Yesterday morning, I received an email from Harry. He introduced himself and his work. He was also willing to be interviewed. When I looked at his website, I had no hesitation in agreeing to interview him. What I did not expect was how fast he would respond with his answers. Therefore, without further ado, I have great pleasure in introducing to you, Harry Bingham …
Aneeta: Harry, thank you for joining us.
Harry: It’s my pleasure!
Aneeta: Let’s start with a little about you. Tell me, please, where were you born, where did you grow up, what do you do for a living and where do you live now?
Harry: Born and bred in England – and still here now. That’s the boring bit. The interesting part is that I’m pretty much a full time writer. When I’m not writing, I run an outfit called The Writers’ Workshop.
Aneeta: On your website, it is stated that you’re a best-selling novelist and non-fiction writer. Furthermore, Amazon.co.uk lists your publications. I would like you to tell me about your work.
Harry: Gosh, well, I wrote five novels for HarperCollins a few years back. Old-fashioned adventure stories really, with an epic sweep. They were fun to write but very time-consuming. I then moved on to a couple of non-fiction projects, of which my favourite was This Little Britain, a book about British history, and specifically what marks us out as different from Germany, Italy, France, Spain and so on. I loved that book!
Aneeta: One of the publications that intrigued me was this: The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Guide to Getting Published: The Essential Guide for Authors. What is this book all about
Harry: It’s exactly what it sounds like. The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is an old, famous publication for writers, but they’ve never really had a comprehensive guide to getting published: the whole journey from completing a manuscript right through to getting an agent and the whole publication process. I think lots of writers think that once they have an agent, it’s all plain sailing – and the truth is the difficult journey is only just beginning. What’s more, there’s a lot of it that agents and publishers don’t much want you to know, so it felt like the book was quite important for writers. That book is Getting Published, and is available from Amazon.
Aneeta: As you write both fiction and non-fiction, do you find that storytelling plays a big part in your work? If so, how and what is the most important element of storytelling you use
Harry: Story-telling is the heart of everything. My most recent project is a series of crime novels that will be launching next year. In those, I use:
- traditional story telling (suspense – looking forward to some major decision-point in the future)
- (crime-style story telling (mystery – trying to solve something that lies in the past)
- and a whole added layer of mystery about my detective heroine. (It turns out that she has major things to conceal, and that ends up being the most intriguing element in the book.)
Obviously it can be hard combining all those elements successfully, but I do think that the very best stories have elements of both suspense and mystery.
Aneeta: Please explain what your website (http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk), ‘The Writer’s Workshop’ offers to your readers.
Harry: The Writers’ Workshop is an attempt to get professional authors like myself helping new writers. So the main things we do are:
- Using our team of book and novel editors to give tough constructive feedback on people’s work. This can be a really exhilarating ride for our clients – we normally have far more insight into their work than they’re expecting, and it can be a mind-blowing experience for them.
- Also, when work is strong enough to sell we can help with securing literary agents. That’s the crucial step for most writers in the path to publication – and we’ve achieved a few bestsellers with our clients in the past.
- We also offer online creative writing courses. Again, these can be a brilliant way for new writers to develop skills.
- We also host a vibrant writing community, which is completely free and has bundles of warmth and energy.
- And we run an annual Festival of Writing, which helps new writers meet agents and editors face to face.
Aneeta: What advice would you give people who would like to venture into the world of storytelling and publishing?
Harry: Phew! Storytelling, I think, is the raw energy. Anyone who tells people stories, or self-publishes their work and gets it out there, has that energy in fine working order. I don’t think getting published is for everyone. That process requires you to write for the market and not everyone will want to do that. But if you do want to do that, then I’d say that getting professional help from book and novel editors, such as ours, is probably your first best step. You will also need a literary agent, so you need an outfit that can help you there too.
Aneeta: Harry, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Harry: Just this – best of luck to all your site users. The world needs storytellers, and it’s not an easy thing to do well! So best of luck.
Aneeta: Thank you, once again, Harry.
Harry: And thank you!
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