(Image courtest of George Weinstein)
To give my readers and fellow writers an insight into the processes and successes of other like-minded creatives, I'll be featuring some hardworking authors in my journal each week.
Today's author is George Weinstein, and he's with Deeds Publishing.
BIO (snippet from author website):
'George Weinstein is the author of the mystery Aftermath, the modern romance novel The Caretaker, the Southern historical novel Hardscrabble Road, and the multi-cultural historical novel The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno.'
You can take only three items to your secret island. What would you take? Why?
A notebook and pen for writing and a knife to whittle new writing instruments and scrape on cave walls when the paper runs out.
You are living in the world from your latest novel. Where are you? What is it like?
Graylee, Georgia is a company town of 3,000 that is located in Southwest Georgia (below the Gnat Line) and is surprisingly upscale due to the success of said company.
You are your most recent protagonist. Who are you? What is the first thing you do?
I’m Janet Wright, age 40, born in Graylee but taken north at age 5 by her mother, who was fleeing a destructive marriage. I’ve just inherited my estranged father’s entire estate, including ownership of the successful company, and decided to return to Graylee to reinvent myself after my fiancé jilted me. The first thing I do is check out the Main Street of the town I pretty much own; I’m procrastinating, because what I’m supposed to do is meet the estate executor (my father’s lawyer) at the house where my dad was murdered.
Who is your favourite author, George?
Craig Johnson, author of modern mysteries set in Wyoming, because his characters (even the minor ones) are memorable and compelling and his plots and subplots are well-crafted. Also, I’ve met him and he’s one of the good guys, an author you root for to succeed at the highest level.
Watch George's appearance (Feb 2017) on my podcast, The White Room!
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Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes inspired by real-life events, sometimes from “what if” exercises, sometimes from dreams.
Why do you write, George?
I have to—it’s how I’m wired. I’ve written since I was six years old, when I wrote plays for my stuffed animals to act out, to entertain my brother and sister. I wrote love letters to woo my wife-to-be (now my wife of 25 years). It’s my calling, along with helping other writers through the Atlanta Writers Conference that I direct twice yearly for the Atlanta Writers Club.
How do you deal with bad reviews, rejection and criticism?
I get angry and then I get over it. Sometimes I even see the wisdom in a harsh critique.
What do you find difficult about writing?
Not editing while I’m in my first draft.
Do you ever outsource your work?
My publisher handles cover design (though with my input and approval, thank goodness). I belong to a critique group that offers me helpful editing advice.
What is your opinion on the indie vs traditional publishing argument?
If you have a platform that enables you to make more money than you spend as an indie author—and you can turn out well-written, attractive books without the input of an agent and/or publisher—then go for it.
Can you talk us through your creative process from start to finish?
I start with a loose outline—just enough detail to allow me to keep my eye on the prize while creating characters and drafting scenes—and a summary of my protagonist and primary antagonist. Then I draft and edit chapters and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and edit until I can’t stand to go through the manuscript one more time. Then I share it with trusted readers and rewrite and edit all over again. At the end of that process, I give it to my publisher and plug in any input they have.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Decide what your goals are: if you’re writing for yourself and/ or family and friends, then you’re in safe territory. If you want to make a ton of money, stop and do some research about exactly how many writers are even making a passable living, let alone a fortune, on their writing alone (vs. how many teach, ghost write, edit, etc.)—and then decide if you’re ready for the long (and, for many, futile) slog and if you’ll be content with limited successes along the way.
Would you agree a good book must withstand more than one read?
Yes, much like a movie—where the nuances are noticed during a second reading/ viewing.
What do you look for when shopping on Amazon for a Kindle book? Are any of them more important to you than others?
In this order: Description / Reviews / Price
Do you have a favourite genre, George?
Mysteries and thrillers followed by science fiction and fantasy.
Do you shop for indie books online? If not, why?
Yes, often when friends who are indie authors list their books for sale.
What would it take for you to leave a review on Amazon/ Goodreads?
I do this for author friends and always post a review on Audible after listening to a book (their app makes this easy).
After downloading book one of a series for free or discounted on Amazon, do you ever go back and pay more for book two? If not, why?
Yes, if I enjoyed book one, I’m quite willing to pay for sequels and recommend the series to friends to further support that author.
Do you ever visit an author's website? If so, what do you look at?
Yes, to read about a new release and any recent blog posts.
If an author offered you a free book, would you sign up to their mailing list?
Yes, I would.
Do you ever enter giveaways and/ or order signed copies?
Yes, I do.
Thank you so much to author George Weinstein for sharing his insights on writing and publishing books. If you would like to support George and his work, please consider purchasing a copy of the book, Aftermath, available on Amazon now. Check out the handy link below: