“Author! Author!” An Interview with Rotaru Arthur Cristian

Author Bio

“My name is Rotaru Arthur Cristian and I am a 20 years old student at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.

I was always very fond of writing and especially reading a lot of stuff on a lot of topics, which allowed me to deepen my knowledge in many different areas of life. One of my favorites was the self-improvement one and this was the beginning of ‘How to get the most out of life’.”

  1. What inspired you to write a book?

The main thing that inspired me to write this book was primarily… reading other books. After reading many self-improvement manuscripts and taking notes after each one of them, I realized that even most of them had very good content (especially older ones), none of them was “complete”. Each dived into one aspect or another of this whole “improvement” area, but if you wanted the whole package you had to read the whole library.

  1. Please describe your book.

“How To Get the Most Out of Life: The ABC of a Negotiator” is a self-improvement book which has the purpose of helping anyone who wants a positive change in his/her life.

The first thing that should be clarified about it is probably the title, more precisely the word “negotiator”. This book is giving a new meaning to this word, and this is probably the first thing that differentiates it from other books in the same area.

The manuscript goes through the main strategies of negotiation, and then it dives into a bit more advanced topics like body language and specific phrasing and signals.

As stated in the book, it is the maximum amount of useful information in the least amount of pages possible.

My goal while writing this book was to put together all the essential subjects of all the books that I read, thus creating a “beginner guide” to a better life.

Of course, after reading it you may want to deepen your knowledge in one of the subjects treated in my book by reading others which are more concentrated on that specific subject, but nevertheless I think that “How to get the most out of life” is the best starting point in being a better “you”.

  1. What is your writing background and experience?

I was fond of writing ever since I was a kid, when I was creating small pieces of poetry and stories, but choosing a math/informatics high school and then following the courses of a cybernetics university didn’t give me the chance to truly cultivate this passion. However, it allowed me to better understand economy and people in general which lead me to write this specific book.

  1. What challenges did you face writing this book? How did you deal with them?

I tried to get some feedback on my manuscript but because I am not famous yet it proved pretty hard to find people willing to read it. However, I managed to convince some people (including some directors and university teachers) and their response was very positive. It really boosted my confidence because apart from some minor constructive feedback, most of them were very fascinated.

Probably as any other author, I had my personal challenges while writing my manuscript, but probably the one that took me the most time to solve was the riddle. Yes, this book contains a well thought riddle that is for the smart and curious ones.

  1. What has been the response to your book? What do want people to get from your book?

Being a relatively short book, I would love if people could get everything out of it. However, I know that is unlikely to happen, so I guess the core idea that I want people to be stuck with after reading my book is that every person can improve his/her life, no matter their background and social/financial status.

Even if some readers may consider that the things I taught in the book are not suited for their lifestyle (which is highly unlikely), I want them to know that there is always a way to get better. Maybe not my way, but a way.

  1. What advice would you give to other writers? What advice were you given?

I think the most important advice that I can give to other writers is to never tell anyone about your manuscript until it is finished. People usually try to come up with new ideas which “fits better” and that is natural, but this is why you want to shape it the way you want, and after that you can ask others for opinions. Personally, I wasn’t given any -personal- advice before writing, because nobody knew I was doing it.

  1. What are your future writing plans?

In the future I want to write a few more books on topics that I love and to get my book in front of as many people as possible.

We Interrupt This Blog for This Special and Important Announcement

 

Josie Jaffrey resides in Oxford, England with her husband and two cats. She is a lawyer, focusing on intellectual property and commercial property. A lover of books, Jaffrey runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

You can now add author to Jaffrey’s impressive credits with the release of her book The Gilded King-Sovereign: Book, the first in an installment of a three-part series. FYI: The Solis Invicti series (a prequel series to the Sovereign series) is available now, along with other books by Jaffrey.

Here is a brief description of The Gilded King:

“In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well. Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside. But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained. Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight. One way or another, the walls of the Blue are going to come down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.”

Here is more information about The Gilded King.

