Caroline Taylor interview with David Alan Binder

posted Oct 30, 2018, 4:29 PM by David Alan Binder

Caroline Taylor interview with David Alan Binder


Her bio from her website:  I wrote my first novel as a spoof of the hard-boiled pulp fiction that I so enjoy. I gave it a chick-lit twist in the form of P.J. Smythe, who inhabits What Are Friends For? and makes a second appearance in Jewelry from a Grave.


Loose Ends is my first thriller. I had so much fun writing it, I decided to follow it up with The Typist. Both of these are set in Washington, D.C., in the Sixties and Seventies—almost historical fiction, but not quite.


When struggling with the occasional bout of writer’s block, I find that short stories are a great antidote (see SHORT STORIES). Several of these appear in Enough! Thirty Stories of Fielding Life’s Little Curve Balls.


I am a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the North Carolina Writers' Network.







  1. Where are you currently living?

I live in North Carolina.


  1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

When you are absolutely certain you have polished the manuscript to the point that it is ready to submit to your agent or a publisher, first ask someone with an eye for detail (an editor or another author, for example) to read through it. You’ll be surprised how many things they catch that you overlooked.


  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

Repetitive language is my bête noire.


  1. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I prefer to use a publisher because I believe the imprint signals to readers, “This book has been vetted by professionals who consider it worthy of your attention and money.” Authors who self-publish must be more than good writers. They must also be excellent at publicity and marketing.

    1. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?


I have had several publishers for my books. My latest, The Typist, is published by Black Rose Writing of Castroville, Texas. Black Rose will also be publishing my next novel, Death in Delmarva.


  1. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?          

By all means, try to find an agent. But remember they tend to be inundated with queries and can become quite jaded, not to mention overworked. Many publishers, especially the independents, accept unagented manuscripts. Be persistent and understand that rejection of your work does not necessarily mean the work is unpublishable.



  1. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Pay attention to grammar and spelling. Most publishers today do not employ editors to catch these things and might not be inclined to accept manuscripts that require heavy editing.

  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

With my first novel, What Are Friends For?, I was surprised to discover that the thorough, meticulous edit I had been expecting no longer exists in the publishing world. I thought it was because I’d submitted a flawless manuscript until I noticed typos and errors in some of the best-sellers I like to read.

  1. How many books have you written?

I have had six books published to date. The seventh is forthcoming in March 2019.


  1. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

If you’re not making much headway at your computer, try writing some scenes in longhand. I did this with my thriller, Loose Ends, and found that the story took on a life of its own. Somehow, the action of pen on paper seems to engage a different part of the brain that ignites the creative spark.


  1. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Listen to your characters. They might be wholly creatures of your imagination, but they have strong opinions about where the story needs to go.

  1. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

The cover. It should grab a book buyer’s attention enough that he or she will read the cover copy, which should also be carefully crafted to entice readers.


  1.  What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

I would be a lot more firm about the cover design and readability of cover text because these elements are absolutely vital to the book’s success. Even though publishers often have the final say on design, the author must be satisfied that the book’s cover clearly and vividly conveys its content.


  1. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Keep on writing until it’s no longer fun.


  1. Are your books pure works of the imagination, or are they based on personal experience?

They are a mix. The two P.J. Smythe mysteries were based in Annapolis, a charming town that I knew as a tourist. Loose Ends takes an experience I had while living abroad and turns it into something much darker. The Typist shows how a naïve young woman who can type like the dickens (personal experience) might wind up in deep trouble in the big bad city (fiction). Several of the short stories in Enough! Thirty Stories of Fielding Life’s Little Curve Balls are riffs on experiences I’ve had in the workplace or while traveling; but many of the stories are also pure figments of my imagination.