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Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner

Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Gene Miller and Karen Kavner

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Have I mentioned how much I love interviewing fellow creative peers here? I probably have… actually I’m guilty and I apologize for the repetitive tones of gasconade, but as Marlene Dietrich sang “I can’t help it.” It’s a rewarding opportunity for me to interview up and coming authors (or as in the case) to seasoned veterans in the writing world. Fortunately, through a recommendation from my NY writer’s group crony, she suggested I interview these two multi-talented writers—most notably writing for famous television shows! Ayo! Both have just authored a unique novel about a baseball player’s life journey. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this one on the big screen soon.

1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
KAREN: I can vividly recall expressing my inner-most feeling thru writing at a pretty early age. Creating pages and pages of hand-written emotions and random thoughts about my life, the people in it, my observations and my desires. It never quite took the form of what was called a ‘diary’ back then, partly because I wasn’t disciplined enough to write entries on a regular basis; and partly because I didn’t want my sister, or anyone else for that matter, to find it and read it!

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

3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
GENE: I guess I’d have to say, Sydney Carton, from ‘A Tale Of Two Cities.’ A man who evolved into heroic stature through self-sacrifice and the capacity to love without reservation.

4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
KAREN and GENE: Nora Ephron, who wrote with humor, intelligence, compassion, and most of all truth. And Bernard Malamud, for his portrayal of incredibly flawed and tragic characters. Those are the most interesting characters to write.

5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
KAREN and GENE: Our debut novel, a psychological work of fiction title, ‘Unraveled – A Novel.’

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
KAREN and GENE: No. Though, the novel went through an interesting series of evolutions from its original premise, ultimately we were very satisfied with our final draft and knew exactly when it was time to ‘put it out there.’

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
GENE: Write every day. Even if it’s just a few paragraphs. That is the only way to improve as a writer. Also, write from your gut. Meaning, write about something or someone you know, or have an affinity with and a passion for.
KAREN echoed Gene’s sentiments but added: But don’t isolate yourself from the incredible world around you. Fully participate in life. Remain curious and observant. And when you love – love deeply and completely.

8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful ;)
GENE: From 8th grade through high school, I was in Honors English, My grades were mostly A’s, with one or two B’s along the way. In college, I got all A’s in the few English classes I enrolled in, but did not major in English in college.
KAREN: While usually doing quite well in English classes, I honestly can’t recall specific grades – but I did get an A in a post-graduate creative writing course I took at Hunter College in New York.

9. How much research do you do for your writing?
GENE and KAREN: A lot. The more the better. Particularly with regard to medical and psychological references. As for locations and settings, if we didn’t feel we had sufficient, first-hand knowledge to rely on, we would travel to the locations we wanted to reference. And made a point of meeting and speaking with locals, with the goal of keeping what we write as authentic as possible, while fully cognizant of the fact that the story we were weaving was indeed fictional.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
We primarily use the computer. But notes, and sudden bursts of inspiration, more often than not, can be found scribbled on anything from scraps of paper, the back of an electric bill, or on a restaurant napkin.

11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
GENE: Write from your gut. Write about something you’re passionate about. And be true to your characters. It will be the most honest. Years back when I first moved to Hollywood and wanted to write for television, I sat home and wrote a handful of spec scripts, (scripts of television shows on the air that you would hope to write for, and submit them for consideration. They are also samples used to hopefully interest a literary agent). Unfortunately I wasn’t getting the responses I had hoped for. So I enrolled in a class in creative writing given by a world renowned author who said I will never open any doors by writing other writer’s television shows. He advised me to write something original. Something I was passionate about. Something that will turn heads. I did, and I’ve been writing for television for over two decades.

12. What book do you think everyone should read?
GENE and KAREN: For aspiring authors, or for those avid readers curious about the art of writing itself, we would strongly suggest, Stephen King’s book, titled, ‘On Writing.’ And, as Karen is quick to suggest, ‘The Joy of Chocolate,’ by Judith Olney, if for no other reason than the Chocolate Mousse recipe on page five. After all, one must always keep in mind, an author’s muse can be found in many surprising and delicious places.

13. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
GENE: I play the drums, and in my younger days, I played in various rock bands. It was a blast. Now I’d love to learn the piano.
KAREN: I’d love to play anything loud enough to drown out my singing. Truth be told, I’m so tone-deaf, I’ve been forced to resort to lip-syncing, ‘Happy Birthday’ at friends’ celebrations.

