Margo Sorenson interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 12, 2016 1:26:08 PM
1. Where are you currently living? I live in southern California, now, where several of my books are set (DANGER CANYON, SOCCER BATTLE, SOCCER BLASTER), but I’ve lived in other places that figure in other books, like Hawaii (KIMO AND THE SECRET WAVES, DANGER MARCHES TO THE PALACE: QUEEN LILI’UOKALANI, TSUNAMI), and Minnesota (CLUBHOUSE THREAT, DON’T BUG ME, NOTHING IS FOR FREE).
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far? The most important thing I’ve learned – and that I’m still trying to learn (!) – is to keep revising and changing and don’t submit work too early.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk? Perhaps my most interesting writing quirk is that, in the middle of working on a manuscript, I am tempted to answer questions people ask me as if I were one of my characters. Of course, that isn’t always such a great idea, especially with the smart-mouth characters!
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher? That is completely dependent on the type of person you are. If I tried to self-publish, I would obsess about selling the books and spend my time doing that, instead of writing the next book in my head. For some people, self-publishing is a fine option, because they don’t mind promotion and perhaps they just want a memoir to give to their families and don’t want to go through the agony of the submission-rejection-revision process, which is completely understandable! *puts another Band-Aid on the ego*
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they? I have eight different publishers in various cities in the US, from the east coast to the Midwest to the south; you can find them all listed on my website www.margosorenson.com
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? It’s nice to have both print and eBooks available of each of my books, though some are not both eBooks and print books. It makes it easier for readers, because they can choose which format they like.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published? No, and if you know any, please let me know! I’m still trying to get published, even after twenty-nine traditionally-published books, myself!
7. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)? For those who want to write children’s books, buy Harold Underdown’s THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHIING CHILDREN’S BOOKS, and definitely join SCBWI and visit that message board regularly.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating? The most surprising thing I’ve learned is how long it takes. Some of my books have taken almost twenty years from the time I first wrote the first version to when it was published, like ALOHA FOR CAROL ANN and SPAGHETTI SMILES. Really!
9. How many books have you written? I’ve had twenty-nine traditionally-published, but I’ve probably written about 150, most of which will never see the light of day – nor should they! J
10. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)? Read widely in your chosen genre, find a good critique partner, and follow the First Commandment for Writers: “Thou Shalt Not Fall In Love With Thine Own Words.” J
11. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story? Raise the stakes and raise them even higher; make your main character very uncomfortable and keep the reader in suspense, running against the clock.
12. What are some ways in which you promote your work? I do Skype visits with classrooms all over the world, from the UK to Malaysia, Ecuador, Mexico, and, of course, the USA. I’ve logged over 278,000 virtual miles. I also Tweet lots of information on writing, thanks to my writer friends whom I follow, write guest posts and interviews (thank you!) on blogs, do many school author visits, and try to watch for opportunities.
13. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why? I would try to be more patient.
14. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by? My favorite sayings are: “There is no substitute for excellence—not even success” (Thomas Boswell, Washington Post sportswriter)– and – “It’s amazing what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” (Coach John Wooden)
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