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Author Interview with Ntina Rotsidi

ntina loool

1.When did you start putting pen to paper?
I just recently started to blog at WordPress.com (just about 3 months ago), but I love it. I always loved writing my own pieces and I was actually considering blogging long before I actually did it, but I just didn’t know when and how to start.

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

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
My favorite fictional hero is definitely one from my childhood, the Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl. One of the first books I read when I was in my pre-teens… an absolute classic for me!

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
Virginia Woolf. I wouldn’t say that I identify with her much, but I do love how she changed literature with her unique attitude towards Christianity, fascism and how she gave power to women with feminism through her novels.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
Right now, I’m just focusing on my blog and trying to build an audience through my posts and the layout of it. If anything else comes up, why not?

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
No, because I’ve just started writing and blogging and I’ve loved it so far, so nothing regretful for now.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing about what you’re passionate and don’t do anything if you’re not 100% focused and determined.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful ;)
Actually, English classes were my favourite. I always had A’s at school and in private courses.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
It depends on the subject I’m writing about. If I’m writing something personal, I don’t use much research… I just write down my feelings but If it’s a social issue (for example) I tend to go online and search on the news and forums and try to be as educated as possible before commenting on it.

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

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone or anything put you down-what others think of you is none of your business, your success will speak for you.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
The Little Prince… such a warmhearted reading.

13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
I used to take piano lessons but after a while I stopped for personal reasons, but I would like to learn how to play again.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
At present time no efforts on having a book published as of yet.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
Someone’s famous for sure and from another lifetime… so I would say Leonardo DaVinci.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
Well, I consider myself an amateur blogger for now, and it’s not a profession necessarily… I would say it’s more of a hobby. But my ideal profession besides blogging would be something in the fashion industry, like fashion journalist.

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
The first one, I love Bill Murray. No thoughts on the other two ;)

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
My most rewarding writing accomplishment is definitely my blog.

19. What quote do you live by?
“Live each day as if your life had just begun.”

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
Be a very well known and admired blogger.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
Yes… are you in the process or releasing another book or writing piece?
I write/blog in my free time here… and I’m slowly but surely working on two books, a sequel to my last novel Feedback and a collection of vignettes (to be transformed into a novella from the fictional character, Debra Westlake. You can read some of them here under Friday’s Flash-Fiction – let me know your thoughts.

Thanks again to Ntina for talking with me, she’s a delightful blogger who just so happened to be featured here with her insightful piece on fashion – in case you missed it, read it here: https://lisamontanino.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/featured-article-from-guest-blogger-ntina-rotsidi/
And last but not least, please follow this talented lady (if you haven’t already): https://theworldofntina.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/hello-world/

Have a lovely sun-filled weekend!
LM

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Monday’s Motivation… Meditation

insight-timer1
If you’re reluctant to try for any reason, don’t be. Insight Timer (app review below) makes it foolproof and simple to meditate successfully. Download and start reaping benefits now.

http://www.healthybeeps.com/blog/healthy-beeps-blog/post/insight-timer-review

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Tuesday’s Poem and Tunes…

Song by Frank O’Hara

I am stuck in traffic in a taxicab
which is typical
and not just of modern life

mud clambers up the trellis of my nerves
must lovers of Eros end up with Venus
muss es sein? es muss nicht sein, I tell you

how I hate disease, it’s like worrying
that comes true
and it simply must not be able to happen

in a world where you are possible
my love
nothing can go wrong for us, tell me

Currently ♪♪♪♪ on Little Mountain FM

Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
KLF (featuring Tammy Wynette) “Justified & Ancient”
Outkast – “Roses”
Blind Faith – “Can’t Find My Way Home”
Franz Ferdinand – “What She Came For”
The Wallflowers – “6th Avenue Heartache”
Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe”
B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars – “Nothin’ On You”
Smashing Pumpkins – “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”
Frank Ocean – “Super Rich Kids” (spoiled brats make me super-sick)