14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
It is currently on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com in paperback and kindle.

15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
KAREN: No one, really. I genuinely love my life, and wouldn’t want to miss a day of it by changing places with someone else.

16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
GENE: A professional baseball player. A home run hitting center fielder.
KAREN: Something in the Arts, or Astronomy. Or something that required spending a great deal of time in Paris, Venice, or on Kailua beach in Hawaii.

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
KAREN: Bill Murray, because his humor is more layered and he reaches deep when bringing a character to life on the big screen.
GENE: Bill Murray as well.
(No love for the Brits… lol)

18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
GENE: A television show that I was working on some years back was chosen by the Writers Guild of America as one of their 101 top television shows of all time. That really blew my mind.
KAREN: The first time I saw my on-screen ‘Written By’ credit on television.

19. What quote do you live by?
KAREN: If not now, when?

20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
GENE and KAREN: To have our novel, ‘Unraveled – A Novel’ become a best seller, enjoyed by millions, and made into a film.

21. Would you like to ask me a question?
Which do you prefer? Seeing a film based on a book after you’ve read the book, or reading the book after you’ve seen the film?

Good question. For me, I used to always read the book first. But ever since I penned my own novel, Feedback (and don’t have the time to read each book that debuts) I prefer reading the book after because when I wrote my book, it was snippets of film in my head… a movie reel that I reconfigured from scenes into words. It interests me to see the interpretation visually… a possible connection to my writing process I guess ;) I can say with certitude, 9 times out of 10 the book supersedes the movie. Rita Hayworth And Shawhank Redemption is a good example of both being equally spectacular. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s exceptions where I refuse to see the film… specifically one of my favorite books, John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany. The book was literally altered for screen (per my friends and written reviews). I’ve concluded, films that maintain the author’s words onto screen are what I favor.

I can’t thank Gene and Karen for sharing their impressive creative process with me and my readers. Keep up the boundless efforts! Please read their latest novel, Unraveled here:http://www.amazon.com/Unraveled-A-Novel-Gene-Miller-ebook/dp/B00XBECKKU

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Fitness Motivation!

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As the summer’s starting to wrap up, I recollect my goals I started in June of walking or biking to work, meditating and practicing yoga more often. The payoff has been prodigious! Not only do I feel even better, but it’s as if I’m suddenly omnipotent… so much in fact I’ve decided to keep this ongoing. Do you have a fitness goal? Or accomplishing one? I hope so, to give you extra incentive check out this new app from Boston – Wellcoin where you can be rewarded or donate to your favorite charities by merely taking steps each day. How incredible is that? Read more about this beneficial app here:http://www.metro.us/lifestyle/new-app-wellcoin-pays-you-to-get-fit-and-sleep/zsJohq—OBNQNseALIaI/

P.s. New Author interview next week!

Happy (fitness-filled) Weekend,
LM

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Monday Movie Quotes & Tunes…

“It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.”

“I’ve spent my entire life playing it safe just to avoid being exactly where I am right now.”

“You know, where you are right now is in a cool rink on a hot day listening to a Cyndi Lauper classic, underneath disco lights. Cut yourself some slack, Judd. Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.” – This Is Where I Leave You

Currently ♪♪♪ on Little Mountain FM

Nirvana – Breed (live / Montage of Heck Soundtrack… the energy and sound out of this sickly-talented trio was unparalleled, reminiscent of a edgier Police)
Oasis – Supersonic
Bob Sinclair – World Hold On
The Weekend – I Can’t Feel My Face
Local H – Bound For The Floor
Duran Duran – Lonely In Your Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys – Snap Out Of It
Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours
Bread – Make It With You
Days Of New – Touch, Peel And Stand
Ok Go – A Million Ways
Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop
Loverboy – Working For The Weekend
Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee (written by Kris Kristofferson & Fred Foster)

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Writers / Creatives – Who Wants To Be Interviewed?

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If you (or someone you know) would like to promote your work whilst having fun talking about your creative process with me, featured here on my unpretentious blog – please message me at lmontanino@gmail.com or comment below.

❤-felt thanks,
Lisa

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Monday’s Motivation Article… “How Positivity Makes You Healthy and Successful”

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http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248890

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Chopped (one of my favorite shows)

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If you’re a considerable fan as I am of this show, you’ll savor behind the scenes tidbits reading this:http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/articles/shooting-baskets-behind-the-scenes-of-chopped.html

Bucket list no. 45… compete on this show!

Cheers to a joyful rest of the week,
LM

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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