Interview with Author Blaize Nolynne

I have the extreme please of hosting author Blaize Nolynne on my blog today. Please enjoy this interview and keep your eye out for her new release coming soon!
1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I graduated in 2009 from the Children’s Institute of Literature and put out my first book the following December under a penname. I then went on decided to study to write adult fiction.
I am from Maine and was born and raised there. I love animals. I have two dogs and a bunny.
2) When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I began writing in 2009 after I graduated from the Children’s Institute of Literature in 2009 that following December I put out my first picture book. From there I put out my first adult genre fiction the following year.
3) How did you choose the genre you write in?
I love fiction! I decided on a topic that interests me and begins to write.
4) Where do you get your ideas?
I got it from the fact my father was a firefighter.
5) Do you ever experience writer’s block? Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I have never experienced writer’s block. I don’t use outlines either. I just write as I go.
6) Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Yes, Ray Bradbury! I loved his writing. I also loved the fact that it took him awhile before he made it, this is something I could relate to.
7) Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
It is called ‘District One Stand By: On the Bleeding Edge of Change’ which is the second one in the series.
Catisha Spadoni gets a phone call in which she wasn’t expecting. It spirals from there knowing someone deliberately did this to her former crew. She decided to take the case, in the mist of it all her personal life began falling apart.
“District One, Lieutenant Catisha Spadoni, speaking.” I answered the phone as I tried hard to unbury the phone from the stack of papers I was trying to do for Jack, our beloved Captain.
“Catisha, you are the person I actually wanted to talk to.” the voice on the other end said. I recognized him as Rick Johnson, my former Chief and Fire Marshal that I worked with in New York City.
“Well you got me, so I guess it is time to ask why you are calling.” I chuckled.
“Obviously you haven’t watched the news or you would already know why I am calling.”
I glanced at the clock. “The national news doesn’t start until a couple minutes when the commercial stop. I already watched the local news. Why what’s going on?” I asked.
“Breaking News from New York City. A Firehouse exploded in the early hours today. The Firehouse, trucks, and equipment are also destroyed. The firefighters who were sleeping at the time were inside. All except three made it out alive. Three are still unaccounted for. The rest have been hospitalized for injuries from severe to minor.” the national news anchor began.

“Oh my God!” I screamed as they showed the firehouse that I lived in. That was my  former crew that was injured and also among the missing. Those were my  brothers and sisters in that barn.

8) Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The only real parts of my book is the fact my father was a firefighter and I got to know these wonderful people. Everything else is fictional.
9) What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I think each chapter has a different reason why it holds close to my heart. However I think Chapter 28 in ‘District One Stand By: On the Bleeding Edge of Change’ would be my favorite from the book. It is were ‘Angel’ a new character comes in.
10) What project are you working on now? Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, I am working on ‘District One Stand By: Love Beyond the Flame’ which is the third in the series.
District One Stand By: On the Bleeding Edge of Change is coming out in less then 12 weeks.
11) Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I don’t know how to answer that. I have my favorite characters, but each of them have a reason why they do the things they do. I wish in book one I added Jimmy and Angel, two new characters.
The theme of Catisha’s life is what I go with.
12) Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Yes, NEVER give up!!! I got plenty of rejection letters in the beginning of my career and then I began rejecting contracts. Now I am happy with my publishing company! Even if you have to self publish get out there!!!
13) Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for all of the support!!! I would also like to say part of the proceeds of this series go to the 9-11 Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, two very important Foundations to me. It may never take away the pain of loosing a love one on duty, but I would love to help in any way I can.

FUN QUESTIONS!

1) If you were a superhero (or villain!) what would your power be? Would you wear a cape?
To Heal the world from diseases- especially cancer.
2) Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla? Chocolate!
3) The light side or the dark side? Light Side
4) If you could live off of chocolate would you? What kind? I would! I love dark chocolate.
5) What do you think the coolest pet to have would be? I think having the animals I have are the coolest pets.
6) If you could visit any world (real or imagined) where would you go? I would visit each and every fire station.

 

Interview with Author Olga Vannucci

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Olga Vannucci, author of  Travels With George. Please enjoy our interview and check out her book!

1)   Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Italy and came to the U.S. for college.  I’ve been here ever since.  I live in rural New Jersey with my son, George.  When he was seven years old, I realized suddenly that I hadn’t been back to Italy in ten years, and I went, and took him along.  Then I went four more times, and I wrote a book about those trips, a mix of travelogue, personal history, and little anecdotes:  “Travels With George.”

