01c-INTERVIEWS & FORUM (blog)

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Patience is especially applicable to writing

posted Sep 16, 2018, 9:39 AM by David Alan Binder

Patience is especially applicable to writing.

 

Sometimes you are ahead of your time but even if you are, you still have to progress even if your idea doesn’t catch on.  

Sooner or later it will come to fruition for you or someone else.  Here are some examples:

 

Seth Godin, American author and dot com business executive

“In 1989, I [Seth Godin] created and launched a new idea: videotapes of people playing video games. 

It was ridiculed by the hipsters of the day, and my publisher later admitted that they hadn't even bothered to bring it to market 

beyond a few stores. A copycat product went on to sell a few million copies.”  (Now thousands make a living of broadcasting 

themselves playing video games via YouTube.)

 

“In 2004, Dan Lovy and I [Seth Godin] launched a device that could take the music on your hard drive and play it through your stereo. 

And some other stuff, too. You certainly don't own one. We were five years too early for early adopters and ten years too early for the 

beginning of the mass market.”

 

Mike Cernovich wrote for 15 years before he started to make a go of it and it was small.  A pebble rolling down the hill, which started 

more pebbles until a rock or two until a boulder or two and it took 15 YEARS!  Until he made any money writing.

That landslide is still building for you and for me.

 

Stefan Molyneux a podcaster, started in on philosophy and after 35 years is finally successful.  35 YEARS!  That is a long time. 

 

Stefan Molyneux also has written 30 plays, 6 novels, a nonfiction book, all without making a penny of any of that writing.  (All of this is free on his

 website https://freedomainradio.com/

 

If you don’t learn anything else from me, learn this:

Write because you love to.  That one thing alone will sustain you during those long, long, long lean times.

 

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Fulfillment

posted Sep 14, 2018, 5:36 PM by David Alan Binder

Fulfillment

You may be unfulfilled by not having commercial success BUT you will be fulfilled by following your dreams.  The action of fulfillment comes from within you.  It is not given.  It is not granted.  It cannot be bought.  It is not a reward or achievement. 

Again.  Repetition can be helpful in sinking a deep thought into ourselves.  Let the next sentence wash over you.  Breathe it in and think about it.

 

Fulfillment comes from within.

 

Stop reading now.  Think about that sentence for a full minute.

Wait.

Wait.

Ah, now a minute is up.

 

How does that sentence make you feel?

Fulfillment comes from within.

Does this make sense?

Fulfillment comes from within.

What do you think about that sentence?

Fulfillment comes from within.

Let this sentence click into place and it will open worlds for you.

Fulfillment comes from within.

Your friends, family, job, achievements, cars, houses, money will NEVER give you fulfillment.

Fulfillment comes from within.

 

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

 

Publishing versus Self-Publishing

posted Sep 13, 2018, 3:30 PM by David Alan Binder

Publishing versus Self-Publishing

When we think of Publishing versus Self-Publishing, what are we actually thinking?

 

Publisher:

          Traditional

          Conformity

          Acceptance

          Prestige

          Formulaic

          Censorious

Name some authors who have books published by the big 5 or however many there are.

You can go to any book store and see thousands of books published in the traditional method.

 

Self Publish

          Nonconventional

Open-minded

Progressive

Radical

Unconventional

Name some authors who are self published.

Beatrix Potter, Michael J. Sullivan. E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey), Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, E.E. Cummings, James Redfield, Hugh Howey, Zane Grey

Now for the huge caveat.  It doesn’t mean all the above writers made huge sums of money.  Most became famous after death, some long after death.

Here is an excerpt of an article written by Barbara Rogen:

“…a recent survey, conducted by Dave Cornford and Steven Lewis for Taleist and published under the title NO GOLD RUSH… According to the survey, 75% of all royalties generated by self-published books went to the top 10% of writers; and half of all self-published writers earned less than $500 a year.“

Plus most self-published authors actually are wanting to get the attention of a publisher by self-publishing.

 

“Your choices are many and we live either good or bad by our choices.” David Alan Binder

 

It is not the publisher, which makes you.  It is not the self-publishing, which makes you.  It is not your agent, which makes you.  It is only your hard work; your writing that comes first; you’re marketing yourself, your inputs into the whole process that makes you.

