Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest B.L. Lindstrom author of Considering SomeplacElse.
Good day B.L. and thanks for participating in our interview.
From reading your bio, I noticed you refer to yourself as a “Systems Janitor.” What exactly is a “Systems Janitor” and how did you become one?
I’m not sure whether it was destiny or just years of practice, but it seems my whole career I have always been asked to clean up the mess made by someone else.At age 16 I was tasked with keeping the restrooms clean at a gas station and with each successive career move supervisors, managers and executives have always turned to me when it started getting deep.After observing corporate life for about 2 years as an accountant, I realized that nothing was messier than computer systems so I grabbed the moniker, rolled up my sleeves and started cleaning up.
Will you share a little bit about your book Considering SomeplacElse with us?
It is a modern myth about the last five days of a utopian experiment founded by a homeless man who was allowed to win the lottery.
Where did you get your title Considering SomeplacElse and what motivated you to write your book?
About 30 years ago I worked with a true character named Dicky W.He always wanted to open a store called someplacelse.Reasoning, if you were asked where you bought that, you could say “someplacelse”.Then he would laugh hysterically.When it came time for me to name my utopian experiment, the late Dicky’s spirit would not allow me to call it by any other name.
Originally SomeplacElsewas going to be the main character but as I began to write it became apparent to me that this was a story about individuals considering this experiment along with other aspects of their lives, the choices they made, and the paths they were on.
How has the feedback been so far?Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
The most popular comment so far has been “I loved it”.
The most flattering comment was “I can’t wait to read it again”.
There are many messages in the book.The one I would like for readers to focus on is:
Consider the possibilities afforded, merely, by allocating your resources someplace else.
Would you say that the publication of your first novel is the culmination of a life long dream?
No.I always wanted to write TV and movie scripts.I chased that dream until I was about thirty. When pieces of my rejected manuscript showed up in various movies along with most of my major plot points, I realized I had the talent but the barriers to my entry into this field could not be overcome.About five years ago I decided to just start writing a story and got 20 pages into it before stopping.Last year, with some strong motivation from two writing coaches, I was able to finish the story.
Can you explain some of your research techniques, and how you found sources for your book?
For this book I can honestly say I have been doing research most of my life.The biblical studies of my teen years along with Greek and Norse mythology, the reading and re-reading of Buckminster Fuller, contemplating the words and deeds of Richard Feinman, reviewing the cycles of history put forth by Kondratieff, the Navajo, Strauss and Howe all seemed to meld together for me while writing this book.Also, several years ago when I was first considering an improved society, I read an excellent non-fiction work by William McCord titled Voyages to Utopia.
How did you develop your plot and characters? Did you use any set formula? As a follow up, are the characters in your book based on people you know or have encountered or are they strictly fictional?
During my life I have encountered a vast array of characters. Fortunately for me I am able to recall their quirks and idiosyncrasies in vivid detail when the need arises.When it came time to tell a story many of these characters came to me in the middle of the night auditioning for a role.As the story progressed, this same cast of characters would suggest and sometimes insist the story move in a certain direction. So, no I do not use any set formula, unless you consider allowing my characters to do all the work a formula.
The primary characters are all composites of various traits collected from real people. Most, if not all, of the secondary characters are based on specific individuals.
How did you know when your book was finished?
I always knew what the last line was going to be.I just needed to write until that character was ready to say it.
Do you feel that writers, regardless of genre owe something to readers, if not, why not, if so, why and what would that be?
Richard Feinman said: “Perspective is worth 80 IQ points”. I think all writers owe their customers the gift of perspective. No matter the media, the genre or the message the consumer of our product deserves to be enlightened by at least one “I never thought of it that way” moment.Such moments open minds long after the book is closed.
Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?
As a “debut” novelist I pursued an e-query route even before I finished my manuscript.The dozen or so agents seemed very interested and asked for everything from a synopsis, author bio and the first 2 chapters to the complete manuscript.
In reviewing the subsequent offers of representation, I had great difficulty understanding the commercial publisher’s business model that seems to pay the author, last, IF there is anything left over.
So I set out to self publish a 3D e-book which paid me $1-$3 per copy sold.After selling about 2000 of these I began to hear from readers, friends and relatives begging me to“PLEASE print a hardcopy”.So I took my profits from the e-book and contracted with Dog Ear Publishing to produce a paperback.This I now sell in my own Amazon store usually for $17.95 and net about $9.00 per copy. All other online book -stores sell it POD for $19.95 and I get about $1.00.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
I feel writing is more art than science.You should first express yourself, unfettered.
Then determine if what you have written is what you wanted to say.If it’s good enough, change it.If it’s good, make it great.
A dictionary/thesaurus frequently provides a much needed creative spark. To me, there is nothing like searching for and discovering the right word.
Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)
I currently have twenty items on my project list.
Number one on the list is writing the pilot episode for a Considering SomeplacElse WebTV series.Upon completion, I will be sponsoring a script -writing contest in pursuit of at least twelve episodes. After that I plan to start producing the videos.
My next book will NOT be a sequel, but it will feature another baby boomer. It is called Gabriel’s Horn and it is about the mystical happenings in Gabriel Nelson’s life as death begins to frequent his elders.
A virtual SomeplacElseis also in the works and, if everything goes as planned, we’ll be looking for citizens this Fall. Of course as we all know man plans, God laughs.
Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered and where can our readers find out more about you and Considering SomeplacElse?
First and foremost I would like to thank you, Norm, for giving me this opportunity to share.
Those who want to know more about New Media Publishing or my Authorian Adventures in the Ether are welcome to visit my blog http://SoIWroteThisBook.com
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.
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