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Twenty Question Interview with Luciana V. Suárez

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Anyone following my blog knows Lucia, my latest featured published author who has contributed here and an avid supporter of my work. I am grateful and proud to share my huge support of her extraordinary accomplishments—the latest being the release of her book! I can’t wait to read/review it and know after you read below, you’ll be hooked too.

1. Where are you from?

I’m from Argentina… that’s where I live now.

2. What is your occupation?

I have a degree in Communications but right now I’m not working so much because of a medical treatment that I’m doing. I do luckily write full time now that I’m published.

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

My work has always been related to writing, so I guess I’m proud of my perseverance, because I’ve been writing since a very young age (poems and tales).  Then my job was to write for some magazines and websites. In 2010, I began writing novels and ever since I’ve been writing every day, so it has become my priority.

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

I would like to turn it into Connecticut, ha! I guess the weather, because It’s hot from September to April or May, and it’s really humid.

5. What was the strangest thing that happened to you while commuting or traveling? 

This happened in 2004: I was going home from College on a bus, I fell asleep and woke up in another town… 5 hours away from my home town, ha! I took another bus to come back.

6. Of all the famous people you’ve met, who’s your most treasured?

I haven’t met anyone famous yet, I’ll tell you as soon as I do.

7. If you could commit a crime and not get caught, what would it be?

I guess breaking and entering on a house of a famous person, like Henry Cavill or Donna Tartt (since she’s one of my favorite authors). I would check her computer and all the notes about her works so I can see part of her writing process. As for Henry, I would smell his clothes, lol.

8. Do you cook? If so, are you ‘Chopped’ worthy or ‘Worst Cooks’ material?

I’m a good eater, so I guess I’m a ‘worst cooks’ material… but I like baking.

9. What quote do you live by?

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” -Aristotle.

10. What do you most admire about your creative process?

I love it when I can connect with characters, because that doesn’t always happen. When it does, I can understand where they come from… why they are the way they are and their goals in life, because characters are the ones who shape the story.

11. Black, brown, red or blonde haired hottie?

Black or brown and extremely pale.

12. What award would you love to win?

I guess any literary award.

13. Favorite dessert?

Caramel or chocolate ice cream.

14. What do you dislike about your profession?

Nothing.

15. Do you play a music instrument or would like to learn to play?

I would love to learn to play the piano.

16. Favorite concert to date?

I’ve never been to concerts… because where I live there aren’t many and when there is a local one, it features artists from Argentina and I don’t listen to our native music.

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

Audrey Hepburn, because I’ve always admired her, not for her career but because she had an interesting life, which she overcame by doing various work with children and I always loved that about her.  Every time I volunteered with children, she was my inspiration and guide for it.

18. Biggest pet peeve?

Gossiping… people who like to gossip.

19. What’s your latest plug / project / promotion?

My latest book debuts today! All my other work is in production right now (revision), seven of my novels are going to be published.  I think by the end of the year or the beginning of the next one, I’ll be able to promote them as well.

20. What is the last question you would like me to ask you? Or want to ask me one?

Can I ask you two? Questions 4 and 6 that you asked me.

Sure, for no. 4 where do I begin? In NY… TRAINS! (the whole crap MTA – LIRR system) TRAINS! The service and ticket prices are a nightmare. Also, get rid of the garbage on the streets! NY is filthy compared to other places.  Ok, I’m done venting.  For no. 6 I’ve lucked out meeting a host of famous people, especially doing side gigs as a film/TV extra. I’ll go with the most recent, Steve Martin on a plane… nice guy who was impressed that I saw him play banjo a few times at Outside Lands Festival and like me, spends a lot of time in the air.    

Countless thanks and congratulations to Luciana for sharing her thoughts and new novel with us!  I hope everyone is having a great summer so far.  

Till next time, well wishes, L. 

 

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With J. Luis Licea

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

When I was little, I always heard folklore legends. They were something that always sent my mind on a frenzy, and the way I imagined them was special to me. I always believed they were real. When I was in high school, in 2011, I was telling one of my new friends a legend I remembered from childhood. Somehow she asked me to write it down for her. That’s when it all started. I wrote the story, and then saw how flawed it was. So I made things up to fit into the legend, so it would all make more sense. Two years later I had written a book with multiple legends smashed together. Four years later, I wrote RUSTIC STARS.

