CLINTON – There be dragons in Tim Baird’s world.
“I love (writing about) dragons and all things medieval and want to see the story come to life,” he said.
Baird said his books are “for people who love science-fiction and fantasy, ideally adults who never bothered to grow up.”
A prolific writer – he’s written and published about six books in five years – most of Baird’s work mainly focuses on his dragon series storyline. The series, “A Dragon in the Whites”, is “a modern-day dragon tale taking place in and around the real New England region, but with some creative licenses taken.”
His latest adult novel, ”The Dragon in the Lighthouse” came out in early August and is a dragon romance novel taking place in Bar Harbor, Maine.
“It’s about a recently divorced female dragon who puts her stressful life behind her, flees the big city and the family who left her behind to start a new life in the quiet village by the seaside,” he said.
It’s pretty different from his previous works, I’ve explained, except for being about dragons.
“Whether it works or not is to be determined,” Baird said jokingly.
Baird has even written a dragon-based Dungeons and Dragons-compatible one-shot game, coming out later this year.
He generally writes adult books that can be read by a teenage audience.
Last year, he tried his hand at a children’s picture book, so his son Liam could read his writing before he became a young adult. “Good Night Phobos, Good Night Deimos” is a rewrite of “Goodnight Moon,” a “more futuristic version of the classic story with some funny twists thrown in.”
It’s about a young man stationed at a facility on Mars who is just starting out in his career, living away from Earth for the first time ever. Little kids are introduced to scientific equipment from his job and hobbies and watch him go through his nightly routine leading up to bedtime.
“I’ve been interested in Mars since I was a young boy watching NASA and the other countries in their race to explore it, so I wanted to share that love with my son,” Baird said.
Baird became a writer when his son was born, for fun and to give Liam “a cool present when he was older.” While he always enjoyed writing while going through the Clinton public school system, he saw it as a means to an end — to get a good grade. He didn’t consider writing until after he dove into science-fiction and fantasy reading as an adult.
Although he thinks it would be “neat” to be a full-time author someday, Baird has an 18-year career as a mechanical engineer at a Clinton plastics company and “loves engineering too much and enjoy the balance that I currently have of doing engineering and writing together.”
Baird has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in management from Worcester State University.
He recently moved to Holden, but his heart (and his job) are in Clinton.
He grew up in Clinton and lived in town full-time until college, then returned and brought property on Main Street for a few years and is still in town almost every day for work.
“As for why I lived there for so long beyond grade school, it’s mainly the small town charm. I like that Clinton is quieter and far from the big cities like Worcester or Boston, yet you’re still close enough to them when you want to get that lifestyle,” he said.
Baird relies on the support of his wife, Kristin, his son, and his family and friends. Kristin is a teacher and has beta-tested and edited every one of his stories about him, as she has his dad and his step-brother Tom, despite not being huge fans of sci-fi and fantasy.
Another book, a novella called “Eggs in Two Baskets,” takes place in a post-apocalyptic near future, mostly in central Massachusetts and then space as the story progresses, and was written to help Baird de-stress from the early pandemic.
“It’s a little quirky,” he said.
Aside from short stories in anthologies (often about dragons), Baird is self-published. He said he was an unknown entity in the competitive publishing world, so he decided to write the best books possible, hire professional editing and cover artists (and an illustrator for his children’s book), and try to establish his name while keeping control of the content, some of which have very sentimentally important elements.
However, he intends to approach traditional book publishers on a work-in-progress.
“Because it is so easy to publish and self-market yourself on the Internet and social media, it means that anyone can do it… it means that there are tons of people out there trying to do the same thing as you. Your potential readers are then flooded with options to choose from and it’s very easy to get lost in the mix,” he said.
Baird has “a long list of other story ideas.” He’s been averaging just over a book a year and plans to stick with that pace as long as he can.
“My drive to create comes from making things to share with other people. I like making something and getting to hear what other people think, then use that feedback to improve on the next project,” he said. “Whether it’s upcycling some antique that I recently found, building something cool out of LEGOs, 3D printing a neat toy or game piece, I like making ‘stuff’.’
“Writing satisfies that itch and keeps me motivated to see my next idea come to life and share it with the world,” Baird added.
He also enjoys hiking, videogames, card games like Magic: The Gathering, painting miniatures like Warhammer and the occasional role playing game.
To those dreaming of being an author, Baird recommends not to get caught up in the logistics and to just start. He said many libraries have writing clubs to join for criticism and advice, and many authors are willing to talk shop online or in person.
Baird usually does comic cons and book signings in local bookstores, and said he typically sells very well in person, so COVID caused a hit to his sales. He did one event in 2020 and one in fall 2021, but has enthusiastically returned to conventions, expos and bookstores this year.
Find Baird and his books, and learn more at timbaird.us. In addition to physical books online and in local bookstores, e-books are available via Amazon, and two novels are available as Audible audiobooks. He is also on Facebook, timbaird.author, and on Twitter, @timbairdauthor.