Author Interview of Lisa Montanino
Welcome Lisa and thank you so very much for being here! You know me, fun stuff first! What is your favorite place to eat? Why? I don’t even know where to begin… between my staples on West and East coasts, that’s a tough one. I’ll mention a few from my favourite cities: London – Oxo Tower for the views alone, food’s okay and The Ledbury for extraordinary food. New York/Brooklyn – Il Mulino, Morimoto, The River Café quintessential Brooklyn, and I love Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights, great Italian family run eatery. In Los Angeles – Little Dom’s for chill Italian and Ruen Pair, hands down the best Thai food in LA, despite it being in a strip mall.
What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? Usually starts with a home cooked breakfast and gobs of coffee. Then migrate to bike riding (depending on weather) to the beach and chilling out with my boyfriend/family… outdoors is a must. Having friends over for dinner or meeting them out. If inclement weather, usually home entertaining… playing cards or catching a movie or friends music show. The occasional sports game for my nephews. At some point in between I’m writing and catching up on my favorite shows like House Of Cards, Luther, etc. since I rarely have time during the week working. I’m not the typical chick who likes to shop at the mall all day… can’t stomach it! Though I do love to food shop.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? Pretty much any activity outdoors, especially cycling to the beach. Spending quality time with my loved ones laughing and cooking.
Who are your favorite authors? John Irving, Chuck Klosterman, Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson, Agatha Christie… and so many others I can’t think of at the moment.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
(Extremely) congenial (pride myself on getting along with everybody)
Reliable/stable/independent (for some reason I count this as one…)
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why? Usually the psychology section… I guess because I’m fascinated with the human psyche and what makes us tick.
I also love it when my guest authors share about their approach to the writing craft. What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? Promote yourself on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform out there because they usually have other marketing options that are affordable and effective. Also, join a writers group if you’re not in one already… wonderful outlet for new readers and fellow creative folks that you can spread the word to. Promoting fellow authors on your social platforms.
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? I love chick and male fiction literature e.g. Chuck Klosterman – Killing Yourself to Live kind of books… humour, heartbreak, and hysterics all wrapped together. And as I mentioned before, I’m drawn to psychology and self-help books… love learning about that topic.
What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting? Editing by far takes the cake; it’s gruelling and takes way too long. Most exciting would be the how the audience reviews the finished product, how my readers like and interpret my work. I don’t find anything exciting per say about writing but the freedom is glorious.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? I use both actually. Usually it’s on my laptop but when I’m out and about and get an idea I write it down in my journal. Aside from writing professionally, I feel everyone should keep a journal of their thoughts; it promotes wellness among many other positive things.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? It’s just easier as the years go by… flows out more naturally. Nothing really has changed on my style of writing… self-deprecating narrative at your service!
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? What has worked well for me are my writing groups in NY and London… as well as my social networks. Word of mouth from family and friends, and traveling… I sold a few books just by other passengers noticing me writing on my laptop and learning I’m an author. And of course, promote fellow authors and work on your online outlets… I love doing it and it’s been very helpful ten-fold.
What advice would you give to a younger you? How has reading influenced you? Li Li, you should have started yesterday! Why did you put off writing for a while when you could have been on your third book by now. Reading has influenced me in being comfortable with what I like and don’t like. There was a time when you would hear about the “must read” from best sellers lists… interestingly some failed to deliver, especially the writer’s prose. Now because I’m immersed in the independent writer’s world, there are so many amazing books to choose from off the beaten path, like yours for example.
Aw, thanks! Flattery will get you everywhere. Now tell us; are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in? Usually a planner but spontaneity is also a dear friend, especially in the last few years.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? If only half the readers of my book put their reviews on Amazon.com for me! I receive thoughtful emails with their feedback but having them cut and paste that into a review is like pulling teeth… I don’t know why? The ones that have been kind enough to review me, I’m in debt to. I recently joined a review swap with other writers where we read each other’s work and review… that definitely helps and I recommend it. Lauren, do you have any advice on how to get more reviews? I could use all the help I can get.
