Friday, July 8, 2011

World of Writing !

-- Quote of the Day --

“[Writing as a therapy] you just write, without thinking, as fast as you can. …This writing serves two purposes. Number one, you are purging, you are vomiting your feelings and …you have released them and that is healing in itself. …The second thing is that many times when you try to think about what is bothering you - you can’t access it, but if you do this kind of writing and then read it back you may get some awareness of where the real problems are.” 
~ Karen Sherman

Today's quote was excerpted from the Living Fully Aware interview that aired back on April 26 via the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show. *Access the full interview via the hyper-linked show title above.

-- World of Writing --

As many of our readers are already aware, we enjoy featuring World of Writing interviews on this blog...I’d like to start with a shout out to Kat Sanborn, Editorial Associate with Cleis Press and Viva Editions (  for sending a query our way for today’s featured guest.

Nina Lesowitz is the author of four books including The Courage Companion, and Living Life as a Thank You - which inspired the recently released title, The Gratitude Power Workbook (co-authored with Mary Beth Sammons). She is on the executive committee of Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, and also helps aspiring and established authors publish and promote their books worldwide through her company, Spinergy Group. Nina can be found at:

Q: How have your books gotten published?

When my two daughters were elementary school-age, I decided to change careers. I determined to get a job in book publishing since my first love has always been books and reading. I was able to convert my experience in advertising and marketing into a position as a publicist at a book publishing company in Berkeley, California. I was also given the opportunity to co-author The Party Girl Cookbook, a book about party planning which became a bestseller when it was released in 1999. Ten years later, Brenda Knight, associate publisher at Viva Editions, approached me to write about gratitude, which resulted in the book Living Life as a Thank You, written with co-author Mary Beth Sammons. I am enormously grateful that this book has found a wide audience throughout the United States and overseas.

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Yes, I think all aspiring writers should join a writing group. I joined one to develop skills and ideas in the fiction realm. I work at home, and am easily easy distracted, but when I am in the company of other writers, I become much more focused and the writing flows. I have actually written enough material from the prompts to put together the outline of a novel. The shared learning environment greatly expands one’s understanding of the process, and the support and input from other writers is invaluable. Also, keep an open mind – all criticism is food for thought.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?

My books Living Life as a Thank You and The Courage Companion fall into the inspiration and self-help categories. I would advise anyone who is interested in writing for this genre to ask whether she has new information to impart, and also to do a lot of research. Also, in today’s publishing climate, an author needs to take an active role in promoting his or her book, so you should be prepared to give seminars, write blogs and possibly launch a movement around your topic.

Q: What kinds of benefits come from participating in groups and organizations?

I am on the executive committee of Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival. There are myriad tangible benefits that come from volunteering for a nonprofit like Litquake which seeks to galvanize the Bay Area's writing and reading community and foster interest in books and literature by putting words on stage. I have become friends with people I greatly respect, and I can call upon various experts to provide advice, endorsements, and promotion for my projects.

Q: What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?

The publishing industry has changed enormously in the last fifteen years. One of the most pronounced changes (beyond the challenge of getting published in the first place or getting cash-strapped stores to stock your book) is the need for an author to develop and nurture their own audience. Publishing houses don’t have the resources to publicize and promote mid-list authors anymore, so it has become vitally important for authors to target readers themselves.

Q: Often we hear about the issues with literacy, how can writers help this issue?

Volunteer! My daughter and I tutored reading in the Oakland, CA school district.

Q: In what ways can an author help other writers?

I help other writers by organizing literary events in the Bay Area which give writers a chance to read their works – both published and unpublished. I also counsel writers about the pros and cons of self publishing, and council emerging authors on all aspects of traditional book publishing – including how to obtain an agent, write a solid book proposal, solicit endorsements, interviews and reviews, and use social media to expand their audience. 

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