“First and foremost, writing makes you!” David Alan Binder

Think writing first.  The rest is a crapshoot.

 

Thin Air

posted Sep 11, 2018, 3:28 PM by David Alan Binder

Thin Air

 

Just so you know, there is a term called “Thin Air”.  It is also scientific and magic.  The scientific explanation comes from Scienceline.org

The “thin” air at high altitudes has considerably less oxygen and pressure. This is because the earth's gravity holds the oxygen close to the surface — so much so that half of the oxygen in the atmosphere is found below 18,000 feet. For comparison, Mount Everest is about 29,000 feet”

Also, just as an aside you weigh more at sea level than you do at 10,000 feet altitude.  About .8 pounds lighter up there.

 

The magic explanation comes from your father or mother or caregiver when you ask them for money, typically you’ll hear.  “What do you think I’m made of, MONEY!?  (Don’t answer it’s rhetorical.)  Or you’ll also hear, “Money doesn’t come from thin air or grow on trees.”  [If any of you find a money tree, call me and don’t tell anyone else.]

 

Your creative genius doesn’t come from thin air.  It comes from a wellspring within you.  It is a combination of brain working with heart working with spirit working with imagination.  A rare combination of items working together.

There are 7.4 billion people in the world.

There are approximately 281,300 people employed as an Authors, Writers, and Editors. (According to StudentScolarships.org https://studentscholarships.org/professions/585/employed/authors_writers_and_editors.php#sthash.RxQKXwaH.dpbs)

 

This means you are approximately 0.00380135135 percent

That is 1 in 26,306 (without the decimals).  Of 26,306 people walking around you are the only one that is a writer.

 

You are unique, you are rare, you are a writer!

 

This is a Think Piece by David Alan Binder

The Rabbit and the Hound

posted Sep 8, 2018, 7:46 AM by David Alan Binder

The Rabbit and the Hound

 

We all have a rabbit inside of us.  That rabbit is full of fear.  Constantly looking around and surveying the

 landscape for those things that will get us.  That will maybe hurt us.  That stalk us like failure.

 

There is also a hound inside of us.  That hound if full of bravado.  Constantly sniffing around for a good tidbit 

and surveying the landscape for other fun options.  That will be entertaining.  That give us something to do, 

but that end up in failure.

 

Let me introduce you to two people:

 

One is Ms. MaybeIWill

The other is Mr. EvenIfIDo

 

Ms. MaybeIWill is like the rabbit.  Planning, hoping and thinking about great things.  Maybe I will write a 

book.  Maybe I’ll be an author.  Maybe I’ll start a blog, article, short story, gain notoriety.  But Ms. 

MaybeIWill keeps thinking in the back of her mind, “Maybe I will fail”.


Mr. EvenIfIDo is like the hound.  Sniffing around looking for a great future, even writing down ideas, 

expanding on characters, taking pen to paper or fingers to computer and using them for sounding boards.  All 

the time, Mr. EvenIfIDo keeps thinking, If I write it, “Nobody will read it, even if I do.” If I write it, “Nobody 

will publish it, even if I do” If I write it, “Who will care, even if I do.” If I write it, “I will fail; even if I do”.


Chose either scenario and if you say to yourself, “Maybe I will fail” or “…, even if I do” then you will.  You 

have predestined yourself with your own thoughts.

 

As you think, then you are.

 

So…

 

Which are you?

Ms. MaybeIWill

Or

Mr. EvenIfIDo

 

Either one is certain of failure.  One is too timid and the other sabotages themselves with their pessimistic 

attitude.

 

Let me introduce you to a third person.

 

Ima GonnaDoThis

 

Now Ima is a person, who doesn’t know if they can or can’t.  Ima isn’t even interested in failure.  Ima knows 

that experimenting yields results.  Results give one feedback and then corrections can be made and new 

experiments are implemented until, voila, success.

 

I started out and wondered at first if I would succeed or fail.  I decided that I would not think about that. 

I saw something that Jeff Goins wrote over three years ago.

He wrote, “You are a writer (so start acting like one)”

It struck me powerfully.  (thanks Jeff, now he has a book by the same name.)

So I just did it.

