Timothy Atkinson was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, the son of a grocer and civil servant. He dropped out of high school at sixteen following his first major bout with depression, instigated by the twin tragedies of his first breakup alongside the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, which left an indelible impression on him.
Shortly afterwards he obtained his GED and began attending community college, where he became interested in cinema. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute before moving to Los Angeles in his early twenties to pursue a career in filmmaking. He receiving his B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. At the time, he did not believe in the future of the novel, even though prose was where his heart lay. But upon graduating with his film degree, he’d long since lost his taste for the expensive, high-stakes, collaborative world of indie cinema, and decided to sell his camera and turn his back on film forever (though he is still very much a fan of genre films).
The next fifteen years were spent toiling in obscurity. He began reading and writing more voraciously than ever, in search of writers to inspire his emerging voice, gravitating towards those authors that explored the deep dark underbelly of American civilization. Writers such as Hubert Selby Jr., Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner and Dan Fante. Literature should transgress. It should subvert. It should redraw the boundaries of what is socially acceptable to write and think about. By exploring themes such as addiction, despair, emerging sexuality and the hopeless malaise and desperation we often feel as human beings to leave an enduring impression on the world we leave behind, we can, Atkinson believes, better allow ourselves to confront the inevitable, appreciate the complexity of everyday morality, whilst also acknowledging the utter absurdity of endeavor itself.
Atkinson received his M.F.A. from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2022. Today he’s (mostly) conquered his depression, or at least has become savvier at navigating its marshes. He lives in the East Hollywood area of Los Angeles with his wife and two-school-aged children. He maintains a substack called Transgressive Typewriter where he writes about all things transgressive, from books to films to music. His first novel “Help Me I am in Hell” is slated to be published by Anxiety Press in early 2024.