Christine Husom interview with David Alan Binder

posted Mar 22, 2017, 4:19 PM by David Alan Binder

Christine Husom interview with David Alan Binder

 Bio combined from Good Reads and her website:  Christine Husom is the Minnesota author of the mystery thrillers, Murder in Winnebago County and Buried in Wolf Lake, the first two books in the Winnebago County series. She holds an undergraduate degree from Concordia University in St. Paul, a law enforcement certificate from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, and served with the Wright County Sheriffs Department.

Author of the Winnebago County Mystery Series and the Snow Globe Shop Mystery Series

 Website:      www.christinehusom.webs.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/christine.husom

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/christinehusom

Good Reads:        https://www.goodreads.com/christinehusom

 

1.     Where are you currently living?

Minnesota, USA.

 

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

You need to be very patient with the process, from writing your manuscript, to polishing it, to finding a publisher, to seeing it in print. It takes a long time, usually years.

 

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

If a writer wants to get his or her work published and can’t find a house to do that, they can consider self-publishing. It has gotten easier to do, and is accepted far more than it once was. But ensure it is as error-free as possible, with a nice cover and good interior formatting. Don’t pay a vanity press to “publish” your books—you can do that yourself without a middle man and it will cost you far less for the printing.

 

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

My Winnebago County mysteries are published by Indigo Sea Press in North Carolina, and my Snow Globe Shop mysteries are published by Penguin Random House in New York.

 

4.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

My books are both print and electronic. Some authors have good success selling electronic-only books. Getting published by a traditional house is wonderful, but the world is changing drastically, and more and more people are self-publishing because of it. 

 

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

Be diligent with your researching, writing, rewriting, editing, taking honest critiques to heart, and marketing. It takes considerable effort, and lots of seat time, to create a great product and get it into readers’ hands.

 

6.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one?

I tried to enlist an agent for several years for my Winnebago series, without success. After five years of sending out query letters and sample chapters, etc., I found my first publisher through an online writing contest. Then a New York agent contacted our Twin Cities Sisters in Crime group looking for a Minnesota author to write a Cozy mystery series. He ended up choosing me. I was over the moon when he sold a three-book deal to Penguin Random House/Berkley Prime Crime.

 

7.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

Be very patient and persistent if you want to get published. It’s a highly competitive business, and it often seems good things happen to those in the right place at the right time. And that person could be you. Make contacts with other writers and people in the publishing business by attending book fairs and writers’ conventions. Develop an online presence, and visit others’ websites and blogs and comment on their posts. Post reviews of books you’ve read.

8.      How many books have you written?

I wrote two books many years ago that were never published.

So far I have books six published books in the Winnebago County Mystery Series, and three in the Snow Globe Shop Mystery Series. I’m working on my seventh Winnebago now. 

9.      Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?

Study the craft and art of writing. Take writing classes and read as much as possible, especially in the genre you write in. Being in a writers’ group can be very valuable. At least share your manuscript with others, people who will be honest with you and tell you what works and what doesn’t. It will make you a better writer.

 

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

I wish I did. I’m a pantser, and the twists and turns in my books show up as the story unfolds.

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

That’s the challenge in such a flooded market. I find meeting people at author events, book clubs, or art and craft fairs are valuable. Making one-on-one connections with people is great. It helps them learn more about my books and many buy them.

 

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

I collect email addresses at events and send out emails to the list when I have a new book release. I also send a letter to libraries and bookstores with the same information, asking if they’d like to schedule a book signing. I have been the featured guest on a number of blogs. I’m on Facebook, and intermittently on Twitter. I do a fair number of author panels and other events with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime at libraries in Minnesota.  I’ve spoken to classes. Plus I go to book clubs and art and craft fairs where I sell my books.

 

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

It’s been a process and I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had along the way I have learned a lot and can’t think of how I would have done things differently.

 

14.   What saying or mantra do you live by?

To thine own self be true.

 

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