humor novel and “the most entertaining manual currently available for learning UNIX subroutines in a week or less.”
I live in Maine and can hear the fog horns of three lighthouses when the fog, rain or snow rolls in and my black lab finds herself on the wrong side of the door.
Inside Tim Queeney’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? An interesting trope in fiction is the man (or woman) of action versus the man or woman of the mind, the intellectual, the dreamer. Action is exciting, dramatic and can get you laid. So there’s that. The dreamer, the intellectual, however, impresses others with his or her grand creative vision, her knowledge or her logical skills. This way of being can also lead to conquest. For example, Einstein, the classic man of the mind, had numerous affairs and assignations.
So, I’m influenced by both ways of being and think of myself as both an action and intellect type person. I can find happiness in pure, gripping action activities. Stuff that’s dangerous and even a little foolhardy, but that really makes you feel alive. Like walking to the post office in a light drizzle or fishing for a piece of charred toast without unplugging. But I can also enjoy the daring life of the mind, too. Things like writing a snarky, “have we ever even met?” email to my mom or conceiving a cycle of seven galactic empire novels none of which use the word “puce.” So, perfect happiness? I’d have to say, yes, count me in.
What turns you on creatively? Words. And images. And tight pants.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Oh, you’re only allowed to use them once?
What quality do you most admire in a man? Honesty, humor and not taking himself too seriously. Oh, and an almost fanatical devotion to my writing.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? A woman who is smart, independent, creative, forthright, funny and who caters to the needs of male writers of humorous historical fiction set in 1751 in London. No, I’m sorry, scratch that last part. That was just wrong. I can’t believe I wrote that …. I should have said humorous historical fiction set in any part of the 18th century.
What is your greatest regret? That I didn’t focus on one type of writing earlier on. Have written a bunch of different forms and genres. I guess I’ve been a little too scattershot. Too unfocused. Lacking direction. Wandering to and fro. I’m sorry, what was the question?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d like to have more patience and compassion for my fellow humans. And less nose hair.
What is your greatest fear? That zombies will cross breed with dentists. Getting your brains eaten is bad enough, but getting a root canal too would really suck.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Skywriting.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A platypus.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I know, it reads as cliche, but I’d say being a father to my three sons. People are more important than anything else, even a Pulitzer Prize — wait, let me think about that for a minute.
What are the traits you most deplore in others? Mass murder, torture, starting wars, oppression, asking a lot of questions in the Starbucks line.
What is your present state of mind? I like to think mostly a solid, but with some liquid coursing through to keeping it all nourished and a little giggly. But overall I would say my state of mind is good. I have a lot of fun in my mind. The adventure of writing is hard to describe to those who don’t have the urge. For me, most writing sessions give me a palpable sense of energy and well being — almost a “high” that lasts for a while. It’s great fun to have characters and words and ideas and plot points and scenes flying around up there. It’s a blessing, really.
What are some of your favorite curse words? There’s really not a better curse word than the mellifluous compound that rolls off the tongue with Anglo-Saxon swagger: “motherfucker” That’s one marvelous-sounding word. Can we start a campaign to get it accepted in everyday conversation? We’re missing out on so much by marginalizing this glittering jewel of the English language.
What is your motto? I have several. There’s “Sic semper motherfucker”, of course. And I can’t forget “Nemo teneo quisquam.” But I suppose my favorite at this point would have to be “Terminus puteus est bonus.”
Umm … thanks Tim for your insightful motto (I think). Your brilliant deep thoughts are greatly appreciated! I encourage all readers to leave Tim your own deep thoughts in the comments.