William Kenower interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 9, 2016 4:22:50 PM
William Kenower interview with David Alan Binder
His bio from his website: William Kenower is the author of Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion, a Featured Blogger for the Huffington Post Books section, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine, an online magazine for writers and dedicated readers. He writes a popular daily blog for the magazine about the intersection of writing and our daily lives, and has interviewed hundreds of writers of every genre. He also hosts the online radio program Author2Author where every week he and a different guest discuss the books we write and the lives we lead.
1. How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?
My last name is pronounced Ken-Hour.
2. Where are you currently living?
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
What haven’t I learned? Okay – to trust. You trust that what you want to say can be said; trust that the people are meant to find your work will find it; trust that intelligence is something you access, not something you have; trust that love always trumps fear; trust the next word will come if you let it; trust that you don’t know the answers, only the questions; trust it’s okay if don’t feel interested one day; trust that as long as your curious, there’s something to write about.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I must be alone to write. Can’t do it in public.
5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
Self-publishing is fine as long as you understand you’re going into business for yourself. Traditional publishing is much better if you’re really only interested in writing, and not so much all the myriad other choices a publisher/editor/publicist must make.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
My last publisher is Booktrope, and they’re in Seattle. I’m about to sign a contract with Writer’s Digest Books, whom I believe are in the Midwest somewhere, though I’m not actually sure. (The editorial team is located in Blue Ash, Ohio)
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I think it doesn’t matter. I think however people can get books is fine. There’s some business type stuff around these things that need to be worked out, but really, it’s not that big a deal. When Bantam, I think it was, started publishing mass market paperbacks in the 60’s or whenever it was everyone thought the world was coming to an end and it didn’t.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Write a book you would love to read. Honestly. This is your best bet. Then, when try to find an agent or pitch or whatever, remember why love it and why you would read it. Most writers seem to forget this when they go about the business of trying to sell a book, as if they’re waiting for the publisher world to tell them if they were correct to love the story they already love.
8. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Most of the agents I’ve had I’ve met at writer’s conferences. I actually knew my current agent because she was from my area and I knew she was interested in the sort of stuff I wrote. We actually sat down at a conference talked about how we could work together and that’s how we eventually sold the book we just did. I know this may not sound like the kind of thing a new writer could do, but the thing to take away is it’s a relationship. You’re looking for someone with whom you could have a working relationship. If you can remember that, it’ll help a great deal.
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Write what you love. Just write the story you would love to read You will never bet “better” or more interesting or more creative that when you’re writing what you would love to read.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
That my job is just to get into the creative flow and ride it, ride it, ride it. Craft is really nothing more than learning how to ride that flow.
11. How many books have you written?
A lot. Let’s not talk about it.
12. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Write what you love. Do I repeat myself? I don’t care. Write what you love. Also, only ever ask two questions: “What do I want to say?” and “Have I said it?” Never ask, “Is this any good?” It’ll screw you up every time because you can’t answer that.
13. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
You’re a magician. A good twist makes sense once it’s revealed. The “trick” is to provide the evidence that the twist is coming without drawing too much attention to that evidence. Distract your reader with the something else. This is what the bets mystery writers do.
14. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
No idea. Probably that only I could have written it. That’s really true. I don’t feel like someone else could’ve have written it, and therefore it must be different. That’s all I know.
15. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I use Facebook, and twitter. Plus I’m on the Huffington Post, and that seems to help. But I’ll tell you, the best thing you can do is write something awesome. My best promotion is always when someone else says, “This is great!”
16. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I wouldn’t try so hard. I’d trust. I’d just follow what I’m most curious about and not worry whether it was “publishable.” I’d ask myself, “What could I write if I didn’t care whether it was published?”
17. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
Everything is okay even when it looks like everything is not okay.
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