Craig Johnson interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 14, 2016 12:48:37 PM
Craig Johnson interview with David Alan Binder
Craig Johnson is the author of the Longmire series on which the TV show is based. I am such a huge fan of this guy and his characters.
Note: His website has a store for Longmire and Red Pony Saloon related merchandise-check it out!
1. Where are you currently living?
Ucross, Wyoming (population 25) in a ranch I built myself.
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Trust your writing and trust the reader, they're pretty smart. After writing a dozen books in the Walt Longmire series I've developed a pretty wonderful relationship with my readers, a kind of high-context relationship with the narrative and the fictitious world I present--the 24th county in Wyoming.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I talk with the horses about what I'm going to be writing when I feed them in the morning. They're really great writing partners in that they listen very intently, but don't offer any advice...
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I don't have any experience in self-publishing so it's difficult for me to make a comparison. I was one of those Cinderella stories where I was able to get a big agent to look at my work and she picked me up and handed me off to a wonderful editor and publisher and a year later I was on the book shelves.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they? Viking/Penguin, New York City.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I'm pretty much for anything that gets people to read, no matter what the format.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Write the very best book you can. Even when you think it's the best it can possible be, go through it again and I bet you find something. Most of the time, you only get one shot with these people, and you better make it count. The other thing is to do something different. At the time I was writing The Cold Dish, the first book in the Walt Longmire series--everything was about forensics, ballistics and DNA testing. You know, the CSI stuff. Well that got me to thinking about a book about the sheriff of the least populated county in the least populated state in the US--a book that dealt less with technology and more with character and place, which is usually where the best writing takes place.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Do your homework. I've yet to see an author who doesn't thank their agent in the acknowledgements, so you have the opportunity to research agents who might be represent the kind of books you write.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Write with your heart, trying to follow the market or emulate someone else isn't likely to work.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
How powerful humor can be in getting readers to empathize with your characters.
10. How many books have you written?
Twelve novels, two novellas and a collection of short stories.
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)?
Have someone read your writing back to you aloud--believe me, you'll hear every mistake you've made.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Plumb the depths of your characters and your previous work, which will inform the decisions you make. Character is fate and fate is in the plot twists.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
Staying sharp with the writing and finding other ways to say things--and humor.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Well, I'm fortunate enough to have a TV show Longmire which does a lot of the work for me, but I tour, use social media. The thing you always want to be asking yourself is, "Does this broaden the readership of my books?"
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would've started writing earlier, seriously writing which I came to in my late thirties.
16. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
We don't really die; we just get worn out by love.
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