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Friday, 29 October 2010

38 Author Interviews – Any Lessons Learned?

Since July, I’ve interviewed 38 authors on this blog. Their books have been varied, encompassing personal memoirs, crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance among others. For many, a standard format has been used, but with others their creativity and marketing savvy have encouraged a different approach. One thing has struck me, as the host, more than any other: there is a great range of technical and marketing awareness out there amongst writers. Some have come to me armed with links, pictures, sales points and fully formed websites and/or blogs. Others have given me basic answers to questions and left the rest to me.

So, the value of these interviews to the authors has varied according to their own input, as I have a limited amount of time I can devote to any individual writer (I do, after all, have my own writing to get on with).
However, I’m hoping that these different views, opinions and approaches have been of real value to my readers; this was the main purpose. Any rewards for the authors taking part (exposure, new readers, sales) were secondary to the main purpose of this exercise, which was to let readers and new writers see how publication comes about.

The variety of opinions, inspirations, methods and routes to publication is very wide. I hope that new writers will find this useful in more than one way: there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to go about writing. But it is clear that all the authors here are dedicated to their craft. They all write, rather than merely talk about doing so.

All published writers come across wannabees all the time. The qualities that apply to many of these would-be writers are lack of focus, ignorance of the dedication required to produce a work of merit and length, utter fantasy about the probable rewards, a conviction that there is a publisher out there so desperate for their words that he or she will welcome their beginner’s efforts with champagne and a six figure contract, and prevarication.

On the other hand, sometimes, a published author meets a would-be writer who actually wants to know what it is all about, wants to learn from the experience and mistakes of those who have actually done it. It is for you, with your enthusiasm, talent and potential riches for the reader, that I do this. It is also for the interested reader; those who understand the work, talent and creativity that goes into a well-written book.

I currently have enough interviews to continue this project until early December. Those to come are as varied as those that have been. I hope you continue to gain pleasure, knowledge and wisdom from these words of the experienced, whether you are reader, writer or simply interested visitor to this site.

Invite your friends, make comments, follow the blog, and, please, let me know what you think. Feedback is the thing most of us writers crave more than anything else. 

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