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Twenty Question Interview with Evan Berke


Hello Readers,

I am super excited for this Twenty Question Interview with my friend, Evan Berke. I got to know Evan through working with him. Aside from being a talented comedian, Evan is also an engaging TV show personality currently featured on TMZ. Similar to my Author Interviews published here, these interviews started back in 2007 where I hosted famous and semi-famous creatives/comics to promote their work while having laughs in the process. Rob Delaney of the TV show Catastrophe and Paul Scheer of 30 Rock and Veep were some of my first ones published. Due to popular demand, these Q & A’s are back intermittently on here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
 
1. Where are you from?
 
I was born and spent a majority of my life in Marietta, Georgia. It’s right between Atlanta and the country. I then went to college in Charleston, South Carolina before ending up in New York.
 
2. What is your occupation?
 
I am an Associate Field Producer at TMZ. You’ll also see me pop up on the show from time to time.

3. What effort in your profession are you most proud of?

I don’t know. I am a standup comedian and I have been doing it for 8 years. As a comedian, you have to adapt and find different ways to get your personality out there and different channels and audiences. Whether its hosting, producing, acting, ect. I’m most proud that I’ve always been able to find other mediums beside standup to be a comedian and entertain people.

4. If you could, what would you change about the city you live in?

Quality of life. I want a beach with palm trees and sunshine. I want getting around to not take two hours. I don’t want to have someone clip their toe nails next to me on the subway. Okay, now I’m ranting. Next question.

5. What was the strangest thing that happened to you while commuting or traveling?
 
I always find myself talking to strangers, so I will really need to think about this. I’d have to say there was one time I was on a flight for 4 hours and spoke to the woman next to me for literally the entire time. We had just met we just chatted it up. I’m sure the people around us were pissed.

6. Of all the famous people you’ve met, who’s your most treasured?
 
When I was walking through Beverly Hills in LA, I got the chance to shake Mel Brooks’ hand and thank him for being the great legend that he is. That was such a great moment for me, and hopefully for him too.

7. If you could commit a crime and not get caught, what would it be?
 
I would steal a bunch of money. But from a bank, because it is insured and really all they need to do is print more of that green paper stuff we give value. No one gets hurt and I walk away rich.
 
8. Do you cook? If so, are you ‘Chopped’ worthy or ‘Worst Cooks’ material?
 
I don’t cook often, but I wouldn’t call myself a bad cook. My girlfriend does most of the cooking, but I do make for one hell of a sous-chef.
 
9. What quote do you live by?

“It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” — Rocky Balboa

10. What do you most admire about your creative process?
 
The part no one sees. So much goes into a finished product and the debuts and premieres. But I love those moments when everyone is worn out and tired and just wants it to be over with already. When you are pushed to your limits and you are forced to let go the idea that something needs to be perfect, but that it just needs to be unique.

11. Black, brown, red or blonde haired hottie?
 
Blonde, of course!

12. What award would you love to win?
 
People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive (LOL)

13. Favorite dessert?
 
My stepmom Shelly’s Coconut Creme Pie. So good!
 
14. What do you dislike about your profession?
 
The thing I dislike is the thing that keeps me coming back — the grind. I love it and I hate it. I’m addicted to it.

15. Do you play a music instrument or would like to learn to play?
 
I don’t play an instrument, but I would love to learn to play either the drums or piano. They are the ones usually keeping time and rhythm and I like that.

16. Favorite concert to date?
 
Phish at Madison Square Garden. I’m not even a Phish fan, but holy shit, that concert was something else.

17. If you could have a dinner date with anyone dead or alive who
would it be?

Stephen Colbert. That guy is the best.

18. Biggest pet peeve?
 
Tardiness. I’m always early and I can’t stand it when other people are late.

19. What’s your latest plug / project / promotion?
 
Well, currently I work for TMZ and I am constantly producing content and interviews. You can check it out at www.evanberke.com/tmz! A bunch of my standup comedy is there too so check it out!

