RJ Beam interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Aug 30, 2016 1:37:55 AM
RJ Beam interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from PermeditatedFiction.com website:
Author and Law Enforcement professional RJ Beam.
RJ has a background that includes experience as in both police work and firefighting. For much of his career, RJ has been his department’s Evidence Technician (some would call it CSI).
In 2003 RJ started the blog Rescue Humor. His blogging opened the door for him to write for various police and fire publications. An injury in 2014 gave RJ extra time to fulfill a bucket-list item of writing a full-length novel. His debut novel Fire Cop was published in October 2015.
Due to his interest in Public Safety and writing RJ has been a featured presenter at the Writer Police Academy and a panelist at the Public Safety Writers Association.
After his first presentation at the Writers Police Academy, multiple authors and screenwriters have contacted RJ for feedback and consulting on projects.
Amazon Author page
1. Where are you currently living?
I live just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Yes, I am a big Green Bay Packer football fan, and no I do not have season tickets.
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
To try to write something every day. Even if it is just a short blog post. Write something.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
Not sure if this is a quirk or not but…As a police officer writing police procedural mystery books I tend use real crime scenes as inspiration for scenes in my stories. I go back to photos from old cases I worked and look at items to inspire me on descriptions for my stories. In my work in progress there is a scene when a lady is killed in her apartment. As I thought about how I wanted that apartment to look I recalled a theft complaint I handled once. After reviewing the old crime scene photos, I was able to use that theft scene as the template for my murder scene.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I have not self-published anything yet. Working with a publisher is nice as they give you access to multiple editors and provide professional layout work. They are the ones paying the bill to get the book out to market, in hopes it will sell. Versus a self-publisher who need to do it all or pay out of pocket to source editing and layout services. I know some people who started out with a publisher and after learning the ropes have decided to self-publish.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Gypsy Shadow Publishing out of Lockhart TX
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I seem to be selling a lot more eBooks than print. Then again my publisher is an indie (small independent press) publisher that focuses their energy into promoting eBooks. About 99% of what I read is on my eBook reader. It seems logical that others are like me and switched to eBooks without looking back.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Keep working at it. Getting published takes time. Look at the indie publishers. Many of them will accept a book without an agent.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Make friends with published authors. After you reach a comfortable place in the friendship ask for a referral to an agent. My debut novel was direct published by direct submission to a small indie press. I have made friends with some writers who have introduced me to agents. But as of this writing I have not signed on with anyone yet.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Writing conferences are amazing. They seem daunting but the reality is they are a great investment. Having the chance to sit around talking with fellow authors and meeting publishing business people is invaluable. Find a conference in your niche and go check it out. I would suggest if you write about the police you go check out The Writers Police Academy. It is a writer’s conference that is held at a real police academy. They offer sessions allowing the authors to drive squad cars and shoot guns.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
I need my outline. Coming up with ideas is easy for me, but making the idea fill 75,000 words of a novel is hard. With an outline it becomes easy to have a bunch of good ideas and then all I need to write is little bits that link the ideas together into one good story.
10. How many books have you written?
One that is published called Fire Cop. One that is done and a friend is proof reading for me. I am working on the first draft of my third book.
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)?
Read as much as you can. I signed up with a service called NetGalley that advance read copies (ARC) of books to reviewers. On my blog I post book reviews, well actually I call them recommendations. Pay attention reading other books to the pacing and dialog authors are using. You don’t want to copy others but try to match that same style.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Find ways to punish your protagonist. Just when things are going right make the hero fall on their face. Not only is it a twist but it also gives that underdog quality.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
As mentioned before I am a police officer and writer about police work. While others write about police procedure from the aspect of a textbook. My writing comes from experience.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I started out as a blogger back in 2003 running the page RescueHumor.com. When I decided to get into novel writing I used that blog and it’s 100,000 Facebook fans as the initial marketing launch. Otherwise I have just kept consistent on getting my name out there such as doing interviews like this one.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would have done it sooner. For years I wanted to write Fire Cop. Had an outline and lots of ideas, but never sat down to write. An injury that left me off work for a few months spurred me to finally write that first novel.
16. What saying or mantra do you live by?
Semper Gumby – “Always Flexible”
17. Anything else you would like to say?
I am launching a new website for writers to learn police procedure ask questions about police work. Please come check it out at http://www.premeditatedfiction.com and also like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/premeditatedfiction/