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Interview With Writer Tony Kirwood

1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
As soon as I realised there was something to laugh at – so, early!

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
I go for most of it. But – I’m sorry if you loved it – “The Time Traveller’s Wife” really reawakened my inner, sleeping, roaring Bolshevik.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
The good soldier Schweik.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
Terry Pratchett/Sue Townsend/Robert Sheckley. I can’t decide!

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
Promoting my How To Write Comedy Book. And putting a proposal together for my “Blog of Samuel Pepys” book.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
Work to get more plaudits before publication which I could use.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up and stuff the naysayers.

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

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
For the Pepys book, I’m reading the diaries and am researching a lot on 17th Century language and lifestyle.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Computer – I’ve trained myself.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t get it right, get it written
12. What book do you think everyone should read?
I think that’s for everyone to answer for themselves.

13. (two part question) Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
I’ve forgotten the piano! I still have fantasies of taking it up again with a really cool jazz quartet and saying “Take it away, boys.”

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
I read several books on getting published, took much of their advice, wrote a very well targeted proposal and the first publisher accepted it! I was surprised how quick it was. I’m sure it won’t be so easy in the future.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
JK Rowling. I’d love to come away with the experience of that immense success.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
An archaeologist (in a country where there’s great food, wonderful weather and beautiful women)

17. (two part question) Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And Michael Palin or John Cleese?
(a) Bill Murray. (b) In 1970, John Cleese without a doubt. But in 2014, Michael Palin.

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
Any time I get people to laugh I feel I’ve done my job. It doesn’t get better than that.

19. What quote do you live by?
“Do not go gentle into that good night”.

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
Several books out, including a series of novels (all humorous)

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
I’d love to hear your take on the difference between American and British humour.
Definitely the vernacular is differenct… there are words that us Yanks and you Brits use that boggles minds if they don’t understand the meaning… adds to the appeal. This pretty much sums up my opinion: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/09/the-difference-between-american-and-british-humour/

Thanks again, Tony for taking the time to interrogate you for our audience :)
Readers, do yourself a favor and read (and laugh) Tony’s delightful works here: http://www.tonykirwood.co.uk/

Cheers,
Lisa

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Motivational Quotes & Thursday’s Three-play…

Motivational Quotes & Thursday's Three-play….

 

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Motivational Quotes & Thursday’s Three-play…

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ~David Brinkley

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” ~Anonymous

“No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.” ~Anonymous

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” ~Robert Collier

Thursday’s three-play playing on Little Mountain FM
“Perfect Day” by the Constellations
“No Church In The Wild” by Jay Z / Kanye West / Frank Ocean (Jay Z = 1 of #Brooklyn’s #finest #Native #New #Yorkers #are #the #best!
“How You Like Me Now?” by The Heavy

Be sure to check out my latest interview with British writer, Tony Kirkwood on Monday!
LDM

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Excerpt from my novel, Feedback

Originally posted on Accidental Bohemian:

CHAPTER 6 / THE NOOSE

(Heard over the loudspeaker in Pennsylvania Station)
All aboard Track 21. Babylon Train making stops at Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, Saint Albans, Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Baldwin, Freeport, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh, Seaford, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, and Babylon. Change at Jamaica for connections to Oyster Bay and Ronkonkoma.

I can recite this announcement in my sleep. I’ve heard it since I first went to Penn Station as a kid. I usually follow along with the announcer out loud as I’m walking through the corridor that leads to the Seventh Avenue exit. I had thought for a long time that this was prerecorded in the early 1980’s, till I figured out subtle differences from the unenthused announcer each day. For example, how one or two words are occasionally dropped or the vocal rhythmic flow differentiates at times. I swear it’s the…

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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Interview With Writer Mona Dash

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1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
Long back, as a child! I don’t remember the exact age, but maybe I was around nine or ten. I remember writing a poem about the rain, which was published in a newspaper in India (The Telegraph). It was typical, sentimental stuff …poetry about daily objects one was about a table fan and how hard it had to work, for example! But I also went through stages when I didn’t write at all, when in university doing my MBA and later when I started working. I went through years of writing on and off.

2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
Definitely Prose, both for reading and writing. Fiction- about people, relationships, cultures. I am not much of the thriller or adventure kinds. I have a book of poetry which was published several years back. But I find I have to feel truly inspired to write poetry, whereas fiction is more natural.

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Quite a few! In general, I am a sucker for any Babe the pig, Hiccup, Dusty (Planes) Turbo, Emmett kind of Disney character, the one who is trying to do something very impossible which they completely not suited for! And which of course they finally achieve.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
Due to the background, I tend to identify with writing from writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, Monica Ali, Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga, – basically writing from or about the Indian subcontinent and the juxtaposition of various cultures while trying to remain yourself.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
It’s a busy time ahead! This week, for example, I am in the middle of completing a short story. Come September, the last term of my M. A (Creative Writing) will start. I am also looking forward to two readings in November. One is my university anthology launch where I have a poem and short story published and the second is a poetry reading in the Nehru Centre. We are launching a couple of anthologies in which our poems have appeared, and I am reading in the company of five other poets. I am also planning to get back into a novel, which I had started some years back and left halfway while I was busy with other writing.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
I don’t think I would change the writing content as such – though I find I can always find things to improve/edit and so on – but I would change the process I approached the novel and writing in general. I would like to treat the ‘after writing’ in a more systematic way i.e approaching agents, sending for publications and so on.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Obvious as it may seem, I would say ‘write!’ Write as well as you possibly can, and write as much as you possibly can. Everyone wants recognition quickly, especially when we hear of all the first book millionaire stories and the process of rejections can be soul destroying. What I like to remind myself is that writing is like a river and not a race.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful ;)
Happy to say I clear this question with a straight A! I had good marks (I studied in India where they measure in percentage) equivalent to the A* – but didn’t study English as a discipline. I went on to study Telecommunications engineering and then a MBA.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
It depends on what I am writing. My first novel was very character and situation driven so I didn’t need much research. In the second, I have gone back in history a little, so I had to read and research the 1940s. Sometimes if I am writing about a new place, i.e a place I may not have lived in and just visited, I read more about it.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Absolutely laptop driven now. I used to longhand and still find hand written stuff in old notebooks. Unfortunately, my handwriting is close to illegible now!