Neither success or failure were options, I just did it.

I experimented with a blog.  That did not work.  How could I interest people?  How could I reach out and hold 

their, this means you, Dear Writers and Dear Readers, attention?

 

I developed another experiment.  What if I asked authors some questions and they answered them?  That might be interesting.

As with any experiment, one develops a hypothesis or theory and then one puts it to the test.

I did.

 

In 2015, I performed two author interviews.  Granted I started in December, I was unknown, but I had to start 

somewhere.

In 2016, I performed 528 author interview and hundreds of articles.  I joined SCBWI Society of Children's 

Book Writers and Illustrators.  I started several Children’s Picture Books.

In 2017, I continue to interview authors and now I always will.  This is the main stay, however, I am writing 

so many more articles that my site is now article focused.  Now I call them a “Think Piece”. 

 

Food for thought, something to think about, something to discuss, to ruminate over.

 

Dear Readers and Dear Writers, most of all I write for me.  If you want to “listen” in then I welcome you.  A 

writer’s first audience is themselves, you, however, are a priority.  When I consider an article, I ask myself, “Is 

this interesting, to more than myself?”  So you rank first, so it is not really for me but for us.

 

I want to acknowledge, Stephen King’s Everything’s Eventual collection of short stories, and especially the 

story named The Death Room and his sub-character, “Mr. Maybe They Will” and “Mr. Even If I Do.”

 

Mary Sutton (who writes as Liz Milliron) interview with David Alan Binder

posted Sep 2, 2018, 7:40 AM by David Alan Binder

Mary Sutton (who writes as Liz Milliron) interview with David Alan Binder

 

Bio:

 

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She survived growing up through reading, cutting her mystery teeth on Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and, of course, Nancy Drew. As an adult, she finds escape from the world of software documentation through creating her own fictional murder and mayhem. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband and two teenage children, and fantasizes about owning a dog - one of these days.

 

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Root-Evil-Laurel-Highlands-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07FSV32V9/ref=sr_1_1?i e=UTF8&qid=1535652035&sr=8-1&keywords=liz+milliron&dpID=51wYzLOJ53L&am p;preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

Blog: https://mysteristas.wordpress.com/

 

Website: http://www.lizmilliron.com/

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name?
Mill-iron – two words (that’s how Grandma pronounced it, even though lots of people in Pennsylvania want to say it differently).

2.     Where are you currently living?
I live in one of the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA

 

3.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Writing is editing. The first draft is never as good as you think it is, so celebrate finishing, but be prepared for a lot of work before the book is ready to leave “the nest.”

4.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I can’t outline – at all. I’ve tried. My critique partner, however, says that very first draft is more of a “narrative outline” because it exists just to tell me the story. It often changes quite a bit between “first draft” and “ready for the publisher.” It’s probably not a very efficient way to work, but there it is.

5.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I self-published a series of middle-grade fiction under the name “M.E. Sutton.” It’s possible to make self-publishing work, but it takes a lot of time, talent, and treasure to do it right. For my Laurel Highlands books, I’ve been very fortunate to work with a small press who helps enormously.

a.      Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?
Level Best Books, located in Maryland.

 

6.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I’m a fan of whatever format gets people to read. Print book? Awesome. E-book? Great. Audio? Right on. As a friend of mine would say, “You do you.” And I think it’s wonderful that authors have so many publication options these days, not just the traditional “get an agent, get a Big 5 publisher.”

7.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Persistence. If you believe in your book, don’t give up. Level Best was the last publisher I queried. If they had passed, I knew it was time to (at least temporarily) move on to writing a different series.     

8.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I do not have an agent, but if this is your goal, see my answer to #7. You’ll hear a lot of “no” before you get to “yes,” but if you love your book, keep at it.

9.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?
Read a lot, and by “read a lot” I mean A LOT. And everything. Sure, read your genre, because it’s important to know what’s out there, what’s working, and what isn’t. But read outside, too: even things you don’t think you’ll like. All types of fiction and even non-fiction, because histories and biographies tell stories, too. Good writing is good writing and you never know when you’ll find that trick that takes your art to another level.

