Dave Wickenden interview with David Alan Binder

posted May 6, 2018, 8:50 AM by David Alan Binder

Dave Wickenden interview with David Alan Binder

Bio from his website:  After 31 years, Dave Wickenden traded business plans and council reports as Deputy Fire Chief for creative writing. He wrote and edited the Fire Department’s “In the Line of Fire” newsletter earlier in his career and has enjoyed writing and reading since a young teen.

Dave is a father of three fantastic boys, Adam 29, Daniel 16, and Ian 14.  Both he and his wife Gina live in the arenas, as the two younger boys are very active in minor hockey and lacrosse.  The entire family is very involved with fishing and spends many summer hours on the water searching for the big one. 

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name?

Last name comes right out Surrey, England via Boston to Canada and is pronounced Wic ken den 

2.     Where are you currently?

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

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

Still learning patience. All the processes take time and I, like many new to writing have no idea how long things take. I’m talking about the querying process, the editing process, the cover artwork, the reviews and finally the publication.

Only thing you can do is start on the next story.

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

I need complete silence. Having two teenagers who rage on X-box doesn’t help. I actually wear a 3M noise-canceling headset when they are home and I am writing. Writing at the cottage is bliss.

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

I have not self-published but I have friends who have done so and have been successful. I’m not sure I would want to invest all the time. I prefer to spend it on writing.

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

 

Crave Press is based out Leesport, Pennsylvania.

 

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

Whatever works for the reader. I personally prefer an eBook because it allows me to read at night without disturbing my wife. Also, when I start to fall asleep, I’m not dropping a thick, hardcover on my head.

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

Make sure it is as polished as you can possibly get it. Consider sending it to an editor, (I use Mica) but at the very least have a few trusted people (not mom or Aunt Edna) go over it with a critical eye.

Do not give up. Agents and Publishers are there to make money, because this is a business. Some agents deal in certain areas so do your research before sending your fantasy story to an agent who deals with only romance.       

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

I have not found an agent. I have queried but have not lucked out. However, I was fortunate to find a home with Crave Press. They have been very accommodating and have allowed me to have a say in every step of the way. For both my books, they have taken my thoughts on cover design and ran with it.

As for tips? Research and remember the writing world is very subjective. What one agent doesn’t like, another will love it. You have to keep trying until you find that match. If you are still not connecting, it might be time to look at your writing. Is it clean or does it need a developmental analysis. Again, the better you can make your book, the better your odds.

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

New writers need feedback. (Not Mom) Join a writing group or an on-line critique group. There are many to choose from, but shop around. You want to join one that does not put up with disrespectful feedback. That doesn’t help and encourage, which is the whole point. You need a critical eye and honest feedback that will help you better your writing.

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

I use software called Natural Reading that allows you to have a computerized voice read your writing back to you out loud. This process has been so helpful in editing as you can hear the mistake where your eyes might pass over it. Works fantastic.

11.                        How many books have you written?

In Defense of Innocence was published April 16, 2018 and is available through B&N, Amazon, Amazon.ca, or Chapters in Canada

My second adult thriller, Homegrown is being released June 11, 2018 in time for Father’s Day. It can be found at the same locations as above

My third book Mad Dog is almost ready to go to the querying stage

I am working on my 4th which is a standalone sequel to In Defense of Innocence and have completed approximately 35% of the story.

12.                        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)?

I don’t think of it as tricks. What it is is hard work. Writing, although enjoyable is like anything else; you have to work at it to become better. You will be constantly learning. That can consist of the craft, how to use social media effectively, how to read in public or give interviews. If you are just starting to write or plan your first novel, then now is the time to build a following on different social media platforms.

There are a bunch of writing groups on Twitter, Facebook and Linked. Read other authors stories in both your genre as well as others and then go to Goodreads, make an account and leave a review. Reviews are gold to an author because the help drive sales.

Build a website or blog to tell people about your writing journey. The good and the bad. Follow others doing the same and interact with them. These relationships will help you during your own highs and lows.

Join a writing group and go out to open mic events to get input from your stories as well as to get over stage fright. When your book comes out, you are front and center and you’ll want to be comfortable.

And keep writing.

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

Lead the reader in one direction, but leave subtle clues that all is not what it seems. That way when you pull the rug out from under them, they can look back and see that they missed the clues rather than you tricking them. There is a trust going both ways and you do not want to break that trust.

Study great plot twists like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

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

An original voice and story. Almost all stories have been told, but how you tell it will make the difference. I like to take controversial subjects and add a twist.

In my story In Defense of Innocence, I take on the subject of child abuse. My twist is I throw in a vigilante who takes on those who have avoided or circumvented the law. It has a horrible social issue and my anti-hero does what every parent has thought they would do to someone who violated their own child.

In Homegrown, I look at how ISIS recruits teens across the world. I then let a mother do what a mother does to protect her child. What would you do?

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

I am on:

Facebook

Twitter

Web Page

Goodreads

Twitter

Linkedin

AMAFeed

I am also a member of the Sudbury Writers Guild.

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

I would have started writing much earlier. As much as I loved my career in the Fire Service, I am obsessed with writing and entertaining people.

17.                        What saying or mantra do you live by?

Never give up. You might make mistakes but learn from them and always move forward.

18.                        Anything else you would like to say?

Much thanks to David Binder for this opportunity. It’s been fun and I hope you enjoy my stories.

Dave

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