Michael Sprankle interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Aug 26, 2017 6:46:52 PM
Michael Sprankle interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from Amazon: Michael Sprankle is an American author of journalistic style fiction.
His writing style combines the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the "news of the day" and that impact society to at least some degree. He is a graduate of Penn State University with a BA in film. His books feature the recurring themes of drug abuse, comedy, everyday life, art, crime and conspiracy theories. He has worked as a bit-writer for major motion pictures and television shows, and has worked for some of the largest studios in Hollywood. Literary influences who have inspired his writing are recognizable in his novels and include Hunter Thompson, William Burroughs, and Dan Brown.
Once Upon a Time in New York, How I Painted My Masterpiece
Love & Theft (in the 2016 Pulitzer competition)
The Killing Spring
I Want to Believe
The Ghost of Tom Mix (with Rick Cherry)
Director: The Killing Spring - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm8382689/
1. My last name is pronounced very much like a sprained ankle.
2. I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona which has a sub-tropical climate. I’ve seen it get as hot as 122 degrees here! Ouch!
3. For most of us writers, writing is an outlet. It is a way to block out all the noise and distraction in life…the craziness, and just think, focus, and release whatever thoughts have been weighing heavy on our hearts and minds. Along with the little “stargate” that writing provides for me, it has also taught me many things. I have noticed that I write in more than one way. Sometimes, I write for others. I write what I think people would like to read, or what they can relate to. The schizophrenic me writes for myself. I write about certain things based entirely on how I feel or even how I feel about certain things. And sometimes, I am at a total loss as to what to write about which forces me to become very creative; so, I pull some dusty file out of the back of my mind. Writing has shown me a few things. Writing has shown me that it's okay to write about whatever it is I want to write about, that this is my creation to write and my story to tell; there is no right or wrong way, and that is a nice feeling to have. In this sense I create a monster, and bring that monster to life. I also have never been much of a social butterfly and I am somewhat closed when it comes to feelings or personal matters. It is through my writing that I can express these things in a more comfortable manner than I feel I would otherwise.
4. If you are serious about writing, you must write every day.
5. One of my quirks or habits, is that even when I can’t physically be writing, I am constantly writing in my head. I write when I’m driving…sometimes even when I’m watching TV. I maintain a daily routine of writing as religiously as the most driven marathon runner. I can’t afford to wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration to strike before sitting down and staring at a blank page.
6. I’ve worked with traditional publishers and self-published. Both methods have their plusses and minuses.
7. My books are published both in traditional book form as well as in e-book format. I love books, and to me a book is a book…not a file. From a very young age I've been surrounded by them, and the feel and even the smell of books is something I find incredibly comforting. That said, many people prefer e-books, and to accommodate them my books are published in that format as well. Maybe it is eco-friendlier?
8. If you want to get published, you need to write well. You also must read, read, read, and then read some more. Invariably, the best writers are readers. You also need to become accustomed to rejection. It also helps to remember that there are many ways to publish these days. No single route is inherently or necessarily better than another. Whether you self-publish or go with a trade or independent or academic press doesn’t necessarily mean much. It’s more important to find the best fit for your specific topic and circumstances. Always present your BEST work.
9. I am currently in the process of interviewing with agents to get back into the screenwriting business. In Hollywood it’s all about who you know, and a good agent knows everybody. That’s key in getting your work in front of the people you want to. “Established agents are reluctant to represent first-timers,” they’ll tell you, or “The kind of agent you can get before you’ve published anything isn’t the kind of agent you’d want.” The best way to get an agent is keep trying and never give up.
10. If you are interested in technique, maybe you should take up the guitar, or become a surgeon. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. And it takes time to develop your own style and rhythm. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by making mistakes. There is just so much trial and error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the other artists’ style…he wants to be better.
11. Many people assume that there is an inverse relationship between quantity and quality and, logically speaking, it would make sense to focus on fewer books rather than to spread your energy over many. It seems that by doing this, that it would allow you more time to concentrate on the one book most likely to make an impact. However, I have consistently found just the opposite. The more work I produce the more likely I am to come up with something truly creative. Writing involves a lot of trial and error. Part of that is probably just the numbers game. A masterwork is a low probability event, so those who produce more increase their odds.
12. I have five books published, with a sixth book finished and due to be published in early 2018. I also am working on my second spec script.
13. The only tip I can give anyone that wants to be a better writer is just write. Constantly be writing down ideas, and create a writing ritual for yourself and eliminate any distractions.
14. The best plot twist is an unexpected one. This means something happens that the reader could in no way infer was going to happen, or perhaps a change in the story that might not have been completely unexpected, but occurred at a completely unexpected time in the story. Try giving your story an open ending, try something unexpected, and be sure at least one of your characters is shifty.
15. In many ways, writers are like mad scientists. You have an idea or theory about something which you explore in your book. No one else has your idea and no one else had your past experiences. Your stories, insights, and ideas are uniquely yours and cannot be copied by anyone else.
16. I promote my work through social media, and need to get better at it. I also make my own book trailers, which I enjoy doing very much. I need to get better with promoting my books, but I’m always too busy writing.
17. If I had it to do over, I would have worked harder on my writing in my younger years.
18. One of my favorite sayings is never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. This is especially true in writing. Either you use it, or you lose it is another.
19. Thanks for the interview.