Get Inside the Mind of Author Tim Dittmer (@TWDittmer)

Tim Dittmer is a gentleman in the true sense of the word—gentle, kind, and gallant. You may wonder how I can possibly know this having only interacted with Tim on social media. Let me put it this way—I just know.

I’ve never been a fan of people who come on too strongly. To me, it speaks volumes when someone screams at me to get attention. As with many of the finer things in life, less is more, so although Tim’s words and actions speak softly, they carry a lot of weight.

I had the pleasure of connecting with Tim in the latter half of 2012, and he’s now a wonderful, supportive part of my social network. I’m currently enjoying his book, The Valley Walker. It’s not normally something I would pick up, but knowing about the author makes a huge difference in what I read, and Tim is the type of man who draws readers to him.

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Tim Dittmer for an interview.

*   *   *   *

The Valley Walker

Buy the ebook at:

Amazon US | UK | Canada

Smashwords | Barnes and Noble

* * * *

Read a blurb about The Valley Walker

“Yeah, though I walk through the valley… “

Special Investigator Teri Altro is a hard-case member of the Drug Interdiction Task Force. Cold and aloof, there is no room in her life for personal entanglements. No one is allowed to call her by her first name. No form of physical contact is acceptable. Altro is a driven woman, and people who work with her learn to keep up or stay out of her way. She carries a gun in her shoulder bag.

When Altro first notices the man staring at her, he doesn’t seem like anything special… just some guy in the drugstore. But when three men walk in the door to assassinate her, he kills them all with fluid ease, so quickly that she doesn’t even have time to pull her own gun. The confrontation is so eerily violent that it leaves Altro wondering just who… or what… the man is.

Over the next four days she learns that the man is John Walker Michaels, a man known to the Hmong of Laos as the Valley Walker, a man the army has classified as a deserter. He is an openly emotional man who draws her out of her shell and into the world of Hmong mysticism. At the end of this time… even after talking to him, learning his history and meeting his family… Altro can only shake her head when asked about him.

She had touched him and felt his warmth. She knew he was real.

Or was he?

* * * *

Inside Tim’s Mind

Thanks so much for asking me to do this, Eden. I mean, I really am just a guy. It’s truly an honor for a common man like me to be associated with such a refined lady.

[eden] I’m thrilled to have you here Tim, and I’d never in a million years describe you as common. Let’s start with a question about your writing process. 

What turns you on creatively? Just about anything can cause a spark. It might be music, a movie, a phrase I hear, a book I read, or just some random thought. That spark gets something lit, and it sits in there and smolders while I pace or stare out the window, fanning the embers. If nothing else gets the fire to break out, washing the dishes just about always does it. Yes, Eden. Washing the dishes. By hand.

[eden] I get ideas from mundane tasks too, like vacuuming.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To me, it’s just knowing that you’re doing the right thing. That’s not so easy in this world, but if you manage to pull it off, it can bring a warmth that’s better than a hot toddy on a chilly night. It’s very important to my happiness… that and coffee… and ice cream… and potato chips.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I try hard to avoid repetition and overuse in my writing, but variations of heart and feel are a couple of my weaknesses. I’m often trying to convey to the reader what’s going on inside a character, and can fall into the tell-more-than-show trap. In everyday conversation my most overused phrase would be “Shit the bed, Irene.”

[eden] Wow, that’s one I’ve never heard before!

What quality do you most admire in a man? I AM going to be serious about this. Yes, really. What I most admire in a man is tolerance of other people’s beliefs, chosen lifestyle, and social standing. That tolerance will be naturally evidenced by polite behavior.

What quality do you most admire in a woman?  The quality I most admire in a woman is…. Wow. I like just hearing a woman’s voice, or smelling her hair, or looking at the dimples as she smiles or… Sorry, Eden. I just got sidetracked. Like I said, I’m just a guy. But what I was going to say is that the quality I most admire in a woman (when I’m not sidetracked, that is) is the same quality I most admire in a man. Tolerance.

What is your greatest regret? Right now my greatest regret is that my socks don’t match. I don’t know how that happened. Okay, Eden. I’ll get back on subject. Yes, I’ve done things that I shouldn’t have, not done things that I should have. I regret that. But my greatest regret? I don’t talk about that. To anyone. Ever.