20. What is the last question you would like me to ask you? Or want to ask me one?
I want to ask you one! How many interviews have you done and who would your dream interview be with?

You’re no. 87! Wow… on my blog and other publications. As for dream interview… sadly he has passed, David Bowie. For now there are many but one? Michelle Pfeiffer. I had the fortune of meeting her and would like to continue the conversation we were having… this time without a drooling boyfriend next to me (haha).

Special thanks again to Evan for taking part of my fun questionnaire! Watch him on TMZ and click here to learn more about Evan: www.evanberke.com/tmz
Twitter – @evanberke

P.s. Amazon gift card giveaway for my book reviews by September 18th. If you haven’t reviewed this book yet, Please do so now! Paperbacks are on sale for $12.99 / kindle $4.99 https://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino/dp/0615972500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501512828&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+montanino

Till next time, peace out!
Lisa

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Book Sale!

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Who doesn’t love a book sale?

If you haven’t read the Pulitzer & Nobel prize winning… wait a minute… oops… what day is it today? I meant to say Pulitzer & Nobel prize worthy novel, Feedback (listen, I can dream can’t I?) than you need to and spread the word!

Amazon – Kindle version only $2.99 and paperback $12.99!
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+montanino

From the 5 star reviews alone, you’ll ❤ it. Also, I’ll be announcing contests / prizes in the near future for new / old reviews so sit tight.

P.s. I can’t believe it’s been three years since I released this gem… full stop 🙂

Hugs,
Lisa

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner

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Have I mentioned how much I love interviewing fellow creative peers here? I probably have… actually I’m guilty and I apologize for the repetitive tones of gasconade, but as Marlene Dietrich sang “I can’t help it.” It’s a rewarding opportunity for me to interview up and coming authors (or as in the case) to seasoned veterans in the writing world. Fortunately, through a recommendation from my NY writer’s group crony, she suggested I interview these two multi-talented writers—most notably writing for famous television shows! Ayo! Both have just authored a unique novel about a baseball player’s life journey. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this one on the big screen soon.

1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
KAREN: I can vividly recall expressing my inner-most feeling thru writing at a pretty early age. Creating pages and pages of hand-written emotions and random thoughts about my life, the people in it, my observations and my desires. It never quite took the form of what was called a ‘diary’ back then, partly because I wasn’t disciplined enough to write entries on a regular basis; and partly because I didn’t want my sister, or anyone else for that matter, to find it and read it!

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
Most definitely prose.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
GENE: I guess I’d have to say, Sydney Carton, from ‘A Tale Of Two Cities.’ A man who evolved into heroic stature through self-sacrifice and the capacity to love without reservation.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
KAREN and GENE: Nora Ephron, who wrote with humor, intelligence, compassion, and most of all truth. And Bernard Malamud, for his portrayal of incredibly flawed and tragic characters. Those are the most interesting characters to write.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
KAREN and GENE: Our debut novel, a psychological work of fiction title, ‘Unraveled – A Novel.’

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
KAREN and GENE: No. Though, the novel went through an interesting series of evolutions from its original premise, ultimately we were very satisfied with our final draft and knew exactly when it was time to ‘put it out there.’