10.                        What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
How much I benefitted from a good critique group. This is both unsurprising and surprising. I knew I needed to get together with others to provide feedback if I was going to up my game. I was surprised at how “up” the game went after I got in my current group. They are wonderful and I wouldn’t be here without them.

11.                        How many books have you written?
I have two other unpublished works besides Root of All Evil.

12.                        Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?
This isn’t new, but find a trusted person to read and provide feedback on your work. Really trusted. Not your best friend, or your spouse, or your mother. You need someone who will not only tell you what’s NOT working, but what IS working, and help you brainstorm. Also: if a person tells you something is not working they are probably right, but if they give you a specific solution, they are probably wrong. You know your story best, so when it comes to feedback have an open mind, but go with your instincts, too.

13.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Do the opposite of what your first choice is and see where it takes you. A friend gave me the trick of “The List of 20,” twenty options for a particular situation. The first 10 are probably trite and junk, the next five are possible, but the really good ideas are going to be the last five, when you are plumbing the depths. Just make it consistent with your character!

14.                        What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
Hopefully the setting and the dialog.

15.                        What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?
I’m too new. Right now I’m being very traditional (guest blogs, social media, etc.). but I’m always looking for something new that seems promising.

16.                         What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would have started writing seriously a lot earlier in life.

17.                        What saying or mantra do you live by?
I think it’s Nora Roberts: “You can’t edit a blank page.” Applies to more than writing: you can’t grow if you don’t do something.

 

18.                        Anything else you would like to say?
Just thanks for asking me to participate. As a friend would say, “Write on!”

Cindy Ross interview with David Alan Binder

posted Aug 30, 2018, 3:37 PM by David Alan Binder   [ updated Sep 1, 2018, 10:32 AM ]

Cindy Ross interview with David Alan Binder

Her (shortened) biography:  She has crossed the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail as a single woman penning and illustrating her first book, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail, which has been in print for over 35 years and has become a hiking classic. Then she tackled the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail through the Sierra and Cascade Mountains with her husband, Todd Gladfelter and wrote and illustrated, Journey on the Crest. (The Mountaineers Books)

Her 6th and latest book, Scraping Heaven- A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide (McGraw-Hill) is the rousing adventure of a family’s incredible five-summer, 3100-mile trek over the rooftop of North America. They used llamas as kid carriers and packers to carry supplies and diapers across the Rocky Mountains. The entire journey took 5 summers, hiking 500 miles at a shot. The last stretch through New Mexico is all desert, so they traded their llamas in for tandem mountain bikes and pulled trailers full of 100 pounds of gear for the last 650 miles down to the Mexican border.

 

Her newest book, The World is Our Classroom- How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education, will be published by Skyhorse Publishing, NYC in September 2018. One of Cindy’s passions is spreading the word on the role the natural world plays in educating our children, and how to get them outdoors. Cindy shares her expertise gleaned from 24 years of mothering as a writer, an outdoor adventurer and a home-school facilitator, through presentations and workshops.

 

Besides Cindy’s 7 published books, she has written over 1,000 magazine articles for such national magazines as Outside, Backpacker, Paddler, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Outdoor Life, Canoe & Kayak, Adventure Cyclist, Sailing, Wooden Boat, Scouting, Native Peoples, etc. Travel stories in newspapers include The LA Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, etc.

Cindy has appeared on Philadelphia’s NBC “The 10 Show;” Philadelphia’s ABC “Sunday Live”; NYC’s CBS News “Up to the Minute;” NYC’s Channel 11Warner Bros., “The Morning News,” and Denver’s CBS. Her family and llamas were featured on a half-hour show on Animal Planet, called “Pet Story.”

 

Her links:

Blog Websitewww.cindyrosstraveler.com

Book website:  https://www.theworldisourclassroombook.com/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/cindyrosstraveler/?hl=en

 

1.     Where are you currently living? 

At the base of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary by the Appalachian Trail in New Ringgold, PA

2.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

I am amazed at my much I love the craft of writing blogs and how much it has helped me be a better writer. Thinking about a point that I want to make in the piece, how to introduce it, use story-telling, circle back to my point at the end of the piece, etc., taught me important things like tight writing, staying on track, injecting humor, making the piece always be about heart. When I was stuck on my last manuscript for The World is Our Classroom- my one editor friend said, “Why don’t you treat the individual topics or lessons as a blog post.” I had been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of material that I had of twenty-five years of educating my children, but I was able to manage the huge amount of material by breaking it down and approaching it as a blog. It helped me get back on track and get the book published.

https://cindyrosstraveler.com/2013/06/11/sunny-rest-nudist-camp-part-i-of-three-parts/

3.     What would you say is your most interesting quirk?

Cindy does not have a writing quirk but I did find out that she was a life drawing model for artists for many years.

