Terry Jennings interview with David Alan Binder

posted Mar 31, 2016, 6:00 AM by David Alan Binder   [ updated May 16, 2016, 6:24 AM ]

Terry Jennings interview with David Alan Binder

 

Website:  terrycjennings.com,

Kids’ Science Blog:  kcswildfacts.com,

 

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_13?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=terry+catasus+jennings&sprefix=Terry+Catasus%2Caps%2C121

 

Good Reads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6051825.Terry_Catasus_Jennings

 

 

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)? My middle name is pronounced cat-ah-soos. 

 

2.     Where are you currently living? Reston, Virginia. Close to Washington, DC

 

3.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far? About myself I have learned that writing is, now that I’ve found it, something I don’t want to live without. As a child stories were always in my head. Putting them on paper is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I have also found so many scientists who are incredibly passionate about their work and are more than generous with their time.

 

4.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk? I love to write in my head while I go on a bike ride.  If I’m working on a thorny problem, I can think things through and mull sentences and paragraphs over. When the lightbulb goes off, I stop and record the brilliant solution..

 

5.     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 publisher is Arbordale. They are in Mt. Pleasant, SC. I also do work for hire and have written for magazines and newspapers.

 

6.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? Arbordale publishes the books both in print and as eBooks. I love the idea of an eBook. If I’m doing an Author Visit, teachers can purchase the eBook for a small fee, look at the resources I provide on my website and see what they want to use. I believe having educational text as eBooks is a reasonable way to provide wide access to many books.  Having said that, I’m about to become a grandmother.  I want to read print books to my grandkids. And they won’t be the educational type. I have a couple of manuscripts which are aimed at very small audiences, say, purple martin aficionados. I’m considering self-publishing those.

 

7.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published? The way I found my publisher was by filling a need on their list. This is for creative non-fiction and non-fiction. I wish I had the answer for fiction—I’m asking the same question myself.      

 

8.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one? I believe you need an agent.  Wish I had one.

 

9.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)? In writing non-fiction and creative non-fiction, the research is paramount. Experts are willing to help you if you reach out to them.

10.                        What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?  How supportive my husband is. If he didn’t take over most of the chores, I would have no time to be creative.

11.                        How many books have you written?  I have written six or eight novels, six or eight picture books, eight or ten creative non-fiction, one true non-fiction and working on a second one.  Of those two creative non-fiction are published, two others are in the works for later this year and next year, one non-fiction published and one in the works.

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)? I use a self editing software that catches passive voice, surplus words, etc. (It’s autocrit, I don’t know if you want to give them a plug, I wouldn’t).  After using it for a while, I see myself being more mindful of the pitfalls and avoiding them.

 

13.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story? I don’t really have an answer to that. When it happens, I’m grateful.

14.                        What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd? I hope my research makes my books stand out. I try to make difficult subjects easy to understand.

 

15.                        What are some ways in which you promote your work? Go to as many book fairs as I can, reach out to schools and librarians. It’s not something I’m very good at.

 

16.                         What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why? I wish I’d started out much younger. I had a teacher in high school who embarrassed me in front of my peers about a piece I’d written. I decided to major in math instead. If I had my life to live over again, I’d be an investigative reporter.

 

17.                        What would you like carved onto your tombstone?  Or what saying or mantra do you live by? It’s trite, but I always try to do my best. I feel I owe that to whatever I’m doing, whether it’s writing or cooking tacos.

 

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