Interview with Author Mike Sirota


Interview with author and writing coach, Mike Sirota … I read Freedom’s Hand (by Mike) and highly recommend. His new book is Stone Woman (in my TBR queue) … looking forward to it.

Originally posted on raaniyork:

Hello Mike,mike-bio-picture-small1

I want to thank you first of all for your readiness to be part of this interview and permit me to publish it on my blog. I did choose you because I have heard of you before and would like for other people to know you and your writing better.


Would you explain what made you write in the first place?

As a kid I read just about every book I could get my hands on. That, and also having a vivid imagination, made the transition to writing my own stories easy. Over time I learned that you can’t be a talented writer without being well read.

When did you feel the need to write?

In grade school I wrote numerous short pieces, comedy skits, fantasy/science fiction scenes, etc. I can’t remember ever NOT wanting or needing to write.

What is it you like to write the…

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Must-Read Books by Christina Knowles


An honor to be included on this list!

Originally posted on Disturbing the Universe:

Snagged from freecomputersonline,com

Snagged from

This week my AP students have been presenting speeches on the books they read this quarter, and hearing students talk about my favorite books inspires in me a longing to re-read my favorites. My students often ask me what my favorite book is, and I easily reply, “Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah,” but after that, it gets tough to narrow it down to a list of essentials. I would love to just list ten, but I find it impossible to limit it that much when I begin to write. Here are my absolute must-haves:

  1. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah: I love this book because it is the most beautiful novel I have ever read. It’s about regrets, misunderstandings, and relationships—relationships between sisters, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, and husbands and wives. It is thought-provoking, poignant, and reads like poetry. Within the contemporary story, lives fairytale…

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Amazon Must Be Stopped? OK. Any Volunteers?

Originally posted on Polishing Your Prose:

amazoncom_logo_RGBRe: Amazon Must Be Stopped: It’s too big. It’s cannibalizing the economy. It’s time for a radical plan. (Franklin Foer, New Republic, Oct. 9, 2014)

All humans are self-serving and short-sighted to some degree; most humans are self-serving and short-sighted to a large degree. Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos understand this; thus, their business models thrive, and despite all the whining, more and more consumer products are Made in China or other enclaves of cheap labor, while our employment base evolves from manufacturing and production jobs to comparatively lower-paying service jobs.

We, as consumers, reward these business practices when we buy their products.

Pogo’s celebrated quip come’s to mind.

In terms of the book biz, I laughed out loud at the comment about “dilettantism.” Let’s see, dilettantes E. L. James and Amanda Hocking (among others) pen best-selling ebooks that take Amazon by storm, then the “antediluvians,” who…

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His Name Was Ben Amazon Rank: #8 Best Seller Kindle Store


My good friend Paulette Mahurin’s new book stats (all proceeds go to dog rescue!):

Originally posted on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 6.15.48 PM

A huge thank you to everyone who has purchased the book, written a review, or spread the word about this book. The first check was mailed to help rescue dogs.

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Is Literature Disappearing Up It’s Own A-Hole?


Via one of my favorite bloggers, the always fascinating A.M.B., at The Misfortune of Knowing:

Originally posted on The Misfortune Of Knowing:

Horace Engdahl seems to think so.

In comments to Le Croix, Horace Engdahl (of the Swedish Academy responsible for the Nobel Prize) criticized the “professionalization” of writing through financial support from foundations and educational institutions that allow writers to leave their “day jobs” to devote more time to writing. Noting that it’s particularly a problem for the “western side” of the world, he said:

Even though I understand the temptation, I think it cuts writers off from society, and creates an unhealthy link with institutions… Previously, writers would work as taxi drivers, clerks, secretaries and waiters to make a living. Samuel Beckett and many others lived like this. It was hard – but they fed themselves, from a literary perspective.

If we set aside Engdahl’s hypocrisy — he’s a literary academic linked with an institution — there’s a kernel of truth in his words: experience matters. Real-life experiences inform…

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A Review of Two Lovely Berries on Words For Worms!


Sharing a review of Two Lovely Berries, a just-released novel by my favorite blogger, A.M Blair. I’m reading the novel now and enjoying it.

Originally posted on The Misfortune Of Knowing:

Two Lovely Berries_Cover August 2014I can’t express the excitement I felt when I saw the first review of my novel, Two Lovely Berries, on one of my favorite book blogs, Words for Worms. I’ve been following Words for Worms for a long time, and I’ve also participated in her Fellowship of the Worms.

In her review of Two Lovely Berries, Katie wrote:

I don’t know what to say other than this book was excellent. I found the story engrossing from the start. Books that focus on interpersonal relationships sometimes turn a corner into a weird introspective place, but I thought Two Lovely Berries stayed grounded firmly in reality. Everything was realistically portrayed, and even the dramatic bits avoided abject melodrama. Tales of infidelity, workaholics, family violence, and sibling rivalry all blend together with refreshing glimmers of humanity that make the whole thing just work.

I am so glad that Two Lovely…

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