Thursday, September 8, 2011

Inspired by Gene Perret

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Happy Thursday everyone! Today I'm interviewing Write Your Book Now author, Gene Perret. Let me tell you - this is one INSPIRATIONAL interview. It makes me smile every time I read it!


But before I get to all that, I need to wish Bookanisto SCOTT TRACEY a HAPPY LAUNCH DAY! His book, WITCH EYES releases today and I just can't be any happier!

And, one more thing - check out the other reviews today:


Before I get to my interview with Michelle, and the AMAZING GIVEAWAY, let's see what my other Bookanista buddies are up to:

Elana Johnson shares some book love for Random Acts of Publicity Week
Lisa and Laura Roecker is wild about a double giveaway of WITCH EYES and WILDEFIRE
Shannon Messenger loves LEGEND - with signed arc giveaway
Scott Tracey  celebrates his release day for WITCH EYES
Jessi Kirby gets inside SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD
Sarah Frances Hardy applauds LOTTIE PARIS LIVES HERE
Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER


On to my Bookanista Interview with Gene Perret in celebration of his new book, WRITE YOUR BOOK NOW.
First, the preliminaries:


Release Date: August 1, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon):
Ideal for aspiring authors who only dream of actually finishing their works in progress, this guide features proven, field-tested tools guaranteed to successfully complete that romance, expert guide to business success, or great American novel. The chapters simplify the writing process by breaking it down into a series of discrete tasks, from creating a schedule in order to finish within a reasonable time, brainstorming sections of the book, and organizing ideas into chapters to rewriting, editing, submitting for publication, and even marketing. This reference is tailored to help writers avoid distractions and delays by establishing and maintaining a powerful writing momentum, thereby carrying their projects to completion. The psychological blocks that prevent writers from completing their manuscripts as well as how to combat them are also explored.
And now - my interview with Michelle. Make sure to catch the end for your chance to win a fabulous prize pack.


CF: Hi Gene. Tell me and my readers a little about yourself.

GP: I worked for 13 years at a large industrial plant as an electrical drafting apprentice, draftsman, designer, engineer, then electrical drafting supervisor.  While there, I did little comedy routines at lunch.  When my first supervisor retired, we held a party and people asked me to emcee it.  The comedy routine I wrote for the Guest of Honor went over well and I began emceeing 2 to 3 retirement, farewell, anniversary parties each month.

This was my apprenticeship in comedy writing.  Some entertainers came to my hometown and asked to see some of the gags I wrote.  That began my professional comedy writing career.  A comic named Slappy White hired me, and then Phyllis Diller bought some of my material.

Phyllis really got my TV career started.  She had the producers hire me to write monologue material for her variety show in 1968.  Since then I wrote for the Jim Nabors Show, Laugh-In, The Carol Burnett Show and several others.

Bob Hope hired me in 1969 and I stayed with him until his retirement.  When he retired, I retired.

I never thought I could write a book, but a client of mine, Shari Lewis, was married to a book publisher.  He talked me into writing a book about my industrial career and my comedy career.  That was my first book.  I’ve written somewhere around 40 since.

{{Okay - his background is just epic in my book!}}

CF: Tell me a little about your book. What sets it apart from the sea of similar books?

GP: Write Your Book Now! is a volume that offers a procedure for beginning and finishing a book.  It’s not a how-to book on writing.  It doesn’t teach technique, plotting, character development, sentence structure or any of the technical aspects of writing.  This book devotes itself entirely to getting a book started, and once started, completed. 

The book offers a step-by-step procedure for “building” a book, developing a chapter by chapter outline, and then a schedule for keeping yourself writing.

{{Um, a schedule...yea, I definitely NEED a schedule!}}

CF: Give me one piece of advice for aspiring writers.

GP: The most important suggestion I offer to the comedy writers that I work with is to set a quota and stick to it.  There’s a benefit to writing regularly.  First of all, it gets you into the mood and rhythm of writing.  And once you find that, it’s imperative to keep it going.  Build up the writing momentum and then continue it.  You not only write more, but your writing becomes more powerful.

This idea works just as well for novelists and non-fiction writers.  It’s a major part of Write Your Book Now!  Developing a reasonable writing schedule – basically setting a quota --- and then sticking to that schedule maintains the writer’s enthusiasm for the project. 

