Author Lander Marks takes The SPQ. Ms. Marks is the author of Artist’s Proof, a debut novel filled with mysteries, plot twists, and shocking secrets that keep the reader trying to guess how the story will end. An automotive industry executive, Marks is also the author of Reservations Required: Culinary Secrets of Las Vegas’ Celebrity Chefs (Huntington Press).
1. How long did your manuscript take, start to finish? Eight years.
2. Did you do special research? I traveled to Europe, New York City and contacted experts in the most specific areas of the books content, i.e.: Holocaust art restitution, Vatican, cruise business and art auction professionals.
3. How long before you held the first copy in your hands? One year two months from contract signing.
4. How do you write? When the mood strikes or certain time of day for writing? Word count goals? I am a sporadic writer but constant note taker, article clipper and outline modifier.
5. Do you outline first? Yes, and constantly revising.
6. Do you listen to music while you write? If so what type of music? I listen to music (all kinds) when meditating which often leads me to thoughts and feelings about my writing projects.
7. What is your favorite adjective and verb? Be creative. Think. Create.
8. Which book have you read again and again? My own.
9. What is your favorite book title (not the book, just the title)? STICK
10. Which author would you most like to meet, living or dead? Walter Mosley or Lillian Braun.
11. Would you rather get paid to read or get paid to write? Paid to write.
12. What is the strangest comment or experience you’ve had about your book or writing? The ultimate ending to my recent book, Artist’s Proof. I discovered the painting by Hungarian artist Bela Kadar among my art collection, after the book was completed and at the printers. It was as if Bela had been haunting me for eight years to get this story finished and only after it was done did the painting reveal itself, and another chapter in the tale of Artist’s Proof became a legacy to this period of art, literature and heritage. Amazing.
13. Your best advice for novice writers? Plan your story and really think it through before you begin. Outline, outline, research, research. Begin with the end in mind. Otherwise you will waste seven years!
14. Your best marketing techniques? Face to face appointments with meeting planners and bookers involved in the subject matter of the book.
15. The future of printed books . . . ? Good stories or great timely information will always be in demand. A printed book will always be treasured. The Bible is a great example. Still the Number 1 bestseller every year, since record keeping began.
16. What piece(s) of fiction gave you that “Ah ha, I know this is what I want to do” realization? MetroGirl by Janet Evanovich.
17. What are you reading now? Buddhism without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor.
18. What is your biggest reader pet peeve? Predictability! Cliché storylines, lack of character development.
19. What is your biggest writing pet peeve? Lack of time and solitude.
20. What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received? Kill your babies.
21. What writing tool can you not live without? The EDITOR!
22. Many writers say that until they decided they didn’t care what their mommas would think, they held back. And when they let go of that concern, they felt free to write. Did this ever apply to you? It didn’t until I published a book and began to wonder if my perceived audience didn’t appreciate my character’s language and attitude.
23. Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work? www.readartistsproof.com