Lois Wickstrom interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 21, 2016 1:05:56 PM
Lois Wickstrom interview with David Alan Binder
My Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KC4A0S
Her partial bio from Amazon: Every morning and evening, my husband and I walk our dogs and pick up trash around the neighborhood. We have an organic garden and a make-shift greenhouse in the basement for starting seeds. We live in the inner city, so there's no place to park a car. We ride our bikes everywhere that's practical and we belong to a car co-op. When we want a car, we rent it by the hour. We only need a car about once a month.
At the moment, I'm taking a screen-writing class which I'm loving. I also belong to Toastmasters to improve my oral storytelling skills.
Francie Mion and I just put out a color edition of Ladybugs for Loretta and Bees in Loretta's Bonnet. Francie is currently making the illustrations for Loretta's Pet Caterpillar.
I'm working with Lucrecia Darling (co-author of Reluctant Spy) on Xenia and the Deekatoo, a book about undocumented aliens and mythical creatures.
Get a free invisible magic wand. Send an email to LorettaBooks@gmail.com
1. Where are you currently living?
Philadelphia, PA, USA
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Sometimes stories work best if I write a plot outline first, and sometimes stories develop freeform. I’ve also learned that a writing group helps me know when a story is working. I can feel happy with a story that nobody else understands.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I love to work real science into fictional stories.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
My most recent publisher is Borgo / Wildside. They are located in Maryland, USA.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
Everything is in flux right now. In my own life, I’ll buy a tree book, and then I’ll want to take it on a trip, but there’s no room in my backpack, so I’ll buy the eBook, too. I have bookshelves. These days, many people do not. Some books, like textbooks, get updated so often, eBooks make much more sense than tree books.
As for Indie publishing vs conventional publishing, companies like Ingram are blurring the difference. Indie books can now get into brick and mortar stores.
Companies like Draft2Digital and Smashwords can get an indie ebook into major ebook markets like itunes and Kobo.
The biggest difference is that conventional publishing can afford the advertising that will get people to notice a book. Indie publishers have to be skilled in social media, which is difficult for anti-social people like me.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
I don’t think there are any secret tips. It’s a mix of talent and luck and hard work.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Agents attend writer’s conferences. For a fee you can book 10 minutes with one. If the two of you click, the agent will ask to see some of your work. Some websites list agents who specialize in different fields. You can send query letters to as many of these agents as appeal to you. Also, look for pitch-fests on Twitter.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)? Learn to plot. I like Save the Cat as a basic plot outline. Learn to use validation blocks (story points that illustrate traits) Use a spell checker. Use a grammar checker. Join a writers group, and listen to the feedback. Come up with half a dozen plot twists for every one that you want, so you can pick the best one.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
The answers to my plot questions will pop up at random times during the day. I need to write them down, or I’ll forget them.
10. How many books have you written?
16 published, dozens more, not yet published.
11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Think of your story as a multi-sensory movie. Write what all your senses experience. Use precise language. If you are writing a murder mystery, say exactly where the blood was, what it looked like, smelled like.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Plot the twists in from the beginning, and be prepared for your imagination to come up with something else while you are writing, or even after you think you are done. Trust your imagination to solve your plot problems. If you work on your story every day, your imagination will work while you are resting. Ask yourself – what could go wrong for the protagonist? Then pick your best answers, and write them.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
My stories are stories I care about and worked hard to tell. People who share my sensibilities, my sense of humor, my sense of adventure, of mystery and love of science enjoy my books.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Facebook, twitter, – I’m really not good at this.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I’m always finding things I want to improve. When I learn something new, I put it into my work as soon as possible. Right now, I want to improve my ability to motivate my co-authors. I think some of my books are better if they benefit from insights and ideas contributed by my co-authors.
16. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
My life is a group project.
Please contact me at dalanbinder at gmail dot com or ab3ring at juno dot com
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