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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: author interviews, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 739
1. Author Interview: Thomas Lee, Author of the Nonfiction Guide REBUILDING EMPIRES

I love interview debut authors when I can. It’s important that aspiring authors be able to see their journeys to publication, so they can understand what they did right & wrong along the way. This interview is with Thomas Lee, author of the nonfiction business guide REBUILDING EMPIRES (Palgrave Macmillan Trade, Dec. 2014).

Thomas Lee is a nationally-recognized business journalist whose work has appeared across the country, including the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Xconomy.com, MedCityNews.com, and China Daily USA. In 2013, Lee won the Gerald R. Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism Award, the highest honor for a business journalist. He currently is a business columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 2.38.30 PM  re

 

What is the book’s genre/category?

Nonfiction business.

Please describe what the story/book is about.

Rebuilding Empires describes how big box retailers like Best Buy and Target will adapt to the digital age.

What was the time frame for writing this book? 

I started writing Rebuilding Empires in September 2013 and took a three month unpaid leave of absence from my job as business reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. During my time reporting the book, I took trips to Nashville to attend a Best Buy store managers conference and then to Dallas for a Best Buy video game tournament played on the jumbotron at AT&T Stadium where the Cowboys play. In January, while finishing the book, I took a new job at the San Francisco Chronicle. So I obviously had a lot on my plate with a new job, new home, and my first book to complete.

How did you find your agent?

I found my agent John Willig at the Writers Digest East Conference in New York in February 2013. I attended the pitch slam and spoke to eight agents. All eight expressed interest in the project and I ultimately chose John.

 

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What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Believe it or not, I found the writing and editing process of the book to be relatively easy, partly I suppose because of my background as a journalist. But I was surprised by the conservative nature of the publishing business, that a good deal of the economic risk of the project falls on the author. People should realize that an author is not only selling a project to the publisher but selling himself/herself. That the author must do most of the promotion and develop a marketing strategy, using every single contact and platform at his/her disposal.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?

It sounds like a cliche but just taking the initiative is probably the biggest factor that allowed me to succeed. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of journalists out there who are way more talented than myself and who want to write books. But many of them don’t take the risk and actually do the damn thing.

On that note, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?

I can always be more organized and disciplined in the writing process.

Did you have a platform in place?  On this topic, what are you doing the build a platform and gain readership?

Since I am a journalist, I already have a natural platform in place. I’ve been using my column at the San Francisco Chronicle to promote the book. I also enjoy a deep list of connections within the news media to help get the word out about Rebuilding Empires. I’ve already done a lot of interviews with radio and television stations so I’m pretty comfortable in front of the camera or behind the microphone.

Website(s)?

You can find the book on Amazon here

And a little about me here.

Favorite movie?

I have many favorite movies: Inception, The Dark Knight Returns, Birdman to name of few.

Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?

Always use active verbs. Avoid passive voice if you can.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

I guess you can say I’m an amateur actor: I performed in The King and I and Into the Woods in the Twin Cities.

What’s next?

A second book I hope!

 

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2. ”A Tapestry of Experiences Folded into Fiction”; Victoria Lane Talks About ‘Celia and Nonna’

Victoria Lane has made a successful career from writing; as an award-winning financial journalist for many years, editor and correspondent for many leading media publications, and of course, as a picture and chapter book writer for children. Today, we delve into Victoria’s writerly mind as she shares her inspirations behind her touching picture book, Celia […]

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3. Doodles and Drafts – Drawing Boxes with Peter Carnavas

Every once in a while something special sneaks into your life, so unassuming you are barely aware of its presence. However, its ability to change and influence is a forceful undercurrent with powerful impact. It might be meeting a new friend for the first time. It could be finding a dog to call your own. […]

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4. Kylie Westaway Makes a Big Splash with her Debut Picture Book, ‘Whale in the Bath’