[eden] It’s a very personal question, I understand.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’m pretty happy with who and what I am. This is it, folks. Take it or leave it. Oh come on, Eden. Give me a break here! Okay, okay. I guess I’d like to be taller.

What is your greatest fear? Sometimes I lay awake at night worrying that the toilet will quit working. Then when I finally doze off, the nightmares will start. I’ll wake up covered in sweat and calling for my mom. All right, Eden, but you’re going to be pissed. My greatest fear is something else I don’t talk about.

[eden] Tim, you’re tough! I fully respect your answer.

Which living person do you most admire? This one’s easy. My mother-in-law. She’s sweet and kind and caring and hard working. Not anything like I am. This woman stood by me when I really needed somebody, when I was just about to crash and burn. AND she makes the best pot roast I’ve ever tasted.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Hmmm. I’d like to be an heir. You know? The person that didn’t have to do a lick of work in their life, never had to fight and claw their way to the top, but just fell into a ton of money? Yep, I’d like to be a rich idler… ridiculously, filthy, stinking rich. I’d be good at that job.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A mongoose. You know those rodents that chase down snakes? Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? I’d have to live in Hawaii, though, so I wouldn’t have to chase snakes. I could just hang out by the beach all day and get fed by the tourists. Hopefully, ice cream and potato chips.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I once chewed the same piece of gum for two days straight. What, Eden? You’re not accepting that?

[eden] Nope, and I’m hoping to get an answer here 🙂

Okay, I’ll tell the truth, but it’ll sound pretty corny. My three children are my greatest achievement. They didn’t turn out anything like what I had planned, but they all turned out to be people I like to be around. I have no idea how that happened.

[eden] What’s that “Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” expression?

What is the trait you most deplore in others? If there’s anything I hate more than people that waste toilet paper, it’s people with shit under their fingernails. Come on, Eden. Did you think this was going to be easy?

[eden] Ha! No, not easy at all. 

Okay. I can’t stand people looking down their noses at others, like something the dog left on the rug, any person who thinks themselves superior to others of a different societal strata.

What is your greatest extravagance? Besides coffee? I’m a simple guy, but I guess my greatest extravagance is keeping the heat turned up higher than necessary in the winter. It’s wasteful and contrary to good sense, but I’ve never been a cold weather person.

[eden] I’m with you there. I hate the cold too.

What is one thing you want to do before you die? Really, I’m doing the things I want to do. There’s not much I would change. No, wait a second. Now that I think about it, I’d like to learn to speak French. That language sounds SO cool.

[eden] Do it, Tim. It’s not that difficult a language. Mind you, I learned it when I was ten … Okay, never mind.  

Who is your favorite writer/musician/film director? This is a tough one, but I’ll give it a shot. And I’ll be serious, I promise. My favorite writer varies with what mood I’m in, but my favorite book of all time is Hannibal, by Thomas Harris. I’d have to go with Eric Clapton as my favorite musician. The man can play! I don’t care much about true films and who directed them. I’m not very artsy. But Kelly’s Heroes is, no doubt, my absolute favorite movie.

What are some of your favorite curse words? There can be only one favorite curse word, Eden. Mine is the F word, of course. We studied it quite extensively in the army, until we could hold entire conversations using the F word exclusively. I’ve learned to use it well over the years… with all its different meanings and subtle nuances. It’s the one art I’ve excelled at.

[eden] Oh, you mean fart? Yeah, I like that one too 😉

What is your motto? Two salt tablets, a canteen of water, and push on, Grunt. I adopted that as my mantra long ago, in the days when the army thought that salt tablets cured everything.

[eden] Tim, I said you were a gentleman at the beginning of this interview, but I had no idea you were such a jokester! I like this side of you too.

Readers, please say “hi” to Tim and show him some love — Don’t forget to connect to him on all his social networks too. 

* * * *

Connect with Tim

Tim W Dittmer

Website | Twitter @TWDittmer

Amazon Author page | Goodreads | Facebook

T. W. Dittmer’s full name is Timothy Watson Dittmer. His friends call him Tim.

He was raised in Gary, Indiana, the son of a steel worker who later turned to preaching the Gospel. After high school he joined the army and volunteered for service in Vietnam.

He started writing music and poetry in high school, and has carried the love of those arts through his life. That love shines through in his prose.

He lives quietly with his wife in Michigan, where he is busy working on his next book.


Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

46 responses to “Get Inside the Mind of Author Tim Dittmer (@TWDittmer)

  1. It’s been a while since I picked up on your “Inside the Author’s Mind” blog series, but I just did for for this one. First thing I noticed: usually the title is an invitation, an enticement, but this time I notice it is an instruction, a command: “GET inside the author’s mind…” Dear, oh dear, I think I’m turning into an editor, who’s a pedant. Anyway, I did as instructed, M’am and interesting fellow Tim Dittmer is! I shall be catching up with him in due course, when I’ve caught up on a bit of sleep… since the arrival of an email from your site just woke me! [forget to turn off my phone – eejit]. 


  2. I love this series, and Tim, you give good interview! Off to follow and wishlist your book!


  3. Pingback: Get Inside the Mind of Author Tim Dittmer (@TWDittmer) | « T. W. Dittmer

  4. Thanks for interviewing Tim, Eden!

    He’s one of the nicest guys in the world, and I’m a big fan of his, as well. And you did a good job making him talk about himself. That’s a real challenge, I’ve found, which only makes me like and respect him more. : )


  5. Wonderful interview- loved the questions and answers, felt like I was following a genuine conversation. A sign of two good authors! I’m a fan of Tim’s book so was delighted to hear that you spotlighted his work.


  6. I’m a huge Tim Dittmer fan – both of the book and the man. He’s wonderfully supportive and a true gentleman. This was a really nice interview, and I learned a tad more about him. … Oh, he’s definitely got the gift of jokester when he wants to show it.


  7. T. W. is a gentle man and a gentleman in the truest sense of the words.


  8. I loved this interview, like Letizia said – I felt like I was listening to a conversation between to authors! Well done, Tim and Eden 😀


  9. Nice interview Eden, Tim is a very cool guy and yes I need to read something of him. Thanks for share this.


  10. OK, this interview was AWESOME! I’ve known Tim through the blogging/social media world for some months now, so obviously I’m partial to your subject.

    You guys created pure entertainment with this, I gotta say. Bravo!


    • You’ve got me grinning again, Britt. Eden is such a professional that I couldn’t mess it up too badly. I just drank coffee and answered the questions. Oh, and did that exercise with that big rubber-band thing, of course. 😉


  11. You’ve picked a good one, Eden. I am a fan of Tim. For his support, his humor and as a brother of the band– a veteran. He is a true artist of the written word. The Valley Walker is such a powerful great story. Well done, Tim!


  12. Really great interview! I have to nab a copy of Tim’s book ASAP! 🙂


  13. I really need get round to reading Tim’s book every time I see a review it reminds me how much I want to read it I have decided this is the down side to the kindle books get hidden too easily paper copies can be left where you can see them to know they are next 😀


  14. Terrific interview, modeled on the Proust Questionnaire? Tim is the cat’s pajamas!


  15. Tim – Great job, Sir. Thanks for sharing of yourself and your honesty.

    PoetJanstie – Yes, I’m more pushy as I get older, so the title was a command. Good eye 😉

    ElroyJones – Yes! Proust/Pivot actually, though I don’t restrict responses to short answers.

    Many thanks to everyone who came out to support Tim with your likes and comments. I am not surprised by the fantastic people he surrounds himself with.



  16. Maggie

    Awesome interview! It is rare to find tolerance in anyone these days, male or female. Most everyone wants a reason to feel superior to someone else.


  17. Now that’s a fun interview, Tim and Eden! The book premise sounds good!


  18. Hi Tim! I loved your interview! An heir? Really? No, I’d get way too bored!
    Hi Eden! I see you have a new book out also! I’ll have to check it out.


  19. Eden – this was such a great interview. I’ve fairly recently discovered Tim and very grateful! I really enjoyed your questions – not the run of the mill stuff. I also really liked the way I could read this without thinking something was being sold to me. Often when I read interviews, or articles about writers I feel as though the interviewee is trying to get too much attention. But you were graceful, and your writing was humble. Thanks for helping me get to know Tim better.
    I would love to put a link to this post on my blog next week – usually I post on Tuesdays. I hope that’s okay 😉


    • Hi Gabriela, of course you can share the interview as you wish. I appreciate your dropping by and leaving a comment too.
      I conduct author interviews on Fridays so if you want this one with Tim, just make sure to use the specific link.



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