Ken Kuhlken interview with David Alan Binder

posted Jun 15, 2016, 6:08 AM by David Alan Binder

Ken Kuhlken interview with David Alan Binder

 His bio from Amazon:  After borrowing time from his youthful passions, such as baseball, golf, romance, and trying to make music, to earn degrees in literature and writing from San Diego State University and the University of Iowa, Ken got serious (more or less).

 Since then, his stories have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines, and anthologies, been honorably mentioned in Best American Short Stories, and earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has been a frequent contributor and a columnist for the San Diego Reader.

 With Alan Russell, in Road Kill and No Cats, No Chocolate, he has chronicled the madness of book promotion tours.

 Ken's novels are Midheaven, chosen as finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Award for best first novel and the Tom Hickey California Century series:

 The Loud Adios, San Diego and Tijuana, 1943 (Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin's Press Best First PI Novel); The Venus Deal, San Diego, Mount Shasta, and Denver, 1942; The Angel Gang, Lake Tahoe and San Diego, 1950; The Do-Re-Mi, rural Northern California, 1972 (a January Magazine best book of 2006 and finalist for the 2006 Shamus Award); The Vagabond Virgins, rural Baja California, 1979; The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 1926.



 Good Reads:


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 1.     How do you pronounce your name?   



2.     Where are you currently living (at least the state or if outside US then Country)?

My home is in La Mesa, CA, but I’ve been spending a lot of time in Tucson.


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

I’ve learned plenty, much of it available in a book called Writing and the Spirit.

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

I seem to be incapable of writing to fit formulas. When I have tried to, the words just take off in their own direction.

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

Be careful choosing a publisher. Research the publisher, talk to some of its other writers, if possible. Make sure you know what you are likely to get and not get from them. Try not to enter into a publishing contract with any illusions.

On the other hand, self-publishing (especially fiction) is a whole lot of work. If a good and reputable publisher will do much of it for you, let them do so.

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

I have been with Viking (NYC) and St. Martin’s Press (NYC), and am currently with Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), and Hickey’s Books (La Mesa, CA)

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

E-books are great for when you need to take notes. Just highlight and save on your computer. Hardback books last. Paperback books fall apart.

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

Allegedly from Jack London: “When you finish a story, if you like it, send it out. If you don’t like it, send it out.”

Try everything, seeking a the right agent, researching and going directly to smaller publishers, going to writers conferences and listening well, reading a book called How I Got Published.

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

Write a book with serious commercial potential – meaning it is well written in your own unique voice and it fits well into not only a genre but into a sub-genre. If you can honestly build a case that you are much like a certain bestseller only have a slightly unique angle, that can work well. Then study resources like Agent Query.

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

I have written and published a whole book, about 80 suggestions. It’s an indispensible resource, I believe.

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

That many friends and acquaintances expect you to not only write the book, get it published and help market it, they also want you to give them a copy.

12.                        How many books have you written?

I have written about twenty, published about ten. Some of the others are waiting to be revised.

13.                        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 books on writing; find an encouraging but also serious writers’ group; take a class from Perelandra College.

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

Keep an open mind and do everything you can to invite inspiration.

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

Memorable passages. Honest and original characters. An original voice. Passion. A vision or world view not quite like any other.

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

Answering interview questions.  Attending mystery conventions. My blog, website, Facebook, Twitter.

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

From the beginning, I would try harder to find just the right agent and publisher, one that believed in what I was doing and what I was capable of.

18.                        What saying or mantra do you live by?

“Number one is patience, number two is patience, number three is patience.”

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