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I haven’t been given too much advice on writing! – (though I’ve always had a lot of encouragement from my family like my mother, uncles and aunts.) In terms of advice, I really like something I had read in Stephen’s King’s On Writing.
‘’Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. Or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
Probably The sound and the fury by Faulkner. I am fascinated by the different points of view and how a single story can be presented in so many ways. Another personal favourite remains The God of small things by Arundhati Roy, not only due to the poetic language, but also as it was a significant milestone in increasing the popularity of Indian writers writing in English.

13. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
Unfortunately I was never musically inclined, though my mother tried in vain to set up harmonium lessons for me! If I had to learn, I would say the guitar.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
My book is now with my agent Redink Literary agency and they have started submitting it to publishers. They are also reading my next book and a couple of other proposals I have in mind.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
Someone very famous to see how it feels to be in the public eye , and to know what they really think about. Maybe Kate Middleton. It would be interesting to know what it feels like becoming royalty!

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
My dream is to be a writer by profession! I work now in Telecom Solution sales. Doesn’t everyone want to make a living from writing?!

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And Michael Palin or John Cleese?
Bill Murray and John Cleese! I am a real fan of the Fawlty towers!

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
Haven’t got to the it yet, but I hope its round the corner somewhere. I am looking forward though to some forthcoming publications in journals and also the Nehru centre reading. Signing with the agent was one of the happy moments.

19. What quote do you live by?
Long back I had read, ‘If you want something you will get it, but you may have to work for it however.’ That has stuck with me. I also like to say ‘Where there is a wish, there is a way.’

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition (or have you achieved it already) ? (famous Pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
I will take the Pulitzer prize winning author choice, thank you!
It’s always hard to know at what point you feel you have achieved your writing ambition. I guess for me, the short term is to find publishers for my current novels and the long term is to write brilliantly. Writing which is true, beautiful, and what people like to read.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
Sure! Do you think the search for an agent and the traditional publishing route is too old fashioned and a waste of time?

I believe in the traditional concept and wish it was more accessible in present times. Since the internet age, all creative outlets (with the exception of advertising) have suffered horribly in the marketing region, and without that, it’s nearly impossible to have a publishing house invest in writers… especially new ones on the scene. If I had the choice of a fair contract from a publisher, I would choose that route. All the publishers that sent me offers left me with no rights to my work and very little marketing efforts. Self-publishing appealed most to me, despite wearing all the hats to get your book out there.  It’s a catch-22 situation decision that writers have to contemplate in choosing the best option for them.

Thanks again to Mona for spending time talking about her literary process, please check out her work here: http://www.monadash.net

And in August, Mona’s poems have been published in:
http://poetry-24.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-rape-of-childhood.html?m=1
http://www.thelakepoetry.co.uk/poetry/mona-dash/

And join her for upcoming readings in November:
London Metropolitan University : 6.30 p.m. 13th November
The Nehru Centre, London : 6.00 p.m., 21st November

Anyone interested in being featured here in an interview, please email me at Lmontanino@gmail.com

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Interviews are taking off! Who’s next?

Interview

Interview with Mona Dash

You are.

I love being busy, especially these past few weeks with the out pour of interest from writers, artists, and musicians wanting to feature their work on my blog. Please check in every Monday for a new interview with these talented folks.

If you would like to join in on the ‘creative inquisition’, please contact me here via comments or at lmontanino@gmail.com
Coming up this Monday: Interview with writer Mona Dash – we had a great time talking about Mona’s work yesterday over lunch at the Southbank Center (pictured above)

Happy weekend!
Lisa

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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The Worst Thing In Life – You’ll Be Missed Robin Williams

The Worst Thing In Life – You’ll Be Missed Robin Williams

lilmountain:

Beyond sad with the loss of my favorite comedian. Anytime I had “black cloud moments” I would put on one of his comedy specials and smile, laughing out loud instantly. I remember when I lived in SF, I would go to Hamburger Haven, and walk past The Purple Onion – some of Robin’s hang outs in the hopes of just being in front of him to thank him for being such a positive inspiration. I never had the chance… till now. In honor of Robin, watch the magic happen (and laugh your heart out) by searching on youtube: Robin Williams Live On Broadway and Weapons Of Self-Destruction

Originally posted on Bucket List Publications:

I-used-to-think-the-worst-thing-in-life-was-to-end-up-all-alone

We live in a sad world surrounded by people who are questioning themselves and the importance of their lives, gripped by depression. We need to reach out and provide positive encouragement, support, and love before it’s too late.

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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