Guinotte Wise author interview by David Alan Binder

Post date: Dec 11, 2015 1:53:36 PM

Interview with author Guinotte Wise by David Alan Binder

Our featured author interview for today is Guinotte Wise (pictured above). By way of introduction Guinotte (pronounced guh-knot) Wise is the author of a new book, Ruined Days. Please read the interview below to get to know more about him and his new book. This is important for aspiring writers to become intimately familiar with all kinds of authors and find out what makes them tick. Knowing them enables you to understand yourself better.

This is his email address for those of you who’d like to contact him with questions

His blog is featured here: Blog: and his sculpture here:

The Ruined Days novel is for sale here: Amazon:


1. How do you pronounce your name?

I'm used to a sort of guttural pronunciation like "guh-knot" but the French sounds better. It's why I went by Butch for years. You move to Louisiana with a NY accent and a name like Guinotte, you toughen up pretty quick. (It's an old Kansas City family last name)

2. Where are you currently living?

Resume Speed, Kansas.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I didn't realize it, but as a kid I had a little printing press with rubber type letters and I "published" a sort of newspaper. Scandalous stuff about neighbors. Communist infiltrators. Local dogs to avoid. I had no reporters so I had to make the stuff up. I was an early mainstream journalist.

4. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I wrote one in two or three months, it's the rewrite that's tough. A year. Another one took three months for just the first 50 pages.

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

Coffee, dogs, email, put it off for a while. Guilt takes hold. I write some.

6. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I get up and clean stuff. Or go out and fire up the welder, work on a piece of sculpture, let my subconscious work on the writing.

7. Did you self-publish or have a publisher? a. If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

First publisher was Pecan Grove Press, a small university press in San Antonio. I won a competition with a book of short fiction (Night Train, Cold Beer) and they published it. Now, Black Opal Books is publishing Ruined Days, a thriller novel, and in 2016, another book of short stories, "Resume Speed." Hopefully, when I finish "L.A. Hardscape," a novel, they'll like it enough to publish it. Black Opal is in the Pacific Northwest.

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

I don't know what to think. I prefer traditional books, my wife reads from a Kindle. I like pages, print, the musty smell of old books in used book stores. I'll stand with "conventional" publishing, too, since that's how I got started. I used to think you wrote a book, lounged around in a smoking jacket and waited for the money to roll in. It ain't like that. Maybe it was, back in the day. The dearly departed way long ago day.

9. What process did you go through to get your book published?

I had, have, an agent ”but she was moving cross-country and I decided to send the book to some publishers on my own. Black Opal Books liked it and now I work with them, and an agent.

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

Overheard things, bits and pieces that lead to larger stories in my mind. Questioning people about their life, work. Past work in construction, bars, rodeoing all that yields up a lot of informed material.

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

Many years ago. (I actually typed "Many tears ago" how Freudian is that?) Submitted 50 pages to Scribner Sons. They said keep them apprised. I never went back to that writing. Parts of it pop up now and then in other writing.

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

Walk with the dogs, pick up metal at various places like body shops, sculpt. I have solo shows at The Hilliard Gallery in KC, and I have pieces at a local winery out here near me, and Strecker-Nelson in Manhattan (KS).

13. What does your family think of your writing?

They like it. Not so much the dark, noirish (noir like) stuff, but they recognize it as not bad writing, just not for them sometimes. I hope they are able to separate me from things that happen in stories I've never killed anyone with a backhoe, for instance.

14. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I could enter a fugue state and things would happen in the writing that would crop up from nowhere, or so it seemed.

15. How many books have you written?

Three, so far.

a. Which is your favorite?

The latest one. (book is “Ruined Days”)

16. Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Read. A lot. My wife reads voraciously. She could be a writer for sure. May be someday. Pay attention to things, people, happenstance, quirks, sounds, smells.

17. Do you hear from your readers much?

Hardly at all. Not enough. What kinds of things do they say? Oh, in passing, they'll say "I read your book," when we're talking about something else. Usually they'll say they enjoyed it, or some even more neutral thing. I don't pursue it, maybe I should. The Amazon reviews are good on "Night Train."

18. Who is your main audience for your books?

No demographic in mind. Just people who like to read. I hope it's as interesting to women as to men.

19. What do you think makes a good story?

Tension, surprise, environmental description. The passion with which it's written.

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

A comic book hero. I really liked "The Heap." He was a downed flier who became a swamp thing, leaves, trash, mud. He'd envelop bad guys, absorb them into his moving compost pile. As a writer, I do that., now I think about it.

21. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

The latest book, "Ruined Days," came about with a fascination for the Marais Des Cygne wildlife refuge near where I live. What if people lived in there, tribally, sort of like back in the Amazon? A friend and I night fished out on that river in a johnboat. Things moved in the night, splashed, slid, crashed through the woods.

22. . Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I like reading the genre, old Raymond Chandler, newer Nic Pizzolatto, Cormac McCarthy, the more bizarre Thomas McGuane.

23. If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them?

One slops over into the other and I like it that way.

24. What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I hope, some humor, some good irony, a rhythm and linking of passages, words, that is pleasing. (I hope)

25. What inspires you?

Anything. Odd things. A girl hitchhiking with a dog on a rope, she is angry looking. I will write her story. I wish I had stopped and given her all my money. Just think of how tough her life is, was.

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

The advertising business. It jerked me around some, but I learned so much.

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

Thomas McGuane, Bob Shacochis, Barry Hannah. Giants like them.

28. Are you a full-time or part-time writer?


a. How does that affect your writing?

Helpfully, I hope.

29. What are some day jobs that you have held?

Field engineer at a paving company, laborer/driver/iron worker on bridge jobs, night guy at a funeral home, bartender, roughneck on core drilling rigs, advertising creative director.

a. Did any of them impact your writing?

Oh, all of them did.

30. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Cool cover designs by Ben Carmean. And I sincerely hope they are not formulaic in any way, the books, the writing.

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

Those kind enough as yourself to ask to do an interview, reviewers, Twitter, Facebook, readings, signings, bookmarks dropped off in stores...

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

Great novels by my favorites when I find a great one, I read it slowly and savor it. "The Woman Who Lost Her Soul" by Shacochis. "Galveston" by Pizzolatto. "Dog of the South" by Portis, "Yonder Stands Your Orphan" by Hannah, "Nothing But Blue Skies" by McGuane, "No Country for Old Men" by McCarthy and on and on.

33. What projects are you working on at the present?

A Los Angeles-based novel. I worked out there for several years and loved L.A. It was good to me.

34. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

What makes you such a fantastic writer??! Where can I buy your books??!


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