Kylie Westaway is the author of her popular debut picture book, Whale in the Bath. She has literally travelled far and wide, worked in foreign schools, events and in theatre. But there’s one thing that has remained constant in her life; her love of writing. Here, I’ll give you the brief run-down of her captivating […]

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5. My Writing and Reading Life: Romina Russell, Author of Zodiac

Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

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6. Let’s hear if for the boys! – Chrissy Classics you’ve Read with your Kids

As we romp ever closer to that special night of the year, don’t forget to take a moment or two to sit with someone small and share some magic. You never know, it may extend into a lifetime of golden memories. Today’s classics you’ve read with your kids starts out with multi-talented SE QLD writer, […]

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7. BREAKING THE RULES by Katie McGarry {Excerpt Tour & Review}

Welcome to day 3 of the BREAKING THE RULES Excerpt Tour! Review: If you were a fan of Katie McGarry's first book, PUSHING THE LIMITS you're going to be super stoked right now. Two of our favorite characters, Noah and Echo, have their story continued in this super steamy YA/NA crossover. What I loved about this book was that it would've been really easy for Katie to make this just about

0 Comments on BREAKING THE RULES by Katie McGarry {Excerpt Tour & Review} as of 12/5/2014 2:25:00 AM
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8. Mission Accomplished! Renee Price Launches ‘Digby’s Moon Mission’

New and local indie author, Renee Price, has recently released the growingly popular Digby’s Moon Mission, just in time for Christmas. Fostering children’s natural curiosity and their young imaginations are key elements to creating a successful picture book, and ones that Renee elicits in her picture book. Digby Fixit is a curious boy with a […]

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9. Christmas Classics You’ve Read to your Kids – Gabrielle Wang

Not everyone may have kids, but all of us unavoidably were kids, once. A fair chunk of my childhood centered around books; reading them and collecting them. Certain stories only ever experienced one reading over 30 years ago, but for reasons inexplicable, remain unforgettably potent and as vivid to me as if I’d read them […]

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10. ‘When I see Grandma'; A Compelling Account with Author, Debra Tidball

I love the way award-winning author Debra Tidball describes her view on valuing connectedness across the generations. I also love the sentiment in celebrating people’s personal histories and appreciating who they are now, and then. Having had a grandmother with whom I had a strong bond, ‘When I see Grandma’ really resonated in my heart. […]

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11. What I’m reading this Christmas: Claire Smith, Walker Books

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Claire Smith.  You’re the marketing assistant at Walker Books, Australia, and you’re going to share your Christmas picks with us. But first let’s find out about you and some books you’ve been working with. Walker Books  (based in Sydney)  is known for its children’s and YA books. Which do […]

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12. Hey Corinne Fenton, What’s Your Christmas Wish?

Corinne Fenton is established as one of Australia’s treasured authors of beautiful picture books. They often contain an element of social history, and her knowledge and passion for writing is regularly shared in schools, libraries and workshops.   This Christmas, there are TWO Corinne Fenton picture books that are unmissable and will have children from […]

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13. Ripley’s Fun Facts & Silly Stories 3: An Interview with Ripley Publishing

In this interview, we discuss Fun Facts & Silly Stories 3, the third title in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not® successful Fun Facts and Silly Stories series.

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14. Fun Facts & Silly Stories: The Big One!: An Interview with Ripley Publishing

As the world authority on all that is unbelievable, we're supper excited to chat with Ripley Publishing, an arm of Ripley Entertainment Inc. and the owner of the internationally famous trademark Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

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15. Archimede Fusillo talks about Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night

Award-winning Australian author, Archimede Fusillo delves deep into what it is to be a man in his latest coming-of-age novel for young adults, Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night.  The story follows the journey of Primo as he attempts to navigate his way though his final year of school with an emotionally brittle […]

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16. Alex Field’s ‘Mr Darcy and the Christmas Pudding’ is a Real Treat

