Arno Zimmer was born in Rochester, NY and grew up in several towns in Upstate New York. He attended the University of Connecticut, from which he graduated cum laude with distinction in English. Subsequently, he received a master’s degree in literature from Georgetown University where he wrote his thesis on John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”.
His initial foray into writing was a 1981 business book entitled “Employing The Handicapped”, a guide for employers struggling to comply with federal laws and regulations governing the rights of disabled workers. This book was published by AMACOM, the book division of the American Management Associations, and was cited by Library Journal as one of the best business books of the year.
In 2011, he started researching life in 1950s small-town America, resulting in his first novel, “The Parlor City Boys”, an eBook released in 2015 featuring Det. Billy Meacham, Jr.
“Return to Parlor City,” the sequel to “The Parlor City Boys,” was released on Amazon as an eBook on October 22, 2016.
In November of 2017, “A Murder In Parlor Harbor” was published, completing the Det. Billy Meacham, Jr. eBook mystery trilogy.
In August of 2018, “Death Comes To The Torpedo Factory” was released in both paperback and eBook formats.
What inspires you to write?
For me, there is pure joy in taking an idea for a novel and developing it into a story that others find pleasure in reading.
Tell us about your writing process.
I begin with a core event – fictional or true – around which to build a storyline and to develop key characters. Each chapter is outlined in longhand and re-read before any draft is typed up. Certain events and some aspects of a character's development do get refined in "seat of the pants" moments. I then go through several typed drafts before arriving at the penultimate manuscript for a small group of beta readers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Once characters are defined, I strive to keep them true to their essence without interference in what they do or say (i.e., no emoting by the narrator to make a point that is "out of character"). At the same time, I want them to reveal themselves in a way that advances the narrative and makes both them and the story believable and entertaining.
Who are your favorite authors?
Barbara Tuchman's "The Guns Of August"; all the Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald novels; all of the great Victorian novelists – George Eliot, William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins – to name a few.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wrote a textbook in the early 1980s that was published by AMACOM, the book division of the American Management Associations. It would be 35 years later that I seriously turned to fiction writing after many fits and starts over the intervening years. I took what seemed like the easiest path and chose Amazon Kindle with its eBook option.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Except for a select group of well-known and popular writers, I see publishing moving more rapidly to POD and eBook models. When I talk to millennials and younger, I learn that many of them have never even read a book since finishing school so as the current population ages, it seems that the overall publishing market will shrink.
What genres do you write?
murder, mystery, crime fiction
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.