Tim Morgan interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Jan 30, 2016 5:51:09 PM
Author Tim Morgan interview with David Alan Binder
About Tim Morgan from his web site:
“It's no secret. I write. I'm highly trained, highly motivated and highly disciplined.
You name it I've probably written it. I used to contribute somewhat regularly to Listen magazine. My work's appeared in The Nashua Telegraph. I've placed in screenplay contests and even had a short story land in Alterna Tales #1 and on ZebraMag. I earned my Master's degree in English from Rivier College, got my undergrad in Communications at Salem State with a minor in theatre.
Writing is hard work. Hours upon hours of working away, busting your ass while your friends are out drinkng beer and playing Rock Band. You never know what's going to happen with your work. So why do this?
Because this is how I'm wired. Period. It's a tough journey, at times it's a lonely journey. But I wouldn't have it any other way.”
His Web Site/blog: http://www.timmorgan.us
His Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Tim-Morgan/e/B00ATORY1A
His Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/thetripthenovel
His Twitter: @tmorgan_2100
1. Where are you currently living?
I live in southern New Hampshire – about 90 minutes north of Boston. It’s a nice place – far enough in the country that I feel “away from it all” but getting to the city is doable.
2. Where would you like to live?
I grew up in New England and consider this my home. I grumble about the snow and cold, but I’d miss the change of seasons if I moved to a warmer place. I consider this my home.
3. Why did you start writing?
I started early; I always enjoyed the writing assignments in grade school. The first story of significance was probably third grade, when the page long assignment went on something like ten pages.
Things really took off in fourth grade, when I discovered an old Underwood typewriter my mom had kicking around. I used it to write stories and stage plays and movie scripts.
4. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
You can’t please everyone – don’t even try. Know who your target market is and go after them. Anyone else you pick up along the way is a bonus.
Also know that there are some people – a minority, but a vocal one – that will not like anything you do. Don’t let them get to you.
Quality work will find an audience.
5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I hate writing dialog. I feel like I stink at it. I’ll keep my characters’ mouths shut as long as I possibly can.
6. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I self-published my work. I started with CreateSpace because of the author support.
There are a number of indie publishers these days. My advice is master one, then move into other markets.
If you choose this path, start with a template from the publisher if possible. Otherwise you’ll wind up fighting the format bots and it’ll drive you insane.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
7. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I’ve actually sold more print books than ebooks. They’re more profitable, too.
Don’t ignore the ebook market, but don’t expect to get rich off it at the onset.
I’ll admit I’m a little out of touch with traditional publishing; I’m enjoying the freedom of being fullbore independent and while I keep half an eye on that end of things, it’s not my primary focus right now.
Indie publishing used to be stigmatized (print-on-demand was new when I got my master’s degree), but now I think the expectation is the author self-publishes a few books, builds a following, then goes to the publisher with a platform established.
8. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
If you go indie, start with a template.
Try to get face time with an agent. Before you do this study how screenwriters pitch movies.
I got five minutes with an agent at a conference and finished my pitch in one. She spent the rest of the time asking me questions about my other work and when time was up and the bouncer came to send me away, she was begging him to give me a little more time because she was holding me up.
9. How did you acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Right now I don’t have an agent. I’m focusing on the indie road, and when I have a bigger following I think I’ll seek one out.
I think a writer should build a following through blogging or indie publishing, then approach agents.
10. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of my ideas are from personal experience or reading the news. I do a lot of “what-ifs” when I start brainstorming a story.
11. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers?
Find a good proofreader/editor (these are not necessarily the same task). Work as much as you can as often as you can, but in order to write well you need to live life. You can’t write if you don’t experience things.
12. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I didn’t know what to expect once I published my first novel. After I did the support of people who loved the genre was awesome.
It’s really neat to go into an interview and people say, “You’re the guy who wrote the zombie book!”
Interesting story – a friend of mine from long ago was talking about The Walking Dead with one of her coworkers and brought up my novel, The Trip. Her coworker – who doesn’t know me and never met me – knew about my book.
There will be long days when you’re not sure anyone out there knows about you. But they do. You have to keep going even if you don’t get much interaction. People are busy and there are a gazillion things on the internet that keep them from coming back and writing a review.
13. How many books have you written?
I’ve written a novel and a novella; I’m working on a new novel – which is about 2/3 finished as I write this. Most of the last year I spent working on a screenplay version of The Trip.
14. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer?
Take every class you can. Try to work with good instructors – they can shave years off your development – and avoid the bad ones.
If you get one or two people saying something doesn’t work, it’s not a big deal. More than that, I’d think about it.
When you get advice – and there are lots of people out there who will offer you all kinds of advice – think before you change your story. Early on you’re going to want to please everyone and you just can’t do that.
You have to believe in your own work – nobody can do it but you. It’s scary as hell but damn, it’s empowering…
15. We’ve heard that it is good to provide twists in a good story. How do you do this?
A good story is a mix of surprises and delivered expectations. You shouldn’t have everything be a surprise because audiences have expectations, but shake things up to mess with the audience.
It’s mainly instinct now – when I approach a plot point I’ll feel when I need to put a twist in. I also mind map a lot using www.bubbl.us, which helps visualize the story.
16. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
The Trip is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. It’s softcore zombie scifi.
I think if I were with a traditional publisher, it’d stick me in the horror section because there are zombies in the story. There’s some merit to that, but at the end of the day horror is about fear and scifi is about hope, and I really consider myself hopeful.
17. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I’m big on Twitter; I’ve automated a lot of my tweeting. I’m a programmer during the day, so I wrote my own tool to help mix up my messaging. AFAIK I’m the only one using it, but it’s a free download on my website if anyone wants to try it.
Occasionally I’ll pay for a press release or a featured web site ad.
I don’t have deep pockets and I think anyone whose mantra is “you have to spend money to make money” isn’t going to last because you’re going to run up a huge bill with no guarantee of a return for a while.
Don’t max out your credit cards or spend your gas money marketing your book. There are plenty of free or no-cost ways to get the word out if you know where to look. I blog and tweet about this occasionally.
18. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing) and why?
After the dot-com crash of the early 2000’s I almost left programming to teach English. For a while it looked like I’d make the leap but I held off and some part of me wonders how things would be different today.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’d be able to do what I do now if I had made that jump…
19. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
Believe in yourself, like nobody else does.
END OF INTERVIEW
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