Author Dan Goldstein starts with just a title and lets the story build on its own.


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Please help me welcome, Dan Goldstein, to my weekly Author Interview of the Week. Dan is has written several Indie novels and some children’s stories. His latest book, Wild Bill Hickok, is the true adventure of the famous wild west icon’s last few weeks of his life as portrayed in a journal of his sidekick, Nathan Bernard and passed down to his son, grandson and then to Goldstein.

Joanne:  Do you have a background in writing?

Dan: Not really. Up north before coming to Florida I started writing children stories. When I arrived in Naples I joined an evening class and shortly after, my teacher took me aside and told me she liked the way I did my dialogue and that I should try a novel. I thought she was crazy. Me? Write a novel? But I started one and found that I picked the right topic and the words just flowed out of me. It was an adventure story and now it’s in print and also e-books.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same genre?

Dan: Mostly. I have some great children stories but I prefer to write adventure stories.

Joanne: Why did you choose to go the self-publishing route instead of traditional publishing?

Dan: Now-a-day, I believe that if you’re not a big name writer or you know somebody who knows somebody, or you are extremely lucky, it is rare an agent will touch you. I have also discovered that most publishers won’t touch you without an agent. It feels like a catch-22 situation. I believe that the big publishers are losing out by not representing more local writers.

Joanne: Do I always write in the same POV?

Dan: I tried writing in first person and found it much too difficult. I switched to third person and that was much easier reading and writing.

Joanne: What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis or the story itself?

Dan: I find the synopsis the hardest in writing. I tend to get inside the story too much and the synopsis gets too lengthy.

Joanne: Are you a pantser or a planner?

Dan: Not knowing exactly what a pantser is, I assume it is somebody that writes by the seat of his/her pants, while a planner has a good idea what the story is about and plans each step. Actually, I write quite different from most. I start with a title and start the story never knowing what the story is about until I get into it. I also usually put myself into the story and respond as I would to whatever event I’m writing about. I never write an outline or plan any events until they actually arise. I have written six novels this way, and what I have found as my only problem is my English knowledge and building sentences in the correct English. I write as I have learned to speak, mostly while in the streets of Boston. Since writing novels I have found myself correcting other writers in their spelling and use of words. Many times while reading some ‘big named’ writers like Stuart Woods I have said to myself, “this sounds like me writing”.

Amazon link to Hickok novel

Thank you Dan, for taking the time to be my guest on Writing Under Fire.

Goldstein is the author of Wild Bill Hickok – The True Story about his last six weeksBoston / Moscow Connection and Destination: Croatia

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4 thoughts on “Author Dan Goldstein starts with just a title and lets the story build on its own.

  1. I agree with Dan about the publishing industry. I happily chose the self-publish route without even attempting to find a traditional publisher for the same reasons. However, I have seen good outcomes with small publishing companies who are working hard for the authors and as a sideline, building their businesses, so if a writer is intent on traditional publishing, I’d advise them to seek out a new publishing business. But make sure you don’t have to pay them – if you have to pay a publisher, their main interest isn’t with you.

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    • I only agree with you in part. If your objective is simply to get your book in print, but not to make a living on your book sales, paying a publisher is fine as long as it fits in your budget. From what I can tell (and I am still a novice) that may not be the best route if you are trying to make your book commercial. If that is the case, going traditional or finding a publisher directly that does not charge you are the best options.

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      • You’re right. There are those who publish mainly to share family stories with family, and if they have the money, I suppose it makes the process easier. However, although I paid for an editor and a cover creator, my costs didn’t come to what most of the pay for publishing companies ask, and the actual publishing was free, if we don’t put a cost to my time and effort.
        Traditional publishers are experts in promoting, but there is a heap of expertise out there these days about how to self-promote. I know people who were traditionally published, then chose to self publish later books, and they’ve made far more from their self published works.

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      • It is a confusing process anymore but I think the plus is that we have many more options than ever before. Thanks for following along.

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