Richard Goodfellow interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Jul 17, 2016 4:28:47 PM
Richard Goodfellow interview with David Alan Binder
Hardcover – Aug 2015
Audible – Apr 2016
Paperback – Jul 2016
1. Where are you currently living (at least the state or if outside US then Country)?
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Be patient and keep writing. Never give up. Never say die!
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
It’s sad, but true, that I outline the heck out of everything. I have detailed character biographies, and for COS I used a 50+ column spreadsheet to organize everything in all 83 chapters. It’s a bit nuts, but it’s the only way I could track all of the moving parts. My agent laughed when she saw the spreadsheet. She said that she’d never seen anything like it.
4. 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?
My publishing oasis came in the form of Jason Pinter, owner of Polis Books (based in Manhattan), who published the hardcover and e-book in August 2015, and the paperback in July 2016. He has proven not only to be incredibly generous with his enthusiasm but also with his time.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I personally enjoy print books, as you can tell from the dust which has gathered on my e-reader. The feel of paper is very satisfying and also a little salt water doesn’t do a print book much harm.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
It really comes down to finding a good agent, if you choose to go the conventional publishing route. The question is how to do this? (See question 7, below)
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I signed up for, and travelled to New York, to attend the 2008 Thrillerfest event (along with the second year of Agentfest).
So, once registered, the next question to be answered was how to stand out from the crowd when competing against a room full of talented writers with just three ticking minutes on the clock? My answer came in the form of Clayton Goodfellow (talented documentary film maker – georgiastreetmedia.com) who has mastered this particular black art.
Clayton not only assisted in developing a graphical postcard (with attached flash drive), but helped create a killer ‘hook’ and intriguing ‘pitch’. Who needed three long minutes? With his guidance less than sixty seconds was needed for delivery, and over a dozen requests came quickly for the full manuscript.
Soon, I was signed with the amazing Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar agency, who stuck with me (when even I’d lost faith) as she diligently and patiently worked for 5 years to find ‘Collector of Secrets’ a good home.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
If you can afford it, pay for good editing help. I hired two different editors over the years and while they were tough on my writing, I learned a great deal throughout the re-writing process.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
Never underestimate the power of the subconscious. I learned that it plays a huge part in the writing process, which is why it was important for me to plot several chapters ahead of where I was writing. By the time I got down to writing a chapter my subconscious had already been working on it and the words flowed faster and easier than if I tried to write it cold.
10. How many books have you written?
At the moment, just the one book – Collector of Secrets – but I’m hard at work on the sequel which is titled ‘Redeemer of Secrets’. In this one the chase continues, but this time it’s set in the Philippines.
11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Plan your time and work the plan. So when I hit roadblocks I still work for the planned time. I found if I stuck with the effort – even on a really bad day – when I came back to it later my brain had already figured out what to do, and the edits came easily. If I aborted early, then the subsequent writing session was always more difficult.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Plant small seeds throughout the course of the book that guide the reader in one thought direction, only to reveal later that it’s entirely opposite. This gives the reader that ‘aha’ moment when they have to re-think everything they’ve read. Doing this well is essential to a good thriller.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
For me personally, I wanted my book to give readers a view of another country (this is Japan in Collector of Secrets), but with a western protagonist to which they could relate.
Also, there are many thrillers that feature super-protagonists with amazing skillsets. I wanted to feature an ordinary person who gets caught up in a life-threatening situation and as a result is forced to rise to the occasion.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I’ve done several book signings (Vancouver, Portland, Calgary and Atlanta), and also used Facebook campaigns. As well, I’ve been lucky to receive great reviews (in print) from Goodreads, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and more. These reviews provided much better promotion than anything I was able to do myself.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I’m not sure that I would have done anything differently. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, it’s just that the journey to publication, which was only a dream at one time, has actually happened. It took ten years and a lot more hours than I originally expected, but it actually happened. I’m really grateful.
16. What saying or mantra do you live by?
Take care of your family and friends.