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The 10 Best Bookstores in New York!

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https://bestthingsny.com/bookstores/

I’ve been to 8 of these, hope to scratch off Buffalo & Ithaca soon. Road trip anyone? Support your local bookstore gems 🙂

Happy Friday!
LDM

 
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Posted by on June 9, 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 Elisa Koopmans

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Perceived Threat Front Cover - May 2015
I had the pleasure of meeting Elisa outside of the Port Jefferson Library, she kindly led me in the right direction of the event where we were both being featured as New York authors in May. It was a lovely time at the event meeting locals, fans, and many of Long Island’s literary finest.
 
1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
 
Professionally, about thirty years ago when I became an attorney. However, the writing was legal and technical, mostly Wills, Trust Agreements, Powers of Attorney and contracts. There was no creativity in those documents. My first real pen to paper experience with fiction occurred about four years ago when I started writing Perceived Threat, a political thriller and “whodunit” murder mystery. 
 
2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
 
Prose, especially murder mystery.
 
3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
 
Merryweather, one of the three fairies in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She is the one in blue. I like her because she is kind, caring and full of love, but she is also feisty, determined and assertive when the situation calls for it. She has spunk and perseveres no matter what problem befalls her.
 
4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
 
Agatha Christie. She is a master of the “whodunit.” I love it when the reader has no idea who did it until Miss Marple or Hercule Peirot reveal the murderer at the end of the story. 
 
5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
 
On June 19, I was awarded a New York Book Festival award for Perceived Threat, so that was my most recent project with the book. I am currently marketing Perceived Threat, as it was only released on April 28. During any spare time I can find, I work on my next novel, No One Will Ever Know, which is another murder and mystery story, but entirely different than Perceived Threat.
 
6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
 
Yes, I would change the quote at the beginning of the book. I like the quote, but the other day I stumbled upon another quote that is absolutely perfect. It was said by Henry David Thoreau in 1951: “It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” Since the main theme of Perceived Threatis perception, this quote concisely captures the concept of perception and hints at what lies in the text of the book.
 
7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
 
Take your writing projects one sentence at a time. That way, the project will not overwhelm you.
 
8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉
 
I received As in most of my work in English, although I had no particular interest in or intrigue with creative writing at that time.
 
9. How much research do you do for your writing?
 
Lots. Even though the story is fiction, I want as much reality as possible in the story. I think that helps to bring the story to life. For example, Perceived Threat takes place primarily in Washington, DC. I extensively researched the neighborhoods of DC so that places I mention are real and accurately portrayed.
 
10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
 
I write on a computer, but since my computer is not with me all the time, when I get a story idea and I am away from my computer, I resort to handwritten notes.
 
11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
 
My father taught me that “you never fail until you stop trying.” Albert Einstein said it, but my father lives it.
 
12.  What book do you think everyone should read?
 
The Bible, especially the new testament for specific guidance on the right way to treat others in life.
 
 13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
 
I did play the clarinet from 6th grade through high school, but I have not played it since graduation, although I still have it. The instrument that I would love to learn to play is my voice – my vocal cords – as I wish I could sing. My singing voice is terrible, but I love to sing. Consequently, I sing often when I am alone.
 
14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
 
I read The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine who owns Hillcrest Media in Minneapolis, which is a publishing company. It has various imprints, some of which are exclusively for self-publishing authors and others under which they publish traditionally. I wanted a publisher that produced the same quality as a traditional publisher even though I was paying the costs directly. One of my two editors used to work for Simon & Schuster. Mark’s book is a great marketing tool for his company because it sold me on publishing with him. My publishing process lasted one year.
 
15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
 
Richard Castle. I realize he is a fictional television character, but he is a highly successful, best-selling murder mystery writer who leads an exciting life in New York City. I would love to experience his success as an author for a week.
 
16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
I would be an attorney, and I am. Truth be told, I would rather be a full-time author than a full-time attorney.
 
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
 
Bill Murray, as he generally seems to be a sincere person. John Cleese because he can equally as well be hilarious or serious in his acting.
 
18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
Being selected this month as one of the award winners of the New York Book Festival where the criteria is two-fold: the storytelling of the author has to be outstanding and the book has to have the potential for wide public recognition. It is rewarding to have someone you do not know personally tell you your book is fantastic.
  
19.  What quote do you live by?
 
“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up … discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” Eleanor Roosevelt
 
20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
 
To find my novels on the New York Times best sellers list and to have that result in thousands of my books being bought by avid readers who love my books. Quite a goal, right?!
    
21. Would you like to ask me a question?
 
Yes. What do you find is the best free marketing tool for an author’s book?
WordPress blog (shameless plug for my author interviews), twitter, and Facebook hands down.
 
Congratulations to Elisa for her award winning success at the New York Book Festival, such an honor! I can’t wait to read Elisa’s book, be sure to pick up your copy of Perceived Threat. Just have to give a shout to your book cover Elisa, very visually appetizing… keep up the great work.
 