Alex Field‘s talents as an author, publisher and speaker, her love of Christmas pudding, and her overt enthusiasm for Jane Austen all cleverly amalgamate in the latest of her series, Mr Darcy and the Christmas Pudding. Having previously featured her beloved Pride and Prejudice characters in Mr Darcy and Mr Darcy the Dancing Duck, Alex […]

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17. Christmas Classics you’ve read to you kids – Christine Bongers

Fellow Boomerang Blogger, Romi Sharp recently congratulated me on hitting my first century. Gob smacked! I mean I don’t even own a cricket bat, let alone know how to hold one. She meant blogs of course. I hardly noticed. They rack up and slip by like birthdays these days. Nonetheless, even numbers deserve celebration (especially […]

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18. Renée Treml Reveals Answers About Her Picture Book, ‘The Great Garden Mystery’

Renée Treml is a talented artist and author, originally from the States, now residing in Melbourne. She creates her stunning illustrations primarily using the scratchboard technique, setting her work apart with its unique qualities. Her artwork can also be seen at design markets and art exhibits through a range of gorgeous products. Renée has three […]

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19. Jane Hanser Talks About Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways

Jane Hanser is the writer behind the blog www.dogsdontlookbothways.com. Her first book carries the same namesake and we got to chat with Hanser about the endearing Dogs Don't Look Both Ways and the behind-the-scenes steps she took to create this joyful read.

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20. Caldecott Honor-Winning John Rocco Talks About Blizzard

John Rocco discusses his newest picture book, Blizzard, the companion to your Caldecott Honor-winning Blackout.

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21. Interview: Joe Hill on HORNS, NOS4A2 and Stephen King

Joe Hill (14778218361)" by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Joe Hill. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Hill_(14778218361).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Joe_Hill_(14778218361).jpg

Joe Hill via Wikimedia Commons

BY DREW TURNEY

Author Joe Hill worked as a writer for nearly a decade before revealing his relationship to legendary horror author Stephen King. (For the uninitiated, Hill is King’s son.) Hill has stated that he wanted to prove himself on his own terms, and so chose to work under a semi-pseudonym. His three novels—Heart-Shaped Box, Horns and NOS4A2 (pronounced Nosferatu)—are all bestsellers, and his collection of short fiction, 20th Century Ghosts, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection in 2005. And now his novel Horns is a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, and his latest release is his bestselling book yet.

Here, Hill talks about his family, his writing, and what it’s like to step back and let someone make a film from your book.


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DT: How involved were you with writing the screenplay for Horns?
JH: I spent about three years writing Horns, and after that length of time I was ready to be done with it. Mandalay optioned it and wanted to make a film, and they asked if I had any interest in writing the script. I said ‘Not really,’ so they passed it onto Keith Bunin, who did a wonderful, wonderful job.

In terms of my contributions, we had a lot of great conversations when Keith was working on the script including Keith and I, Cathy Schulman who is a producer at Mandalay, and Adam Stone who’s also a producer on the film. And eventually Alexandre Aja when he came onboard.

We had lively arguments and broke the story down a dozen times and built it back up. It was a lot of fun. When Alex actually began filming, I viewed my role as to not get under foot and not to create trouble so I showed up on set for a couple of days to goof off and watch what people were doing and then I made myself scarce again. I came back in on the end to talk about editing, as they put the film together and I had some suggestions and some ideas. But at the end of the day, I felt like the film could only work if it was Alexandra Aja’s version of the story.

I told my version; it was time for him to tell his. I hoped that he would be true to the spirit of the characters and he was. Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple made sure of that. But beyond that I wanted Alex to feel free to have fun and to make a movie that lived on the screen, not something that was trying so hard to be faithful it just kind of plods along. I think he found a nice balance.

You know the thing about the film and about Alexandre Aja, he has a very light touch. And I know that’s a strange thing to say about the guy who directed The Hills Have Eyes, but he does have a very light touch. The film has this kind of lush romanticism to it. You know, I think that Alex has a romantic heart, and that’s sort of wonderful. It comes through in the film even in the most painful scenes.

