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Author Interview with Amber Batdorf

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I began enjoying creative writing in middle school. This is when I began to feel pride in my work and was first published in an anthology. Since then, it has been my dream to be a traditionally published author.

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

I would have to go with prose.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Elinor Dashwood. I feel I am oftentimes more of a Marianne, but I really wish I could have Elinor’s elegance and grace.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

I don’t really know how to answer this question. I guess I would have to say I most identify with any YA author promoting a heroine worth looking up to. 

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

I currently have a blog (amberbatdorf.com) that I attempt to update regularly. It’s mostly anecdotal; about my crazy life, but with the occasional writing update or excerpt. 

I am also finishing the second draft of my first, full-length novel Becca’s War. It is the story of a girl fighting both inside and outside of herself – battling the ideals she’s been raised with versus the truths she sees around her. 

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

I don’t know if I really, consciously change anything from first draft to second. I start with a general idea of the story I want to tell, but as my characters grow and develop, they take control of the story and make their own decisions – whether I like it or not. 

This story has become something I’m really proud of and I don’t think it could have come about any other way. 

7. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Just get it down! I give this advice to anyone who tells me they wish to write.

No one can tell your story but you. If you have a story in you, just get it out from start to finish. You can always add, polish, or embellish when editing drafts. The most important thing is to just get it out. Then the hard part is done and you can rejoice in the fact that you just wrote a poem, novel, etc.

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

My grades were always great in English class because I love to read and I get really into literary theory. I shied away from creative writing classes because the idea of peer critique freaked me out, but I really wish I had taken more of them. It would make it easier to release my work to beta readers, I think.

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

I don’t like to over do it on the research unless it’s something awfully specific that would be offensive or even dangerous to misrepresent. 

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

I used to prefer writing longhand; loving the look and feel of a full notebook. When converting from page to screen, I found I was taking too much time editing as I went. Now I prefer to just get the story out on the computer, print the entire first draft, read, edit, and then redraft. 

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

The best advice I have ever been given is to not be afraid of an ugly first draft. It’s okay if it’s messy. It’s okay if it doesn’t always make sense. It helps you find your story. Don’t stress over making it perfect on the first go-around.

12.  What book do you think everyone should read?

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. I have read it at least two dozen times and it somehow manages to be more amazing each time. Don’t let the title fool you – it’s an adventure tale of a woman in the wild, untamed territories of early Canada.

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

I started playing the flute the summer before fourth grade. Since then, I have added many woodwinds and even some low brass to my repertoire.

I can plunk out a tune or two on the piano, but I would really like to be able to play it proficiently. 

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

I would love to be traditionally published, but I am also doing the research on all that goes into self-publishing.

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

Without a doubt – Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Who wouldn’t want access to that library?

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

I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. If I couldn’t write, I think I would go back to further my degree so I could teach collegiate level Literature.

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

Definitely Chevy Chase. I love me a good Vacation movie. I would have to go with John Cleese as I am more familiar with his work outside of Monty Python.

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

Finishing the first draft of my first, full-length novel. Just holding the complete, printed novel in my hand was almost overwhelming.

19.  What quote do you live by?

“I can paint.” This phrase is a family mantra meaning “I can do it,” especially in instances where your capability has been questioned. It started as part of a story of a conversation between my grandfather and my aunt (when she was younger) and has just evolved into this powerful thing. Any time anyone doubts me, even myself, I remember “I can paint.”

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

I would love to be able to write full-time. I have so many stories in me I am just bursting to tell. I want to share them with the world.  

21. Would you like to ask me a question?

No, but I do want to thank you for the opportunity of this interview. It was fun!

It was a pleasure hosting Amber on here, thanks again!

