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Author Interview with Robert Fall

red face pic

1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

When I was ten I used to dream a ton and write what I remembered down. They were often fights in pirate ships, so they were like really short stories. However, this didn’t last for too long, a couple of months perhaps. After that, I stopped writing completely, until last year a family friend mentioned those stories back to me, and encouraged me to try and write again. I can’t stop now. 

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

Prose. I’ve written some poems, but they aren’t my thing. To expand on this question, I must admit that I always aim for my prose to have a musical, almost magical edge to it. I’m working on it though! It’s quite hard to accomplish.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Does Goku count? If he does, then it’s him, otherwise probably Batman.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

Oh snap! Quite the question you threw me here. To be honest, to even say that I even identify with any famous writer would be an exaggeration, but for the sake of the interview, I will say Patrick Rothfuss. His prose is exactly what I want mine to be.

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

I’m working on a novella, which I plan to submit to Tor Publishing. Besides that I have my subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/therobertfall — Shameless plug!) where I post prompts and short stories.

6. Nothing wrong with shameless plugs… if you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece? 

No, probably not. I’ve learned to control myself and be happy with the end result of my works.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Read and write a ton. Don’t rush it, it takes time. Join critique groups if you can take criticism. Do read other famous writer’s advice but don’t take them as absolutes, distill your own interpretation of them instead and see how they the quality of your writing. 

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

Well, I’m from Argentina, hehe. I had a class where we learned the English language, and I would say I was a B student. I was lazy in school, don’t judge me.

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

Depends on a lot of factors. I write fantasy, and I often can create my own rules there. However, when it comes to accurate details, like the techniques/means they used in the middle ages to cook, build, and such, I always research that a lot. I will say I’m a picky researcher, I only do research when I need to write something I don’t know anything about.

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

Computer. 

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

I read quite a bit of Stephen King. In his book ‘On Writing’ he talks about how the road toward Hell is paved with adverbs. When I read that I remember frowning, picking up a book of his, and spotting some adverbs in his work. This was the advice which taught me no advice should be taken as an absolute, rules are made to be broken. 

12.  What book do you think everyone should read?

I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t a reader until I started writing, so my repertoire isn’t so vast, specially because I read mostly fantasy. All things considered, my answer will be One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. It’s the first book I picked up and couldn’t put down. 

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

I don’t play an instrument, but knowing how to play piano would be fantastic.

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

First of all, I have to finish writing this novella. Once that’s done, I will edit and polish the hell out of it, and then I will submit it to Tor, and hope to be good enough. In the mean time, I’m working on building an audience, which is proving to be quite tricky.

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

Another hard question, hmm. If I could see how the other person’s mind works, then I would choose someone like Stephen King. 

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

I’m currently studying business administration while writing on my spare time. My ideal profession is definitely being a full-time author. However, I wouldn’t complain working on the stock market or growing my own business.
 
17. Two-part question: 1. Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? 2. John Cleese or Michael Palin?

Bill Murray and Michael Palin.

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

I don’t know if it counts, but to me—considering that I wasn’t a reader finishing three fat books in a month was absolutely incredible. Now, if we speak about my writing (I must clarify that I’m just starting so it won’t be anything incredible) the most mind-blowing thing that happened to me was having a story surpass 2.5k upvotes in less than 24 hours, and getting gilded, the same day, for another story. As I said, reddit is like my home, I write a ton in there. An upvote means that someone enjoyed what you posted, and if someone gilds you it means they gifted you a paid, premium version of reddit. The crazy thing about it, is that everything happened the night of New Year’s Eve. I woke up with 2018 over my shoulders, saw those things, and knew I had to pursue writing. 

19.  What quote do you live by?

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.” —Sumner Redstone.

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

If I can spend my days writing without worrying about my bills, then I will have made it.   

21. Would you like to ask me a question?

Of course! I will ask you two if you allow me. I’m feeling mischievous today.
-What’s your favorite book?
-What’s your favorite story of yours?

These questions are tricky to answer as each book I loved reading usually are different genres or have nuances that set them apart… that I admire.  I will go with a must read that can benefit all readers — The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh. A favorite story of mine? I’ll go with my non-fiction short story — Observations of a Native New Yorker as it was my first writing effort. 

Many thanks to Robert for sharing his work and ideas with us— a kind young talent to look at for! Please check out this humble writer here: 

https://www.reddit.com/r/therobertfall or @TheRobertFall 

 
 

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Documentary Spotlight

The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling
gary

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/features/garry-shandling-hbo-documentary-zen-diaries-judd-apatow-w518033

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/03/the-zen-diaries-of-garry-shandling-review-hbo/556583/

“Humor is a wonderful way to deal with our suffering because if we can laugh at our troubles, we can feel better. Thich Nhat Hanh is a special man who has helped millions with their suffering with incredible technique. But he doesn’t know real suffering, because he has not dated as much as I have.”