Book Info
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art
Publisher: Self-published
Page Count: 292
Word Count: 100,000
ASIN (Amazon): B07D3BZGR6
ISBN (Print): 978-1719204866
Release Date: 25 June 2018
Rating: Young Adult
Series: Sovereign
Series number: Book 1
Books in series: 3
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Fantasy

Important Links
Author’s Website
Amazon
Good Reads

For more information please contact Josie Jaffrey at josiejaffrey@gmail.com

On the Books: An Interview With Elizabeth Jahns

For quite a long time I have been very fortunate to have book-related professionals reach out to me to read and review various books among other things. These people have inspired me to start a new series called “On the Books,” a Q & A feature with authors, publicists, editors, publishers, interns among others to tell me about their experiences in the book biz. My first interview is with Elizabeth Jahns, who interned with Beacon Publishing Group. Ms. Jahns was instrumental in getting my interview with Kip Addotta. She impressed me with her professionalism and enthusiasm and I thought she would make for a good interview.

First, can I get some background information on your college education, major and work history.

I attended Sarah Lawrence College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree, concentrating in English and Creative Writing. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to work with words. However, when I got to college, I wanted to explore different subjects and see what else was out there, just to make sure that books/writing was really what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, since I’d never really done anything else. I considered majoring in Political Science, in Philosophy, and even (very briefly) going Pre-Med. What I wanted to do, above all, was make the world a better place. Becoming a writer or a literary agent seemed a trivial thing in comparison to following the path of, say, Mother Teresa. I completed internships with Student World Assembly (a now defunct nonprofit whose main goal was to raise global awareness regarding human rights issues and to get college students involved in the process) and the Mary J. Blige Center for Women (a center in Yonkers, NY that offers programs for women that empower them to pursue personal goals and become self-sufficient). However, after a couple years of this, I realized that what I truly wanted to do was work with words, either by writing or in the publishing industry, or both, and that I would strive to make the world a better place by whatever means were available to me through those channels.

After college, my husband and I moved to Columbia, Missouri, where I got a job as a barista and wrote during my free time. I am currently working as a Financial Associate at a bank here in Columbia. We are planning to relocate to Kansas City within the next few months, where I believe that more publishing opportunities will be available to me.

How did you get your internship and why Beacon? What were your duties? Describe a typical day. What challenges did you face and what was the best thing your internship? What advice would you give to other interns?

This is the very first publishing internship I’ve done. I had been searching for a remote internship on Indeed.com, as I was eager to gain experience in publishing and build my skill set, and I saw that Beacon Publishing Group had posted a position that would allow me to do just that. My duties so far have been to query book bloggers and reviewers who may be interested in reviewing our recent publications and/or interviewing our authors. Since I am completing this internship remotely, I can’t really say what a typical day looks like. Usually, I’m sitting at my laptop sending out these queries on my lunch hour at work or after I get home in the evening.

The best thing about my internship has been the experience I’ve gained by seeing how a small publishing house gets their publications in the public eye. Media coverage and bestsellers don’t just happen; a lot of work goes into it behind the scenes.

As far as pieces of advice for other interns, I have two that I think are important. Number one: do your best. This may sound trite, but it is something that will set you apart from others. If you are consistently pleasant and upbeat, while delivering impeccable work that you’ve obviously spent valuable time working on, you are going to catch someone’s eye. Number two: keep in touch with your internship supervisor(s) after the internship is over. Add them on LinkedIn and other social media, and regularly like/comment on their posts. Send them articles that you think they would enjoy. Keep on their radar. Building relationships like this is crucial in any industry. No one can get to the top alone.

 What are your future plans?

My future plans are to move with my husband to Kansas City within the next few months, where I hope that I’ll find more opportunities to pursue a career in publishing. I want to continue gaining experience by completing remote internships, eventually transitioning to paid online work, such as freelance writing. I would love to get back to New York City at some point, although this is more of a long-term goal right now.

Favorite books and why?