DT: Do you have the distance yourself from it to some extent because it’s someone else’s baby?
JH: Yes, this is why I didn’t write the screenplay, too. I have written screenplays and I have fun doing that but I’ve never tried to adapt my own work. I don’t think I’d be a good collaborator if I were the screenwriter of something I spent three or four or five years writing as a novel because after I’ve spent three or four years meditating on a set of characters and on the situation, I’ve really got to have it my way. I just don’t think I could be flexible. I don’t think I could adapt.

I can do that if that’s my starting point. I wrote a pilot for a TV show called “Dark Side,” which is a reboot of an 80s TV show, “Tales from the Dark Side.” My version’s pretty different. But I had no trouble taking notes and collaborating and working with the network on that. It was fun and exciting. And I liked the challenge—if something’s not working, coming up with a fresh set of ideas. But there my starting point was the screenplay; however, with Horns I [had] just spent so much time with those characters and situations. Best to stay out of the way in a situation like that.

DT: Is it tricky to keep that distance?
JH: Yeah, it is. I always feel uncomfortable saying this. I was in so much pain when I wrote it. And you always find people like that annoying, right? Because it’s like they sound so self-important, so full of themselves and so full of their own sense of drama, you just want to smack them up the side of the head. But I kind of understand. I was in a really bad place mentally when I wrote Horns.

It’s a really unhappy and paranoid book by a really unhappy and paranoid man. That’s not to say I’m not very proud of the book—I think it’s a lot of fun, I think readers enjoy it. But I have a hard time revisiting it. And so for me, it’s actually easier to enjoy it as a film than it is to enjoy it as a book. I just don’t like thinking about where I was mentally when I wrote the story. … But it all turned out okay at the end.

My first novel was Heart-Shaped Box and it was a tremendous success. And I know it’s a cliché, but fell into that second-book trap and at one point I had 400 pages of a novel called The Surrealist Glass and every scene was terrible. Everything about it was bad. I was 50 pages from the ending and I threw the whole thing away. I just couldn’t stand it and I remember thinking, Forget it, I’m done. If there’s never another book, there’s never another book. I don’t want to be a guy who wrote a crappy book just to have a follow up. I’d rather just be a one-book writer. 

And so I stopped the writing for a little while. And then at some point after I stopped writing, the mental fist came unclenched. I started thinking about what I needed to make a story work. I decided that what I needed was the devil. Stories always come to life when the devil walks on stage, a character to tempt people into sin and to reveal secrets and that was sort of the starting point of Horns.

DT: Were you afraid that the rich inner lives of your characters wouldn’t translate to the screen?
JH: Well, it is hard, but that’s the challenge—that’s an actor’s challenge. One of the things I’ve said over and over again is that, in the course of the story, Perrish (the hero) covers this enormous emotional terrain. He experiences grief and loss and rage and madness and delirious joy. He goes from innocence to experience, and a lot of that is internal. Daniel Radcliffe was able to bring all those emotions to the screen and make it look easy, make it look effortless. I always think that whenever you see an artist do something that’s difficult and make it look easy, you’re seeing someone who’s worked incredibly hard. I do think that Dan is a really remarkable young actor, and with every role he shows more range and an almost athletic range of skills. We were just so lucky that he wanted to play the part.

DT: So do you have any plans or action on movies of any of your other books?
JH: Some good things have happened with a short story called “Best New Horror.” Some interesting things have happened with my novel NOS4A2 that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, but they’re sort of trucking along in an interesting way. Universal is waist-deep in the preliminary work on adapting Locke & Key as a film trilogy. My understanding is they have a pretty big chunk of the script that they’re all really happy with. My tendency is not to say too much about any possible film or TV stuff until the cameras are actually rolling because until then I don’t really believe in it.

DT: Have you ever thought about acting?
JH: Well, I’m a former child actor. I was in Creepshow. I was the little kid with the voodoo doll. My feeling is that that particular performance was gold, and so perfect that there’s really no reason to return.

