One of my favorite things to do, aside from writing, is to talk about writing, and I recently had the pleasure of getting to know fellow Crusader PJ Lincoln through his awesome blog. He was kind enough to share his views on writing and publishing. Enjoy and then head on over to his blog and be sure to check out his new short story. Happy Reading!
1. How long have you been writing?
PJ: I decided as a freshman in high school that I wanted to be a sportswriter. I've been writing ever since; first with the high school paper and eventually with several different Detroit-area newspapers. My last stint in journalism was with the Ann Arbor News a few years ago. I was luck enough to find full-time work before the paper went out of business. Fiction writing is a relatively new development for me. It began after I left journalism as a way of filling the writing void. I quickly discovered how different and how difficult writing fiction can be, but I truly enjoy it.
2. How would you classify your writing? (Genre, length, etc)
PJ: I tend to fall into the Thriller/suspense genre, although my interests are also with writing Christian-related fiction. My next several self-published works will all have a Christian flavor, although I believe they will appeal to wide audiences.
3. I see you just electronically published a piece of your work. Congrats! Tell us about it and where we can find it.
PJ: Thank you, Diane. It's a short story called Born Again. The story is about a couple facing typical challenges with raising kids and leading busy lives. The story is told from the point of view of Jackson Tanner, a 30-something guy who loves his wife and his gadgets. His love for the later takes the Tanners down an unexpected path. The story is available for Amazon's Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Born-Again-ebook/dp/B004RUXBQE/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
4. What influenced your decision to publish electronically?
PJ: I followed the industry closely over the last several years and discovered that getting published traditionally - always difficult - was becoming like hitting the lottery. I didn't like my odds. I also began following people like Joe Konrath - another great resident of Chicago besides yourself - and found that it was possible to have some success self-publishing if you do it right. I'm willing to put in the sweat-equity. Does it guarantee that my stories will ever be better than the Great Slush Pile of work out there that agents and Big House publishers are always talking about? Nope. Still, I choose to do it my way (Sinatra reference).
5. Did you try the traditional route first?
PJ: Other than a few Writer's Digest submissions, nah. Not that I didn't want to, I just have trouble finishing 80,000 word novels!
6. What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
PJ: Actually, I think it goes back to my days as a reporter. Journalists are trained to use a minimum of words to tell their stories. I think good fiction is the same way, every word should move the plot along. In my humble opinion, readers want good stories, not dense paragraphs of beautiful prose (of course if you can do both, well, you're a hell of a writer). Harlan Coben's work is a good example of what I aspire to as a writer.
7. What book have you read that you feel has had the most impact on you?
PJ: That's easy. The Bible.
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