J.J. Lamb interview with David Alan Binder

posted Jun 2, 2017, 4:35 PM by David Alan Binder

J.J. Lamb interview with David Alan Binder


Bio from Amazon:  NO PAT HANDS, the fourth book in the Zach Rolfe PI series, was a nominee for a 2014 Shamus Award from Private Eye Writers of America (PWA).
This is quite a jump from having intended to be an aeronautical engineer/pilot. Somewhere in between I was seduced by journalism while putting myself through school as a news photographer. An AP career followed, but was interrupted by the U.S. Army, where I was given a Top Secret clearance, put in a locked room with a safe, table, chair, and typewriter ... and enough spare time to write short stories.
This all led to the paperback PI series featuring Zachariah Tobias Rolfe III (Zach to friends, Toby to special friends, usually female), who specializes in gambling crimes ... on either side of the tables.
Next up came collaboration with wife Bette Golden Lamb to produce -- so far -- six gritty medical thrillers starring feisty, ex-Bronxite RN Gina Mazzio -- BONE DRY, SIN & BONE, BONE PIT, BONE OF CONTENTION, BONE DUST, and BONE CRACK. Bette and I have also co-authored THE KILLING VOTE, a political/medical thriller; HEIR TODAY..., a suspense-adventure with romantic overtones, plus a non-series medical thriller, SISTERS IN SILENCE.
NO PAT HANDS takes Rolfe to Northern California and mysterious and deadly doings involved in an attempt to build a new Indian casino/resort.




1. How do you pronounce your name? 



2. Where are you currently living?

Northern California


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

Story (plot) comes first. Remind myself repeatedly that it’s around-the-campfire time.


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

Forgetting to create a written biography for each of my main characters.


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

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

Champlain Avenue Books, Inc., Henderson, NV

b. Independent Publisher

Two Black Sheep Productions


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

We (my co-author is Bette Golden Lamb) find that in publishing both e-books and POD’s [print on demand] From finished ms. [manuscript] to reader availability independently. Unless you’re destined for the “best seller” lists book after book, the

Financial returns are much, much better. We don’t want to risk the horrendous amount of time it takes to go the agent/traditional route to publication. We’re talking sometimes years as opposed to months.

Yet, occasionally, and without a good explanation for it, we’ll query small/medium publishers about a new stand-alone book.

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

Persevere ... there are no shortcuts. Although miracles do happen.


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

Have had agents; have lost agents; have fired agents. It can take as long, or longer, to find an agent as to find a publisher. With an agent, then you have to wait for the agent find a publisher. If you want an agent, then again... persevere; there are no shortcuts.

Although, miracles do happen.


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

Read, read, read (in and out of any specific genre that tickles your interest).

Write, write, write (but don’t copy other peoples’ style just because they were successful; create your signature/style.)


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


Publishers’ dust only falls on a few people each year so you have to keep going after it if that’s what you really want. You may sit down to write, but it’s no job for the un-ambitious.


11. How many books have you written?

Fourteen (14); four on my own and ten as co-author with Bette Golden Lamb.


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

Read, read, read; analyze, analyze, analyze. If you read no other book on writing, read and almost memorize The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. Also, your bookshelf should include a dictionary; thesaurus; The Chicago Manual of Style; The Associated Press Stylebook; books on synonyms, antonyms, slang, foreign phrases; English usage; American usage; et al. (I know all of this material

has been digitized and is computer-available, but personally, I find the process of stopping for a moment or two to look something up in a real book is very advantageous to the overall writing process. Besides, you may accidentally run into something you didn’t know or weren’t aware of previously.)


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

Avoid cliché twists and turns. If you find a good, new one, please share it with me; however, I will not do the same for you :-).


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

A damn good, un-put-downable story, whether it is plot-driven or character-driven.


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

Social media, attending conferences, blogging, one-on-one conversations, panel discussions, being opportunistic.


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

Not fire my first agent because I thought I knew it all. (She believed in me, and that kind of thing is not easy to come by.)


17. What saying or mantra do you live by?

There really is such a thing as magical publishers’ dust.


18. Anything else you would like to say?

If I knew in the beginning what I know today, I’d still do it. Being able to tell stories and communicate ideas is a wonderful thing.