Patricia Curren interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Oct 12, 2016 12:59:48 AM
Patricia Curren interview with David Alan Binder
1. Where are you currently living?
I now live in Arizona where the beauty of the desert continues to amaze me.
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
The most important thing I’ve learned in my writing experience so far is that people want me to succeed. They’ve offered their support in numerous ways. It’s very uplifting to know family, friends and the community are behind me 100%.
3. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I’ve learned it’s extremely difficult to land a contract with any of the big traditional publishers. That’s why so many writers choose to self-publish, or use a small press.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they? My publisher is Infinity Publishing in West Conshohocken, PA.
4. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I have a Kindle and my book is in an eBook format as well as soft cover, but I prefer holding a real book in my hand most of the time. But whatever methods readers prefer, it doesn’t matter a whit, as long as they read.
5. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
I’ve heard that forging a relationship with an editor is the way to go, but I still haven’t found a likely candidate for my sequel. However, it definitely has worked for me for my magazine articles. I have an editor I’ve worked with for a number of years and she seldom rejects anything I submit.
6. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I don’t have an agent, but I’ve heard it can be difficult to find the right one. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time ─ be certain he/she works for a reputable agency and represents the genre of your book. Also, learn how to do a proper query letter. Agents are very busy and if they spot the smallest problem with your query, you’ll never get a response.
7. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
For new writers, it’s often hard to find the courage to put pen to paper, and even harder to show your work to anyone, except maybe friends and family, who will be sure to tell you it’s wonderful, whether it is or not. And at your core, you know they’re not giving you any real feedback. This is where a critique group comes in. As with finding the right agent, the right group may take some time to discover, but it’ll be well worth the effort. A good writing group will give positive feedback, but also concrete ways to improve your story. This is always a scary thing at the outset, because our writing is our baby and at first it feels like abandoning that baby on the railroad tracks with a locomotive bearing down at 100 miles per hour. But if you can simply listen and note everyone’s comments without feeling you must defend your work, your writing will get better and better. I’m not saying you have to take every suggestion offered ─ just accept the ones that make sense to you. Also, I’ve learned if more than one person has the same concern, to pay careful attention there. And I’d like to mention a couple of books which were enormously helpful in boosting my self-confidence as a writer when I started out: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico. Also, there are many community resources available to help you hone your craft: workshops, conferences and writing associations. The local library often has free writer events which are top notch.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
One of the most surprising things I learned about my creative process is how the plots of my stories come together as I write. Most of my writing is mysteries so I need to have a good handle on the main character, the crime, and who the killer is, but other than that things seem to fall into place quite effortlessly. I do fashion a rough outline at the start, but find it usually changes drastically as the story unfolds. After I complete the first draft, I update the outline. I also have a list of characters. I need to refer to both the outline and the character list as I edit.
9. How many books have you written?
I’ve written two mysteries, the second of which will be out soon. Before I attempted a book, I wrote poetry, short stories and articles for magazine and newspaper. My first book entitled Clipped!, is about fourteen-year-old Kendra Morgan, who finds herself in the fight of her life when she sees her murdered friend’s hair clip in a stranger’s pocket and becomes consumed with finding the killer. You can read an excerpt on Amazon or on my website, www.patriciacurren.com. The sequel to Clipped! is Cornered!. The main character, Kendra, is a little older and wiser, but not sufficiently so to keep herself out of trouble. She’s drawn into another investigation when she learns the murder victim lived on the farm adjacent to her boyfriend and it’s revealed the victim’s husband has a violent temper. The plot grows meatier when she finds out the woman was a hoarder, rendering the house useless for clues.
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)?
I covered some of this in the question about new writers, but I’ll add that there are always ways to improve our writing. One is to read, read, read ─ especially in the genre you write. Another is to realize that no matter how old we are; we can always get better at our craft. Editing my work has certainly taught me that.
11. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
I think what makes a book stand out in a crowd is a genuine voice.
12. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I promote my work through my website, www.patriciacurren.com, Facebook, www.facebook.com/trishcurren, Amazon, Goodreads and LinkedIn. I also believe in word of mouth and ask readers to let others know if they enjoy my work. I also do book giveaways, as well as book signings wherever they’ll let me in the door.
13. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would’ve started writing sooner, but alas, I had a full time job in another field and a family to raise. Maybe in the next lifetime. J