Saturday, March 22, 2014

It is Not the Critic Who Counts and More With @gkabongo #AmWriting #AmReading #Suspense

Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
John Grisham’s Sycamore Road. I think he’s one of the best storytellers out there. By the time this interview is published, I would have also bought Double Down. I’m a bit of a political junkie. I went into labor on the night of the 2008 Presidential Primaries and refused to go to the hospital because I couldn’t tear myself away from the commentary. By 1:30 am, I had to concede that it was time to go.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I love learning. I soak it up like a sponge, learning about new people, things, places, and events. I love history. I used to watch the History Channel religiously, back when they had shows like Secrets of World War II, Sink the Bismarck, and Great Military Blunders (I’m sensing a war theme here). Mysteries of the Bible and great documentaries like Lucrezia Borgia Pretty Poison had me glued to the TV screen. 
What made you want to be a writer? – I’ve always loved books as long as I can remember. When I was 9, my mother told me the story of the Dollanganger children from Flowers in the Attic. That book had such a profound impact on her, I just knew I wanted to be an author.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? – When you’re serious and committed to the process, and want to make a meaningful career from it, you’re always looking for ways to take the writing to another level. With every book, you open yourself up to learning and accept criticism in order to grow. The tough part is knowing the difference between valid criticism and feedback meant to challenge you, and elevate your writing, and feedback that’s essentially white noise meant to tear you down. I applied to Brown University’s MFA in Literary Arts program because I want to expand the depth and breadth of my writing, and hone my voice and technique. I wanted a program I could emerge from, knowing it is perfectly okay to push the boundaries of what publishers and readers expect because writing is art, and art is subjective.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Perseverance takes an enormous amount of strength and courage. One of the best quotes I can think of to explain writing a novel is Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely. I’ve wanted to do this since I was ten years old and feel so blessed to be in a position to make it happen. I don’t want to be confined to writing only books either. I have my eyes on film and television.
Who designed the cover?  A talented designer named Lynne Hansen of Lynne Hansen Design. She is an author herself so she totally gets how important the cover is. I actually had the cover redone last summer because the first cover just didn’t do the book justice. We all know how important a good book cover is to a book’s success and readers perception of an author.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Where do I start? Niggling insecurity and self-doubt, freaking out about every online article or blog post about the so-called rules of writing, and making myself nuts about all the things editors and agents hate. I would run back to the manuscript to see if I had broken any rules. At the end of the day, a lot of publishing comes down to personal preference. I don’t care how well written a book is, if an agent or editor doesn’t connect with the material, it will get rejected.
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women's psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she's about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she's since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland --a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can't refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a  shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling,  and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she's been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
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