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
GENE: Write every day. Even if it’s just a few paragraphs. That is the only way to improve as a writer. Also, write from your gut. Meaning, write about something or someone you know, or have an affinity with and a passion for.
KAREN echoed Gene’s sentiments but added: But don’t isolate yourself from the incredible world around you. Fully participate in life. Remain curious and observant. And when you love – love deeply and completely.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉
GENE: From 8th grade through high school, I was in Honors English, My grades were mostly A’s, with one or two B’s along the way. In college, I got all A’s in the few English classes I enrolled in, but did not major in English in college.
KAREN: While usually doing quite well in English classes, I honestly can’t recall specific grades – but I did get an A in a post-graduate creative writing course I took at Hunter College in New York.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
GENE and KAREN: A lot. The more the better. Particularly with regard to medical and psychological references. As for locations and settings, if we didn’t feel we had sufficient, first-hand knowledge to rely on, we would travel to the locations we wanted to reference. And made a point of meeting and speaking with locals, with the goal of keeping what we write as authentic as possible, while fully cognizant of the fact that the story we were weaving was indeed fictional.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
We primarily use the computer. But notes, and sudden bursts of inspiration, more often than not, can be found scribbled on anything from scraps of paper, the back of an electric bill, or on a restaurant napkin.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
GENE: Write from your gut. Write about something you’re passionate about. And be true to your characters. It will be the most honest. Years back when I first moved to Hollywood and wanted to write for television, I sat home and wrote a handful of spec scripts, (scripts of television shows on the air that you would hope to write for, and submit them for consideration. They are also samples used to hopefully interest a literary agent). Unfortunately I wasn’t getting the responses I had hoped for. So I enrolled in a class in creative writing given by a world renowned author who said I will never open any doors by writing other writer’s television shows. He advised me to write something original. Something I was passionate about. Something that will turn heads. I did, and I’ve been writing for television for over two decades.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
GENE and KAREN: For aspiring authors, or for those avid readers curious about the art of writing itself, we would strongly suggest, Stephen King’s book, titled, ‘On Writing.’ And, as Karen is quick to suggest, ‘The Joy of Chocolate,’ by Judith Olney, if for no other reason than the Chocolate Mousse recipe on page five. After all, one must always keep in mind, an author’s muse can be found in many surprising and delicious places.

13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
GENE: I play the drums, and in my younger days, I played in various rock bands. It was a blast. Now I’d love to learn the piano.
KAREN: I’d love to play anything loud enough to drown out my singing. Truth be told, I’m so tone-deaf, I’ve been forced to resort to lip-syncing, ‘Happy Birthday’ at friends’ celebrations.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
It is currently on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com in paperback and kindle.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
KAREN: No one, really. I genuinely love my life, and wouldn’t want to miss a day of it by changing places with someone else.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
GENE: A professional baseball player. A home run hitting center fielder.
KAREN: Something in the Arts, or Astronomy. Or something that required spending a great deal of time in Paris, Venice, or on Kailua beach in Hawaii.

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
KAREN: Bill Murray, because his humor is more layered and he reaches deep when bringing a character to life on the big screen.
GENE: Bill Murray as well.
(No love for the Brits… lol)

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
GENE: A television show that I was working on some years back was chosen by the Writers Guild of America as one of their 101 top television shows of all time. That really blew my mind.
KAREN: The first time I saw my on-screen ‘Written By’ credit on television.

19. What quote do you live by?
KAREN: If not now, when?

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
GENE and KAREN: To have our novel, ‘Unraveled – A Novel’ become a best seller, enjoyed by millions, and made into a film.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
Which do you prefer? Seeing a film based on a book after you’ve read the book, or reading the book after you’ve seen the film?

Good question. For me, I used to always read the book first. But ever since I penned my own novel, Feedback (and don’t have the time to read each book that debuts) I prefer reading the book after because when I wrote my book, it was snippets of film in my head… a movie reel that I reconfigured from scenes into words. It interests me to see the interpretation visually… a possible connection to my writing process I guess 😉 I can say with certitude, 9 times out of 10 the book supersedes the movie. Rita Hayworth And Shawhank Redemption is a good example of both being equally spectacular. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s exceptions where I refuse to see the film… specifically one of my favorite books, John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany. The book was literally altered for screen (per my friends and written reviews). I’ve concluded, films that maintain the author’s words onto screen are what I favor.

