On Wednesday, March 13th, the Ontario Writers’ Conference had the pleasure of hosting bestselling author Andrew Pyper for a one-hour chat on Twitter (#OWCchat).
He shared from the heart, from his experience and from his funny side. Thanks so much for participating, Andrew. We wish you the very best success with your latest novel The Demonologist (his seventh).
Here’s a quick recap and a few PYPER-isms thrown in for good measure!
- Being places virtually – the only way these days!
- Best advice – edit and edit again.
- And ask as many people as you can to read it – be honest. No second chances
- Inspiration was reading ‘real’ ghost stories – noticing what emotionally triggers the paranormal. Wanting to write a horror story with a heart.
- Remember that Columbo show? How he always had just one more question – now he was an editor!
- Plotter or pantser? BIG outliner. An outline is your friend. Your shield against failure.
- Andrew got his start by publishing short stories in his 20s when one of his editors, Steven Heighton, took notice and forwarded his work to a press. They said “Hey, check this guy out!’ He got an offer without even submitting!
- GOOD NEWS! People really are on the lookout for new talent. Always.
- PYPER-ism #1: Verbally pitch yourself an idea. Hear how it sounds. If the idea sounds dumb coming out of your mouth, then it is.
- Writers all get too close to their work…so putting a manuscript in the fridge for a while is good.
- Yes, Andrew’s been a full-time writer for 14 years – an amazing privilege that he tries never to take for granted!
- What does his writing day look like? Mornings he hits it hard – coffee buzz – brain not yet tired. Afternoons are for fussing over the morning’s work – and paying bills.
- Andrew doesn’t know how much difference social media makes, but 2 things: 1 – Publishers now EXPECT you to have a platform and 2 – Twitter is way more fun that Facebook (fewer pet pics!)
- How soon should you let someone see the manuscript? That depends. Andrew now has a trusted editor who he can pitch before he even starts the outline. Just a sort of ‘I got this idea…’ Once the manuscript is written, he strongly advises to NOT show it to anyone until IT’S AS GOOD AS YOU CAN MAKE IT.
- Differences from the first draft to the finished product? So many. Some small, some big. It’s important to listen to notes to take criticism.
- PYPER-ism #2: The goal is to make a good book, not just your book.
- Good editors are hard to find. Find one you trust and hold on for dear life.
- PYPER-ism #3: That coat? The one with the thick skin? The best friend a writer can have.
- And the film rights were sold? Andrew said he was on the treadmill at the gym when his agent told him to keep his phone close. His agent called back to say ‘Universal. Robert Zemeckis has made an offer.’ With 5 minutes to decide, Andrew knew he only needed 5 seconds.
- Does Andrew have help? No, it’s just him although he’d love a researcher. And a valet…
Please mark April 3rd on your calendars.
Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls (reviewed by People Magazine & The New York Times) will join us from 8-9 p.m. EST. #OWCchat