Leonardo Wild interview with David Alan Binder

posted May 16, 2016, 6:15 AM by David Alan Binder

Leonardo Wild interview with David Alan Binder

Bio from his website: I'm a professional author with 11 books and 200 published articles as well as 42 produced scripts. Although I wear many hats, writing has been my livelihood and passion since age twelve.

Currently the CEO and co-owner of a company dedicated to environmental solutions, I have travelled extensively: sailed across the Atlantic and the Pacific—was the skipper of a million-dollar yacht at the age of 24 in New Zealand and in 1989 survived cyclone Harry, a Category 4. I walked three times over the Andes into the Amazon jungle with Native Indians, took part in gold survey expeditions in Ecuador's rain forests, cycled across South America, built wooden houses, advised Ecuador's Central Bank on currency design; these, and many other experiences, are invariably being weaved into my writing.

 

WEBSITE: www.leonardowild.com

BLOG:        http://www.leonardowild.com/#!wild-blog/c112v

AUTHOR PAGE AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/Leonardo-Wild/e/B001JO6488/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

LINKEDIN PROFILE:   https://ec.linkedin.com/in/leonardowild

GOODREADS:    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/49820224-leonardo-wild

PURCHASE LINK FOR THE GALAPAGOS AGENDA: https://www.amazon.com/Galapagos-Agenda-Paradigm-Shift-Thriller-ebook/dp/B016Z3EYV6?ie=UTF 8&ref_=cm_sw_su_dp

 

1. How do you pronounce your name?

Leonardo as in Leo. Wild as in savage.

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

Ecuador. In an inter-Andean valley of Tumbaco, on the mountain slopes of an extinct volcano, the Ilaló, at 8000 feet above sea level, near the city of Quito and only about an hour's drive from the equator line.

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

That if you want to be a professional writer you must write like you are learning to walk, but then, if you really want to reach summits, you must learn your craft like your life depends on it, because any mistake will feel like a thousand-foot drop into the abyss. Panster or plotter or whatever you think you are, knowing the craft inside-out is the only way to stand out from the crowd of all those who are writing good copy yet are unwilling to take it to the next level, and then the next. We all have our Everest’s to climb, though writing is more like trying to make it up the K2 without oxygen. Do your research; nothing will make your line of credibility break faster than mistakes you could've avoided.

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

To try to break the rules by creating a new sub-genre-Paradigm Shift Thrillers-so I can stay within my own genre yet explore the infinite subjects of interest that move me to write, and share what I've learned in the most exciting way possible. Then, perhaps, writing now in a language that is not my own, my greatest challenge.

5. 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 never self-published but think that for some that might be the right way to go … if they are willing to do all the work a professional writer needs to bring his/her writing up to the level that readers expect to see in a published book. I have had many publishers, my latest and newest is Suspense Publishing, located in Calabasas, California.

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

I like print books. There is a neurological difference in the way we take in printed text vs digital text. Maybe I'm just a romantic, but I prefer to read print books over eBooks.

From the business point of view, though, eBooks are taking over the market, especially in the non-bestseller arena, as digital versions are cheaper, faster to produce, and are quickly downloadable.

Print books fall into two major categories: POD (Print On Demand) and pre-printed in printing presses that need to make a minimum of copies to be considered economical (on a per copy basis).

Conventional publishing that prepares "print runs" use printing presses, but it means a large upfront investment, so only books that commercial publishers believe will sell enough copies will be sent "to the press." All others will most likely use POD systems.

Now most publishers will buy rights for print and digital, unless they do not bother with print, like many small publishers. The problem with digital vs print is that so many more titles are coming out in digital format that unless you are really doing some serious marketing (or are incredibly lucky) you will not stand out from the crowd.

Usually, conventional publishing makes a small investment (or large, if you are a known author) to kick start a book's buzz. If nothing happens, you're more or less left to your own devices. With small or alternative publishing, you will be doing that from the start with a little help (if at all) thanks to the publishing house's connections. If you're doing it on your own, then consider spending a lot of time marketing because otherwise you'll not break out.

The main reason for choosing conventional publishing over Indie is the support you get on the editorial side, cover design, etc., which will bring your book to professional quality … unless you are willing to spend on professional help for the sake of keeping the income from potential future sales.

Most commercial authors who decide to go Indie already have a platform, and in many cases they are going Indie with their backlist that publishers don't want to push anymore. A non-commercial author who goes Indie from the start without a platform, must count on luck and really hard work to see a considerable boost in sales.

