BOOK: AUTUMN CORRIDORS
Molly: Larry Straub, I've just read/reviewed your Autumn Corridors. Please will you tell us why you chose this particular setting/genre, inspirational, for this work?
That is a good question with an interesting answer. I actually did not feel very comfortable with this book as a autobiographical project. I tend to be a fairly private person and I felt uncomfortable bringing a spot light on myself and my family. I actually explored ways to make this book a fictional project, however when I did that I felt it lost the incredible power that it had as an autobiographical book.
I compromised my desire with the needs of the book and made the parts about myself and the family as brief as possible, we are not the focus of the book it is the story that is and should be the focus.
Molly: Do you have another book planned soon Larry?
I have no immediate plans for another, I have made the commitment to work hard promoting this book for at least a year. I really believe that this book can and already has made a difference to people, it is my mission to get it out as much as possible. After that year, I will probably start thinking some about another project, I have a couple on the drawing board.
Molly: I see. Larry, I find your book is filled with rich details, how much time do you usually spend doing background research before you begin a new book and what does your research involve?
Since this was about my life, where I live and my family it was not necessary to do much background for this project.
Molly: Larry beginning writers may not realize how difficult it is to get a book together. How long would you say it takes on average for you to write a book from start to finish?
This book took approximately two years to write from start to finish. However, I am a full time business executive and part time university professor. So writing is not a full time vocation for me. I will say this... there is something to the creative temperament.
There are times I would be stalled and not know where to go with the book and I would wake up at 3 am and write like a madman... the ideas where suddenly flowing freely. Sometimes I think you have to just divorce yourself from it for a while (a week or a month) until your brain engages again.
Molly: Larry, I find that I particularly enjoy writing series because when one book is finished I don't have to say goodbye to the characters I know as friends, rather I follow them as they enter their next adventure. I realize series characters may be more important to fiction work, however, have you considered writing a series; either fiction or non fiction?
I have and will probably do a follow up book, aptly titled "Winter Corridors" in about 20 years (God willing, if I am still kicking by then). Talking about my thoughts, views and insights as I approach my senior years. How will I view death and grieving after I have had more experience and when my own mortality is getting closer to a reality.
Molly: Larry, if you will, letís turn our attention to another writing issue: what do you attend to first? Write your book or seek out an agent or a publisher? And, if you will please tell us of trials or successes you may have had in trying to find agent or publisher.
I wrote the book and then worried about the rest. The nice thing about the times we live in.... if you have a story to tell and believe in it strongly enough you do not need some agent or big time publisher's blessing to get it done.
There are so many ways to publish a book currently... from traditional self publishing to e books... these are amazing times we live in. It truly is an age of enlightenment.
I worked with Bridgeway Books, which I would call a hybrid publisher. They are in the realm of self publishing, but they bring most of the traditional tools to the process that you would normally only have with a major publisher (publicity and distribution among the most important and an
excellent editorial process). I feel it is a great mix and I liked the fact that I had ultimate control over the process and the content of the book.
This book was so personal to me this is the only way I would have done it, I didn't want someone "packaging" this story for the market. It was very important to me that it be done a certain way.
Molly: Thank You Larry, you have given us much to consider. Now please tell us a little something about yourself, about your life.
I am very blessed... I have a great wife and two wonderful kids (ages 16 and 12). I am a full time business executive with my own company which is a 4th generation business with approximately 40 million dollars in yearly sales and has 120 employees.
I also have a passion for teaching and am a adjunct professor of business for two universities in Kansas. My hobbies include tennis and snow skiing (just good enough to be a danger to myself on both counts). Writing is more of a passion than a vocation and I like it that way, I honestly think if writing was what I had to do to feed my family... my brain would probably lock up.
Molly: Larry, please tell us what rewards do you find from being a writer?
With this particular book it is the fact that I can help people through some of the darkest periods of their life. I like the fact that this will be a regional book and that I won't be famous from it.
I think writing is and can be one of the last great bastions of our society... at it's best it is
the great exchange of ideas and philosophies. When you can touch someone and make a difference in their lives it is very rewarding. I have had several instances already with this book where I know it has been able to do just that, when you have had an experience like that it makes this book a NY Times best seller to me.... everything else is just "gravy".
Molly: You have a lovely family, now Larry please tell us: do you plan to do book signings within the next few weeks? Do you enjoy signings?
I have already done 5 book signings and have a few more planned, everything from an independent bookstore to the larger chains. My goal is to do about 15 over the course of the first 6 months of the books release, I will probably hit that goal.
As far as liking them... not so sure I would go that far. They are good in the respect that you get to meet some really nice people, but they really test your comfort level and self confidence.
Mine have all gone very well except for one. I did one in Kansas City Missouri and sold one book over two hours. That two hours seemed like an eternity, luckily my son was with me and it was manageable. Why that one was so bad, I have no idea... just one of those things. I have probably
average selling 25 books at the others, for some reason that was just a bad day for me and the book... oh well.
Molly: Larry, please share with us now what one bit of advice do you have for beginning writers?
My advice is to write about something that you feel passionate about and don't plan to get rich and famous. There are literally millions of books out there in print competing for the publics attention, chances are that you will fight and scrap for everything you get. But it is well worth it if you enjoy writing and believe in what you are writing about.
Molly: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes I would conclude by saying that all authors should do a lot of research on the publishing options. Most of us will end up doing some form of self publishing, the major publishers are less risk averse than ever... if you are not a celebrity or ex politician and they are guaranteed selling 10,000 books in the first run, they are probably not going to take a chance on an unknown quantity.
In conclusion I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read more about my thoughts and ideas.
Molly: Thank You Larry, sounds like sound advice for beginning authors. And, thank you for a most interesting and informative interview. Good luck, I wish you all success with your writing.