Title: Four Before Their Time
Author: Timothy Spillane
Release Date: 22nd August 2014
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Anne had it all. She was a physician, an Army officer, and a great wife. She'd be a great mom, too. But the joy of pregnancy is short-lived after an ultrasound reveals that Anne isn't just pregnant, she's really pregnant-with quadruplets! Now her dad, Tim Spillane, is a grandfather four times over, and much too soon. Just 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Anne delivered, and not one of Tim's grandkids weighs more than half a mug of coffee. So underdeveloped that even calling them babies feels wrong, the odds of just one of them surviving-let alone all four-are heartbreakingly low. And even if the children pull through, they face the likelihood of disabilities so severe that they'd have no real quality of life. It all seems hopeless until Tim's wife observes that just seeing the quads is like "being allowed a glimpse into the miracle that grows in a mother's womb." Four Before Their Time is the true story of four babies surviving on a razor's edge, one mom's overwhelming and guilt-ridden entrance into parenthood, and an entire family's experiences with extreme premature birth. It will take all the faith, hope, and resilience the Spillane family can muster - along with more than a few miracles - just to get the quadruplets home.
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Timothy Spillane; born in Chicago, IL and now live (and have lived for the last 45 years) in Chester County, PA
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I loved drawing as a child and I remember my dad encouraging me to put my drawings together into a book format. Of course, that meant adding words to the drawings and so my journey as a writer began early. My first “real” book was a novel I wrote in college where I studied creative writing. But what I think I wanted to be, more than anything, was a husband and a father. I married straight out of school and had three daughters within five years. That put my writing on hold for quite some time.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I could always write well, but there’s a difference between good writing and being a good storyteller. It wasn’t until my daughter delivered extremely premature quadruplets that I realized I had a story that needed to be told. I knew then that I had to figure out had to use my writing skills to communicate this remarkable story.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It took me two and a half years to write the story, another year to have it edited and do the rewriting, and six months to take it through the self-publishing process.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’ve worked in construction since I was a teenager. For the last 25 years I’ve owned my own contracting business and that provided me the flexibility I needed to write my book.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
“Four Before Their Time: A Story of Hope, Resilience and Miracles.” My 20 word summary: “Life comes with hardships. How we face them tells our story. Hanging onto hope makes all the difference.”
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I contacted nearly 80 agents. None were interested. I decided my book was worth the cost of self-publishing. I’m glad I did.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m thinking about writing a children’s book. My daughter and her husband spent so much time reading to their four babies during the long months that they were in the neonatal intensive care unit. That inspired me.
What genre would you place your books into?
Autobiography / memoir
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I write when I can. I just sit down and do it.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes, writing for me is a collaborative process. I hadn’t even finished the first page of my book before stopping and having my wife read it. I had friends read drafts along the way, too. Ultimately, I learned that a professional editor is indispensable. Writing is so subjective. You need someone who can step away from the story and ask, “Why are including this?” The red pen of an editor is truly your friend.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
The title is my own. The cover designs and interior layout are the work of 1106 Designs. They were great to work with.
How do you market/promote your books?
Since this is my first book, I’m just beginning the process of marketing. My dad was a great salesman. I must have missed something there. I hate having to be a self-promoter. If Dad was still here, I’d put him in charge of marketing!
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I’m an avid bicyclist. I also enjoy painting but wouldn’t say that doing it relaxes me.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I like the feel of a real book in my hand. When I was young paperbacks were just for trash-y books. But who can afford a hardcover now? My wife reads her Kindle non-stop, but I’ve never actually read an e-book.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
No, I was never an avid reader. And I never had the kind of passion to write that would get me up at 4 in the morning to do it. But the story of my daughter and her quadruplets was one that I knew had to be told. It made me want to write.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Shakespeare, Hemingway and Mark Bowden.
Where can readers follow you?
Blog: Occasional blog posts at www.4b4theirtime.com
Facebook page: “Timothy Spillane, Author” and “Four Before Their Time”
Amazon: Author page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00N29JG56