Q&A With Eric Beetner
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Q&A With Eric Beetner
Today’s Q&A is with crime novelist Eric Beetner. On top of being a crime novelist he’s a Film/TV editor & producer and a recovering musician according to his instagram bio.
Q: What made you decide to write crime novels? At what point did you realize you wanted to be an author?
A: I’ve written since I was very young. Not too long ago I found an old story my Dad had saved form when I was 10 and it was a crime story, so I guess I had it in me all along. When my reading started to really consolidate around crime and mystery fiction that’s when I knew those were the books I’d like to write.
Q: What advice do you have for anyone wanting to pursue being an author as a career? What advice do you give to anyone struggling with writers block?
A: It’s a tough time to be an author. One the one hand, with self publishing, it’s easier than ever to have a book out if that’s all you want out of it. But to make a living at it is extraordinarily difficult. So the advice I’d give is to not expect to make your living writing, but don’t let that stop you either. Learn how to write in your spare time, in the time you carve out to do it. Make it a priority, and if you truly love it and have the discipline to find the time then you might have a shot. If you can’t make time around your job and family and other activities, then you might not be dedicated enough. But if you know you’ll likely be writing on the side for your whole time or at least a long while before you can write exclusively, then you get in the good habits of being efficient with your writing time and that will only benefit you as you grow.
Q: I love that authors can multi task and do other projects whether its blogging, podcasts, journalism etc. How do you juggle being an author with being a Film/TV editor?
A: If you are truly a writer at heart, you make the time. I write at night after my family has gone to bed and the house is quiet. I stay up too late many nights, sometimes I pay the price for that. But I truly love it and if I want to produce the work I know I need to make the space in my life. I’m lucky that I have a creative day job so my mind is active all day long. I don’t have to shift gears from a dull cubicle day job into a creative head space. My whole world is storytelling and structure so it makes a natural transition when I sit down to write because I’ve been in warm-up mode all day.
Q: Can you explain to the readers of this blog and I what it is Film/TV Editors do since you are one? It sounds pretty important and impressive but I never knew specifically what it is.
A: I work on mostly unscripted shows so nothing is written down. I get hundreds of hours of footage and a basic idea of what is needed and then I have to dig in and build the story from those pieces. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle but you only have a vague idea of what the final picture looks like, and you often find pieces that you make fit into the final outcome, and those are the exciting moments.
For scripted cutting, you are going through all the takes of a performance to build the best and most consistent performance for the actors, cutting out anything that isn’t necessary and working to pace the scenes and the way the scenes fit up against each other. Often times it seems like magic, even to us. The juxtaposition of shots and scenes adds up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is thrilling to see unfold at your fingertips every day.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little about it?
A: I just finished a new one I am excited about. It takes place in southern Ohio in 1962 and opens with a teenage girl showing up to the deputy sheriff’s house in a downpour to confess she killed a man in self defense. It gets complicated from there as the deputy tries to keep the girl safe from people who want their own justice for what she did. It’s also a bit of a coming of age story with his son a witness to all this, so it has heart. I really like it and I hope we can get it out there soon.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your novels, and if so are you the Film/TV Director on that project?
A: Not yet, though I’ve had some interest. Working in the business, all my novels are written to be easily adapted to the screen. My work is often called “cinematic” and I agree. I think several are tailor made for Hollywood. I’m sitting by the phone. Call me!