Julien Ayotte interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 5, 2016 3:52:27 PM
Julien Ayotte interview with David Alan Binder
A short bio from his website: Julien Ayotte Award-winning author Julien Ayotte co-authored his first book, Wealth Building for Professionals, in 2001, drawing from his years of experience as a corporate executive and business teacher at the high school and college graduate levels. In addition, he spent nearly fourteen years in legal administration at two law firms. The author holds a BA, MBA, and a PhD, all in business and finance. Dangerous Bloodlines is his second novel and the sequel to Flower of Heaven. Ayotte lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Pauline. They have three children.
Smash Words: www.smashwords.com/books/view/581997
Smash Words: www.smashwords.com/books/view/318322
1. How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?
A-yacht (just like the boat)
2. Where are you currently living?
Cumberland, Rhode Island
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Never quit writing, even if it’s been years since you last wrote. If you’re writing and books are good, they will eventually be noticed. If not the first or second book, then perhaps the fifth or sixth book, never stop.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
Books that contain lots of grammatical or spelling errors are a direct reflection on the attention to detail an author exerts. I once found 23 errors in a novel and it really turned me off from the story being told. I found myself looking for errors, rather than trying to solve the plot in the book. Copyedit and proofread many times. Better yet, have at least three or four outsiders read and critique your manuscript before submitting it to a publisher.
5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
A traditional publisher spares an author from a lot of the details necessary. But such a publisher normally only comes with an agent as well. For my first novel, I wrote to 125 literary agents, only to be rejected by all of them. Does that make you humble or what? So I self-published with the help of Create Space, an Amazon company and it went exceptionally well. You will see much more of this going forward, as the traditional publisher may need to adjust his thin king or go the way of the full-service stockbroker.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Create Space, an Amazon company, North Charleston, SC
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
How can you not provide a hard copy or paperback version of a book for those who like the grasp and feel of holding the book they are reading? And for the millions of eBook readers out there, how can you not make them happy as well without a digital copy? There will always be a place for both outlets when it comes to reading.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
How many times have I heard, “I always wanted to write a book someday”? Run your manuscript by as many people whose opinion you value and respect. If it’s lousy, they’ll tell you. If they like it, they’ll recommend you get it published. The devil is in the details. Editing, proofreading, formatting, front cover, back cover synopsis, type style and font, etc. These are the obstacles you face if you self-publish. But I am so much more into the whole publishing process after having done it on my own, that it has definitely made me a better author.
8. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Carry a rabbit’s foot all day, say several novenas at church, write to as many as you can, and keep your fingers crossed that one believes in your work enough to sign you on. I have been very successful without an agent, but to be perfectly honest, I would love to have one someday. Luck has so much to do with getting one, not to mention having editorial or publishing connections somewhere.
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
If you have good material, someone will notice. If you are in it for the money, good luck. Making money as an author is great, but don’t bank on it (no pun intended). I enjoy developing and creating a story from scratch. I love it when people tell me they really enjoyed my book(s) and can’t wait for the next one. Write for the enjoyment of it and the satisfaction it gives you. At a local restaurant the other day, a woman walked up to my table and asked if I was Julien Ayotte. She just had to meet me after having read my books. There is no greater feeling than to know your writing has brought pleasure to someone else.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
I learned how careless some authors are with the final product’s appearance and content. Typos can occasionally occur, even from the likes of John Patterson or Stephen King, but they are rare. I also bask in glory when people tell me I have taken them to places they have never been to, but after reading my novels, they felt like they now have been there. Character and site development are what make a book believable.
11. How many books have you written?
I have written four books, three of them novels, and the first book was on financial planning. My third novel, A Life Before, will be released in late March, 2016. My first best-selling and multiple award-winning novels are Flower of Heaven and Dangerous Bloodlines.
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)?
Make your book different from the rest. After the book has been proofread and copyedited, read it once more, but this time read it as if you have just bought it. That’s when you will know it’s ready for publication, not before. Remember, once the book is published, it will be out there forever, so why not make it perfect before you release it.
13. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
My belief is to always leave the reader guessing on how the book will end. Nothing pleases me more than when a reader says, “I never saw that coming.”
What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd? Read the reviews on your book, they tell the story of what most readers thought of your book. Get as many reviews and awards from your books as is economically feasible. Prospective readers read what other people say before buying.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Email newsletters to thousands, book fairs, book clubs, radio and TV interviews, newspaper articles, library appearances, local stores, author expos, websites
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
Market the book differently. Many book promoting sites are not worth the money. Be selective in the ones you sign up for or you’ll spend money with poor results.
16. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
It is very hard to hit a moving target. Be active, not reactive. How many people can say that they have written four books AFTER retirement. At age 74, I hope to write at least 10 more novels before I cash it in. Just do it!