2)   Do you have a day job as well?

I have a full-time job that involves numbers rather than words.  I’m divorced and I write on Sunday afternoons when my son is with his father.

3)   When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing my one book in my late 40s and finished it two years later.  It takes a lot of personal discipline to write a whole book, and I did not have it when I was younger.

4)   How did you choose the genre you write in?

I wrote the type of book I like to read.  I love to read travel memoirs and books about exotic places.  I am inspired and awed by writers who put themselves out there, who are able to observe and interpret very different situations, and who can be funny too.  Two books I have loved recently are “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” by Alexandra Fuller, about growing up in Africa, and “Running Away to Home” by Jennifer Wilson, about Croatia.

5)   Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I went with self-publishing because I didn’t have the patience to pursue other publishers.  What I like about self-publishing is that it’s all mine, I created the book cover, I chose the font, I am doing all my own promotion, and it’s been incredibly fun and very rewarding.

6)   How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

Early on, I had an opportunity to read from my book at a gathering of 150 women through an organization called New Act Women in New Jersey.  If you are as shy as I am, I would not necessarily recommend this large an event.  I was extremely nervous, but it went really well.  Once I realized it was working, that the audience was listening and responding, I relaxed.  I sold a bunch of books right there, and it was a great way to put myself out there and to get an instant response.  I realized that my book had appeal.

7)   How did you come up with the title?

It came to me suddenly as I was driving through Doylestown, PA, one day.  It’s based on Steinbeck’s book “Travels With Charley” about his travels with his dog, though I am no Steinbeck of course.  When I told my son about it (he’s the George in “Travels With George”), he said, “So I’m the dog?”

8)   What project are you working on now? Will you have a new book coming out soon?

I’m working on two new projects.  I’m working on a book of travels with my son in the U.S.  America is so varied, there’s so much to see and do.  The other project is around cooking with my mother.  She is a fantastic cook, and I can’t boil an egg.  I am building a book around her recipes, and around her and me.  I think it will be really cool.

9)   What has been the best compliment given to you as an author?

The best compliment is hearing from others about the things that spoke to them in the book, and they range from the more profound to the totally mundane situations.  Women will focus on the mothering aspects of the book, dealing with my son.  Men enjoy my description of how Italians give directions:  they start from a place you’ve never heard of, proceed vaguely, and stop well before your destination.  Apparently that’s happened to others…  They can relate, and I love when people tell me they can relate to something I wrote about.

10)Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up!  There are so many options today to publish and distribute and get the word out, and it can be done without a big financial investment.  All you need is the investment of time.  Given that this is your passion, you want to spend your time on it anyway.  And there are so many people who are open to help, don’t be afraid to ask.  Putting your thoughts out there to share with others is a gift, and people respond very kindly.

FUN QUESTIONS!

 

1)    If you were a superhero (or villain!) what would your power be? Would you wear a cape?

I’m the most curious person on earth, so my power would be … knowing things.  It would be so great!

2)    Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla?

Definitely chocolate!  With mix-ins.

3)    The light side or the dark side?

The light side, the airy side, the side of beauty and novelty and independence.

4)    Do you have deep dark secret? How about a shallow grey one?

I’d say shallow grey ones, multiple ones, and they’re not really secrets, just things I would just as soon not blurt out unprovoked.

5)    What sort of coffee would you order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?

Tall latte and it bugs me that it’s tall and not small.

6)    If you could live off of chocolate would you?

I kind of do, I live on chocolate ice cream, with mix-ins.

7)    Have you ever lost your wallet/purse? Did you find it again if so?

I’m a compulsive double and triple checker, so I would be very upset if I lost my wallet or purse or car keys or phone. I would have to switch to quadruple checking.  I could go mad altogether.

8)    When you rip out a page from a spiral notebook, do you leave the strip with the tabby pieces in? Or do you have to remove them?

I have to remove them because they tickle the notebook.

 Check out: 

Travels With George:  A Memoir Through the Italy of My Childhood

By Olga Vannucci

Don’t miss Olga’s website at http://olgavannucci.com with some pictures and some snippets from the book.

or her Facebook page that can be reached via http://travelswithgeorge.com.

Her book is on Amazon, both the printed and the Kindle versions, at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=olga+vannucci