CF: What do you think about the future of publishing? Where is it headed?

GP: Publishing, with digital books, self-publishing, and all the other innovations is changing almost daily.  Unfortunately, I’m not savvy enough to keep up with them or even able to offer any predictions. 

It does seem that even though traditional publishing may be declining somewhat, it appears that people are reading more.  Perhaps because the various digital readers make it so much easier. 

What I would say to aspiring writers, though, is that the first step is to get an idea you’re passionate about and then write it as best as you know how.  Get your ideas on paper so your readers can share them.  Finish your manuscript.  From there it will find its way into print, or a digital device, or whatever publishing technique is in vogue at the time. 

One thing we can always be assured of even though publishing methods may change is that the writer is indispensable.  You just can’t have books without authors.

{{See why I love this guy!}}

CF: How important is platform building? And do you have any suggestions for this?

GP: A platform is important, of course, but sometimes your manuscript can be an effective platform builder.  Salesmen will tell you that their job is easier when they have a good product.  Publishing and marketing become easier, too, when you’ve written a good book.

I tell writers that Samuel Clemens’s childhood was probably quite ordinary. It was most likely not much different from the other youngsters in Hannibal, MO.  But when Mark Twain added his imagination and writing skills to the telling of those childhood tales they became adventures.  Mark Twain wasn’t famous; his writing made him famous.

To me, a big part of building a platform is realizing how much you have to offer.  Even if you’re not a movie star or a well-known broadcaster, you still have something to say about whatever book it is you want to write.  So say it.  Offer yourself for radio and TV interviews, send articles to newspapers. 

I remember once as a struggling comedy writer trying to sell some material to Henny Youngman, a successful comedian of a few years ago.  He didn’t buy anything.  I wasn’t a well-known comedy writer.  Many years later, I got a phone call from Henny Youngman.  He said, “I have to do a presentation at a college and I understand that you’re the authority on comedy writing….” 

Sometimes we can surprise ourselves by building a platform without really realizing we’re doing it. 

{{This is my fav answer! - Thanks Gene for the inspiration}}

CF: Tell us one interesting fact about yourself - something that most people may not know.

GP: I have been fortunate to work with many legendary performers – Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, and many others.  The interesting thing that I’ve learned from them is that there is always a reason for their success. 

The value of that is that we can always learn from them.  Whatever they did could very well work for us, too. 

So that’s the thing that most people may not know about me – I’m always analyzing the approaches and styles of people that I want to emulate. 

CF: Is there anything else that you want to share?

GP: That pretty much covers it.  Heck, I may have gone on so much that it covers more than you wanted covered.  The only other thing I might add is that there is a major benefit in believing in yourself and your work.  I mentioned in the response above that I tried to learn from successful people.  I worked very closely with Bob Hope for almost 30 years, and also with Phyllis Diller.  The outstanding trait of both of these legendary performers is that they always saw the bright side of any situation.  Neither one ever considered failing at whatever they did.  They believed, they worked hard at what they believed, and it worked.  So that’s the outlook I would wish for everyone – attack whatever you do with confidence, do it as well as you know how, and then reap the rewards.

Phyllis Diller used to sign all of her letters to me with the closing, “Onward and Upward.”  It’s not bad advice.
  
WOW! Thank you Gene - your words have definitely inspired me. 

What are you reading these days???

8 comments:

  1. What an incredible story. You're right. That is very inspiring!

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  2. You definitely can't have books without authors. Great interview!

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  3. Loved this interview! And you're right, Christine--it definitely leaves us with a smile. :-)

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  4. Very inspirational. I need to read stories like this.

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  5. Great interview! And that Witch Eyes book cover is ah-mazing! I want to read that book just by looking at it!

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  6. I'm reading Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver right now. I just love the little illustrations. Wonderful interview. And I do love the cover of Witch Eyes. It immediately drew me in.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  7. I have seen this book before, but never stopped to pick it up. Now I think I will! Thanks for the interview. Sounds like a book with great strategic advice I could really use.

    P.S. I'm from your horror group. Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to saying hi!

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Thanks for your input!