Jill Kelly interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: Mar 27, 2016 3:10:11 PM

Jill Kelly interview with David Alan Binder

Websites: www.jillkellyauthor.com and www.jillkellyeditor.com

Twitter: @jillkellyauthor

Blog: www.sobertruths.blogspot.com

Newsletter: www.jillkellycreative.com

My Books

Fog of Dead Souls amzn.to/1eYPEFZ

When Your Mother Doesn’t amzn.to/1C8R8Jj

The Color of Longing amzn.to/15UDOJF

Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman amzn.to/YIrNUz

Sober Play: Using Creativity for a More Joyful Recovery amzn.to/1423hlT

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers amzn.to/1EURVzJ

Self-Editing for Memoir Writers amzn.to/1BB5Gjv

Self-Editing for Nonfiction Writers amzn.to/1Kf1vid

A Brief Guide to Writing and APA Formatting for Graduate Students and Dissertation Writers amzn.to/1vyGB9G

Using the Chakras to Get Things Done amzn.to/1tHiZkX

1. Where are you currently living?

Portland, Oregon

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

Write every day. You keep getting better, you learn a lot, and your muse keeps showing up if you do.

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

When I am exploring ideas for the next novel, I write from prompts (lines of poetry or songs). I write story starts for 10 minutes each day for a while, let them sit, and then find the one that begs to be continued.

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

I self-published my memoir in 2008 to have complete control over the content. I had an agent and an editor interested but they both wanted more sex and violence, and I had already put in all I had. As it turned out, the memoir was a finalist for the prestigious Oregon Book Award that year. I got a wonderful agent in New York for the next two books and we sold them both to Skyhorse but it was a disappointing experience for me. For my thriller, the publicist assigned to my book quit the week it came out and they didn’t assign anyone to replace here. For When Your Mother Doesn’t, the person who sends the books out for review didn’t do her job either. I did most all the marketing for both books myself and got a pittance of the proceeds. I decided if they weren’t going to support me with marketing, I wasn’t going to support them with my writing. So I’m happily back to self-publishing.

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

Two of my books, Fog of Dead Souls and When Your Mother Doesn’t, were published by Skyhorse in New York. Four of my books are self-published. I’ve made far more money from the self-published books than from my contracts with Skyhorse.

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

I read fiction on Kindle and nonfiction in hard copy. I think both are great. I’m more likely to take a chance on a new fiction author on Kindle though. If you are a fantastic writer and have the credentials for it, traditional publishing will find you. If you are not, self-publishing is a wonderful way to expand your readership.

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

Get it professionally edited before you pitch it. If the agent or editor likes it, they’ll like it even more if it’s completely ready to go.

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

I got my agent through the Willamette Writers summer conference. I pitched to three agents and all wanted to read my thriller, Fog of Dead Souls. I pitched to about 85 people at the conference (none of them agents) just for practice and that was a big help in being able to talk effortlessly about my book.

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

Spend less time on workshops and classes and more time reading and writing. We become better writers only through a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Too many workshops focus on the big picture (plot character development) and too little on writing great sentences.

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

That I’m a great storyteller. I wrote my first novel as an exercise. I had more and more editing clients who were writing fiction and I wanted to understand their process. My storytelling ability had been hidden from me.

10. How many books have you written?

I have written eight books and published five of them. I have also written five e-books, three of them on self-editing for writers. My sixth book, Broken Boys, the sequel to Fog of Dead Souls, comes out in May 2016. My seventh book is non-fiction. It’s called Candy Girl: How I Unhooked myself from Sugar and Got My Life Back; it’s due out in September 2016.

11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?

1. Write every day for at least 15 minutes. If you don’t have a current project, practice writing variations of the same sentence.

2. Study syntax and punctuation. The rules of our language are not haphazard and knowing them will enhance your ability to express yourself.

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

I am a student of Robert McKee and his excellent book and workshop on Story, where he recommends the use of a plot map to track your reveals. I don’t outline my books before I write them, but I do use the plot map idea at about the third draft.

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

Professional cover design and good editing. Whether you’re self-publishing or traditional publishing, having a great cover will get people to pick up your book and well-edited writing will keep them reading and recommending it. I’m a professional editor and I’m a really good one, but I hire two professionals to edit my own work.

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

I do home readings (get friends to host a reading in their home and invite friends who might not know about my work). I encourage my readers to give or loan their copies of my books. I’m much more interested in having more readers than making a little more money. When I do a reading or workshop in a local library, I always give the library a copy of my latest book.

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

I find this question difficult to answer because I pretty much do what I want. I’ve rejected the idea of formulaic writing in a genre because the discovery of my story is the most fun. I’m happy to be self-publishing again. I like the freedom of that.

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

She lived from a generous heart.

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