Why yes, I have a bit of advice. I’ll share it at the end. For now, how do you think you’ve evolved creatively? For me, life has been the greatest teacher and each day as I get older… each experience shapes me in one way or another which in turn helps me expand creatively with ideas and such.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? John F. Coffey and Patricia Coffey, a second set of parents to me, who unfortunately are no longer with us. They shaped my life so much in the 20 years I had the fortune of knowing them. John was a Columbia County judge and partner of a law firm and when I tell you he treated a doorman the same as any judge he ever dealt with, that left a very positive impression on me. I abhor arrogance and a nasty demeanor! I don’t care how smart or rich you are, there is no excuse to treat anyone less than any way you would like to be treated. People with noses in the air not only aren’t respected, they’re pathetically pitiful. John and Pat felt the same and worked hard for their education and job status… and like my parents, their work ethic was unmatched. I pride myself following in their footsteps, especially in being a sincerely kind humanitarian like they were. They also inspired my charitable and philanthropic endeavors as well.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why? Pandora is amazing… and Europe needs to have it! Some of my favorite stations are Genesis, David Bowie, Massive Attack, Pharell, The Beatles, Bebel Gilberto, Madonna, 2 Cellos, Nirvana, The Police, The Pretenders, My Morning Jacket, Duran Duran, Spoon, The Who, Fiona Apple, and countless others… though by the list I just gave, classic rock wins! I also play albums from my collections too.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it? My novel is a must read for anyone who wants to laugh, think, and be moved by a compelling story about a woman who is conflicted and needs to find her way back to stable ground. Life and the people in my world were the inspiring forces.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why? Shane Salinger, because he’s the most audaciously confident soul that lives life on his terms no matter what, completely true to his convictions. And he’s really… really funny!
What else do you have in the pipeline? Writing my second and third novels… one is the sequel to Feedback, my current novel for sale and a fictitious memoir of little vignettes from a fun disgruntled at times character. And promoting authors like yourself on my blog. I want to take this time in thanking you again for being lovely and interviewing me. It means so much to share my thoughts with you and our amazing fans – another source of inspiration! I can’t wait to read your next one.
Thanks Lisa! You made my day!!!
Buy my book here: http://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino/dp/0615972500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426207729&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+montanino
Follow my blog here: http://lisamontanino.wordpress.com
Follow me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/LDMontanino
Friend me on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/lilmountain
1. Ask. AND I mean everyone. Be kind, and do say please and thank you.
2. The more you have the more you get so don’t give up. This is an oddity, but I think people are less afraid to leave a review when they see that you have some.
3. Encourage people to leave them everywhere that they are a member.
4. Become a member of Goodreads if you aren’t already. Join some groups and offer your book for their read for review programs. I did it for my first two books and I can really see the difference in the quantity of reviews.
5. Don’t take it all too seriously. Some people will like you and some won’t. It’s okay. Focus on your average and take into consideration what folks say. What did they love, what did they not love. Just remember to stay true to you. If you try to make everyone happy you will make no one happy.
6. Become a reviewer yourself. Be careful here. In the early days, I traded reviews. I ended up being bombarded and did not have time for my writing but we all have to start somewhere. Some books I read were truly amazing; others not so much. If I felt that anyone deserved less than three stars then I emailed them privately with my thoughts and declined leaving a public review. I want to be honest when I review and it pains me to hurt people’s feelings. Go with your gut on this one.
7. Use that social media. Recently I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I offer free PDFs for anyone interested in trading for a review. That brought in a few new folks. All they had to give me was their email. I do not email them promo stuff after I send their PDF. If I get a decent review and they request the next book, they may have it.
8. Those are the things I’ve done that have worked pretty well. I do not consider myself an expert. I have published four books and I see some money roll in every month. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen regarding marketing is worry less about that part and write more books. The more books you have the more credible you look and the more you sell. Guess what? More books also means more reviews.
NOW, GO GET ‘EM and best of LUCK!!!