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Bill Mares // Word Carver

words Lin Stone // photo Craig Thomas

What are the challenges and opportunities for today’s writers?

“If you aren’t primarily concerned about writing for money and expenses, but chiefly want to have your thoughts laid down and read by others, then I think there have never been more opportunities. Self-publishing and vanity presses used to be a pejorative term – it was like selling sex at the back of the NY Times; but now, it’s quite acceptable.”

What advice might you offer?

“My advice for people who want to write and make a lot of money? I don’t have any advice for them! I think that the huge challenge is that more and more people are writing books for a public that reads less and less. But if, as Rilke says, you’ve heard a voice awaken you at 4am and tell you to write—then make sure you have a good story to tell—because otherwise, why should anyone else read you?”

What is your perspective on the dramatic changes and shifting landscape in the publishing world?

“Writing is tough. I look upon it as a craft, much like furniture making or any other serious hobby: learn to be a master craftsman and plane, sand, and oil your story. Have a good story to tell and love language – manipulating sounds, words, and ideas. Finding the right word, as Twain says, is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Then find a good editor, like my wife, who’ll tell you the truth early on. Start with that. Many writers want it to be a painless process, but it’s not. I’m a Calvinist on this.”

Check out Bills books at Wind Ridge Books of Vermont.