Jane Tesh interview with David Alan Binder

posted Jun 7, 2016, 6:34 AM by David Alan Binder

Jane Tesh interview with David Alan Binder

 Dear Readers and Dear Writers, you have got to read all the way to the end.  The wisdom there is fantastic!

 PLUS, this makes my second connection to Mayberry.  I previously interviewed Don Knott’s brother in law, LOL.

 Bio from her website:    Jane Tesh is a retired media specialist and pianist for the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt. Airy, NC, the real Mayberry. She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Series, A Case of Imagination, A Hard Bargain, A Little Learning, and A Bad Reputation, featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather.  Stolen Hearts is the first in the Grace Street Mystery Series, featuring PI David Randall, his psychic friend, Camden, Randall’s love interest, Kary Ingram, and Cam’s career-driven girlfriend, Ellin Belton, as well as an ever-changing assortment of Cam’s tenants.  Mixed Signals is the second in the series, followed by Now You See It and Just You Wait. Jane’s mysteries are all published by Poisoned Pen Press, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Butterfly Waltz is her first published fantasy novel from Silver Leaf Books. All of Jane’s books are on the light side with humor and romance.

 

Website: www.janetesh.com

 

Blog: www.janetesh.wordpress.com

 

Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/janetesh

 

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GraceStreetMysterySeries

 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/janetesh

 

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/author/dashboard

 

1.     Where are you currently living?

Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s home town.  I live in Mayberry.  Honestly.

 

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

Never give up.  I started sending out manuscripts when I was 18.  There was no Internet then, so I typed the manuscript, made a copy, found the right size box, and mailed it to New York.  When it came back (between 3 and 6 months later), I sent it to the next publisher or agency on my list. I did this until the Internet arrived (Hooray!) and then sent email queries and attachments.  This went on until I received the contract for my first mystery novel when I was 55.

 

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

I always wanted to be traditionally published. As for self-publishing, in my day, it was very expensive and often the product looked shoddy.  I think it’s wonderful that if writers want to go the self-publishing route and have the money, they have many more options now, and the books look great.  However, they have to do their own marketing, distribution, and publicity and get their books reviewed, all things my publisher does for me.

 

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

Poisoned Pen Press in Scottsdale, AZ, for the mystery novels

Silver Leaf Books in Holliston, MA, for the fantasy novels.

 

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

When I started out, there was no Internet, and being a librarian, I’m a big fan of traditional books.  However, I am happy that my books are also available in eBook format, audio books, whatever will bring readers to my work. 

 

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

There was no secret for me.  I just kept at it.

 

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

I had an agent for a short while, but our ideas on my characters did not agree, so we parted ways (amicably).  I didn’t have to have an agent to submit to Poisoned Pen Press or Silver Leaf Books. 

New writers can certainly try the Writer’s Market for lists of agents and advice on how to get one. 

 

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

Writer’s Market is a great source of information.  I also can recommend Making Your Words Work and 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, both by Gary Provost.  Helpful and entertaining.

If possible, get your work professionally edited before sending it out, or get a trusted friend who is an English major to proofread your work.

8.     How many books have you written? 

I have written 25 books.  11 have been published so far.

 

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)? 

My favorite author, Terry Pratchett, once said, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”  Often new writers feel each page has to be perfect before going on to the next, or they get hung up on a plot point, or can’t figure out what to do.  Just roll with it.  Just tell yourself the story.  You can always go back and fix things.  I often put in “x” or “more here” and keep going.  Once you have your first draft, you can change anything and everything, but you have to have something to start with.  Don’t try to follow or create a trend.  Write the book you care about, the book you want to read.

 

10.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?  If you have created interesting, complex characters, they will often twist things for you.  And you can always work backward: think of a twist later and go back into the earlier part of the story and set it up.  I had to learn how to lay in clues for my mystery novels, and I usually did it backwards.  Maybe I should call it backshadowing instead of foreshadowing.

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

I like books that have characters I can care about.  I love TV, but I can’t follow a show unless there’s someone I want to see, someone whose life and adventures are intriguing enough to make me return week after week.  It’s the same with series fiction.  Will the reader care enough about your characters to want more adventures?

 

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

Besides my website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, I speak at libraries and book clubs and have book events at local businesses and bookstores.

 

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

Well, I would’ve liked to have gotten published a little sooner in life, but it all worked out.  I really had no control over which publisher was going to accept my work or when.

 

14.                        What saying or mantra do you live by?

This is a new one I just found, and since I am an excellent worrier, it really speaks to me: Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right.

 

15.                         Who are your favorite authors? 

Terry Pratchett, Georgette Heyer, Jasper Fforde, Dorothy Sayers, Jonathan Stroud, and C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series.

 

16.                        What do you love most about the writer’s life? 

I can’t control my real life.  I can’t control what will happen, what people will say or do, or end any of the horrible things going on in the news.  But I’m in complete control of my imaginary worlds, and in those worlds, I can make things right.  I can create happy endings. 

And one last thing for new writers – or anyone!

If you’re lucky enough to find that one thing that gives your life meaning and purpose, that one thing that gets you up every morning, eager to face the day, that one things that no matter what discouraging or painful event happens, you can say, “I still have this for solace,” then you have achieved success.  My one thing is writing, and I was fortunate to realize early in life I had this gift.  I hope all of you can realize your gift, whatever it is, and if it’s writing, then it’s the best!

Donations are appreciated.  You may be the only one that gives. Do be an angel, please.

(Just think of me as the poor man’s PBS or NPR, LOL!)

Please contact me at dalanbinder at gmail dot com or ab3ring at juno dot com

If you a published author or in a band with or without a book or an up and coming celebrity and want to garner following or get your message out there then  I’d like to interview you and feature you and your book(s) or message on this web site in one of my blogs.

Of course, I’m always looking for authors to interview.  If you know of one, send them to me, please.

Write Coach service (Donations accepted) - Contact me at dalanbinder at gmail dot com or ab3ring at juno dot com

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