MK McClintock interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 23, 2016 3:25:28 PM
MK McClintock interview with David Alan Binder
Bio: MK McClintock is the award-winning author of several books and short stories, including the popular "Montana Gallagher" series and highly-acclaimed "British Agent" novels. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives a quiet life in the Rocky Mountains.
1. Where are you currently living?
Northwest Montana (though I’m considering someplace less populated)
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
First drafts should never be read by anyone else—including your editor.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I’m not sure how interesting it is, but I can’t begin writing until my house is clean and I’ve walked the dogs. If I try, my focus is off.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or do use a publisher?
Done right, I believe self-publishing is a great path for many authors, but only if they’re willing to publish a book like a traditional publisher (editors, over designer, etc). In my dream publishing world, authors wouldn’t be allow to self-publish without quality controls, most especially proper editing.
5. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Cambron Publishing Group, Montana
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
E-books are wonderful and they’ve certainly revolutionized the publishing industry. I also like that they’ve made books available to so many more people, but print books are far from dead. For my own reading enjoyment, I only read print books or listen to audiobooks on CD, so in many ways I’m still a purist (or just really behind the times).
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Publishing isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry and different publishers and agents look for different things. In terms of general tips . . .
Write the best book you can. Once you’ve rewritten, revised, and at least had another set of eyes look over the manuscript for glaring errors, then submit. Never submit a first draft.
Always read the publisher’s or agent’s submission guidelines. Even when authors say they’ve read them, too often they haven’t and this can lead to immediate inclusion in the slush pile.
Read, read, and read. Reading not only helps writers improve their skills, but it’s difficult to know the marketplace if you don’t read the books.
Let go of any misconception you might have that your book is the best and deserves to be published. All writers who submit their books feel this way which means there’s a lot of competition. Don’t give up, but do make sure you’re submitting to the write publishers and/or agents. Oftentimes, timing is everything.
8. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I found an agent for my first book on my first try, so I’m not much help here. However, I didn’t sign with the agent nor do I have one now. In the end, it just wasn’t something I felt was right for me. As for tips on finding one, the same tips in question #7 apply.
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
I wrote a lengthy post on this on this last year (http://www.pottertonhouse.com/#!MKs-Advice-to-New-Writers/c18l7/5578a6df0cf2e4994fbe84e3) but I’ve offered a few highlights below.
Read, write, and repeat. There’s no substitution.
Know what you’re getting into. Writing can be an incredible career or hobby, but isn’t for everyone. The competition is tough, most authors don’t make a living off their writing, and you have to be willing to either overlook or ignore criticism.
Beta-readers, family, and friends do not replace the skills of a professional editor. If you’re self-publishing, this is the first person you need to hire when you finish your manuscript (or even before).
A strong social media presence does not replace good writing. You’ll get far more out writing another book than you will spending hours online.
You need a website, and preferably one that looks professional. This is one of those marketing tools that not every author wants to bother with. However, it’s the one place online where you control the content, the design, and make the rules. Social media changes too often and you have no control. An Amazon author page is important but it doesn’t do you much good for those readers who shop elsewhere.
10. How many books have you written?
Seven novels and seven short stories with two more books coming out this year. As of 2016, I’m also writing contemporary fiction under McKenna Grey.
11. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Let the characters surprise you. Although it’s not the same for all writers, I find that when I don’t force the characters, and allow them to guide me a little, the twists happen naturally. If you do force them (for those who use detailed outlines), then they should still be plausible and offer a bit of “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.”
12. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I don’t spend a lot of time promoting my books. I’ll do some when a new book comes: blog tour, press release, and giveaways. I’m a firm believer that an author’s best marketing tool is to write another great book (unless you’re those rare one-book bestsellers).
13. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
It’s too long for a tombstone but my philosophy in most things is summed up nicely in this quote: "Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own; he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today." —John Dryden
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