Gail Jarrow interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 2, 2016 3:36:42 PM
Gail Jarrow interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from her website: Her nonfiction books have earned the YALSA Award Nomination for Excellence in Nonfiction, an Orbis Pictus Recommendation by the National Council of Teachers of English, the Jefferson Cup, as well as Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal Best Books and VOYA Honor Book distinctions.
A graduate of Duke University and Dartmouth College, Gail Jarrow lives in Ithaca, New York.
1. How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?
“Arrow” with a “J”
2. Where are you currently living?
Ithaca, New York
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Revision is the key to success. You can’t be so in love with your words that you are blind to ways to improve the prose. Editors are important in this process. But before an editor ever sees a manuscript, a careful writer has put the work through multiple revisions.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher? All my work has been conventionally published.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
For the past several years, my books have been published by Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
EBooks are a way for more readers to access my work. Personally, I prefer to read print books.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Don’t be too quick to submit-revise, revise, revise. Know the markets so that you don’t waste time sending your work to an inappropriate publisher or agent; that means being familiar with current books.
7. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Know your audience. Read widely in the genre and age group for which you’d like to write. Depending on your background and experience, take a course or two to polish mechanical skills and learn the basics of writing in your chosen genre. For example, if you want to write for young readers, be sure to understand the particular approach necessary. It’s different from writing for adults. Read everything you’ve written out loud, and listen with a critical ear. This is a good way to catch awkward phrasing, word repetition, and boring sections.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
Two lessons: I’ve learned that most of us don’t feel creative every day but that a professional must sit down and work anyway. I’ve also learned that creating is only half the work. Self-editing, making changes after receiving editorial comments and promoting a book are part of the process.
9. How many books have you written? Nearly two dozen as well as many magazine pieces.
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)? (See #7 above)
11. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
For my books, which are nonfiction, it’s the extensive research. The best Non Fiction books have been carefully and thoroughly researched and then written in an engaging, entertaining way.
12. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Website, Facebook, Twitter, school visits, public talks.
13. ADDED QUESTION: HOW DO YOUR EARLY PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES HELP YOU IN WRITING NONFICTION FOR YOUNG READERS TODAY?
I taught upper elementary/middle school science and math for several years before writing my first article for a children’s magazine. Those years of teaching help me as I research and write my books. I gained a feel for what kids might find interesting, and I acquired experience explaining complicated information. During my early years as an author, I published novels. Writing fiction taught me how to develop compelling narratives for Non Fiction books.
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