4.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I would personally never choose to self-publish because I wanted to work hard enough and write well enough to produce a manuscript that a publishing house would want to buy from me. These days, a publishing house publicist does much less, than they did years ago as many companies are being stretched, so the writer must get out there and do their own work selling to a great degree anyway, but I wanted the help- with editing, with knowing the markets, having an in-house designer, a paid publicist, etc. They can reach markets that it is extremely difficult for a self-published author to reach. I have always known that authors have very little leeway in negotiating contract terms, but it is even worse in the 10 years since I published a book. A lot has changed. Many more people want to be an author and get a book published and with self-publishing they can, but there are even more writers than ever competing for the slots available that the houses will publish. This last book, The World is our Classroom was the most difficult out of my seven.

 

5.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

Two of my back list books that went out of print, Scraping Heaven- A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide and Journey on the Crest- A 2,600 Mile Walk were recently brought back into print and I was surprised to learn when I received my royalty statement that I sold more e-books than hard copies. We typically do not make nearly as much on an e-book but the numbers add up to surpass the hard copies.

6.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?         

Next to having a great idea for a book and some excellent writing (2-3 sample chapters) having an excellent proposal is extremely important, with all the components fleshed out.

 

7.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one?

I asked writers that I already knew if they had suggestions. I went with one that was a referral. It’s important that they really believe in your work because they have to work hard to sell it. You don’t want to be hounding your agent to motivate and keep plugging away and not quit. Some lose interest after they burn through the large publishers, and once they get down to the mid-sized ones, you have to wonder if you couldn’t have gotten through yourself. I would give an agent a time period to sell it- after that, the writer should maybe get it back and try smaller presses yourself.

8.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

Be in love with writing. Write because you can’t live your life and be happy unless you are writing. You will get good at it then then, as long as you read while you write! My second book was edited by a friend’s husband who got a degree in journalism but was making a living as a postman instead, on the other hand, had my formal education in Fine Arts Painting (4 years of higher education at a professional art school), but was on my second published book. HE was the one who should be getting a book published yet he hadn’t picked up a pen. “A writer is ONE WHO writes.” That’s it. You gotta do it, and do it a lot. Also, write what you know the most about. That will be your best writing.

9.     What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

It has been awhile since I learned this, but in college, I only had one writing course and I received a C grade. But I did something early in my life that was unusual at the time, I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and got a book published on this epic journey, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail. It has been in print for over 35 years and is considered a hiking classic. I became a writer because I had something valuable and important to share and did it in an unusual way- a hand written calligraphy book with 125 ink and charcoal drawings. I went on to become a writer because I continued to find unusual and moving things to write about and so, have become successful at doing something that I love- backpacking, hiking, traveling the world with my family and have used writing as a way of sharing and communicating, regardless if I went to school to be a landscape painter.

10.                     How many books have you written?

Seven published.

11.                     Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

In a phone interview, I found that Cindy writes off of life experiences.  She goes through a self discovery, say a woman bikes past her with perfume on, and that causes her to think about that.  She says it is a personal evolution for her.  It’s a circle, something comes into her consciousness and she wants to explore it.  That exploring for her goes in a circle of until she discovers why it intrigues her.  That constant exploring and knowledge expansion is a huge factor in her work.

12.                     What are some ways in which you promote your work?

I work hard to find magazines that will excerpt, review or best yet, let me write a companion story to a topic in my book. That way, my audience reach is very broad, I get paid for the article and get my book in front of many eyes, as I mention it in the story. I put together inspiring author talks and multi-media presentations and speak at like-minded organizations, schools, groups, centers etc. It is much more than a simple author talk or book signing and I receive an honorarium at the same time. I purchase a large amount of my new books and can resell them at a considerable gain.