I can’t thank Gene and Karen for sharing their impressive creative process with me and my readers. Keep up the boundless efforts! Please read their latest novel, Unraveled here:http://www.amazon.com/Unraveled-A-Novel-Gene-Miller-ebook/dp/B00XBECKKU

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Ben Starling

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

On and off professionally since 2000. I’m a freelance editor, working on business plans, venture capital proposals, articles published in specialist magazines and some fiction. Previously, I have written some short items and received encouragement for that but I felt my writing never really took off till quite a bit later.My upcoming novel was inspired by the loss of my partner at forty-five years of age to ovarian cancer, just thirteen weeks after her diagnosis. In the aftermath, an old friend challenged me to turn that grief into something positive. Remembering a conversation with a charismatic Polynesian fisherman (I visited there once) about his people’s vision of death and the afterlife, I began to write. The book kind of took off from there…
Here’s the blurb for the book:
What if to be with the man of your dreams… you had to give up your life? On the verge of losing her job, a side-lined journalist is forced to travel to the South Pacific to untangle a mystery where she meets a reclusive ex-boxer with a message. When a syndicate of corporate criminals invades paradise, she must either defend the island with her life or accept the plum promotion that will save her career.
Also at http://www.ben-starling.com/books/upcoming-release/

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?

Cinnamon Danishes. Which are pure poetry. I spend entirely too much time on them at the deli. Gouges holes in my writing time. In terms of the written word, however, I enjoy everything, everything. I’ve written poetry, a screenplay, a novella, short stories, non-fiction articles. There is something to learn from everything. Every form teaches something new and informs the next project’s challenges.
Poetry teaches imagery and rhythm. Short stories hone tight scene writing. Novels need structure and pace. Structure and pace lift poetry. My upcoming novel even includes a poem!

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Bertie Wooster of P.G. Wodehouse fame. Brilliant characterisation. A hero with a good heart and good intentions – and a wonderful knack for disaster with Honoria Glossop.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

Well, I don’t think I am anything like Hemingway but he was a boxer who loved the ocean as I do, so that’s something in common. And he lived in Florida Keys where I spent a lot of time in my teens and early 20s.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

Right now I’m working on a series of prequel short stories to be released from September 21, 2015. They are set in the same world as my upcoming novel.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?

At this point no, as I’ve juuuust finished. But I’ll probably be close to changing something tomorrow. In a month or two, I’m sure I will want to change everything!

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

I spend a lot of time in contemplation before I begin and even cover my wall with postits itemising plot tidbits I’d like to include in a tentative order. Then I ignore it all and begin to write!
The other imperative is to walk near water regularly. If you don’t have a stream, fill up your bath! Water is the best conduit to inspiration.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉

Quite good to my own and everyone else’s surprise. Particularly to my older brother’s who had hoped to beat me. I was once given a special award for literature in high school.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?

A lot. I am a bit obsessive when it comes to researching oceans – and my upcoming novel is set in a marine environment. I wanted to get it right.
But I also enjoy the research so much that days can pass as I follow up on details. Time very enjoyably spent though.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Papyrus and quill. With humanely-acquired (the tickle method) octopus ink.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Swim 60 lengths every morning before writing.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?

There’s a groundbreaking novel by Ben Starling coming out on January 21, 2016 (title reveal coming soon) that I could recommend highly.

13. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
I was bemused by flute lessons as a child for an astonishingly brief period of time. I was also incarcerated in choir hall daily after school for many years.
However, I would like to play the violin – it’s the most romantic instrument I can think of. Just once I’d like to bring tears someone’s eye through the beauty of music. I brought tears to the eyes of my flute teacher, but that was an entirely different story…

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?

My novel will be released by Edington Press on Amazon and Smashwords.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?

The little black cat I found on the wall during my walk today. She mewled at me and I stroked her back after she jumped down and wound through my legs. She was feline fine.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?

I’d like to be an artist. It’s another delicious mode of thinking. But even if I weren’t a writer… I’d still want to be one!

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?

Chevy Chase. It’s such an excellent name. His full name is actually “Cornelius Crane Chevy Chase”. Wow.
Palin. He’s known for his travel expertise. I like that.

