Gustavo Florentin interview with David Alan Binder

posted May 26, 2016, 6:11 AM by David Alan Binder

Gustavo Florentin interview with David Alan Binder

Partial Bio from Good Reads: Gustaavo Florentin has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn't need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. He is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards:

WUACADEMIA--Prix d'Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest--First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show--Second Prize best first chapter of a novel. 
16th Annual International Latino Book Awards--Second Prize

 

Website:      http://www.gustavoflorentin.com

Amazon:     http://j.mp/sradius

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22828394-the-schwarzschild-radius

 

1.     Where are you currently living? For the last 14 years, New Jersey. Before that, born and bred in New York City.

 

2.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far? You have to avail yourself of every opportunity, whether it’s going to conferences to find an agent, or submitting your book to contests hoping to win an award. I’ve gotten breaks from the most unlikely directions.

 

3.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk? I start speaking dialogue out loud in public places and occasionally, people think I’m homeless.

 

a.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?  I’ve done both. The line between the two is blurring, as you have to do a lot of editing and promoting on your own either way. The big promotional sites, such as BookBub and BookGorilla.com are open to self-published authors and getting on these really does wonders for your Amazon ranking.

b.     Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they? Curiosity Quills Press. They are in Virginia.

 

4.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?       If you have the means, work with a freelance editor, preferably one with experience in a big publishing house. Their input is invaluable and can save you years of finding things out on your own. They also have insight into current trends in publishing.

 

5.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one? Attend writing conferences in your genre. I attended ThrillerFest for years and they have a feature called PitchFest where you get to stand on line and pitch your book to a lot of big time New York agents. I did this and through a labyrinthine series of events, it led me to my current agent, Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group. Again, it means taking advantage of every single opportunity that comes your way. One year, ThrillerFest auctioned a luncheon with the editor in chief of a major NY publisher. I won the auction and met her in Manhattan. She suggested working with a freelance editor and gave me the names of several people she had worked with.

 

6.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)? This business of “write what you know” is complete nonsense. Sure, you can do that, but don’t limit yourself to what you know. What do sci-fi writers know about Martians or Pleadians? Write what you want. With Google, you can sound like an expert in any subject with twenty minutes of research. And never attempt to write what you never read.

7.     What was one of the most surprising things you learned in your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating? When I faced a dramatic problem, such as “how can my character get out of this in a plausible way?” I noticed that my subconscious would figure it out for me. I just kept asking the question and each time, some gremlin would deliver the answer. It really works and you have to have faith in it.

8.     How many books have you written?  Two full-length novels and a novella. I’m working on my third thriller 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)?  Get books on writing, especially in your genre. For thrillers, that would be “How to Write a Damn Good Thriller”, by James Frey. There are many others and each genre has them. Also useful are books on self-editing. The idea is to deliver a book that needs minimal work. The days of Max Perkins poring over a thousand pages of amorphous prose are long gone.

 

10.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story? Ah, this is one of my favorite subjects. You need several suspects and you have to misdirect the reader in such a way that his suspicions change every fifty pages or so. This way the reader is engaged, telling himself that he has this figured out. And, of course, he doesn’t.

 

11.                        What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd? Although I write thrillers, I still believe there is a place for a beautiful style. I love the language of Shakespeare and the Romantic poets and whenever I write, I have to suppress the urge to get too exalted in my prose, but turn of phrase and incisive observations makes a book stand out for me. “Leave the gun, take the canolis.” How can you forget that?

 

12.                        What are some ways in which you promote your work? I’m still figuring this one out. I’ve tried Facebook ads and Goodread promos. Another method is virtual book tours, where you get reviews and mention in a blog site. Honestly, the only thing that unquestionably moves the needle is BookBub. If you get on this site, you’re a bestselling author for a day. My latest thriller, The Schwarzschild Radius has had two appearances on BookBub and it’s made a huge difference.

 

13.                         What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why? I would have focused on writing instead of getting caught up in the real estate fad twelve years ago. Running a couple of rentals on the side has been time-consuming and frustrating and I would love to have spent all that time writing.

 

14.                        What saying or mantra do you live by? “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow”. Byron.

 

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