Sasscer Hill interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: Mar 9, 2017 1:16:26 AM

Sasscer Hill interview with David Alan Binder

Bio from her website: Author Sasscer Hill has been involved in horse racing as an amateur jockey and racehorse breeder for most of her life. Now that she’s turned to writing, her mystery and suspense thrillers have received multiple award nominations. She sets her stories against a background of big money, gambling, and horse racing.

Her first book in the "Nikki Latrelle" series, FULL MORTALITY, was nominated for both an Agatha and a Macavity Best First Book Award.

She is writing a new series for St. Martins Minotaur. The second book in this new "Fia McKee" series has won the Carrie McCray 2015 Competition for First Chapter of a Novel, as well as a 2015 Claymore Award nomination.



Twitter: @SasscerHill

Author page:

1. How do you pronounce your name?

As if it were spelled “Sasser. The “c” is silent. If you said, “Don’t sass her” you would have said my name.

My Father was William Henry Sasscer Hill, his father, the same, and my great grandmother was Henrietta Sasscer. My parents named me Lynda Sasscer Hill, and I dropped the Lynda like a hot potato when I became an author. No one will remember the plain Jane name "Lynda Hill" but they tend to remember Sasscer Hill.

2. Where are you currently living (at least the state or if outside US then Country)?

Aiken, SC, great horse country.

3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

Keep going.

4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I have friends who have had success self-publishing, but most self-published authors can’t make a living off their books. I prefer going with a publisher, especially a reputable publisher, who can get your name and books into the market.

a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they? Saint Martins Press, NYC.

5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

The way my contract is written I make more money off my eBooks than the hardbacks. If you are going to self-publish, go with Amazon and offer your eBooks as Kindle Unlimited books so the people who pay a monthly fee to Amazon get your books for free. You still get paid and if it works out you make money on quantity, not price. I have one friend who “sold” a million copies and he made plenty of money on Kindle Unlimited. I have not had that kind of luck, and most don’t. However, it is an additional stream of income. Consider this, if people are paying Amazon a monthly fee to download free books, why would they pay full price for yours if it’s not in the Kindle unlimited program?

6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

No secrets. Network. Use social media. Go to conferences in your genre. Be nice to people in the business and never give up.

7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

You just have to query. My first book I had 39 rejections to my queries before I got an agent. My second agent about the same. It was my second agent who got the deal with St. Martins. Remember: Keep going, don’t give up.

8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

If you are writing mysteries, join a national writers group like Sisters in Crime, or Mystery Writers of America. Romance: join Romance Writers of America, and so on. These groups are extremely helpful and kind to newbies. They are supportive and provide online forums, classes, etc. Take a course in your genre at a college if you can find one. I used the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and it started my career because I learned how to “give them what they want.”

9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

That there was so much I needed to learn that I didn’t know. I had no idea what a story arc was before I took classes.

10. How many books have you written?

Seven, and working on the eighth.

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 what you’ve written out loud. You often hear mistakes you don’t see if you just proof you pages on the computer. Our eyes tend to glaze over when reading our work and we miss the mistakes, or miss the fact that the rhythm is choppy or blocky.

12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Watch TV and programs like Dick Wolf’s Chicago PD, Fire, or Justice. These programs are full of twists you can examine and incorporate.

13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

Passion for the subject. I write horse racing mysteries and my love of horses and the people who work at the racetracks set my books apart from the pack of racing mystery writers. I raised, bred, and rode race horses for 30 years so I really know my subject and that truly helps.

14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?

Facebook, twitter, conferences, posting on other’s blogs.

15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

Join a writer’s group/organization immediately instead of going it alone and wasting five years of my life licking my wounds after my first attempt was soundly rejected.

16. What saying or mantra do you live by?

It’s a saying that jockeys use when they want to win. “Sit chilly and wait for an opening.”