For more information on this talented writer, please check out the below links:

twitter.com/amberbatdorf

amberbatdorf.com/

Happy Holidays,

Little Mountain

 
 
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Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Thursday’s Poem and Tunes…

The Paradoxical Commandments by By Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Currently playing on Little Mountain FM

“Beauty of Grey” & “Mirror Song” ❤ wrenching double-play by Live (Unplugged versions)
“Getchoo” – Weezer
“One Dance” – Drake
“Dear God”- XTC
“Infatuation” – Rod Stewart
“Tired of Being Sorry” – Ringside
“Remedy” – Seether
“Fall to Pieces” – Velvet Revolver
“Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
“Personal Jesus” – Depeche Mode
“Don’t Stop” – Fleetwood Mac
“It’s a Mistake” – Men at Work
“Teenage dream” – Katy Perry
“Yes” – Coldplay
“Fear of a Black Planet” – Public Enemy
“Life on Mars” – David Bowie (VH1 storytellers version)

 

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Author Interview with Lisa Montanino

Happy Friday Readers!

Please see my latest interview by the lovely author, Jennifer Kelland.

ccbd66bb-e1e0-4b5b-80fa-62f2e70f1c9a41IMhjpnPnL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Hello, Lisa! So happy to have this opportunity to interview you.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Born and raised on Long Island, NY to two extraordinary parents. The rest is your typical… boring history.

Were you good at English?
I was a great English student, honors classes and even minored in English Literature at University.

Which writers inspire you?
I could shoot off some of the great novelists of our time but lately I’m super impressed with English and American opinion journalists that can make me laugh and I can agree with, like The Independent’s Grace Dent, Evening Standard’s Faye Maschler, Time Out NY’s Jillian Anthony, and Robert Levin of AM NY to name some.

Give us a blurb for your latest book.
Feedback, a novel by Lisa Montanino, takes you on a yearlong journey in the life of Claire Convenzionale—a prominent radio deejay in…

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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Wednesday Wisdom & Tunes…

#WednesdayWisdom

“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves” – William Arthur Ward

“Do right. Do your best. Treat Others as you want to be treated” – Lou Holtz

“Don’t let pain define you, let it refine you.” – Tim Fargo

Hey lovely readers!
More author interviews, posts, and flash fictions pieces soon. I’m taking a well deserved time out. Cheers to us enjoying happy summer days!

Currently playing on Little Mountain, FM
White, Discussion – Live
Love In Itself – Depeche Mode
Party & Bullshit – Notorious B.I.G.
Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives
Mind Games – John Lennon
Blue On Black – Kenny Wayne Shepard
Live Guerrilla Radio – Rage Against The Machine
Radar – Britney Spears
Der Kommissar – After The Fire
Hysteria – Muse
You Still Touch Me – Sting
Obsessed – Mariah Carey
The Good Life – Weezer
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Danke Schoen – Wayne Newton
Temptation – New Order
Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake (featuring Majid Jordan)

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Libel Suits – Watch Your Inaccurate Accusations!

http://www.eonline.com/news/762702/arsenio-hall-sues-sinead-o-connor-for-5-million-over-prince-and-drug-accusations

This is a great example of justice in our law system. In this case, a pathetic idiot accusing someone of doing something they haven’t done. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be famous to put a libel lawsuit against anyone who accuses you of something false or inaccurate. Libel, Slander, Defamation! Oh My… wish I could work on this case!

Happy Friday everyone, more interviews and posts soon!
LM

 

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World Health Day

poster-be-active

Celebrate World Health Day by practicing good health and encouraging those with health conditions to be active and defy the odds.

 

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Alexander Marmer

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  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

The summer of 2007. I was in the Army hospital in San Antonio, Texas and happened to find a book in the local library that pretty much changed my life since that point forward. Of course I’m talking about Dan Brown and his famous “The Da Vinci Code.”

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

Mystery, detective, thriller and action/adventure

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Sherlock Holmes! No doubt. I first read the stories of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures when I was about 7-8 years old and I was hooked on them! I read, re-read and still re-reading them pretty much every chance I get.

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

Dan Brown and his eminent “The Da Vinci Code” inspired me to write my own novel. Dan Brown’s widespread use of trivia facts throughout the entire novel made his book for me the most enjoyable piece of reading material I’ve ever read.