 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Linda Westphal

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

Not long ago I was digging through a box of mementos from my childhood and found a short story I had written in fourth grade. I had forgotten about the story until I found it. The original draft must have had some emotional residue, because as I focused on the somewhat artistic cover page and the handwritten words, a flood of emotional memories came back to me of how much care and attention I had put into the story and the pride I felt when I handed it to my teacher.

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

I love fiction, and can read almost any genre, as long as the writer’s writing voice agrees with me (clear, simple).

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Charlotte A. Cavatica, in E. B. White’s famous tale CHARLOTTE’S WEB, is pretty amazing. She’s smart and a good friend.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

Not long ago I discovered author M. J. Rose. As I learned more about her, I was surprised how much we have in common: we both have a background in advertising; she writes about topics that interest me (perfume, Paris, reincarnation); her writing style is easy and lyrical; she likes to write description. Recently, I read that developing characters is difficult for her – I have the same trouble when I write fiction.

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

I’m always working on something, and recently started thinking about my next story. I’m the type of person who jots down ideas as they happen – this is the beginning of the writing process for me. Some of the ideas I write down resonate with me more than others, but I consider all of them when it’s time to sit down and write a very rough flow of the story.

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

No. A lot of work went into writing THE MEDIUM and THE HERMIT BOOKSTORE, and I would not have released them on Jan. 1, 2015 if I thought anything needed to be changed. My writing goal is: Write feel-good stories and encourage readers to use books as a way to relax and indulge in the meditative experience of reading. When I was ready to published both books, I had reached my goal.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Here are a few tips that have worked for me – Read every day. Read and study well-written text (fiction, nonfiction). Develop your writing voice (it’s more important than you think). Don’t let the “writing rules” bog you down when you’re writing the first draft; they don’t matter when you’re writing the story, only when you’re editing the story. And if you’re like me and have too many ideas, narrow your list down to your top five, then your top three, and weave the top three into your story.

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

English class was easy for me, which I loved, because everyone I knew was good at something (math, debate, sports). My thing was English.

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

Yikes! Here’s where I get into trouble, because it’s hard for me to stop researching topics that interest me. I have to force myself to stop researching and jump into the story.

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

I write on my Apple MacBook Pro laptop. I don’t write story paragraphs or scenes longhand, because I can type faster than I can write. My ideas for the story, however, are captured on paper in longhand and as voice memos on my iPhone.

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

You’re a writer. Keep at it. Don’t worry about what other people think.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?

The book’s title is TRAVELS, written by the late Michael Crichton. It’s a collection of memories from his travel adventures early in his life – both outer travel to places such as Bangkok, Kilimanjaro, Malaysia, and Jamaica (when people rarely traveled to these places) and inner travel (his personal spiritual exploration). His experiences are not only fascinating, but you’ll learn a little about yourself when you read this book. He was such a great writer. He starts the book with this sentence: “It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw.” (referring to his days as a medical student).

13. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?

A few years ago I purchased a hand-carved Native American flute that was made specifically for me. The sound is very soothing and I love to play it. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano. Like the flute, I think piano music is soothing.

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

Whew! This is a big question. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version . . . I published both books, THE MEDIUM and THE HERMIT BOOKSTORE, at the same time (Jan. 1, 2015). It made sense to do all the work once instead of twice (both drafts were ready at the same time). I worked with a wonderfully talented editor (Patricia Peters) who line edited both stories. From there I did a final polish of the drafts, created the book covers, and published them as ebooks on Amazon. A few weeks later I made them available at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and bookstores around the world (via IngramSpark). Readers are now able to choose their favorite bookstore and format (paperback or ebook).

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

Wouldn’t it be fun to be Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, for one week? I’ve always wanted to hear and see what a psychic experiences.

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

Anything? In my teen years I wanted to be a choreographer, like what Paula Abdul used to do.

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

Chevy Chase, because he was very funny in the movie Christmas Vacation. I had to Google John Cleese and Michael Palin (John who? Michael who?) . . . sorry, neither.

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

Well, I’m a new fiction writer (published Jan. 1, 2015), so I’m still waiting for my moment. However, I’ve been a published nonfiction writer since 1990 and am proud to say that during those writing years I had many rewarding accomplishments. I look forward to the same success as a fiction writer.

19. What quote do you live by?

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas A. Edison

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

I used to think I wanted Nicholas Sparks’s writing career. Now I wouldn’t mind being a hugely popular self-published author whose stories are made into films.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?

Yes! What do you enjoy most about living in NYC?

Great question. What’s not to love about it? Each surrounding area has an authentic vibe. The convenience alone is astounding… plus the people here are exceptional with straightforwardness being one of their best traits. My only qualm is the harsh winters.

Thanks again to Linda for interviewing with me! Linda’s hard work and talent are to be relished. You can find more info about Linda Westphal here:

Website – http://lindawestphal.com/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5281039.Linda_Westphal
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Author_Westphal
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/author.westphal
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LindaWestphalAuthor/posts

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With David Carter

david carter
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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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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Author Interview With Lauren Lynne

Author Interview With Lauren Lynne.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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