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Friday’s Motivation… 10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast

Carnival_Hawaii-07

A few friends lately have mentioned their more stressed these days, so this post is for them. For me, sailing or thinking back to my holiday in Hawaii relieves stress as well as the tips below. Avere un weekend senza stress.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview With Elisa Koopmans

New York Book Festival 477
Perceived Threat Front Cover - May 2015
I had the pleasure of meeting Elisa outside of the Port Jefferson Library, she kindly led me in the right direction of the event where we were both being featured as New York authors in May. It was a lovely time at the event meeting locals, fans, and many of Long Island’s literary finest.
 
1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
 
Professionally, about thirty years ago when I became an attorney. However, the writing was legal and technical, mostly Wills, Trust Agreements, Powers of Attorney and contracts. There was no creativity in those documents. My first real pen to paper experience with fiction occurred about four years ago when I started writing Perceived Threat, a political thriller and “whodunit” murder mystery. 
 
2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
 
Prose, especially murder mystery.
 
3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
 
Merryweather, one of the three fairies in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She is the one in blue. I like her because she is kind, caring and full of love, but she is also feisty, determined and assertive when the situation calls for it. She has spunk and perseveres no matter what problem befalls her.
 
4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
 
Agatha Christie. She is a master of the “whodunit.” I love it when the reader has no idea who did it until Miss Marple or Hercule Peirot reveal the murderer at the end of the story. 
 
5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
 
On June 19, I was awarded a New York Book Festival award for Perceived Threat, so that was my most recent project with the book. I am currently marketing Perceived Threat, as it was only released on April 28. During any spare time I can find, I work on my next novel, No One Will Ever Know, which is another murder and mystery story, but entirely different than Perceived Threat.
 
6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
 
Yes, I would change the quote at the beginning of the book. I like the quote, but the other day I stumbled upon another quote that is absolutely perfect. It was said by Henry David Thoreau in 1951: “It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” Since the main theme of Perceived Threatis perception, this quote concisely captures the concept of perception and hints at what lies in the text of the book.
 
7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
 
Take your writing projects one sentence at a time. That way, the project will not overwhelm you.
 
8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful ;)
 
I received As in most of my work in English, although I had no particular interest in or intrigue with creative writing at that time.
 
9. How much research do you do for your writing?
 
Lots. Even though the story is fiction, I want as much reality as possible in the story. I think that helps to bring the story to life. For example, Perceived Threat takes place primarily in Washington, DC. I extensively researched the neighborhoods of DC so that places I mention are real and accurately portrayed.
 
10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
 
I write on a computer, but since my computer is not with me all the time, when I get a story idea and I am away from my computer, I resort to handwritten notes.
 
11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
 
My father taught me that “you never fail until you stop trying.” Albert Einstein said it, but my father lives it.
 
12.  What book do you think everyone should read?
 
The Bible, especially the new testament for specific guidance on the right way to treat others in life.
 
 13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
 
I did play the clarinet from 6th grade through high school, but I have not played it since graduation, although I still have it. The instrument that I would love to learn to play is my voice – my vocal cords – as I wish I could sing. My singing voice is terrible, but I love to sing. Consequently, I sing often when I am alone.
 
14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
 
I read The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine who owns Hillcrest Media in Minneapolis, which is a publishing company. It has various imprints, some of which are exclusively for self-publishing authors and others under which they publish traditionally. I wanted a publisher that produced the same quality as a traditional publisher even though I was paying the costs directly. One of my two editors used to work for Simon & Schuster. Mark’s book is a great marketing tool for his company because it sold me on publishing with him. My publishing process lasted one year.
 
15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
 
Richard Castle. I realize he is a fictional television character, but he is a highly successful, best-selling murder mystery writer who leads an exciting life in New York City. I would love to experience his success as an author for a week.
 
16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
I would be an attorney, and I am. Truth be told, I would rather be a full-time author than a full-time attorney.
 