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)

The way three of the plots/subplots in my novel came together at the end seemingly without any direction from me at all. I had been struggling with a plot snarl for days and suddenly it all crystallized before me. It felt like shooting the rapids in a white water raft for the very first time.

19. What quote do you live by?

“Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” – Albus Dumbledore

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)

To be recognised with formal awards and prizes is important to many. But for me, I’d like to be sitting in a café at the edge of a park one day and see someone sitting on the grass across the way reading my book, smiling. That would be the best.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?

Certainly. Lisa, what’s your writing style? Are you a plotter or a “pants-ter”?
I would say I’m more pantster than plotter… a ratio of 75% former and 25% latter. My writing style is a visual image in my head, sort of like a movie reel with scene snippets that helps build the character and surroundings as I write, creating the story. It’s not traditional, but it’s a natural gravitation for me.

Special thanks to Ben for participating in what’s turning out to be an enjoyable and informative interview series here. I’m thankful to have met Ben and other fellow authors on Goodreads. I’m eagerly awaiting Ben’s upcoming novel, which is sure to be exceptional. Keep up with this talented writer at his websites:

http://www.ben-starling.com
http://www.goodreads.com/ben-starling
http://www.twitter.com/benstarlingauth
http://www.facebook.com/authorbenstarling
http://www.facebook.com/ben.starling.author
http://www.pinterest.com/benstarlingauth
http://www.instagram.com/benstarlingauthor
http://www.youtube.com/user/benstarlingauthor
http://www.google.com/+benstarlingauthor

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With David Carter

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
When I was ten I used to design and write a “newspaper” just for the family – I’d spend hours designing the complicated masthead and would then “write” the lead story (full of family gossip and scandal) with suitably graphic large headlines, and to my amazement the family would seize it as soon as it was finished, and would demand to know when “the next issue was coming out” so I guess that instinct to write (and probably show off!) was always there in me somewhere.

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
Definitely prose, I appreciate good poetry, but that’s as far as it goes, though I did write some poetry to a young woman on one occasion, and it seemed to do the trick – so maybe I should have concentrated on that a little more!

