IndieView with Josh Hickman, author of Through Tick & Tinn

This book just flowed out of me. Sometimes I could barely get the words down fast enough. I think that’s when you know you’re writing the right book. 

Josh Hickman – 21 December 2017

The Back Flap

Say “Martin & Lewis,” they’ll say, “A phenomenon!” Say “Rowan & Martin,” they’ll say, “Laugh-In!” Say “Tick & Tinn,” they’ll say, “You mean the tailors?” Finally, Josh Hickman bravely attempts to right a tragic comedic travesty which has persisted in the annals of entertainment for decades longer than it should have. Unmercifully digging through personal interviews, yellowed press clippings, grainy videotapes, scratchy kinescopes, scratchier comedy albums, and reams of questionable anecdotes, Mr. Hickman has managed to do the unthinkable—to piece together the most coherent portrait possible of the life of one of the last great comedy teams of the era.

Through rifts, marriages, divorces, and an infamous accusation of joke-theft, Jerry Tick and Larry Tinn persevered undaunted, spreading laughter through memorable challenges such as “The Pope Lick Monster” controversy, Jerry’s comedy cult involvement, and facing on live television Hobarth Getz, “The Man Who Couldn’t Laugh.”

About the book

What is the book about?

The book is about the ups and downs and downs of a complicated, long-term relationship. It is a fictional biography of an old, eccentric comedy team, roughly 1959-1993.

When did you start writing the book?

March, 2017

How long did it take you to write it?

Three months, excluding lengthy editing.

Where did you get the idea from?

I had been mulling over the idea for years, writing and collecting jokes. I am a fan of Woody Allen, Drew Friedman, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, as well as many old comedians.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?


What came easily?

The entire book. But I spent years thinking over such ideas and bouncing jokes off of friends.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

It was a combination. I didn’t base Larry and Jerry on any real comedians, but there are many fragments and slivers of real people in them.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

For this book in particular, I would say Chris Elliot and Norm Macdonald were the two main influences as far as the actual writing goes.

Do you have a target reader?

Anybody who likes to laugh and has an interest in comedy or old show business in general. I would think people over 40 would get more out of it than most teenagers today.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I walk, and I think. I think and make notes. Notes, walk, think, then I write in bursts from between several minutes to several hours. In between bursts I fact check, research, and look up footage on YouTube. I usually write soon after I get up in the morning, about 6 or 7 AM. My energy starts to run out at about 2, and by 4 PM I have usually stopped and am going back over things and making corrections. I also sometimes will pick up for short periods at night as ideas or corrections hit me. I never write late at night.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

No, but I often write out and constantly correct a time-line or sequence of events.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

Both. I edit as I go as if is the final draft. Then, when the draft is finished, I go back over it about 5-6 times, cover to cover, and make little corrections and changes.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

I listen to music about half the time. I usually listen to music that is pertinent or complimentary to the certain tone of a scene or passage, i.e. funny, scary, mysterious. I listen to a lot of old soundtracks and instrumental music. If I am listening to music simply to keep my brain working, I usually listen to Mozart, Bach, or Wendy Carlos.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?


What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher?

Maintaining creative control. That is paramount with a book like this.

Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I talked with other published authors about the pros and cons, and I quickly decided the only way this novel would get into people’s hands in the correct form and in a timely manner would be to publish it through a small press.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

My publisher and I did it together.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I have somewhat of a marketing plan, and I have an L.A. publicist.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Start with a good idea. Flesh it out solidly. Write believable dialogue. Listen to how people talk. If it feels like it’s going wrong, stop. If you can’t fix a problem quickly, throw it away. I wrote the majority of four books over the previous ten years, and I never even attempted to publish any of them. Writing all of them was somewhat of a struggle. This book just flowed out of me. Sometimes I could barely get the words down fast enough. I think that’s when you know you’re writing the right book.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I spend most of my childhood in various parts of Texas.

Where do you live now?

Los Angeles

What would you like readers to know about you?
I care about my work, and I try to make it the best it can be, while including a part of myself in the work.

What are you working on now?

I have finished a horror satire anthology entitled Five Slices Of Fear: A Connoisseur’s Hoagie Of Horror, which is slated to be published in the first quarter of 2018, and I have started a new comic novel called Second-Hand Fun.

End of Interview:

For more from Josh, follow him on Twitter or like his Facebook page.

Get your copy of Through Tick & Tinn from Amazon US or Amazon UK.


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