Steve Theme interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Aug 12, 2016 3:40:03 AM
Steve Theme interview with David Alan Binder
Short bio from his website: After twenty-five years as a marketing writer I have written Asphalt Asylum, a memoir of a life-changing journey.
I come from humble beginnings as a technical writer, producing software manuals, functional specs, and other page turners. Luckily, I didn’t spend my career writing those. Over the years I’ve written speeches for Gordon Bethune (former CEO of Continental Airlines), news articles, magazine feature stories, international print ads, press releases, brochures and much more. I’ve even had the opportunity to act as a company spokesperson on media outlets such as CNN, the BBC, NPR, and other acronyms.
In addition to the corporate writing, I’ve won first place in the Oregon Writers Colony short story contest and my work has appeared in The Timberline Review, Personnel Journal, The Seattle Review and a number of metro papers, including The Seattle Times, The Spokesman Review, and WORK Literary Magazine.
As an eighteen year-old I plunked myself on the MV Malaspina, sailing the Inside Passage to Alaska. The ensuing years found me acting as a crewman delivering sailboats between the Hawaiian Islands, living deep in the Cascade mountains without electricity or running water, sailing across the Pacific, spending winters on the Bering Sea crab fishing and engaging in other adventures/misadventures. I didn’t squander my youth on responsibility.
Asphalt Asylum, The Dark Roads to Light
1. Where are you currently living?
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
I’ve learned to enjoy the editing process. It’s always fun to create from scratch and bring new stories to life, but for me at least half of the time I spend writing is actually spent editing. Editing is putting the puzzle pieces together correctly.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I have no quirks in any dimension of my life, other than I’ll shake a can of diet coke before I drink it and that I’ve always been fascinated by fingernail.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
Self-publishing is great, but I’ve worked with many authors who self-published and they were disappointed with sales. The main thing I’ve learned is that promotion is the only way to drive sales. Once promotions and publicity stop then
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Halyard Press, Portland, OR.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional
You can’t sign an eBook. Many people have come up to me and said that they read my book and they’d like it signed but it was an eBook.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Secret Tip #1: It’s work to publish a book, so enjoy the process.
Secret Tip #2: Rejections prove you’re a writer.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
The most important thing to agents is the size of your platform, especially if you’re a new author. One agent told me that “platform” is just a number; it’s the number of people you can contact and influence to buy your book.
If the author is a regular speaker at conferences, is a journalist/blogger with an existing readership, or someone with connections to many (thousands) of people who would want to buy the book, then that author may want to approach agents. If that’s not you, then I wouldn’t take the time.
I say this from experience. I queried 127 agents. Some asked to read my manuscript, but in the end my platform wasn’t large enough for any of them to
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
The best advice I can give to new writers is to get into a critique group. This will drive you to keep writing; plus, giving input on the work others create is helpful to improving you own writing.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
I learned that I wasn’t good at listening to, and trusting, the little voice in my head.
Maybe a better term is trusting intuition. By the time I’d finished writing my book
I’d become much better at listening and trusting the direction offered by that voice that seems to come from nowhere.
10. How many books have you written?
I’ve written one book but have had many articles and stories published, including in Alaska magazine, the Seattle Times, Timberline Review, WORK Literary Magazine and others. I’ve also made my living as a corporate writer.
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)?
When you start writing a first draft, DON’T STOP!
Don’t stop for typos, for bloated sentences, for information out of sequence—just don’t stop. Keep writing and only worry about editing when you’re done with the writing. This has common sense limits—you don’t need to write an entire book before starting to edit, but you may want to finish writing a chapter before doing
12. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
My book is about a solo 7,000-mile hitchhiking trek I took. What’s surprised me somewhat is how many people have said, “I felt like I was with you on the trip,” and how “real” it is.
I work to bring all senses into a scene, to engulf the reader in the moment.
13. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I wouldn’t have spent as much time querying agents.
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