Author Interview of Lisa Montanino


Author Interview of Lisa Montanino
Welcome Lisa and thank you so very much for being here! You know me, fun stuff first! 18c5f30What 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 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.
Lisa Montanino 3Who 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!
Lisa Montanino 2What 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!!!
Lisa’s Links
Buy my book here:
Follow my blog here:
Follow me on twitter here:
Friend me on facebook here:

Getting reviews:
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!!!

A Big Warm Welcome to Wendy Van Camp!


A big warm welcome to fellow author Wendy Van Camp!

Wendy Van Camp HeadshotI love to start with fun trivia. Tell me, what does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? I start my day in my home studio/office. I check email, do my basic daily marketing for the blog and tend to any questions that have come in via email. Then things shift depending on what I’m working on. If I’m drafting, I take my Alphasmart Neo to the local coffeehouse and draft 2K words or more. An Alphasmart is a lightweight, digital typewriter without internet connections. If I’m editing, I will work at home on my desktop. My writing program of choice is Scrivener. I also use copy editing software such as Rightwriter, Smart-Edit, and Hemmingway. I find that editing or writing short blog articles are easier at home. I like to take a lunch break around noon. When I return, unless a story is grabbing me, I’ll work on house projects, make jewelry on my bench, or even cook a gourmet meal for dinner. After dinner and a little television watching with my husband, I return to my office. This is when my true creative time is. I create the best stories late at night. I’m not sure why. At least my husband seems to accept my night owl behavior.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? I love to ride my bicycle or take my dog walking in the park. Connecting with nature is important to me and this allows me to feel the wind and the sun on my face.
Who are your favorite authors? Jane Austen, Robert A. Heinlein, Diana Galbaldan, Anne McCaffery, Andre Norton, Brandon Sanderson, Carla Kelly, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it? I am an artisan jeweler and have been in business for 18 years. I create jewelry from semi-precious stones, sterling silver, copper and handmade art glass. My work has a Celtic theme, but with contemporary style. I sell my jewelry at Highland Games, Science Fiction Conventions, and Concerts. I currently do not have a webstore and frankly I am not sure if I want one. While jewelry is my day job, I am more focused on shifting to being an author these days. I suspect that I will be making jewelry for years to come, but gradually I will be making items for myself and friends instead of being a business.The Curate s Brother Book Cover (blog)
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 start with a fountain pen and a composition notebook. I brainstorm ideas for the story there. The next step is to write out an outline on paper based on the ideas that I’ve come up with. Once I have a rough outline, I use these to create files in my Scrivener program. I fill those files via my Alphasmart Neo, a digital typewriter that can send the text I type into any word processing file. Once the draft is completed, then I am working completely in Scrivener. When it comes to organizing a writing project and doing revisions, Scrivener is my tool of choice.
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? My writing style was learned before the age of the internet. Over the years, the rules for writing have changed. Today, authors include more white space, do not overwhelm the reader with large amounts of description and avoid passive voice at all costs. I’ve had to unlearn many writing habits over the past few years and still struggle when I fall back into old patterns. I ended up taking several refresher classes in grammar and I found that it helped counter the problems in my writing.
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Person to person contact is best. Shaking a reader’s hand and talking one on one about your stories puts you in their mind and helps them to remember you. That is why I like to do speaking events or book a table at a festival. It gives me that personal branding. Social media is good too, but not as effective.
What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why? I consider myself a science fiction and fantasy author. Most of my work falls into these two genre. I also dabble in regency romance connected with Jane Austen and the occasional memoir.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? I dedicated my first novel to my husband. Although I started writing at a very young age, my parents were not supportive. They wanted me to go into engineering or be a teacher, something steady and respectable. My husband has always been supportive of all my creative efforts and this means the world to me.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
The Curate’s Brother is a short story about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.
Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.
At first Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.
Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.
At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?
What authors inspired you to write this particular novel? Why? Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I love all her books, but Persuasion is my favorite. I started to read fanfiction based on Austen’s novels and eventually, ideas for a story of my own developed. Letters from the Sea was a Nanowrimo novel project a few years ago, but I was never happy with it and set it aside. However, I enjoyed the first chapter of the book where Edward Wentworth viewed his brother’s romance from afar and this became the bud that bloomed into The Curate’s Brother.
What else do you have in the pipeline? I am working on a sequel to The Curate’s Brother called Letters From The Sea. It is an extensive revision of the original project. Like The Curate’s Brother, it is more a character study than a true regency romance. I am also at work on my Opus, a steampunk science fiction trilogy, but due to its scope and length, it will be awhile before it is published.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
No Wasted Ink:
Amazon Author Page:

Wendy, thank you so very much for joining us!

Guest Post by the Wonderful Myron Stenzel


A Guest Post Poem by the Wonderful Myron Stenzel!

My Arms Are Wings, The Ocean is My Sky
White sands before my eyes stretch for miles along the sea shore.
Endless possibilities are countless as the shells scattered by the waves, my imagination couldn’t ask for anything more.
This strip of sand reminds me of a runway and my body is an explorer’s albatross seaplane.
I sit with my engine roaring on the threshold markings of the beach with no one around to call me insane.
I extend my arms away from my fuselage body as my feet begin to stir.
Sending myself in motion, I take off on a jog; in my mind, I’m racing down the sandy strip in a split second blur.
Feeling the wind rustle through my sleeves as I gain altitude on my aerial nautical quest.
I turn towards the waves of the ocean and visualize the albatross being pushed to the ultimate in aviation’s test.
I dip and sway along with the currents and the rising tide.
Ease and calmness grace my heart while I enjoy my oceanic ride.
My feet dance and skip in the water as the albatross pretends to land near a tropical island.
My arms are down by my side as the explorer in me reaches into the sea trying to discover something I want to learn and understand.
I pull from the depths of the waters a treasure chest in the form of a conch shell.
My imagination boards the seaplane once again, bringing back a nautical gem and my tales of triumph for stories to tell.
I tip my wings over the waters I have explored out of respect to the blue and majestic deep.
My treasures taken are the memories of my imaginary flight, forever will I keep.
My playfulness comes to an end when I land back in reality bidding adieu to the albatross which gave me a sea salt high.
My arms are wings, the ocean is my sky.
-Myron J Stenzel
‪#‎poetry‬ ‪#‎nautical‬ ‪#‎beach‬ ‪#‎ocean‬ ‪#‎dream‬ ‪#‎imagine‬ ‪#‎believe‬

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