“I don’t think I’m severely politically active. I care deeply, and I have my strong personal beliefs. I think America is dancing on thin ice. But I think it’s bigger even than a political issue. I wonder about the evolution of the human race and spirit and what our goals and reasons for living are.”

I was always a fan of this gifted writer / performer. But after reading some of his intimate journal entries throughout his life (perfect concept / tribute by the way, go Judd!) against a fascinating backdrop of clips, friends, and pictures… I have an even greater appreciation of what his life’s work was truly about.

Considering a few praising words by Garry’s idol George Carlin, completely altered the trajectory of his life. It’s a touching and funny portrayal of one of the most hard-working comic geniuses to ever live. Devotion, passion, enlightenment, struggle, diligent, loquacious, intelligent, grief-stricken, authentic, neurotic, and most importantly zen are the keywords here. Watch it and no flipping!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Nicole Belanger

Happy New Year everyone – I hope you had wonderful holidays / festivities! I enjoyed traveling and taking a much needed time out… (despite returning to bone chilling weather) cheers to 2018 with love and great changes to come 🙂

I’m happy to share the first author interview of ’18, I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I relish hosting them!

OneLastWish
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  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I started writing when I was six, but it wasn’t until I was about 12 that I became more serious about it and started writing my first book.

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

I like writing novels, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of poetry.

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Batman or Wonder Woman

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

That’s a tough one. In a review for my book, Shadows, my writing style was compared to Gillian Flynn. I’ll have to go with either her or Chevy Stevens.

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

Currently just writing poetry, but I do want to try to start planning out a new book soon.

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

I don’t think so. Every book has room to grow, but I’m happy with the was One Last Wish came out in the end. There are some parts that I’m sure have angered readers, but every scene in this book was necessary. Now the other two books, that’s a different story. I have a laundry list of things I want to change in those, but I’m still happy that people like them.

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write for yourself before you write for other people. It took me a long time to realize that by writing for others held me back because I was more concerned about what they would like or dislike. Once I learned to write for myself, my writing improved drastically.

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

Always A’s.

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

I do a lot of research. When you write about such heavy topics, you want to get it right. The things that I put my characters through are intense, and I want to be able to accurately portray what they’re going through. I want my books to be believable.

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

I own a typewriter, but it doesn’t work. I write my longer works on my computer, but for poetry I often write it on a piece of scrap paper then transfer the polished version into my journal.

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

My junior year of high school I let my English teacher read the first few chapters of my book Lost Voice. He responded by telling me that if I didn’t at least try to pursue publication then he was going to fail me for the semester. I’m glad I listened to him, because publishing that first book brought me on an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

My current favorite book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I read it recently and fell in love. Its about WW2 and the holocaust. It is such a raw and emotional book. It was so beautifully executed I cried during almost every chapter.

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

I do not play an instrument, but I would love to learn violin or the guitar.

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

For my first two books I published through the Createspace platform. It’s an independent publishing platform that gives you 100% control of everything. I liked this method as I was starting out because I didn’t have to pay any costs and I was able to get my work out there quickly. For One Last Wish, my most recent book, I published through a company called Bookfuel. It’s still an independent publishing platform, but it’s very much layed out like a traditional publisher. I was signed on by an agent, and got an editor who still let me have complete control of edits and primarily pointed out flaws, plot hole, and grammar issues as well as adding in suggestions for things to change. They designed a cover for me based off what I described as my vision (and made it much better than I pictured in my head) and formatted my book for me. It definitely cost a pretty penny, and it took me about 2 years to pay off,  but it was worth it in the end.

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

There’s this Instagram page made by this guy called The Doggist, who takes pictures of dogs for a living. He basically walks up to strangers and asks if he can take a picture of their dogs. How do I get this kind of job?

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

Outside of writing, I work as a CNA at a hospital and I go to school for Nursing. Alongside that, I’m also a self taught freelance photographer. I wouldn’t change what I do for anything.

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

That’s tough. Bill Murray and Michael Palin.

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

My vows. I made everyone (including myself) cry when I read them.

19.  What quote do you live by?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”

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

I think successful self-published author. I feel like having the pressure of people harassing you for the next book causes an author to rush through it. I like taking my time and putting out the best material I can, while still having time for my family and friends.

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

Sure! What have you enjoyed most about interviewing authors? Thanks for having me!

The whole process really, I enjoy networking with fellow authors and learning about their craft while having some laughs. 