I explored everything there is to explore in the field of acting with that film and there’s no reason to tarnish the greatness of that initial performance with another role. I view myself as very much like Daniel Day-Lewis, you know—years and years between parts. Daniel Day-Lewis and I are almost exactly the same guy.

DT: You definitely showed some incredible range in that role.
JH: I think so. It was right there. Way better, way better than those, way better than those second-rate child actors who worked on Harry Potter. Oh my God, blew that right out of the water!

DT: That Daniel Day-Lewis guy, what’s he got on you really?
JH: Nothing. He’s got longer hair.

DT: You and your father seem happy for the worlds of your books to cross paths a little. So it seems that you don’t want to be too disconnected from his work.
Well, not so much anymore. When I was a younger guy, I was really insecure. I was afraid if I wrote as Joseph King that publishers would publish a lousy work because they saw a chance to make a quick buck in the last name. I was afraid of that. So I decided to write as Joe Hill. I was able to keep it a secret for about a decade.

In the course of that time, I made my mistakes in private—which is where you’re supposed to make them. I worked my craft and learned the things I needed to learn and, eventually, when I did sell my first book of stories, I sold it to a small press in England. I felt like it sold for the right reasons because the publisher didn’t know anything about my dad. He didn’t know anything about my family. He just really liked those stories. Each of the short stories sold individually for the same reason, in little magazines where the editor said ‘This is great, we really like this story. We’d be happy to publish it.’

I desperately needed that encouragement. I needed to feel like I was succeeding on my own merits, not because my dad was someone famous. I’m a little bit more secure now, and in many ways NOS4R2 has a lot of joking references to Stephen King novels in it. In some ways, NOS4R2 is a book about Stephen King novels. It is a kind of response to my dad’s book It, which I loved as a kid. If you scratch the surface, it’s possible to see that NOS4R2 and It share the same underlying structure.

A brain isn’t very big. It’s just a few pounds of gray matter stuck in a very small living space. You’ve only got so much space to move around in, and so you are stuck writing about the facts of your own life. You may be inventing fiction, but you’re stuck using your own childhood and your own experiences and your own emotional responses to things. So it’s really impossible to have a lifelong career as a novelist and not write stuff that is occasionally reflective on my parents.


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Drew Turney is a filmgoer, movie industry watcher, technology expert and books and publishing reporter with more than ten years experience. He writes about everything from the latest mobile phones to special effects to book reviews to author profiles, and everything in between. Find more at drewturney.com and filmism.net.

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22. Kim Fleming Draws on Her Experience as Illustrator of ‘Mummy, You’re Special To Me’

Kim Fleming knows how to tell a great story. She tells stories through pictures. Kim’s art creates a sense of affection, warmth and joy. Born in Canada, this now Melbournite has found her calling in illustrating children’s books. She has previously illustrated such picture books as the gorgeous True Blue Santa written by Anne Mangan, […]

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23. My Writing and Reading Life: Natasha Wing, Author of The Night Before Hanukkah

Some of Natasha Wing's books have even ended up on bestseller lists, including the wildly popular The Night Before series.

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24. What I’m reading this Christmas: Amanda Diaz, HarperCollins Publishers

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Amanda Diaz. Thank you for having me! You’re a publicist at HarperCollins Publishers and you’re going to share your Christmas picks with us. But first let’s find out about you and some books you’ve been working on. HarperCollins Australia (based in Sydney) is known for its children’s/YA books as […]

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25. Judith Rossell chats about Withering-by-Sea

Judith Rossell’s prodigious talents as an illustrator and writer, her inimitable wit and her obsession with Victoriana come together superbly in her latest book for children – Withering-by-Sea. The story follows the trials of Stella Montgomery, an 11-year-old orphan, who lives with her dreadful aunts in a damp, dull hotel in Victorian England. But everything […]

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