My two favorite books in the world are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I read them over and over again. The sense of disillusionment and loss that permeates The Great Gatsby is something that I relate to more and more as I grow older. I don’t mean that that’s all my life is–definitely not! But those are sensations that I think many people feel at some point in their lives. The characters in the novel are also larger than life (as were F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald themselves), which is why I think it has translated so well into film, and which is something that I enjoy in general. My friends would not hesitate to describe me as “extra,” an adjective that I proudly embrace, so it’s not surprising that this is the kind of novel toward which I gravitate.

As for The Bell Jar. When I first read it in high school, I couldn’t believe that Sylvia Plath, a woman who had died over a quarter century before my birth, had somehow reached into my consciousness and plucked out these secret feelings and thoughts that I thought were just mine. It was a realization that I wasn’t alone in my particular darkness. (Like Plath, I also dropped out of college temporarily due to my declining mental health.) Each time I read it, I feel the same way. I’m comforted by the fact that I’m not imagining this patriarchal oppression (even now, 55 years after the novel’s original publication), and by the fact that another female head has housed these same dark and self-destructive thoughts. And, most of all, I’m consoled by the fact that this well-educated, twenty-something young protagonist, with whom I seem to have a lot in common, also struggled with anxiety and doubt on her journey toward selfhood and fulfillment.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions!

 

 

 

For Immediate Release! ***Update***


Writers are amazing people. And as a passionate reader and lover of books, I can’t thank writers enough  for enriching my life.

In the past six months so many writers, authors, editors, publishers and publicists have reached out to me to read and review all kinds of books, many of which you have read at here at The Book Self ( thanks to Good Reads, various Social Media and my presence on Book Blogger List for leading these bookish types to my blog).

I still have quite a few books to read and review-a bounty of riches! So I can’t possibly get to all book review requests. (Plus there is my off-line life I need to handle).

So I’m announcing a way to help writers market and promote their work. If interested please do the following:

  • 1) Please send me a brief synopsis of a book you’d like to promote (3-5 paragraphs) with any important links (website, social media, Amazon, IndieBound, etc.)
  • 2) Send to the email thebookself@yahoo.com with Book Marketing/Publicity in the subject line
  • 3) If possible please send me a copy of the book jacket, a photo of yourself and a brief bio about you and your writing history.

And here is a great list of international book fairs to help you publicize your books (thanks to Reem from https://www.kotobee.com/blog/ for alerting me of this list)

International Book Fairs 2019

You might also want to order TC Michael’s Book Short Literature Pro Market 2019 to your writing library

Once again, thank you for reaching out to me regarding your books. I will do my best to get your entries posted at The Book Self.

Warmest regards,

Bookish Jen

***Due to some increased activity in my life, I can do only around 1-2 marketing and publicity pieces per month. As for book reviews, I prefer to read books in old school form and have them mailed to me via the post office.***

 

 

Book Review: Summoning Grace by Samsara Saj

Late last year, thanks to my presence on the website BookBloggerList, several authors have reached out to me to read and review their books. Many of these authors are fledgling writers and these books (some of them self-published) are their “babies” and as with any baby, I want to handle them with thoughtfulness and care. So I have to keep this in mind in my review of Samasara Saj’s novel Summoning Grace.

The back jacket of Summoning Grace is as follows:

“Bridget McKenna, a lawyer practicing for more than twenty-five years, has disturbing recollections from her childhood after a family birthday party. As she tries to handle the impact of these revelations, she turns to Jack Cassidy, the only man she ever loved, with whom she has not been in touch for three years. Being with Jack helps her connect the dots regarding the work she does as an attorney, where the corruption of politics and the ugliness of domestic violence reveal to Bridget the sexual shoals a woman must navigate. By contacting Jack, she starts the process of reaching into her soul for the reckoning that awaits her.

Once she reconciles herself to the darkness of her painful past, through the grace of God, she finds the strength to summon all the faith, courage, and grace that she can, to deal with professional obstacles, family loss, and her greatest challenge, rescuing her only brother, Joe.

Told in eighteen chapters, Summoning Grace explores the deepest self-examination a woman can undertake, providing her the wisdom and understanding to help those she loves with kindness and dignity.”