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

I love poems that rhyme. They are my weakness. Riddles. I love books that don’t detail a lot, but get straight to the point. One of my favorite series (The Hunger Games), left me thinking for days, and then weeks. The writing was just amazing.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

I don’t think I have one(?) But if I had to choose a character from a book that I really liked, based on their actions and way they respond to problems, I would choose David from The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. It’s a dark fairy tale for adults. David is forced to go from being a child to an adult during the book, and the way he does it, to me, makes him a hero.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

I used to think J.K. Rowling. Then I realized I was nowhere close to her. I don’t think I can identify with any, based on style of writing. But any book I read gives me ideas, and I always grab onto things I like and shape them into my own.

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

I am currently editing the first book I ever wrote, titled T. R. ORBS. It’s urban fantasy for teen, with a lot of elemental powers, curses, and strange creatures. It takes place in Mexico, so it is always work when I have to research most things. But I love it.

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

Yes. But that’s what is wrong. I think that if I change everything to make it perfect, it would end up being flawed. So I just made peace with it and let it as is. Allowing yourself to leave tracks that are not perfect where you walk is the point of learning and living.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t push yourself. Don’t try to be someone else. Allow yourself to grow at your own rhythm, and always pay attention to how other writers do it. The best way to learn is to appreciate others, and to always keep asking questions.

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

Ohh. Well, English is not my first language. I speak Spanish first, though I suck at it. However, I used to love English class, and I always tried to do above and beyond (because i loved my teachers!). Not to brag, but my grades in English were always good, unless it was tests! Hahaha! No one likes those.

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

A LOT. A LOT. A LOT. Which is probably why it takes me so long to finish rough drafts. Sometimes I have to Google words every two paragraphs, or locations, or things, or phrases. It is just part of the process. It is tiring, but researching in writing is like asking questions in class: they are a must.

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

I do it on a computer. I have two keyboards that glow in the dark. I love them. I also don’t like to see what I type. I type and think. Then I open my eyes and see. If i think about what I write, I don’t write at all.

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

“Rough drafts are not supposed to be perfect” Write, but don’t make it perfect, because after you finish, you’ll notice how you’re just starting on a ride that is going to take way longer. But never to give up!

12. What book do you think everyone should read?

I think every book is worth reading. I can’t say, because everyone enjoys different books. If you see a book, it needs reading. Read it.

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

Sadly, I do not. Unless clicking and changing song to plays music in my earbuds, then yes. *Smiles* I am a huge fan of the violin! And piano. Also, drums. I can’t pick.

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

I can’t say. I tried very hard to stay focus. I worked slowly toward finishing it, and one day it happened. I can’t recall the process. I suppose it was mostly asking for support from friends. And they always delivered.

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

Anyone with money! I really want to know what it feels to have a lot of money for a day. *Giggles* And i’d buy a bunch of junk food. And cake.

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

I wanted to be a teacher since I was little. But if I can’t be that, I’d see myself as someone who deals with nature. Don’t know who exactly. But nature is the way to go.

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

Haha! God. I cannot answer. But, secretly, Bill Murray. Gee, I don’t know any of them. Can I pick Katniss Everdeen?

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

I don’t think I have one. I am proud of them all. The first one I had, though, was in high school, when I submitted a short story into a competition, and as badly as it was written (English being my barrier), I won 2nd place. Later, I was told my story was in first place, but due to something, it went to 2nd, which made me feel pride in many ways.

19. What quote do you live by?

‘Do you live to write or write to live’

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

Anything that allows me to write full-time. I would love just sitting down all day and making my fingers ache as I plot and create, and make characters bloom in different stories. That would be dreamy.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?

What do you recommend so I don’t get lost on a plane? I’ve never flown in a plane, and thinking about getting lost freaks me out.

Very funny… I like how you have read up on me! Not getting lost is easy, just make friends with the lovely flight attendants who will ensure you stay on the right path and not deviate into unchartered territory. Once you’ve mastered this and ready to branch out, I’ll share my secrets on how to get lost on planes… once you do, you’ll never travel any other way.

My heart-felt thanks to Luis for interviewing with me and sharing his thoughts with us. Buy and read his extraordinary book! And be sure to follow him on twitter @jllicea and facebook.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Ray Hecht

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Hello Readers,
I am very excited for my latest author interview with China-based writer, Ray Hecht whom I was introduced to here on wordpress. Besides his impressive talent, I am delighted to interview him.

1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
I started writing a few short stories for fun in high school, although at that time I was far more interested in drawing and comics. I remember the age of 23 I officially told myself I want to start writing novels and haven’t looked back since.