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
 
Bill Murray, as he generally seems to be a sincere person. John Cleese because he can equally as well be hilarious or serious in his acting.
 
18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
Being selected this month as one of the award winners of the New York Book Festival where the criteria is two-fold: the storytelling of the author has to be outstanding and the book has to have the potential for wide public recognition. It is rewarding to have someone you do not know personally tell you your book is fantastic.
  
19.  What quote do you live by?
 
“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up … discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” Eleanor Roosevelt
 
20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
 
To find my novels on the New York Times best sellers list and to have that result in thousands of my books being bought by avid readers who love my books. Quite a goal, right?!
    
21. Would you like to ask me a question?
 
Yes. What do you find is the best free marketing tool for an author’s book?
WordPress blog (shameless plug for my author interviews), twitter, and Facebook hands down.
 
Congratulations to Elisa for her award winning success at the New York Book Festival, such an honor! I can’t wait to read Elisa’s book, be sure to pick up your copy of Perceived Threat. Just have to give a shout to your book cover Elisa, very visually appetizing… keep up the great work.
 
 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Movie Of The Week… Begin Again

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Music? ✓
Good story? ✓
Quintessential New York scenes? ✓
Unique concept & direction? ✓

My only regret is not seeing this in the theatre when it was released! Glad I was recommended to check it out ♥
I won’t give any spoilers, just do yourself a favor and see this movie.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Friday’s Flash Fiction… So Far Behind The Eight-Ball

An excerpt from The Diaries Of Debra Westlake

The women next to me on line at the supermarket checkout blurted out in a taxing manner “I’m so far behind the eight-ball.” I nonchalantly avoided making small talk with her as I thought about that expression… of being stifled in a tough situation. I always liked the idiom behind the eight-ball. I guess when I was in a losing situation it didn’t appeal to me as much but for the past few months life has been good again—happily with a great guy who appreciates me and my baggage. My son is doing well in school and he seems to have found a healthy balance between his parents new life and the new people in it. My job is excelling with a recent promotion and physically I’ve never felt better, latest effort is training for my first marathon. Laughing more and looking at the glass half-full now, that alone is something to celebrate.

It’s hard to imagine that just a year ago… how different things were. Doubting myself and all of my choices at that time. Worrying about others, especially my son and not my own happiness. Ridding myself of all the struggle that comes along with crucial life changes that had to be made. Now the sky looks bluer to me. Even something as simple as breathing seems refreshingly easier. I guess the adage of what goes down, comes up again is true. There was a time when I thought someone had put a hex on me, cursing me with undeserved maladies. I didn’t realize at the time that statements like why is this happening to me? Why am I doomed? What have I done to deserve this horrible life? Actually immerses you further into an adverse abyss. Affirmations must be positive on a whole, specifically ones you mutter to yourself.

Gone are the days of being under someones ridiculous brow-beating control and fear of eliciting a harsh, crude response. There was a time I equated myself to a lonely weakened child in a sand box that was constantly bullied by an irrational boy. This deplorable behavior went on for years, with me never having the courage to say no mas. Finally one day my feeble body gained muscles and cut through any emotional torment I was victim to. A new backbone so-to-speak and I emerged as the master of my own destiny instead a servant to mine or anyone else’s judgement. Once a bully realizes they can no longer play on someones emotions by stinging them, they go onto the next prey. Look, I’m no expert but I do know what works and what doesn’t for me. I learned valuable lessons that have now enhanced my life despite suffocating me at the time I was in class forced to study them—and now I couldn’t be more grateful.

The women next to me gathers her bags in her basket. I lean over towards her and put my hand on her shoulder saying “It may be tough now… whatever it is that has you behind, but it can get better… if you want it to.” She put her hand on mine and thanked me. Maybe I inspired her. Maybe not. Either way, I’m motivated more than I ever have been and all I can say is wow.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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