This summary is a bit of a bait and switch. Little of this book focuses on Cassidy and domestic violence. Nor does Summoning Grace focus on Bridget’s past. Also the book jacket classifies this novel as a romance, but it is more of a family story. Therefore the second and third paragraphs are a better description of this novel over-all.

Bridget’s family, the McKennas, are a loving and close-knit family who join forces when only son Joe gets seriously ill. The McKennas decide to work together to help Joe and his family in a very trying time. I liked the idea of a family being functional and totally messed up. It comforted me like a bowl of chicken soup.

However, when dealing with Joe’s illness Bridget is convinced she is the only one who can handle his care, even more so than the hospital staff. Not only did I find this to be a slap in the face to the people who work in the medical field, I also thought it gave short shrift to Joe’s wife, children and the other McKenna siblings.

Bridget is also a rather off-putting in her law career. Only she can handle the profession and everyone from her colleagues to her clients are incompetent losers.

To add to Bridget’s “Mary Sue” perfection, she is a diva in the kitchen, a true Julia Child reincarnated. And when it comes to family get togethers and holidays, she always brings masterful dishes. Considering she’s busy with Joe and her career, I found this element a bit implausible.

Ultimately by making Bridget an ideal person—loving sister, top notch attorney and fabulous chef—Saj has given us a character who is really insufferable and without complex layers. I like characters who have their share of flaws and who are multi-dimensional. These characters are more relatable and interesting to read.

Still I must commend Saj for at least writing a book. She’s technically proficient and I respect her deep faith. I believe she has the ability to write a better book and I believe she wants to express herself with love and hope in her heart. These are noble ideas and much needed in our challenging world.

So though I can’t recommend Summoning Grace, I can encourage Samsara Saj to keep on writing. Don’t let my review deter you.

Book Review: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

I think one of the first reasons why I became a feminist is because of Gloria Steinem. To be honest, it wasn’t due to her tireless work on behalf of women’s rights, committed activism towards other causes, and her exceptional writing. It was because I thought she was so pretty with her long streaked hair, her mini-skirts and her trendy aviator sunglasses.

You’ll have to forgive me…I was around seven years old at the time.

Of course, I’m now a grown woman and my love and admiration for Steinem goes beyond her looks. She is so much more than a fashionable feminist (yes, we do exist). So I was overjoyed when my friend Nora gave me a copy of Steinem’s latest book My Life on the Road. I thoroughly adore Steinem’s past books like Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions and Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem. And I’ve been reading Ms. Magazine since middle school. To this day my nickname for Steinem is “Cool Auntie.”

Living a life on the road as an activist, speaker and writer came naturally to Steinem. Her father was a traveling salesman so it’s in her DNA. As a young woman Steinem spent time studying in India. Her career as a journalist had her traveling all over interviewing and covering all kinds of topics whether it be going undercover as a Playboy Bunny or interviewing the likes of Cesar Chavez. Always an activist Steinem was drawn to feminism, acting tirelessly for the rights for women whether it be access to their reproductive rights or issues they may face in the workplace. She helped create Ms. Magazine and has been a dominating force of feminism for decades, not only inspiring women around her own age but also inspiring women young enough to be her daughters and granddaughters.

“Wandering Organizer” is just one way Steinem defines herself and to me this book proves just that. Her life on the road has influenced her in a multitude of ways, especially in the world of politics. She also admits how being a wandering organizer has influenced her physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And her travels makes for one hell of a read.

Steinem was at the 1963 March on Washington when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” She worked on the behalf of farm workers. She campaigned for Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.She was also a big supporter of Hillary Clinton in both 2008 and 2016.

She’s worked along with activists Florynce Kennedy, Dolores Heurta, and Wilma Mankiller. She admits her relationship with Betty Friedan was less than cordial. She joined forces with Generation X feminists like Amy Richards. And now millennial feminists are discovering Steinem and her work. Now in her 80s, Gloria is still traveling, writing and speaking.

Every essay is written in a down-to-earth, yet moving way. She is a powerful voice but one that never seems intimidating. She fully admits things weren’t always rosy on her travels. She dealt with a lot of backlash, especially from the radical right, but kept on fighting on the behalf of not just women, but society as a whole.

