Barbara Hodges interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 14, 2017 3:48:08 AM
Barbara Hodges interview with David Alan Binder
Bio (shortened) from her website: She is the author or co/author of nine published works of fiction. The Blue Flame, The Emerald Dagger and the Silver Angel are the first three books in her young adult fantasy series. Aftermath contains three pieces of shorter fantasy fiction written for adults. Barbara has also co-authored two suspense novels, Ice and One Last Sin, with Randolph Tower. A Spiral of Echoes, written with Maggie Pucillo, is a paranormal romance set in Baja, Mexico. Shadow Worlds, co-authored with Darrell Bain is pure science fiction. Barbara also has short stories in three other anthologies.
When she isn't writing she likes to design and create jewelry.
Barbara is a member of Sisters in Crime, Public Service Writers Association and San Luis Obispo Nightwriters. Her critique group, The Santa Maria Word Wizards, is celebrating their twentieth reunion this year. Barbara is a founding member. She also hosts a monthly broadcast, No Limits, on Blog Talk Radio, where she talks with those involved in the field of writing.
Barbara has also invited me to be on her No Limits Blog Talk Radio (the verdict is still out on where that will happen).
1. Where are you currently?
I live in Nipomo, California, a small town on the central coast.
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Not to be easily discouraged.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
Well I don't know if it qualifies as a quirk, but using the word till, for until drives me crazy. If you want to use it correctly, then spell it correctly. It's 'til. Till is to turn the ground over.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I'm a hybrid. I have both a traditional publisher. I always feel I should add air quotes to that, and I've also Indie published. I don't care for the word, self-published.
I had another publisher too, but chose not to resign the contract.
My publisher is a smaller one out of the Los Angeles area.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
Use all avenues to get your books out there. I'm also involved in audio books. They are selling well right now.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
There is no secret. It's hard work and perseverance and having a good, well-edited story to offer.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I've never had an agent and don't want one.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Write a story about what you are passionate about. Don't try and write what you feel is hot right now. It'll come across as phony.
Find yourself a good writers group. They will become your first readers.
Don't have a knee-jerk reaction to negative critiques. Take time to let it all sink in, then if you don't agree then you don't agree. It's your manuscript. A word of warning, if you are hearing the same thing from more than one person, then perhaps you should give it some more thought.
Before you submit your manuscript have it as perfect as you can get it, that mean having it professionally edited. Even editors don't see their own mistakes. As a new author, you have one chance with a reader. If you lose them because of sloppy editing, it will be hard for you to regain their trust and respect.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
What still surprises me is when I go back and read book of mine and I really enjoy the experience. It's like a light going off in my head....I can write.
10. How many books have you written?
Counting anthologies, 14. Ten books and stories in four anthologies.
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)?
When Stephen King was asked how he wrote so many books he replied, "Bum glue. Glue your bum to the seat and write."
I've heard it said you to write so many books before you can expect to ever have one published. My first book, The Blue Flame, was published.
I also believe you have to be a reader. I don't know how you can write, if you don't read, and not just in the genre you want to write in.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Only use a twist if it is needed. Don't try and connive one. Some stories don't need them at all.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
It's the story. The world you bring me into. I don't care if it's the next town over or a world where war-horses eat meat. Bring me into your world. Make me care about those who inhabit it. Make me hurry, hurry, to find out what is going to happen, then sigh, when I read the last word. Make me run to Amazon, or the book store around the corner to see if I can find anything else you've written.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I promote myself. Social media, panels on publishing. Workshops at writers’ conferences. I am the president of our local chapter of Sisters In Crime. I interview people involved in writing of my Blog Talk Radio show, No Limits and I also do an interview column for Mysterical-E. I have a website. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a blogger, although I have done guests post and taken part in blog hops.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
There isn't anything I'd do differently. I've always been pro-active.
16. What saying or mantra do you live by?
Stealing this from Nike, Just do it. I'd also add, and keep doing it.
17. Anything else you would like to say?
Just, thanks David, for the opportunity. I enjoyed thinking through and answering your interview questions.