June 12, 2012

Larry answers your questions

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Larry Peterson, born and raised in the Bronx, NY and I have lived in Pinellas Park, FL for the last 31 years.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I think when this new book launched I began to feel I was a writer. There is still a certain ambiguity in my feelings about this.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The title of the book is "The Priest and The Peaches". Five, newly orphaned kids, find an inner strength to stay together because they have the love of family within them. (You asked for 20 words and that is exactly 20)

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
The publisher is Tribute Books from Archbald, PA.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have started work on the sequel to "The P & The P". This may definitely develop into a series. We'll see.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I tried to write it at the YA level because I wanted to give the younger folks a sense of how even young people can use the power of family love and caring for others to help conquer any obstacle.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I probably started writing in grade school. Just "scribbling". There was no inspiration. I just liked doing it. I had to graduate to official senior citizen status before I actually became what one might call a writer. It was a long road traveled.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
No actual routine. No music either. I do most of my work in the morning. I have turned a bedroom into my paper strewn office and that is my funky, little writing world. Just lovin' it.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
My wife happens to be an outstanding proof-reader. She also has a great insight into grammar. I drive her crazy with some of my NYC street dialogue. She is the only one who sees the book before I dare send it off. I tried critique groups etc in the past but that, for me, was absolutely frustrating. There was never a constant that you could seize upon.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes--I read every review and try to respond to every one, even if negative.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
The toughest review I ever had actually was two days ago. This was not even a review, it was more or less an excoriation trashing the grammar, the dialogue, and the whole concept especially the character of the priest. There was an actual anger going on which I did not fully understand. Funny thing was, a few hours later I received a beautiful note from someone thanking me for writing the book. In fact, the reviews have been, for the most part, outstanding and very humbling. That's just the way it goes.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No--I would never ask anyone to change their review or opinion. You can't please everyone. Just look at the political vitriol taking place. If they don't love you they hate you---no gray areas.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Actually, the title did change several times so, to answer, no, it probably comes later.

How do you market/promote your books?
Right now we are doing this 3 month on-line book tour. Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Marketing is not my strong suit and I am trying to learn different ways to promote. It is very hard and very competitive.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
You get past writer's block by writing your way out of it. Even if you are only putting gibberish on the paper sooner or late a cohesive thought will find its way out.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Sure---I believe that all fiction ultimately comes from who the writer is and what he/she has experienced in life. Life experience is the seed and from there who knows what the writer will grow.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
The message in "The Priest and The Peaches" is simple--L-Y-N (love your neighbor) The message in my children's book, "Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes" is basically the same because it teaches kids how we are all different and that is an OK thing.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I may be influenced by Hemingway. Why? He keeps thing simple.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am reading a YA book called "The Village By The Sea" by Paula Fox. If you want to read books with great description and less dialogue, check her out.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No, I don't think so. I think people will always want a hard copy to hold. I expect that down the road technology will be available to make your e-book into a hard copy for minimal cost and people might respond to that. I'm not sure.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
You have to keep at it, be thick skinned, and never quit no matter what.