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
As in producing or consuming? I am primarily a fan of comics and novels. No offense to short stories and poetry. I read all manner of comics from superhero to indie to Vertigo-esque fantasy to manga. With novels I highly respect the sort of “neo-Beat” aesthetic epitomized by Irvine Welsh and Bret Easton Ellis, as well as postcyberpunk science fiction by Neal Stephenson, and currently I’m enjoying reading A Clash of Kings the sequel to A Game of Thrones. I wish I was smart enough to write speculative adventure stories. I just have to write what my heart tells me to. Cynical, long-winded, sad novels of broken romances and gritty distinctions of tragic human interactions. All, sadly, real world.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
I’ve always enjoyed the corny superheroes best. Cyclops my favorite member of X-Men, Captain America favorite Marvel etc. Of course, Superman is the greatest of all and I actually like him better than Batman.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
It’s an oversimplification, but I try to explain in shorthand that my novel, South China Morning Blues is like Trainspotting set in China. Therefore, Irvine Welsh is a major inspiration. Not that I’m even close to that level of raw talent, just sayin’ if you asked.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
A piece of expat journalism here, a blog review or two there. Just doing that sort of thing to keep putting out some content to be out there as a writer. My major current project is a short novel about how technology has ruined modern relationships, about how everyone is lonely now in the age of dating apps. The working title is Modern Love Story, or This Modern Love (named for the Bloc Party song). Almost ready to present a draft of the whole thing soon. Anyone out there interested in helping with the editing stage?

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
That’s a hard question, because there are always little things to change. I suppose I want anything to be as good as it can be. But after a certain point one has to move on to the next project. I wouldn’t change anything, but I do wish I had more free time to be slightly more perfectionist than I am.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Prepare to suffer. Take your time learning the craft of writing, and you still may not be good. Or, learn your niche. Find a medium that suits you and go with it. Although the craft is the most important thing, sometimes you have to take advantage of the contemporary landscape. For me, expat journalism worked out and let me have a start to focus on writing novels. For you, could be blogging. And so on.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉
In K-12 education, not particularly high. I didn’t get a lot out of school back then. In college I took it more seriously. I think I learned the most in film classes, in screenwriting specifically when it comes to story structure, although today I am not into scripts. Also, I’m studying copyediting these days — got to make a living — and event though it’s not the most creative thing in the world I do hope my prose is improving the more I learn about advanced grammar.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
As much as it takes. I tried to do a historical novella once, The Ghost of Lotus Mountain Brothel, and spent untold hours reading about China in the Qing Dynasty and visiting traditional sights in Guangzhou. Research is not the most enjoyable aspect of writing. I believe readers can forgive a few mistakes, as the important thing is to write with apparent authority. At least, seem to. If you look at film, audiences don’t care about accuracy at all. Novels have a higher standard, sure, but at the same time don’t worry too much. Best thing about research is when it leads to new ideas. As said previously, I’d like to write science fiction but I’m not smart enough.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Computers work for me. Lying down in bed with a laptop is the only way to go. I’ve tried writing in a more officey environment but it’s not for me. And longhand is way too slow. I do respect authors who write that way.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I think it was Janet Fitch, of White Oleander, who said that writers should get a part-time job making the most money doing the least hours of work, and be willing to drive a crummy car. I don’t even have a car now, it’s been great for me living in China. Point is, revolve your life around making the time to write.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson. Let’s all get psychedelic and the world would be a more interesting place.

13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
Unfortunately, I cannot play any musical instrument. I love music, as a listener. I took guitar lessons when I was a kid and had to give up because it’s too hard! I have other talents, it’s okay. Guitar could have been nice, in another alternate reality I’d like to have been a rock star… or at least played in a cool local band.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
That’s a long story. I guess it started working in small journalism jobs in Shenzhen, theNanfang.com and Shenzhen Daily newspaper, and then led to some exposure which led to a published writer befriending me online and recommended I publish my novel with Blacksmith Books. I was lucky in a way, but one never knows which path will lead to dreams coming true so the only thing to do is get out there in as wide a capacity as possible.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
I suppose I’m envious of Neal Stephenson. How does he write so many (very thick) brilliant books?

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
A visual artist would be nice, a painter or a popular illustrator or comics artist.

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

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
For now, I’m happy for the few positive reviews I have on Amazon 🙂

19. What quote do you live by?
Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
Just to make a living as a novelist would be the most ideal profession ever.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
This one goes out to everyone checking out this interview: Have you enjoyed reading my answers to these questions?
I have enjoyed your insightful answers very much and it’s safe to suffice I’m as big an Irvine Welsh fan as you. Like all the interviews I’ve been fortunate to do, I truly enjoy the diversity and philosophies from each writer. Thanks again for sitting for this inquisition.