13.                     What saying or mantra do you live by?

"Anytime you have the opportunity to accomplish something for someone else and you don't do it, you are wasting your time on earth." Roberto Clemente

This is the reason why I have written my 7th book, The World is Our Classroom, to help parents raise and educate their children.

 

14.                     Anything else you would like to say?

She really did not have anything else to say but I found out that her son-in-law and her daughter (both Fulbright Scholars) had recently been to northern India for two reasons.  One was his exploration and discovery of Buddha stupas and, two; she is building artificial glaciers from a stupa like object.  So one can go inside this artificial glacier as well.  Interesting

Frances McNamara interview with David Alan Binder

posted Aug 28, 2018, 4:08 PM by David Alan Binder

Frances McNamara interview with David Alan Binder 

Shortened Bio from her website:

 

A job at the University of Chicago Library led to creation of Emily Cabot, as a graduate student from Wellesley College who comes to the university the first year that it opens. Between the flavor of 1890’s in the architecture on campus, and the access to historical research materials at the library, it was a great opportunity to translate the feel of the city to stories about Chicago at the turn of the century. Allium Press of Chicago published Death at the Fair, a story featuring Ida B. Wells and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In Death at Hull HouseEmily becomes a resident at the famous settlement house on the West side of Chicago the winter after the Columbian Exposition when a smallpox epidemic ravaged the immigrant communities. In Death at Pullman the famous company town south of the city suffers a strike that spreads to the rest of the city and the country. In each story fictional characters mix with some real people from the time, demonstrating the rich history and culture of the thriving young American metropolis that Chicago was. Death at Chinatown allowed me to use some of my Chinese language and culture studies. In Death at the Paris Exposition Emily gets to visit Paris with her family thanks to the patronage of Bertha Palmer. I’d like to continue to follow the stories and Emily and her family into the new century. I’m thinking of covering literary Chicago, the film industry in Chicago, WWI, the flu epidemic, prohibition and the Depression. It would be nice for the series to end with the Century of Progress world’s fair in Chicago in 1934. Death at the Selig Studios set in 1909 takes place in a silent film studio in northwest Chicago.

While living right in the heart of the city of Boston, I’m also a part time resident of Sandwich, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I’ve been working on the first story of a new series that will feature a retired Boston Policewoman. The short story “Wicked Writers” in the Malice Domestic Murder Most Conventional introduces Lucy O’Donnell, reluctantly retired police captain. A novel based on the new character is in progress. I'm also doing research for another historical series that would begin in 1919 in Boston.

 

Frances McNamara

https://francesmcnamara.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728513.Frances_McNamara

https://www.amazon.com/Frances-McNamara/e/B002BO9QK8

https://www.facebook.com/fdmcnama

https://alliumpress.com/authors/frances-mcnamara/

 

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name? 

Frances McNamara, as in “Oh, my name is McNamara, I’m the leader of the band…” On a family trip to Ireland this summer I learned that Mc is son of, and Namara is hound of the sea. Go figure.

2.     Where are you currently living?

Boston. I retired (to write full time). I lived in Chicago for more than 25 years and that’s where my series is set. My protagonist, Emily Cabot, is a girl from Boston who goes to Chicago in 1892 to be one of the first women graduate students at the brand new University of Chicago. She works with a fictional police detective roughly based on a real guy (Clifton Wooldridge who wrote “30 Years a Detective”). Like her, I grew up in Boston where my father was Police Commissioner from 1962 to 1972. Interesting times.

a.      Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?

 

I’m published by Allium Press of Chicago. Their motto is “rescuing Chicago from Capone, one book at a time.” It’s quite small but the editor is a former reference librarian and she’s passionate about Chicago history so she keeps me honest on the details. Her scope is “fiction with a Chicago connection.” She’s great to work with and really provides all the distribution channels that a self-published author would have to struggle to get. She publishes in print and ebook and makes great covers. Seems like my friends with big publishers have to do most of their marketing themselves and we decided online marketing is probably best. I think it takes a while to build a readership for my series and it’s good to have a publisher who will continue to publish them. I have no agent.