I found all her essays fascinating, turning each page as Steinem went on her amazing journey. Her life on the road would make for one hell of a movie. One chapter of My Life on The Road would make for one hell of the movie.

This novel is an impressive and mind blowing account of the people, places and things Steinem encountered on her travels. At times I felt like I needed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all. I feel fortunate to have learned more about this brave and inspirational woman. As with Steinem’s other books My Life on the Road is a must-read for all feminists, one to be visited again and again.

Book Review: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman

NateLIt often amazes me how writers can get into the minds of people quite different from themselves and write about them in compelling and interesting ways. Wisconsin-based writer Jennifer Morales did this with her collection of short stories in Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories. Matthew Dicks did this with his novel The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs. Now Adele Waldman does this in The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

Meet Nathaniel Piven, or Nate to his friends and lovers. Without a doubt those of us of the gentler sex are quite familiar with Nate. We have dated them. Some of us have even married a Nate. Who is Nate? Nate is a thirty-something freelance writer living and loving in Brooklyn awaiting the release of his first novel. A majority of his friends are also writers and other assorted creative types. He is also one of the most maddening man-types—the nice guy/douchebag hybrid—the type of guy who has frustrated womankind since the beginning of time.

The nice guy part is the Nate that chooses to be with women are smart, educated and have their own aspirations and ambitions. The douchebag side rejects basically decent women for minor infractions like jiggly upper arms, professional difficulties or showing the wee bit of anger or sadness. In other words, how dare Nate’s girlfriends being actual human beings. And it doesn’t help that one of Nate’s best friends is the detestable Jason, a total jerk who thinks no women is worth it unless she is supermodel hot and has an IQ somewhere hovering around room temperature. Unfortunately, Nate takes Jason’s so-called counsel way too seriously instead of making up his own mind like a grown man should.

At this point Nate is dating Hannah. Hannah is also a writer and is currently struggling with finishing a book proposal for her own book (often writing a book proposal can be more difficult than writing the actual book. Hannah is bright, engaging and seems to have no problem keeping up with Nate’s coterie of literary friends who they hang out with at parties, coffee shops, bars and local restaurants. Like any other woman, Hannah has her own faults (like jiggly arms—the nerve). And she often lets her lack of self-esteem color her decisions like her relationship with Nate, staying with him for far too long. At times, I said to myself, “Hannah, kick Nate to the curb. You deserve so much better.” Of course, I had to take a hard look at myself and examine my own questionable romantic choices.

But back to Nate. While dating Hannah, Nate muses about the girlfriends he had before Hannah including his girlfriends from high school and college (Nate never fails to remind the reader he went to Harvard) to woman he dated before Hannah. Throughout these passages Nate ponders why he was drawn to these women and dated them while being only too quick to point out the qualities that made them only Ms. Right Now, not Ms. Right. Sure, many of these ladies probably weren’t the type to be the Mrs. to Mr. Piven, but a lot of them seemed perfectly decent and quite lovely. And it’s not as if Nate wasn’t a mere Mr. Right Now to some exes and not Mr. Right. But Nate is a bit too self-absorbed at times to realize that he is part of the relationship equation and he has plenty of work to do to be an ideal husband.

Does Nate stay with Hannah or does he look for greener pastures when it comes to the fairer sex? Well, you’ll just have to read the book. Though at times a frustrating, Nate is an absorbing character. Adelle Waldman expertly writes about a man who at turns is both simple and complex. I also appreciated how she captured the world of freelance writers, publishers, authors and other creative types that populate the Big Apple. And though I live in flyover country I could totally relate to writer scene that makes up Nate’s friends, one of support and competition, pretentious and neuroticism.

And I must admit The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P made me take a hard look at myself and all the time I wasted on the Nates in my life. No doubt female readers of this book will have their own alphabet of Nate Ps. And as for the male readers of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel, I hope this novel makes them examine their own romantic choices and examine them with more maturity and clarity.