MORE SINNED AGAINST (Needle Publishing) is a collection of Jackson Donne stories by Dave White, author of WHEN ONE MAN DIES and THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (Three Rivers Press).
How important is a book's central character?
Jackson Donne is very important to the stories in MORE SINNED AGAINST. He’s the PI who makes the action go. One of the most interesting things about Donne, to me, is how much Donne grows over the course of the stories. The cases are very personal. In the first story, “God Bless the Child,” Donne is very much the typical PI. My hope is, by the end of the collection, he’s become his own man.
What's the best piece of craft advice you've been given?
Show, don’t tell. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. In fact, for as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve known the saying, but at the same time, I didn’t always know how to pull it off. I think a lot of times, I’d be showing something and I didn’t trust the reader so I’d add a dialogue tag or some interior monologue where the character would explain how he was feeling. But once I learned to cut that stuff, and let the reader figure it out, my writing really improved.
What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?
The writing comes first. When my first novel came out, I was really concerned about promoting it. I had to get to every independent bookstore, be on every blog, get it reviewed everywhere I could. At the same time, I was on deadline for a second novel. And I was talking to someone—unfortunately I can’t remember who, otherwise I’d give credit—and that person told me to slow down. I had to worry about the writing. A good book is the most important thing. Worry about the writing, worry about putting out the best content you can. And then, if it all works out, then go out and promote. But do you really want to promote utter shit?
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Don Winslow’s SATORI. I love Winslow’s style and voice. He really knows how to weave a story, and seeing him take a shot at a good old fashion Cold War spy novel is just cool.
What was the last good eBook you read?
Anthony Neil Smith’s CHOKE ON YOUR LIES. Great, funny modernization of the Nero Wolfe tales. My favorite book of 2011 so far.
What aspects of marketing your book do you enjoy?
Honestly, I’ve always liked doing interviews. It’s easier than putting up your own blog posts, because the questions are already there for you. Plus having the questions to guide me helps me get my thoughts together. I don’t mind getting myself out there and talking to people either. If the group is lively, a book signing or an internet chat can be a lot of fun.
What are the biggest problems facing writers these days?
It appears to be getting through the publishing door and staying there. With e-Books and the urge to put out bestsellers, publishing is in a state of major flux right now. If you can’t sell your books to the public, you’re not going to stick around long. And it seems like you only get one or two shots at it. So you have to keep finding other ways to get noticed. It’s tough out there.
How do you feel about anyone being able to publish?
I think it’s both a help and a hindrance. I’ve found a lot of authors I wouldn’t have otherwise tried because they’re putting their stuff out there online. At the same time, there’s a lot of unedited crap out there too. Being able to sort through the shit to get to the gold is tough. You have to look for people like the aforementioned Smith or someone like Declan Burke, who have good track records to find the good stuff.
More Sinned Against by Dave White