I had a chance to talk with David Henry Sterry – bestselling author and all-round superstar of books that help writers get it done and sell it.
I’ll let his Wikipedia entry and his own website speak for themselves.
Last week, I talked about my all-to-brief consultation with David Henry Sterry. This week, I feature the results of a quick follow-up interview with him!
E-mail Interview with David Henry Sterry, May 13, 2015
(Bolding mine, along with some very minor edits)
Me: I’ll have to ask this first – so what is it you do, exactly?
DHS: I am the best-selling author of 16 books, I’m also a performer & producer, as well as a book doctor. I help people in all stages of their writing career. From figuring out what book to write, to what’s the right title, to editing your book, to figuring out how to find the right agent or publisher for you, and ultimately how to get readers to buy your book.
Me: What is the writing project that currently occupies most of your time?
DHS: I’m working on a piece of epic noir that is set in San Francisco’s tenderloin. It’s all about a giant battle for who controls the underground sex business in the city that some called Baghdad by the Bay. Kind of like Game of Thrones meets The Wire.
Me: You obviously help a lot of writers – what seems to be the most common writing problem that you deal with these days?
DHS: Most writers just don’t seem to understand how to explain what’s exciting, unique, familiar, funny, educational, riveting, and valuable about their own book. They also don’t know how to do the research to find the right partner, whether it be a publisher, an agent, a reviewer, a bookstore, an online book seller, a blogger.
Plus, so many manuscripts I read are filled with mistakes. Grammatical, spelling, plot mistakes. People don’t hire professional editors to review their work. There is this idea that it’s harder to be a brain surgeon that it is to write a great novel. That’s not true. It takes just as much time, expertise, knowledge, learning, wisdom, hard work, and perseverance to write a great book as it does to become a brain surgeon. Probably more. Because I know a couple of brain surgeons, and frankly they don’t seem that bright.
Me: Last question – What’s your top piece of advice for aspiring writers?
DHS: Read. Become an expert in your section of the bookstore. Connect with people who are going to be passionate about what you’re working on. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. But be smart in your perseverance.
My thanks go out to David Henry Sterry for the quick little interview. Be sure to visit his website & check out his book Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man For Rent!