Chris Gall interview with David Alan Binder

posted Mar 30, 2016, 6:08 AM by David Alan Binder   [ updated May 16, 2016, 6:24 AM ]

Chris Gall interview with David Alan Binder

 Every interview is different and unique.  Be sure to read the whole interview for the very last saying is quite cute.

 www.chrisgall.com

 www.chrisgallbooks.com

 @chrisgallbooks on Twitter

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?

 

Gall is like ball, hall, tall, etc.

 

2.     Where are you currently living?

 

I have been living in Tucson Arizona for the last 36 years.

 

3.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

 

I have learned that writing is the one activity in my life that I procrastinate. It requires a different discipline for me than creating art. I have to force myself to sit in a chair for long periods of time, even if nothing is coming—until something finally does come. Hemingway once said he never quit for the day until he knew exactly what was coming next.

 

4.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

 

My books always being with a title before anything else. If the title doesn’t sell the book right off the shelf, then no one is going to pick it up.

 

5.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

 

Self-publishing should be your last resort, not your first choice. Also, if you self-publish, it will make it harder to get published later on.

 

a.     Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

 

Little, Brown, and Co. New York. Also Scholastic, New York.

 

6.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

 

It depends on what your goals are. Some people just want to write a book and see it in print, either digital or paper, and they can be satisfied with that. Some people want to create an heirloom for their family. Some people want to earn a living and sell books--and that requires taking risks and being exceptionally motivated.

 

7.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?      

 

First, do your research for the genre you are writing for. Read tons of it. Then do your research on the publishing industry. There has never been more information available thanks to the internet. Then, have a hook. A first time author needs something conceptually intriguing about his/her story that will make a publisher notice. Don’t let your friends or family read your book. They will all say it’s great and it might not be.

 

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

 

Everyone who has ever acquired an agent has had a little bit of luck involved in the process. Again, with the internet, there is lots of online information on how to submit materials to agents. Target agents that specialize in your genre. If you are considering any of the big publishers then an agent is mandatory.

 

9.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

In addition to the above advice, it pays to set goals and be persistent. You may not be a great writer at this very moment, but you might learn to be one with hard work. You could be a great writer right now, but your work will probably be rejected for many reasons outside of your control. The publishing industry is more determined than ever to publish marketable books. 

 

10.                        What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

Just how collaborative a business it is. You might think that its all up to you, but once you do get that book deal, there will at the very least be an editor involved in helping you shape the book. If you are an artist too, then add a design team. And don’t forget marketing/sales and library/school outreach. They all have opinions too.

11.                        How many books have you written? 

I am finishing my 12th book. I have illustrated 4 others.

 

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)? 

 

Read. Consider taking a writing course at your local university or community college.

 

13.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

This really comes with experience. Twists can be fun and surprising, but if the twist is key to your whole story, no one will want to read your book again because the reader will know what’s coming. Use them in moderation.

 

14.                        What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

 

Literally, the cover. But seriously, I like the phrase “A new take on an old subject”.

 

15.                        What are some ways in which you promote your work?

 

Well, the publisher is supposed to carry the load on this, but unless you’re already famous, you’ll have to help. With all the talk of social media as a marketing platform, I have to say I haven’t heard much hard evidence that it is a significant factor. Unless you’re already famous, of course. I do lots of school visits, I have contacts with the media when something new comes out. Plus my publishers do all they can. I maintain a website and I occasionally tweet.

 

16.                         What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

 

I really can’t answer that. There is only one path in life.

 

17.                        What would you like carved onto your tombstone?  Or what saying or mantra do you live by?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”

 

--(author unknown)

 

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