JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Craig A. Hart, author of The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual
One thing every writer wants is the opportunity to improve their craft, to hone their skills, and create the most dazzling prose possible. “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual” is just what you need. Maybe you’ve been away from the game for a while, struggle with a certain aspect of writing, or perhaps you just want to put your skills up on the rack and give them a good tuning. Filled with 35 targeted exercises, The Writer’s Tune-up Manual will help you do all these things by expanding your writing savvy in five specific areas: Character Development, Dialogue, Point of View, Description and Setting, and Plot.
The exercises in “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual” are more than just writing prompts; you can find those anywhere. No, “The Manual” gives you a real opportunity to flex your literary muscles by laying out detailed, often difficult assignments. Nobody said that becoming the best writer you can would be easy, so roll up your sleeves, flex your fingers, and get ready to take your writing to a whole new level!
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual”?
Craig A. Hart: I got the inspiration for “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual” largely as a result of seeing a huge number of submissions in the course of my work as a publisher and editor. After awhile, you begin spotting ongoing problems with manuscripts, issues that often keep a piece from being accepted. “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual” seeks to address the most common of those issues.
JP: What sets “The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual” apart from other books in the same genre?
CAH: I think a lot of writing exercise books take the shotgun approach. In other words, it seems that quantity trumps quality. In “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual”, I chose to strive for narrowly targeted exercises, each of which addresses a certain writing element. Writers are busy people and don’t have time to go through 1,000 different exercises anyway. In my opinion, it’s far better to focus on specific issues. Not that I’m biased, of course. 😉
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual” getting out to the public?
CAH: Becoming personally involved with the public, including the writing community, is vital to success. For example, simply sending out endless tweets that say “Buy my book!” isn’t going to work. You have to take the time to build a quality platform that engages people on a personal level.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual”?
CAH: The timeline varies from project to project. “The Writer’s Tune-up Manual” probably took about six months from beginning to end.
The process itself also changes with each different endeavor. Sometimes it begins with a sudden idea, and I work through until the end. Other times it comes much more slowly, and I work on it sporadically along with other projects.
JP: What’s next for Craig A. Hart?
CAH: I am currently writing a novel entitled “Mosquito Bay”, a coming-of-age story about a boy named Jimmy. It’s a gritty tale, but honest, as we watch Jimmy struggle to grow up in the shadow of depression and an oppressive religious upbringing.
In the meantime, I am continuing as editor-in-chief of The Rusty Nail literary magazine.