Lydia Crichton interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: May 10, 2018 3:14:16 AM
Lydia Crichton interview with David Alan Binder
Bio: Novelist Lydia Crichton has a passion for telling stories that entertain as they explore complex and controversial social and political issues. TRUTH BE TOLD, her Political Thriller series, features fiery liberal Julia Grant along with “…unique characters and high drama.” GRAINS OF TRUTH, the first book in the series received all-round praise. “Crichton must be a natural born story-teller.” Living for many years in San Francisco, as well as New York, Miami, London and Cairo, opened Lydia’s mind to new ideas and other points of view. Extensive international travel furthered her education in many invaluable and unexpected ways. On a trip to Egypt in 2002, poignant experiences led to her discovery of a love for writing. Lydia currently lives happily in Cuenca, Ecuador, doing all the things she loves: Writing, eating, enjoying the beauty of nature high in the Andes Mountains and … writing! She continues to explore Truths that she feels deserve a spotlight on the world stage.
(I love the picture with the camel, LOL! David)
1. How do you pronounce your name?
Lydia (lidia) Crichton (krī-ton) (like Michael Crichton)
2. Where are you currently living?
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
The most important thing that I’ve learned about writing is that one must truly enjoy the process, and truly I do! It’s the most interesting, challenging and gratifying thing I’ve ever done.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
My most interesting writing quirk (to me, in any case) is that I insist upon avoiding writing graphic violence and graphic sex. This, despite the fact that this kind of writing sells and sells big. Go figure.
5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
As everyone (who isn’t in a coma) knows, the internet and social media knocked traditional publishers to their knees. Except in rare cases, they no longer pay advances, provide PR, organize book tours or do much of anything else for authors. All of which begets the question: Why bother? In the beginning, there was something of a stigma associated with self-publishing, but no more. Even some best-selling authors have gone independent and self-published.
That said, I do believe in the importance of having some help. Writing requires a different skill set than that needed for publishing/marketing, which can be confusing and painfully time consuming. The parameters of technology change constantly and will continue to do so. There are endless opportunities for those self-publishing, but I recommend authors to work with someone who has the skill set (not to mention the patience) to handle this side of the business.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?
My new publisher is the very talented Scarlett Braden of Abby Moss Publishing and SAS Author Services, https://www.sasauthorservices.com. Although her business is established in Dover, Delaware, she is (fortunately for me) located in Cuenca, Ecuador.
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
Since at least 70% of all book sales are now eBooks, this is a must for any author. Print-on-demand makes it possible for those who prefer hard copy, as well as affordable for authors who don’t wish to invest in printing their books. Even if an author signs with a traditional publisher, they still have to “buy” hard copies for their own personal use, which can be expensive.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Genre and audience are important issues to consider before seeking publication. The “secret” is finding someone to work with who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. My initial experience in dealing with publishers was not a happy one, but I am very happy now working with Abby Moss Publishing in a semi-traditional way.
8. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
You only need an agent if you go with a traditional publisher. The process of acquiring one can be long and tedious. There’s a saying, “You can’t get published without an agent, and you can’t get an agent without being published.” I was fortunate to have had two different agents over a period of four years, but at the end of the day, they weren’t able to find a publisher that was interested in offering a contract that was even remotely acceptable.
If you wish to seek an agent, you must put in the time to research and identify those who handle your genre and are accepting new clients. Write an excellent query letter (more research). Do keep track of your queries with detailed info (agent, agency, date sent, response, etc.)
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?
Write because you love to write. Don’t think of fame and fortune. Education of the craft is imperative and on going. Don’t be afraid to put your work out there.
“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
The absolute most surprising thing I learned with my creative writing process was how much I enjoy doing the research. I learn so much!
11. How many books have you written?
So far I have written and published three books in my TRUTH BE TOLD Political Thriller series.
12. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?
The most important advice I can offer writers wanting to improve their craft is that THE POWER IS IN THE FOCUS. Lock yourself away without distractions when your mind is clear and focus your complete attention on your writing.
13. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
An excellent source for twists in my stories are the bios, complete with secrets, passions, desires, flaws and inner demons, that I create for all of my main characters before I start writing.
14. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
Come up with a “new” idea, don’t follow the pack. The stand-out feature of my books is that they are rooted in very real complex and controversial social and political issues.
15. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Although I do promote my work through readings and signings, the most effective promotion these days is online. Contests, giveaways, social media all provide excellent opportunities for promotion.
16. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
There are a number of things I might do differently now but the most important thing would probably be to protect myself by having realistic expectations. Even if you do everything right and the critical response is favorable, this does not necessarily translate into book sales.
17. What saying or mantra do you live by?
I live by two mantras:
· Simplify. Rectify. Do no Harm.
· Eat. Sleep. Read!
18. Anything else you would like to say?
“If you wish to succeed, you must listen to yourself, to your own heart, and have the courage to go you own way.” – Robert Mondavi