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Good question. There are so many, but I guess George Smiley, John Le Carré’s brilliant character – I wish I had created him, and maybe Jack Reacher too, in the books, not the film, for he is such a strong modern day Robin Hood type character, the Knight Errant as Lee Child refers to him, that I guess we all wish we could meet when we’re in trouble. They’re the two that spring to mind.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
Not sure that I identify with any writer particularly, but I admire John Grisham enormously. We are around the same age and that always helps, we’ve travelled the same road, vaguely speaking, and he just keeps churning out good books that people want to read, and I guess that is what all writers really want, even if they deny it. And he started out by self-publishing his first book too, so that’s a great incentive to all self-publishers everywhere. It really can happen. You can achieve success that way.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
I have just finished and put out a novella this month called “Down into the Darkness” about a loner of a guy who leads a happy, if pretty dull life, when everything changes for him when he hears unexplained noises in his flat late at night, and Tony Jenks, that’s his name, begins his journey down into oblivion. There’s a book trailer up on youtube if you’re interested. It has been described as “intelligent horror” by one reviewer – I’m not sure about that, I certainly didn’t set out to write a horror story, but as Graham Greene used to say, “I have to read the critics’ reviews before I ever really know what my books are all about” – or words to that effect. I have also another book ready and completed that I hope to have out in a month or so called “Grist Vergette’s Curious Clock” – this is a YA kind of thing, and that’s all done and dusted, and after that I have two new chunky Inspector Walter Darriteau murder mysteries finished and done, and I am hoping that they will also be out this year, so 2015 is an important year for me with hopefully four new titles all out there.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
I am tempted to say to cut out the last spelling mistake or typo, or two, that always seem to slip through, no matter how many times it is proofread and edited, but that’s part of the game – I see so many spelling mistakes in top publishers’ books all the time, so I have learned not to beat myself up over it. It’s still annoying though when some cocky reviewer comments: “needs more proofreading” or similar, when they have found one error in a 150,000 word book. They would never dream of saying that about anything published by a traditional publishing house, even though those same errors are there if you care to look for them. Rant over, I thank you. But no, I wouldn’t change anything of the main gist of the story.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
I am not sure I am qualified to give advice to anyone, but if I had to I will go along with Stephen King who says in his excellent book “On Writing” to read more – and that is such good advice because our writing will always improve afterwards. I can’t believe the number of “writers” who say: they never read anything because they simply don’t have the time. Poppycock! As Mister King says, if you don’t have the time to read, then you don’t have the time to write. Period. So watch less TV and read more, and your writing will definitely improve.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉
When I was 11, 12, 13, my grades were brilliant and I was at, or near, the top of the class, English being one of my favourite subjects, don’t laugh! But after that I became so obsessed with what was going on on the sports field that I neglected my studies, played football and cricket at every single opportunity, got into big trouble with the teachers, and yes, regularly had my backside heartily warmed by the swinging bamboo cane – sounds Dickensian, but that’s how it was, and there were certain teachers who took great pleasure in swinging that cane hard and high, that’s for damn sure – I could tell you some stories about that!!!
Afterwards, the kids used to show off their bruised and cut backsides to each other as if they were some kind of war medals. Geez!! And my grades went to pot, (so yes, shameful later, for sure.) and I left school at fifteen, and of course I regret neglecting my schoolwork now, but that’s how it went. None of us can change the past.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
Quite a bit – but the internet is so brilliant for that, ask it a question and back come a thousand answers in a millisecond – imagine having to trek to the library and find the right book and find the right info in that book, and copy it all down, every time you wanted to research anything, which of course was how it was all done 25 years ago – and don’t start me off on the policy of closing public libraries as economy measures, left right and centre. If ever there was a short-sighted policy that must be the one.
I saw a library closure the other day in Southampton and there were dozens of young kids outside on a Saturday morning, standing in the drizzle, toddlers some of them, in tears, because their beloved library was shutting down for good that day, and that was in a big city too. Ludicrous!

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I love writing in longhand, always have, believe it or not we did “Penmanship” in school as a separate subject, and I do still write letters sometimes using a fountain pen – yes, with real ink! And do you know something else? People love to receive such old fashioned things, especially love letters – give it a try!!! You might be surprised.
But for writing a book or anything long then it has to be by computer, but beware of automatic spellcheckers, though I have yet again worn off most of the letters on the keys, and that’s because I used to use a mammoth old typewriter that you had to strike the keys really hard to get the desired result, and I still do, bang the keys with gusto. Old habits die hard!! Now where is that damned B key again?

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Same as I said earlier by Mister King, read more, oh, and don’t give up, and don’t let bad reviews upset you. I wrote an outright business textbook once and someone posted a review that said: This book is downright dangerous!
I am still not sure whether that was good or bad.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
Gosh! I am not sure that any book ever written would be suitable for everyone to read, but how about Watership Down which is kind of an adult’s fairy tale that most people like, even if it does make you cry.

13. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
Not really, is the quick answer to that, though we did have a piano in the house that my mother used to play, and she taught me to play one tune – “Abide with Me” which for those that don’t know is always sung before the football cup final, – there’s that sporty thing again – I guess that’s why I bothered to learn that.
My brother’s the musical one in our family – be plays the saxophone, used to play in the school band, and also plays guitar, in fact he can play almost anything, and we sit and watch and listen with great envy, and when he bought a new guitar he gave me his old one, and I learned to play and sing – (if that’s the right word – caterwaul some say!) one song: Home Home on the Range, which I sang and played very badly to distraction – must have driven them all mad. Stick to the writing, Dave, they said, so I did, and I do.
But all my musical heroes have been guitar people from Dylan, Lennon, Hendrix, Neil Young, through Joy Division, right up to Interpol and Jake Bugg, so it would have to be a guitar for me – and the ability to play it, really well.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
Self publishing for me – and yes, like thousands of others I spent years, literally, sending my stuff out to publishers and sometimes hearing back and sometimes not, and some of those “books” literally sat under my bed for ten years or more, and I showed them to a few people and they said nice things about them, as friends do, so I thought, to hell with it, I’ll put them out and if people like them that’s great, and if they don’t, then I’ll keep writing a better book until they do. That’s the theory, anyway. I’ll tell you in a year or two if it’s working.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
How about that lunatic in North Korea, and in that week I’d open the borders, abolish censorship, and drag the whole country into the 21st century. That would be an achievement worth doing. Not sure about the haircut, though.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
When I was at school I wanted to be a teacher, but I’m glad I didn’t have the stickability to follow through on that – the idea of standing in front of thirty streetwise kids today would drive me to drink. A sports journalist would have been nice, travelling to World Cups and Olympic Games, that would have been something.

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
Bill Murray and John Cleese please. I still like Mister Palin too.

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
I used to write a weekly column in a business magazine, and got paid for it too, and the very first time I saw my words and name in print, that was really something, and I was bitten by the bug, and I still get a real thrill whenever anything that I have banged out, so to speak, appears anywhere.

19. What quote do you live by?
Not sure as I am big on quotes and slogans, but: Do As You Would Be Done By seems to fit the bill.
Oh, and one other very important one: Have fun!

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
Like all writers I would like to see one of my books in the top twenty sales charts one day, and anyone who says different is telling porky pies. A couple of years ago I saw John Grisham in London and he was receiving an award for outstanding achievements in literature, and he said that this was the first award he had ever received anywhere, from anyone, and he was really humble about it, and was obviously very grateful too, and I thought for this guy who had sold gazillions of books around the world, and had kept at it over many years, and yet even he had never really received the recognition he thoroughly deserved, that just didn’t seem right.
It just goes to show that unlike our movie stars and musical geniuses, who we adore and applaud, we simply do not value our top writers anywhere near enough. As someone recently said, a singer can write a song in twenty minutes that can keep them in clover forever, yet a writer can spend ten years writing a great book, that is all too often ignored. Support the writers more, I say.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
Yes. How are you getting on with a follow up to “Feedback”? And a big thank you to Lisa for giving me this opportunity to talk about my writing and stuff, and I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time and bored the pants off you with my rambling thoughts. Have fun, for the clock is ticking. David.

You are very welcome, it’s my pleasure to interview with you. As for the sequel to Feedback I am progressing a bit slower than I’d prefer since other fun projects and travel are in the mix… so no complaints. I’m hoping for an early 2016 release date. Thanks for asking.

Thanks again to David for sharing his thoughts with us. David is one of the many UK writers I’ve grown to admire in the last year. Once you read his books (and links below), you’ll see why!

http://www.amazon.com/David-Carter/e/B005BA7P2K/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://www.amazon.com/Down-into-Darkness-David-Carter-ebook/dp/B00W4B2MFE

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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#WriterWednesday’s Winner – Jennie M.!

Congratulations to Jennie M. for winning a $50.00 amazon gift card! Very thankful to her thoughtful five-star review:

“I am a big fan of music and the references made to certain artists and songs brought me back to my twenties when the music was great! I had many laugh out loud moments with her dialog with her interns which brought me back to my internships and how carefree I was then. I guess you could say it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. There were times when I was Claire!!! Absolutely loved the book and looking forward to a sequel.”

Thanks to all the reviewers so far, and best of luck on winning the next contest soon! To participate, please add a review here:

http://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino-ebook/dp/B00J7PTQJU/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Almost a year to the day I published my book, Feedback. Buy it now on sale at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino/dp/0615972500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425999613&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+montanino

If you haven’t read it yet, it’s on sale now. I have a very good feeling from the reviews alone, you’ll like what you read. Please let me know your thoughts/review it!

Happy Tuesday / xo-Lisa

 
 

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