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

Write as much as you can. Then try to read about the craft, when you have come to a point in your writing when you realize that it's worth considering other insights (with a pinch of salt). Do this even after you've been published.  Nothing worse than a writer that does not develop his art and craft further. In order to get published, seeing your stuff in print is great and amazing, but there are so many good writers out there learning the craft, that unless you are willing to work as hard if not harder, you'll not make a difference in the long run. Now, if you are already a good writer and have a great story and all that you think a publisher wishes to see in an author (there is a difference between being a writer and an author), then you should probably consider attending conferences where you will get to meet other writers and professionals in the business, even if you decide to go Indie, because there is always room for learning something new.

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

Get your best finished work and revise it again, give it to Beta Readers that you think will have constructive advice, and then try to attend an event where you can pitch to agents and probably get a rather quick response because otherwise, if you go to sites where you get agent contacts, and send your query out, you might not get an answer for months, if at all. Do look into events that actually cater to agents looking for stuff in your genre.

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

Do not be impatient about getting published if you are serious about it. It can take years if not decades to see your stuff in print (commercially). If you choose to go Indie, beware of the idea that others have "made it" and that you will too. The number of Indie writers whose work really breaks through is small, and usually not for lack of trying. The difference lies in the quality of what is being printed (not to say that commercial stuff does have it's rotten apples). Nothing like a team of people who are there to try to make the best of what you've written. I know … only a small percentage end up being commercially published, but it's maybe worth the shot. If you go Indie, you will be dealing with the same market rat race as everyone else, without a team to support you.

Above all, though, consider that unless you are a copyeditor yourself, your work will most likely not be of the best quality possible.

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

That no matter how much you try to learn about the craft of writing, there'll always be more to understand if you dig deeper. And no matter how good you think you are with craft, if you don't have a certain sense for the art of writing (the act of immeasurable creation), you might produce perfect copy yet without a soul. If all you do is entertain, your work will probably not last as long as if you do it because you want to share an insight in an entertaining way.

11. How many books have you written?

Written: about 22. Published: 11. Most of those that are not published where not good enough, and where part of my learning process. At least the first 5 were really not good enough, but I greatly enjoyed writing them. Then there are others that have their own stories of why they ended up in the drawer (hopefully temporarily).

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 and dissect as many books on the craft as you can and then try to find your own insights. Always consider how you can write something that only you can write, even if the story might seem the same as what others have done before you. Novel writing means, at the core, finding what's "novel" (new) and it shouldn't be simple gimmicks, but more profound insights into human existence, something that will be true a hundred years from today. Stories should be timeless, not commercial hits, but it won't hurt if a timeless story becomes a commercial hit.

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

Read Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. Then study structure and story anatomy (Larry Brooks and John Truby). Don't think you have to invent lukewarm water again, others have already explored these areas. The twists of life are the most unexpected, but in a story they must make sense retroactively.

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

I am trying to bring out subjects that most other authors are not addressing, the reason why I decided to create a new sub-genre: Paradigm Shift Thrillers. I have had experiences in life that not many others have, and I have thus gained insights into aspects of the world and society that I know few others will be able to come up with, although some of them might end up being controversial. I like to do this in an entertaining way, of course, as what's the point of sharing your insights if people fall asleep while they are reading your work? That's why I chose the thriller genre for my new series, because they will force me to keep the tension going on each page, one of the hardest things t achieve in any form of writing, fiction or otherwise.

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

I am trying to find podcasts that have programs about authors and author interviews and connect with them to see if they are willing to interview me. Of course, have your website done as professionally as possible, get the usual social media presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever else you feel you like) but do not forget that if you don't write, and make it your main activity, no social media presence will help to produce something worth reading. Then, if you attend some events, try to get blurbs from authors that have made it and whose names will mean something to other potential readers.

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

I would try to attend more writer events and make friends with people in the industry. At the end of the day, writing might be a lonely endeavor, but publishing is all about public relations and human connections. In my case, living far away from that world, made me take much longer in getting my work noticed than it should. On the other hand, that probably gave me the time to mature my writing and explore the craft, which many of those who are overnight successes at the start of their careers will not have the time and inclination (or even the need) to do.

17. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Do as you say and say as you do and double check that constantly. In writing, if I say I want to write the best I can, every time, space for improvement is infinite, even if in doses that might be too small for others to notice.

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

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