Sharon Marchisello interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Jun 14, 2018 10:23:31 PM
Sharon Marchisello interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from her website: Sharon Marchisello is the author of Going Home (2014, Sunbury Press), a murder mystery inspired by her own mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She also wrote “The Ghost on Timber Way,” part of a short story anthology featuring fellow Sisters in Crime members, and a personal finance e-book entitled Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy. Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles where she earned a Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Purchase links: https://www.sunburypressstore.com/Going-Home-9781620064382.htm
Link to Alzheimer's page: http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2018/General?px=8910473&pg=personal&fr_id=11155
1. How do you pronounce your name?
My last name, Marchisello, is Italian, so the "ch" is pronounced with a "k" sound.
2. Where are you currently living?
Currently, I'm living in Peachtree City, which is a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
You get better with practice and also by sharing your work with others and listening to feedback.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I tend to edit too much as I write, which makes me very slow. (Not sure that qualifies as interesting!)
5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I really don't know much about self-publishing, even though I did self-publish an e-book about personal finance, Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, on smashwords. I chose self-publishing for that book because traditional publishing takes forever. Even if you get a contract right away, it could be a year or more before the book is released. I figured I'd have to rewrite the book a few times to keep the information current.
For my fiction, I prefer the traditional publishing route. And it took me 10 years from the time I started writing my mystery novel, Going Home, until it was published.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?
Going Home was published by Sunbury Press. They are located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I prefer to read print books, but I know eBooks are popular so every author has to be available in that medium.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
I wish I did! I think a lot of it is about building relationships and being in the right place at the right time. (And also, writing a great book.)
8. How did you or would you suggest acquiring an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I don't currently have an agent. But I think the best way to get one is to go to conferences and meet them face to face, get to know them as people rather than trying to hard-sell them. And then follow up later with a query, referencing the fact that you met, so your pitch will stand out of the pile. (And do some research first, so you can focus on agents who represent the type of material you write.)
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?
Don't get too attached to anything you write; be willing to cut even your most brilliant passages if they're not working for the story. (I'm sure this tip has been offered elsewhere.)
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
When I first started writing, I thought the objective was to get published. Then I'd be able to sit back, count the money rolling in, and write more books. With so much competition out there, self-marketing is essential if you want to sell books. Publication is just the beginning. In fact, marketing should start long before publication.
11. How many books have you written?
I completed four novels before Going Home, and I've abandoned many more. Since the publication of Going Home in 2014, I've started three more novels and completed one, Secrets of the Galapagos, which I'm currently shopping around.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Have two or three seemingly unrelated plots going, and then connect them.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
The cover. I like the cover the designer at Sunbury Press created for Going Home, but neither she nor I realized at the time the significance of the colors she used. Going Home is a murder mystery inspired by my mother's battle with Alzheimer's disease. After the book came out, I participated in the Alzheimer's Walk and I learned that my book cover contains all four of the Alzheimer's colors: purple (for those who have lost a loved one to Alzheimer's), yellow (for caregivers), blue (for people suffering from Alzheimer's), and orange (for those who are not directly affected, but who support the fight for a cure).
14. What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?
For the past two years, I have offered free copies of Going Home at Alzheimer's fundraisers in exchange for a donation to the Alzheimer's Walk, and I'll be doing it again this year. It's not a good way to make money, as I donate all the proceeds, but I think it has helped me gain more readers. Lots of people have bought the book because the funds are going to charity, where they ordinarily would not have given it a second look. Collecting money for a good cause is more satisfying to me than doing a giveaway in hope of getting new readers.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would have started marketing earlier. It took me so long to get published, and when I finally got a contract, I was still afraid something would go wrong and my book would never really come out. So, I didn't tell many people I'd sold my manuscript until the book was published. If I had it to do over, I'd have built a website, posted about the writing/publication process on social media, asked for blurbs, sent out advance review copies, lined up speaking engagements, and had a much more spectacular launch.
16. What saying or mantra do you live by?
Prepare for the future, but don't forget to enjoy today, because you never know how long you have.
17. Anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for the opportunity! My personal page for this year's Alzheimer's Walk is up now, if any of your readers are interested in receiving a copy of Going Home in exchange for a donation: