Kathleen Delaney interview with David Alan Binder

posted Jun 22, 2016, 5:55 AM by David Alan Binder

Kathleen Delaney interview with David Alan Binder

 Partial Bio from her website:  Kathleen Delaney came to the writing life a little late. Instead, she raised five children; heaven alone knows how many cats and dogs, more than a few horses, and assorted 4 H animals. She also enjoyed a career as a real estate broker in the small California town of Paso Robles. Somewhere in there she found she wanted to write as well as read, and her first book, Dying for a Change, was a finalist in St. Martin’s Malice Domestic contest.  Since then she has written six more books, to great reviewer praise.  The first in her new Mary McGill canine mysteries, Purebred Dead is available in both hard cover and eBook form, and will be available this spring in soft cover, just in time to great the release of Curtains for Miss Plym, the second in the Mary McGill and Millie canine mysteries.


Website:      www.kathleendelaney.net

Facebook:   Kathleen Delaney Mystery Author

Twitter:       Kathleen Delaney @kdkoppang

1.     Where are you currently living?

I live in Georgia

 

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

Probably that if you really want something, never give up. In writing, just plunk your backside in the chair and don’t get up until you’ve written something. It will probably stink, but if you keep writing, you will get better.

 

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

 

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

I’ve had several, some good, some bad. Currently I am with Severn House, located in London. They’re very good.

 

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

This is such a personal thing but I’ll tell you what I did, and why. I wanted to be traditionally published and it was more because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. Getting an agent, and a publishing contract have meaning, at least they do to me.  I have achieved a personal goal; my work was good enough to garner professional praise. And, I didn’t want to wear all those hats. The publisher hat, the editor hat, and the cover artist hat…all the things you have to do if you are going to self-publish. I just wanted to write the story.

 

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

They aren’t very secret. Go to every conference you can get to, pitch your book to every agent and/or publisher who handles the kind of book you write, keep sending in proposals, and keep going to writing classes, getting feedback on what you are doing. Get professional editing. Never send in a manuscript or pitch one that isn’t completely finished, and keep writing.     

 

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

As I said in the above answer, keep pitching and keep trying to get better. It’s amazing how small things matter in a manuscript. I got my first, and only agent- she’s great and I’m not letting her go- after I had three books in print. She had been my editor for all three and when she decided to start her agency, I jumped at the chance to present to her. She already knew what I could do, so she gladly accepted me, and it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made. She has helped me a lot.

 

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

Writing is a craft, and like every other craft or profession, you have to learn to do it. Go to creative writing classes at your local college, go to writer conferences, join groups such as Guppies, a division of Sisters in Crime for unpublished authors, join critique groups (be careful on this one...there are some good ones out there and some very bad ones. Look for the ones who have some already established writers who can give you good feed-back) then just write. Lots of what you write will be terrible, but lots of what we all write is terrible. Someone once said, books are not written, they’re rewritten. Never forget that.

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

How the characters take over the book. I had to hear people say that, but didn’t believe it. It’s true. Once you get into the plot, get to know the people, sometimes they just come to life and the book writes itself. Not always, sometimes you have to drag every word out of yourself, but when it comes, it’s pure joy.

9.     How many books have you written? 

I am writing my 9th

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

[See below answer]

 

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

This is the answer to both 10 and 11. Read. Search out the best authors writing the same kind of books you want to, and read them. Read to see how the character development was handled, how the dialog flows and how, and where, the plot twists come in. You aren’t doing this to copy anyone, but to learn from the best how they do things. Then write something, then write it again, then read it out loud and see how you like it. Then go back and write it again.

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

I like to put something in each plot that takes you to a different place or explores something you might not have known before. It’s not always easy to come up with that, but I try. For instance I explored colonial life in Murder by Syllabub and dog breeding in Purebred Dead.  

 

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

As much social media as possible, I twitter every day and belong to a number of groups on Facebook, guest blog wherever they’ll have me and do interviews such as yours. Organizations such as Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America are helpful. Conferences are great especially if you can get on a panel. And then the standards, appearances at bookstores, libraries, book clubs, things like that.  

 

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

That’s hard to say. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot from them, so maybe they were a good thing. I would like to have made an even greater effort to market the books, but that takes up a huge amount of time which doesn’t leave a lot for writing. Right now I’m going to keep concentrating on going forward. 

 

15.   What saying or mantra do you live by?

I’ve never really thought about a mantra but I guess my saying would be, when life knocks you down, get back up, try and figure out what went wrong, and try again.

Kathleen Delaney

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