APW: DYI Interview – Delin Colón

Name: Delin Colón

Email Address:

What is your blog URL?

What is your website URL?

What is the contact information you are willing to share?
Email: delincolon@yahoo.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RasputinandTheJews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/delincolon

Where and/or when were you born?
Born in New Jersey in 1950

What schools did you attend?
What was your course of study?

I’ve attended American University, University of Maryland, l’Université de Montréal, McGill University, San Francisco State Univ., and California State U. at Los Angeles.

As an undergraduate, I majored in French and in graduate school I studied Clinical Psychology.

When and how did you discover you wanted to be an author?
I grew up in an artists’ colony. Many were writers. During the holidays, some would hold open houses and those who wrote children’s books would allow us to pick one.

When I was 8 years old, I began writing poetry and chronicling my experience as an appendectomy patient. After that, I was hooked.

Are you a published author? Yes

Please list your published material, with dates?
When I was young, various literary reviews published a number of my poems and several articles.

“Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History” is my first published book and came out in April, 2011.

Is your book available? From where?
My book is available on Amazon, in both paperback and on Kindle. It’s also available at Barnes & Noble and on Nook. Most online bookstores offer it and it’s also available by order at independent bookstore.

Please tell about your first publication – what was it, when, how you felt when it happened, problems you may have had, etc.
“Rasputin and The Jews” rehabilitated Rasputin’s image. The book details how Rasputin was demonized by the anti-Semitic aristocracy for advocating equal rights for the oppressed Jews of Czarist Russia.

I first learned about it from the published memoirs, in French, of my great-great uncle who was Rasputin’s secretary. Originally, I was just going to publish a translation of his memoirs and I had an interested editor at U.C. Berkeley Press. After he read the translation, he pointed out that if I was out to vindicate Rasputin, much of the court gossip that my ancestor included diminished that point.

So, I had to reconsider my format. I spent the next decade researching the autobiographies of people who lived in Russia at that time, as well as other biographies of Rasputin, and was pleasantly surprised to find that nearly all of them mentioned his advocacy of equal rights for Jews.

I used the research to support my thesis and when I completed the book, I didn’t want to wait for publisher responses, so I self-published (POD).  I was fortunate enough to get wonderful editorial and reader reviews, after many queries, including one in the New York Journal of Books which, typically, doesn’t review self-published work.

Please tell us about the most memorable moments in your career.
My first moments of delight came when I found many sources supporting Rasputin’s vindication.

Of course, holding the first published copy in my hands was another memorable moment. When the positive reviews started flowing in, I was beside myself.

But my greatest joy was connecting with the granddaughter of Rasputin’s secretary (an unknown cousin) and with Rasputin’s great-granddaughter.  They grew up together and were very excited about my book.

What problems have you encountered in your career and how did you deal with them?
The greatest problem, shared by many self-published authors, is the stigma that exists when one doesn’t use a traditional publisher.  I felt the only solution for marketing was to garner as many reviews as I could, from the most credible sources I could find, as well as doing as many interviews as possible.

Social networking, to which I was initially resistant, is very instrumental. I was pleasantly surprised to find how supportive other authors are, and how willing they are to promote each other. It is, however, a full-time task that is more time-consuming (and ongoing) than the finite task of writing a book.  The results, however, are undeniable.

Did an established writer mentor you in your early days?  If yes, how did the mentor help you?
Yes, I’ve had a couple of mentors. In my early years, I was fortunate enough to encounter professional poets who were very generous with their knowledge.

About 20 years ago, I also joined a writers’ workshop, spearheaded by a published author, as well as attended by some very talented people, and spent several years learning via invaluable critiques.

What genre do you most often write?
I love the detective work of research. This is most conducive to the historical non-fiction genre that I seem to be attracted to.

What other genres have you written?
I’ve written some poetry, in the distant past, but have not been bitten by that bug in recent years.  I’ve also written a few short stories that I’ve simply shelved.  I just feel most comfortable in the non-fiction genre.

Who are the authors who most influenced your writing and career?
Tom Wolfe is one of the best writers of non-fiction. I’ve been very influenced by the way he can suck you right into the subculture he writes about, as if you’re an eyewitness.  I’ve also enjoyed Studs Terkel’s work.

Lately, I’ve taken some cues from Mitch Albom’s work, both fiction and non-fiction.

Who are the authors your read most often?
The fiction authors I really love are Tom Robbins, John Irving, Larry McMurtry, Mitch Albom and Anne Tyler.

However, I most often read non-fiction for the books I’m researching (Jewish history) and, generally, have little time for other reading.

What advice would you give to all up-and-coming writers?
I would tell any writers to throw themselves into the work, whether fiction or non.  Worrying about the business of writing can interfere with and remove oneself from the process of writing. There’s plenty of time, once the work is complete, to think about how to publish, the marketing, the audience, etc. The only other thing I would recommend is to edit, edit, and edit some more.

What is the name of your current project?
True Stories From The Pale of Settlement

What is the expected release date?
Early 2013

What is the genre?
Historical non-fiction

Is this work a stand-alone or part of a series?

Do you have any project(s) planned for the future? Yes

Please provide some details of the project(s).
“True Stories From The Pale of Settlement” will illustrate the common experience of Jews in Czarist Russia, who were confined to the ghetto called The Pale of Settlement and were deprived of all civil rights. While it is enlightening to read the experience of one person, my book will show a communal experience, via the stories of many who were there.

What is the anticipated release date?
Early 2013

Are you involved in publishing in any other capacity?
Editor, Reviewer

Happy Writing,


PS: Please take a few minutes to read the Wedding Chapter – Edit2 from my soon-to-be-published book (2012) ‘Janelle’s Time.’  You’ll meet Richard and Janelle Grayson, the newlyweds, AND, meet Duke Logan Conor (he crashes the wedding) from my upcoming book, ‘Logan’s Time.’

Posted on April 5, 2012, in Adelle, Adelle's Time, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, books, Dayna Leigh Cheser, DIY Interviews, edit, Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, indie bookstores, interview, Janelle, Janelle's Time, Logan, Logan's Time, memoirs, Moria, Moria's Time, NaNoWriMo, online bookstores, queries, reviews, Richard, self-publishing, social media, TIME Series, traditional publishing, Twitter, Wedding Chapter, writer's workshop, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on APW: DYI Interview – Delin Colón.

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