Thanks again to Nicole for interviewing with me, be sure to check out her gifted work here:

nicolebelangerauthor.com

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Mia Powell

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  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I remember writing a short story about a ladybug when I was around six or seven. I typed it up on the family computer, printed it out, drew pictures, and stapled it together. My parents were friends with the owner of a restaurant by our house and I remember bringing my little book with me to dinner one night; I think I wanted to show him my accomplishment!

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

Prose, poetry, and plays mostly! I’ll write or read anything!

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Right now, Wonder Woman and Moana. I thought they were both beautiful stories, I loved all the characters, and these heroines are super important for audiences, especially children, to see.

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

I’ve been compared to Hemingway and I absolutely love that. I also have a strong connection in my heart to Stephen King: my grandfather and I are very much alike and King was his favorite; towards the end of his life, he read and reread any King book he could get his hands on.

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

My major WIP is a high fantasy novel, but I’m also working on two poetry collections. I have a blog (http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/) where I post some of my creative writing, op-eds, and reviews. And I’m planning out a YouTube channel centered around writing, books, and makeup that I hope to get up very soon!

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

Yes, I already have to! There’s a character in the first few chapters that I decided I didn’t need. I knew that if I went back to edit her out before moving on, I’d stop writing (it’s happened before). I just made her leave as soon as I could and kept writing, so I’ll have to remove her when I go back for the first big edit!

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Try everything. You don’t have to write one specific way or genre because you’ll get stuck and sad and think about giving up; you don’t have to follow every piece of advice that people give you because it will contradict. Try everything until you decide it doesn’t work for you – and then try it again later.

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

Straight A’s! I still talk to some of my English teachers from high school, and I so admire the professors I have in college.

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

Depends on the piece. If I’m doing something that’s soaked, marinated, and covered in history I’ll go through months of timelines and history books and trivia. There’s a WIP in the deep, deep depths of my folders set in WWI or II and I spent an entire year reading books and looking at maps and writing out a timeline of real-life events that might affect the characters and important fictional events in the characters’ lives before I even sat down to write the first word. In another historical romance, I didn’t do any research except for what I already knew until I had a question or two that needed to be answered immediately. For my current WIP, the only “research” I’ve done is figuring out how to draw a map and finding the pictures I put on my Pinterest board.

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

I mostly write on my laptop, but there are a few that I’ll write longhand if the mood demands it. I almost always write poems longhand first, because I get a line stuck in my head in class and need to put it somewhere, so I write it out in my binder or maybe my phone if I’m in the hall. There’s one WIP that needs to feel like a journal and an essay, so I have a very in-character notebook that I’m writing that in.

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

One of my writing professors is an absolute Godsend, especially when it comes to speaking actual gold very offhandedly. I’ve tweeted two things in particular that I find to be excellent reminders: “I think a lot of people stop writing because they don’t think it’s good. But it’s not good because it’s not done,” and “There’s no ‘good enough.’ There’s just what you want to do.” Keep an eye out on my Twitter for #GreenFacilitates (he often says he doesn’t teach, he facilitates – because you can’t teach writing)!

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

There are three books I recommend to absolutely everyone no matter what they usually like to read: Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, The Winter Seaby Susanna Kearsley, and Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.

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

I do not! I took piano and violin lessons when I was younger, but I never quite connected. I’d love to learn the harp – that would be so cool!

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

I think I’d like to go the traditional route, but I’ve only done minimal research into the different paths so far.

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

I don’t know who Tom Hanks considers to be his best friend, but that person! I would love to hang out with him!

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

I almost wish I enjoyed science, so I could be a marine biologist!
 
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?

Bill Murray. John Cleese. No question.

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

My senior year of high school, I got to direct a one act play that I wrote the year before. I don’t really like the play that much anymore and I wish certain circumstances could have been better, but I’m still really proud that I got it to production.

19.  What quote do you live by?

Robin Williams: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Mr. Williams is a huge inspiration to me, and the reason behind my tattooed R on my wrist.

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

I think it would be really cool for my work to be taught in school.

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

Was there a specific book or author that sparked your interest in writing?

Probably Catcher In The Rye.  It was the first book I read where I felt like an adult… absorbing his (J.D. Salinger) compelling words considering I was only 15 years old. I paid homage by naming one of my characters in my book, Feedback after him.

Many thanks to Mia for interviewing with me! Please keep tabs on this cool up and coming writer here:

Twitter @LegendsOfMia
https://www.instagram.com/legendsofmia/
http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW7GrcwJRId2_ulUJdKDHIA

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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The 10 Best Bookstores in New York!

golden-notebook-bookstore-1

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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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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