Marion Dane Bauer interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: Feb 22, 2016 3:12:01 PM

Marion Dane Bauer interview with David Alan Binder





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1. Where are you currently living?

St. Paul, Minnesota

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I am past retirement age now and still writing almost daily, but not usually putting in the long hours I once did. Basically, I sit down to write every time some other activity doesn’t demand my attention. It’s my favorite pastime

3. Did you self publish or have a publisher?

a. If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

I have never self published, and I have worked with many different publishers, all the major ones and a few small presses.

4. How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I almost always read eBooks myself; unless a book is one I expect to return to many times. I prefer e-books because I can enlarge the type to make them easier to read and because then I don’t have so much book clutter in my home. I think it matters very little whether a book is on paper or an electronic tablet. The technology keeps changing, but the human need for stories remains constant.

5. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

When I’m writing fiction I start with a story problem that captures my heart. I must care about the story first or no reader will care about it. The idea can come from a newspaper article, something from my own childhood, another book, or from the air. What matters is that it feels important to me.

6. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

My first books was published in 1976, and I was 38 years old when it was published.

7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Read, take my dogs on long walks, cook, see my friends, Pilates, watch good movies.

8. What does your family think of your writing?

When my children were young they thought it was a nuisance, something that took up too much of my time. Now they are proud of it.

9. How many books have you written? I have 98 published books and two more coming out soon, so that will make 100. And then I have two more books in the pipeline and a couple of manuscripts under consideration.

Which is your favorite? My favorite is always the one I’m working on right now, because that’s where my heart is invested. Or the one that is newly out. The one just out now is a verse novel called Little Cat’s Luck.

10. Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write! Write! Write! And read! Read! Read! The discovery that the difference between a professional artist and an amateur is 10,000 hours of practice couldn’t be more true.

11. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I do. The letters I like best are the ones in which they tell me something that happened in their own lives that they brought to reading my book. The other letters I like are the ones when my readers tell me how I could have improved my story.

12. Who is your main audience for your books?

My audience ranges from toddlers to young adults, and right now I’m working on a memoir aimed at an adult audience.

13. What do you think makes a good story?

First, a deep understanding of the characters and second a struggle that is of great importance to those characters.

14. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

First I wanted to be a poet, because poems were short and I couldn’t imagine writing long. Once I learned to type, I knew I wanted to write stories.

15. . Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them?

I write for children of various ages because I have always felt that what happens to children is more important to them than anything ever is to an adult.

16. What inspires you?

Other books and the emotional complexities of life.

17. How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

By choosing work I love deeply and working at it very hard.

18. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work

19. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I have always considered myself to be a full-time writer, though through most of my career I also taught part time in various adult-education programs or in an MFA Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

20. What are some day jobs that you have held? Did any of them impact your writing?

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

I have a website and a blog. I used to travel and speak a great deal, but I don’t do that in recent years.

22. What do you like to read in your free time?

These days I’m reading mostly adult novels. I used to devote most of my reading time to juvenile literature.

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