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

I published my first book, “Four Ways to Pharaoh Khufu” in December of 2015. It’s a mystery detective novel about the Great Pyramid in Egypt. During the last three years serving in the US Army, I was a freelance writer for the US Army Fort Drum newspaper, The Mountaineer and published a number of articles about the Army life activities.

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

No, I wouldn’t change a word! It took me a long 7 years to write my first novel, so every word in the book was chosen carefully and with the special intent. In addition, the manuscript being edited at least 30 times by me and then at least 5-10 times by a few editors.

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep on writing – don’t give up! I know a bunch of unrealized and unpublished authors because they could never finish their manuscripts. I know that by publishing my book I already inspired at least three “hung up” authors who “resurrected” their unfinished manuscripts and got back in the writing chair.

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

English is my second language, but I can proudly say that when I moved to the United States, my grades in English composition classes were at least B and sometime even A-.

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

I’ve always been fascinating by Egypt. Egypt and the pyramids always mesmerized me: The Great Pyramid in particular, always fascinated me. I always knew there were more mysteries to the Great Pyramid than what we learned about it in school and numerous books about Egypt. The meeting of Anatoly Vasiliev, who devoted more than 40 years of his life studying and analyzing the Great Pyramid, back in 1996 in Moscow, cardinally changed my perspective about the Great Pyramid constructive methods and made me to write this book.

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

I always write on the laptop first. Then after I finished writing 5 through 10 pages, I would print them out and read the text I wrote on the physical pages with the pen/pencil in my hand and as I read along I would make some corrections/changes/substitutions along the way. When I finally satisfied myself with what I see, I would go back to the laptop and start implementing all the corrections I made from the physical papers to the computer screen in MS Word.

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

Don’t give up! Persevere! Beauty is in the simplicity!

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. It’s a classical revenge story that never gets too old.

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

When I was about 8-10 year old, I played dombra, a pear-shaped long necked lute of the Kazakh people of Central Asia. Right now I wouldn’t mind to learn to play a guitar.

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

I tried a traditional way of book publishing and submitted the book proposal to a lot of literary agents and some book publishing companies. My book at the time was about 165,000 words long and I got whole bunch of responses from the literary agents that since I was unknown and unpublished author, my manuscript was way too big for this particular book genre. I shrunk it to about 105,000 words and still was getting a feedback it was too big. I decided not to cut anything else in the book and turned to self-publishing. I found a company in Singapore, Partridge Publishing, and I had a very smooth publishing experience with Partridge. Everything was explained to me at the beginning and the whole publishing process went smoothly without any major road blocks.

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

I’ve always been fascinating by Egypt. Egypt and the pyramids always mesmerized me. So, since I’ve spent so much time on research and writing about the Great Pyramid, I would love to change places with the Pharaoh Khufu! Not just for a week, but for life! Maybe I’m Pharaoh Khufu’s reincarnation? Who knows?

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

Well, for me it’s quite an opposite. I already had two professions before I tried myself as an author. I am an officer for the NYPD and a former Sergeant in the US Army National Guard. I was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012.

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

I definitely like Bill Murray, but Chevy Chase is my favorite actor! Loved him especially in the “Vacation” movies! As for the second part of the question – honestly had no idea who Michael Palin was. So, I had to Google him and even though I’ve seen him in some movies, but I definitely like the performance and the fun of John Cleese.

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

I got a very good review from Kirkus Reviews and a 5-star review from the Readers’ Favorites!

  1. What quote do you live by?

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

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

Definitely Pulitzer Prize would be the major accomplishment! In addition to that to be on the New York Times bestselling list and become a bestselling author! Hopefully one day the movie would be made based on my book!

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

What would be the best way to find a literary agent that would be interested in one’s book?
Great question I wish I knew a concise answer to. My best suggestion is to attend writer conferences to pitch your work.

Special thanks to Alexander for sharing his thoughts with us. Enjoy reading this talented author!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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