 

I’ve been looking for an agent to sell a different series to a big publisher. It’s set in Boston, not Chicago. But no success so far. I want to continue the Emily Cabot series for the readers who have found it and want more. Nothing is more inspiring than meeting someone who is enjoying the series and wants more books!!!

 

3.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Join groups of writers in your genre. I joined both Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and participated in meetings of the regional groups for both of those both in Chicago and Boston. Mystery writers are generous to other writers. In addition to encouragement, they’ll help you market your books once published and they’ll tell you about their publishing experiences. Besides, they’re interesting people.

Find a few writing conferences to attend. It’s worth the investment. An example is CrimeBake in New England, but there are others across the country. At these conferences there will be agents and publishers who will tell you about the business. Don’t be afraid to submit your work for critique. It’s good experience. And be sure to visit the bar, where you’ll learn all sorts of things.

4.     What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

Rewrite. You write a chapter, have it read by a critique group and rewrite it. You get a full first version written and you have to rewrite it more than once. You send it to some trusted beta readers and rewrite it. You submit to an editor who sends a long list of comments/questions and you rewrite it again, submit, rewrite. Sounds tedious but it does get better by the process so just grit your teeth and live with it.

5.     How many books have you written?

DEATH AT THE SELIG STUDIOS is Book 7 of the Emily Cabot Mysteries and I am hard at work at the next book DEATH AT THE BLACKSTONE. I have written and not published several contemporary mysteries, some of which are very dated now because they describe the computer industry in the 1990’s. Oops. I’m working on another historical mystery set in Boston in 1919. The first book of my published series took the longest to write as it went through a lot of revisions before it reached the publishable version. There’s also an unpublished piece of the story that precedes the first book and I’ve never gotten it into a good enough shape to publish.

6.     Anything else you would like to say?

We’re writers. It’s worth sitting down and writing out why you’re doing this. My publisher sent me Fauzia Burke’s ONLINE MARKETING FOR BUSY AUTHORS. I actually used it to write a plan for the current book and by answering the questions I realized I write what I do because I love finding forgotten people and events in the past and bringing them to life again and sharing them with others. That’s really what motivates me and my readers will be people who like discovering those people and events. It really does help to force yourself to think that through. I’m not intending to promote Ms. Burke but I’ve also heard her speak at writing conferences and she’s helpful. And I moved my website to be on the platform her company supports because it’s designed for easy upkeep of an author’s book information. But most important is being clear about what you want from the writing.

Insight

posted Aug 26, 2018, 3:31 PM by David Alan Binder   [ updated Aug 28, 2018, 4:07 PM ]

Insight

 

Insight in psychology means that a solution to a problem appears usually very quickly and without any warning.  A sudden discovery of 

correctness, following attempts that did not work.

 

For me, insight can also refer to “inner sight”.

When something that you’ve studied, or learned or hear suddenly has great meaning that hits you in your inner depth and you realize it 

as a great truth or something that reveals something about you to yourself.

 

What can lead to “inner sight”?

A religious experience, meditation, study of books on the particular subject that you are seeking enlightenment on.  Many things can lead 

to “inner sight”.  Even a walk in nature or around the block.

 

Wisdom can be revealed at any time in one’s life, in any place, and if the most unusual ways.

 

It may be easy not to recognize those “inner sights” that reveal themselves to you, so listen intently and when you get an insight be grateful.

 

This is another Think Piece by David Alan Binder

 

Emotional Maturity

posted Aug 21, 2018, 5:41 PM by David Alan Binder

Emotional Maturity

Is it possible to substitute writer in the following quotes and it still have meaning?

 

1.   “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”

 

2.   “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality.      But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

 

Those two quotes are by T.S. Elliot.

I really don’t know; but it may be applicable.  What can we do about it if it is true?  Just keep on writing.

 

What can we do about it if it is false?  Just keep on writing.

 

We human beings express ourselves in any way we can.  Through art, music, words, discussion, sports, dance, theater 

(which to me is a whole repertoire like acting, magic, mime, circus, any of those types of entertainment) and a myriad of ways.

 

Do we do it to escape emotion or do we pore out our emotion that stifles us into our art?

 

It doesn’t really matter.

 

Just express it.

 

Another Think Piece by David Alan Binder

 

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