Tuesday, September 20, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brian Dickinson author of Blind Descent

Just finished this fantastic book. Read my review here.

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I live in Snoqualmie, Wa with my wife, JoAnna, and kids, Emily and Jordan.  I served 6 years in the US Navy as an Air Rescue Swimmer and now I’m a world adventurer and do motivational speaking.  I wrote Blind Descent to share my experience of survival on Mount Everest, where I soloed the summit then went blind on the descent.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I’ve only written the one book so it was a focused project a few months after returning from Mount Everest in 2011.  I was connected with my agent, Working Title Agency, and they introduced me to Tyndale House Publishers.  I worked with an editor for months to convert my transcript into a published novel.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

My writing of Blind Descent started as a journal during my Everest expedition.  Climbing Magazine was also writing a blog about me, so after the expedition I transformed both into a transcript.  I prefer a laptop and usually just get it all out and worry about the formatting later, otherwise I’ll get distracted and lose valuable content.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Writing true details of your life is very therapeutic and allows you to unpack things about real situations from different angles, like including senses that you may normally ignore.  For instance what I was hearing or smelling during certain areas of my expedition.  My least favorite part was that it was very emotional to revisit my survival situation in detail.  It was necessary to capture that level of detail, but very painful to write about it when it was so fresh in my mind.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The idea wasn’t difficult since it was a true experience I had just survived. I had the details documented from my journal and I was persuaded into converting it to a memoir.  I took a couple months to write Blind Descent and another 5 months working with the editors at Tyndale House Publishers.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Tyndale had a marketing strategy, which had me on Anderson Cooper in New York and other interviews.  I’ve had quite a bit of media including Good Morning America, CNN, radio shows, podcasts, magazines, television and I’ll be in 2 upcoming movie series by KingdomWorks Studios.  I’m also very active on social media.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I’m filming 2 movie series with KingdomWorks Studio and I’ll be in Success Magazine in the coming months.  I don’t currently have another book in the works.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

My life is a balance of working, speaking, family and adventures.  There’s no shortage of adventures on this earth and I’m always planning something interesting.  I also have several television producers’ regularly reaching out to see if I’m interested in staring in new programs or reality shows.  A show would have to be a perfect blend of adventure and giving back / helping others, without taking me away from my family for too long.  So there could be something in the future, but I haven’t agreed to anything quite yet.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Have confidence and write it out.  We are all wired differently and there’s probably more to your story or idea than you believe.  Bounce ideas off of other people and let them provide feedback on your transcript.  There are over 7 billion people on this earth and I’d guarantee that there’s an audience out there just waiting to read what you have to offer.


A Question for Me:

With such a saturated market and low success rate of becoming an author, is it better to self-publish or find an agent?  What can make a new author rise above the rest from a marketing point of view?

Great question! Yes, the market is saturated, and many authors don't even want to put out the effort to market because they feel as if it won't do them any good. The truth is, doing a little will always be better than doing nothing. 

I began the traditional route and had my first book published by a local publisher. The best news for me was buying my rights back a few years later and going it on my own. You may spend years searching for an agent and not find one you can work with. On the other hand, if you decide to self-publish, you can get started at any time. After perfecting your craft you can reach out to cover designers, editors and layout guru's or learn to do these things yourself. 

Marketing is for everyone, whether you self-publish or not, and I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't - at least for me. The good news is, that the only way to rise to the top is to experiment on various ideas until you find those that work for you - and then stick with them. You may want to start here


Learn more about Brian and his book at the following sites:

http://briandickinson.net (trailer embedded)

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