Dorian Cirrone interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 25, 2016 4:29:49 PM
Dorian Cirrone interview with David Alan Binder
Her bio: She is the author of The First Last Day, a middle-grade novel which will be published in June 2016. She has also written the young adult novels, Prom Kings and Drama Queens and Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, which was named an ALA Popular Paperback and made the following lists: Amelia Bloomer List for Feminist Fiction, New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age, and BUST magazine’s “100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader.” She has also written two Lindy Blues chapter books: The Missing Silver Dollar and The Big Scoop. Her poems, shorts stories, and essays for children and adults have been published in literary journals and anthologies. Dorian holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in English and has taught writing at the university level and at many workshops and conferences. She lives in South Florida and is the Assistant Regional Advisor for Florida’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Amazon link to preorder book: http://tinyurl.com/hqru92u
Barnes and Noble link to preorder book: http://tinyurl.com/z3q9ahq
1. How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?
2. Where are you currently living?
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
How important it is to read, read, read. Besides reading the type of books you want to write, it’s necessary to devour everything you can, including magazines, nonfiction, quirky articles on the Internet, etc. Fictional characters need to have interests, passions, and opinions like real people, and they can’t have them if the author doesn’t.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I own hundreds of books about writing novels. I’m constantly reading about the craft of fiction—I even keep my tablet next to me when I’m watching TV so I can read snippets of books during commercials. It’s almost pathological J.
5. Tell us your insights on self-publishing or using a publisher?
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
My new middle-grade novel, THE FIRST LAST DAY, will be coming out from Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin imprint in June 2016. They are based in NYC.
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
From what I have been reading, many kids and teens seem to still like the feel of a book in their hands. And they often like having their books autographed.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
There is really no secret. Read everything you can in your category and genre. Study the craft of writing. Join an organization, such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and take advantage of workshops, critique groups, etc. Take classes. (There are so many talented people teaching online classes.) And, if you’re able to, attend conferences where you can both learn and network. Also, be patient.
8. How did you acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Follow blogs that give information about agents. You can find them by googling “literary agents” or “finding a literary agent.” There are many of them. Look for someone who is actively seeking clients. Attend conferences where you might meet an agent and/or be critiqued by one. But first make sure your manuscript is complete and has been critiqued by someone more experienced than you, such as another writer, professional editor, or member of your critique group.
9. Do you have any suggestions or help for new writers (please be as specific and informational as possible)?
As I mentioned above, it’s imperative to study the craft. There are so many blogs out there that give great information. I give writing tips on my own blog listed at the top of this interview. But here are some others:
I also recommend joining an organization like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators if you write for children or The Mystery Writers of America if you write mysteries. There are many organizations that have conferences where you can meet other writers and learn from them.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
That the more I know about my characters before writing, the faster the writing goes. In the beginning, I learned about my characters as I wrote. Writers call this “pantsing” as in going by the seat of your pants. But the more experienced I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that things go much better when I do a lot of pre-thinking about my characters’ motivations, flaws, quirky characteristics, etc.
11. How many books have you written?
The book I have coming out in June will be my fifth published book. However, I have written two complete novels that I call my practice novels that will never see the light of day. (In fact, I might just throw them away right now to make sure.) I’ve also written two other complete novels that I may or may not revise at a later date. And I’ve published short stories and poems in anthologies and literary journals. I think it’s important for writers to know that they’re not going to publish every word they write, no matter how much it hurts.
12. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and informational as you possibly can)?
Unfortunately, there are no tricks. It’s a long process to learn to write well. There are so many outlets for writers these days with the Internet and writing organizations, but you still have to put in the work. My best advice is to read with a critical eye. If you laugh or cry at another writer’s story, figure out what that author did to evoke that emotion in you. Then practice writing like that yourself.
13. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
The only advice I can give regarding twists is that you need to make sure you’ve foreshadowed the twist carefully and that it doesn’t come out of nowhere.
14. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
I wish I knew the answer to this one. Sometimes a book is just in the right place at the right time. Certainly vampire books were written before TWILIGHT, but somehow the time was right for a new one.
15. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Through Facebook and sometimes Twitter. I also do school and library visits and workshops for other writers.
16. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I’m still trying to learn how to write faster. I know of writers who can write ten pages in one day. I’ve only been able to do that a few times. I’m more a two- to three-pages a day writer. And that’s not even every day. I’m more the tortoise than the hare.
17. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
Keep learning. Stay interested in the world around you.
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