For more on this talented writer’s work see the links below and be a kind samaritan and post a review on Amazon for Ray. If you’re feeling extra generous for me too!

http://rayhecht.com
http://amazon.com/author/rayhecht
http://www.amazon.com/South-China-Morning-Blues-Hecht/dp/9881376459 (My novel published by Blacksmith Books in Hong Kong)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RQQIA26 (My ebook memoir)

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner

Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Steve Sanderson

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper? Started when I was a kid. I wrote from middle school on, short stories about the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and space men, that kind of stuff.

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.? Prose – science fiction, satire, noirish pulpy mystery. I also love first person narrators, and clever writing.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero? I guess you mean a character whose story I identify with. There’s none that really come to mind—I identify with the authors more, the people behind the scenes. Guess that’s why I don’t identify with actors as much as I do with directors.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with? Philip K. Dick, but not the part of him that thought he had a mystical experience, which he spent several years writing about. Instead, the brilliantly dark, paranoid part that took all the things in his head and what was going on in society at the time, and spun those into wonderful novels and short stories.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.) I’m working through a developmental edit for Slavebot Jonathan. It’s about a naïve robot who was programmed to serve, and who knows nothing about humans and their emotions. When he’s forced to leave his Master’s house and go on the run with his human friend Daisy, he must learn how humans think and act in order to keep the both of them alive. The next book’s called Dowser. It’s about a man whose bored at work during the day, but at night he helps guide people to find gateway drugs that can change their life.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece? I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s going really well. Because the book’s told from the first person, the robot’s perspective, I had to rewrite it several times before the voice sounded right. But once I got the voice down, the writing began to flow and it’s been great.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers? Read, like crazy. But, don’t read to expand your mind, or to try to sound smart at parties and such. Read what you want to really experience, stories you connect to. If you write in a genre, spend a lot of time getting to know that genre. Whatever the type of writing you do, spend time getting to know authors who write like you, whose work speaks to you or moves you. If you have any kind of writers’ block keep a journal, and put down anything that comes into your head. You could also spend time free writing. Write for a short amount of time, 10 minutes or so, and go at it nonstop. Don’t stop, or correct or censor yourself. And, don’t let anyone see what you wrote. That goes for journals as well—write stuff that you wouldn’t want anyone to see.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉 A mostly. English was pretty easy, and fun. And we got to read!

9. How much research do you do for your writing? The science fiction I’ve been working on requires world building, I’ve done tons of research. The cool thing about research is it gets you to read stuff you wouldn’t normally read. Also, I grab pictures from the net and keep them in docs to use as reference. They help build descriptions of buildings, and people’s clothing.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Laptops mostly. One small netbook that I carry around, and a larger one when I’m at home. But, I also keep a paper journal for putting down notes for characters, or scenes, or nutty stuff. Journals are quick and easy, they don’t need to be booted up, and there’s the emotional connection to seeing your handwriting, which helps clue you into what made you want to write down what you did on that day.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given? Keep writing, even if the stuff you’re putting down isn’t good. Especially if it isn’t good. Don’t wait for the inspiration to strike you. Treat writing like it’s your job.

12. What book do you think everyone should read? Whatever book they’re reading at the moment. Don’t think there’s a universal book that fits all people.

13. Two part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play? I love jazz, but can’t play anything. If I could, I’d like to play the trumpet, or drums, but I can’t. Absolutely can’t.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published? I’m working with an editor, who’s most of the way through a developmental edit. I just went to the Writers Digest conference, where you get to pitch to agents and editors. I’m submitting a query to several editors in a pool from that conference.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week? Someone who’s rich, so I could steal enough money from them so my wife and I could retire. If that wasn’t somehow possible, president Obama.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession? I only want to write. That’s it. If I couldn’t I’d like to be Batman. He’s got a groovy car.

17. Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin? Bill Murray, why are you even asking that question? No contest. Jeez. Chevy Chase in the Groove Tube, but Bill Murray in everything else. John Cleese or Michael Palin? If you’re talking about Monty Python, they’re both fantastic. Neither one wins out. After that, you’ve got a Faulty Towers (Cleese), and a genial world traveler (Palin). In that case, it’s Cleese.

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!) It’s not a reward, but the positive feedback and support of my writers group is wonderful.

19. What quote do you live by? Whatever you do, wherever you go, always bring a sweater.

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.) Writer as a day job. I want to get my books out there and see what happens.

21. Would you like to ask me a question? I don’t know, would I?
Good answer.

Thanks to Steve for interviewing with me and sharing his writing knowledge with the rest of us. I can say, as a leader of our writing group, he’s an insightful and funny character. I have had the fortune to read excerpts of Steve’s pending novel, and I can’t wait for its debut!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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