Blogger Interviews is Authored by : Rahul Miglani , Follow him @

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Interview with Flexcia D’souza

www.mymagicjobs.comHailing from the beautiful state of Goa, Flexcia D’souza is an avid blogger who manages two blogs of her own, one amongst which is a niche Fashion blog while one is a general blog where you get to read features, book reviews, poems and articles written by her. The 19 year old is pursuing her final year Bachelors in Arts, majoring in Journalism at St. Xavier’s college, Goa. Besides being a voracious reader and writer she is a freelance model having worked with several photographers and designers. Below are excerpts from a freewheeling conversation with her:

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself your aspirations and your hobbies!!
I am unlike many people my age. I love reading…anything! For that matter, I like anything creative.  Right from composing poetry to designing clothes, and anything in between. I love cats, books, bullets (bike) and chocolates.



2. How you first got involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
I have always loved writing. For that matter that is the only thing I am very good at. Right from my school days, I am involved in a lot of writing. I participated in a lot of essay writing competitions. But that was it. I never took it up seriously. I nurtured a dream of being a fashion designer. And writing was nowhere close to it. It is during my class 12 that I realized I was gifted. My English teachers in school mentioned it quite often, but I never paid it any heed. But in class 12 I spent a lot of time writing. That’s when I realized my inclination. That was the time I decided to quit the science stream and instead pursue my future studies in english literature.

3. Were you always interested in fashion genre?
As I said I wanted to be a fashion designer. So I read a lot of fashion related articles on the local newspapers and fashion magazines like Femina. That always kept me abreast of happenings in the industry- trends, upcoming fashion designers, supermodels, etc. I did a lot of sketching designs during school and SS days. But when I joined college (Bachelors in Arts) my majors were english literature, psychology and journalism. This was very interesting. And I focused on journalism. Started my internship, got a part time job writing for a magazine, contributed articles to local newspapers and worked on my blog (http://www.flexciadsouza.blogspot.com). This helped me a lot. But it was during my final year at college that I had to create a niche blog. My idea was to create food blog, but many of my classmates chose the subject. I wanted to create something different. So I chose fashion. And enjoyed writing.

4. How did Goenkar magazine happen?
Well yeah that is one very good thing that has happened to me on the career front besides times of India. The company ‘Hello Pulications’ produces a number of magazines. They had this particular magazine which had two editions- one for the north and one for the south. They thought of expanding it and make it one common edition. That is when the senior correspondent Basil roped me in. I was given two columns to handle and I was instructed how to go about with it. This was when I was nearing the end of second year of college. Since it is a monthly, I got ample time to manage filing my stories.

5 .Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
umm… I am clueless. I keep changing minds!

www.mymagicjobs.com6. How did you get your innovative ideas from?
I am a dreamer. I get some stupid crazy things in mind and I do just that. That makes me look insane at times. But more often than not, I get the desired appreciation for my work.

7. Were you good in studies, what was the most interesting part?
Yes! I was good in studies. I believe education alone can help you succeed in any field you chose. I participate in a lot of activities, do a lot of things.. My mind is all over the place. But I concentrate in class, and that is what helps me score well in exams.

8. What’s your fashion statement, your thoughts on that especially In Indian scenario?
Fashion in the country is growing. India is making a mark in the international fashion scene. There is still a long way to go.

9. Any specific tips you have for newbie writers who want to make it in the Industry?
You don’t need to struggle hard to be a writer. If you have an idea you want to work up on, put it on paper, and publish it if you feel it is good enough. It is not difficult to get published in today’s world. But the difficult part is to get readers read your work.  You just need to be really good…coz you have to compete with many others out there who are already established. Why would anyone want to read anything written by a newbie when they already have something written by someone well known? Yeah to reach there it is not only dedication, but patience. You can’t be the most sought after writer overnight. The readers have their own favorites. They don’t accept change easily. Unless your writing has something striking that captivates them. At the initial stage your only worry is- getting published. That can be easily taken care of with the number of newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs we have at the moment. Just pick up some really good articles of yours and start mailing it to local newspapers. I am sure at least a few will get selected. Once you realize that they are getting accepted, move towards a bigger platform. Once you get noticed, you’ll get offers to write for them. So just have patience and be passionate about what you are writing. Why not write about topics that are close to your heart?

10. How do you manage your time for the places you work at and your blog- blogger and wordpress and other ventures, let’s talk about all of them.
www.mymagicjobs.com
Well initially I started with my internship with times of India during my first year in college. That was the time I learnt a lot and gained recognition. Soon after I got placed there as a student stringer and was asked to cover campus stories, Press conferences and stories at the panchayat level. That became like my part time job during vacations. Then I had a stint with local English magazine. I started working there in November 2012. I had a lot of freedom in choosing the type of stories. That being a small establishment, the learning experience nor the pay was as good as ToI, but it was fun and there was less pressure. Then in March 2013 Hello Publications were staring with Goenkar magazine, and I was asked to write an article. And soon after I was appointed as the special correspondent and was allotted two pages. I have been there since then. It has been an amazing experience. Meanwhile I also did an internship with a Public relations firm ‘Perfect Relations’. That was a memorable time. It was like a much needed break from writing. Since February 2014 I contribute to a fashion magazine ‘Fashion’, which has its head office in Pune. Besides I manage my blogs which gets decent traffic.

11. What’s the biggest mistake you have committed?
Trusting the wrong people!

12. what about your childhood, were you always fashionable?
Never! I was one of those you could easily categorize as a geek. For that matter, I still am. I still wear those black rimmed glasses everywhere I go. There are times when I like to dress up during certain occasions or events, but usually I am very simple.

13. What is your fashion statement, what does it mean to you?
I like wearing bright colours. It helps elevate my mood. I like wearing chaotic prints, which describe my state of mind.

14. A lot of people are interested in for the money earning potential of a writer. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from it? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I go by the adage, “Never do anything you are good at for free.” If you are good at your work, it is natural to expect money from it. There is nothing wrong in expecting money. But that should be your secondary concern. Write passionately, and the satisfaction of getting your byline is much more than getting a paycheck. In the beginning work towards proving yourself. Try to improve yourself. If you look at the money, you will never be able to grow.

15. What motivates you most in life?
Dreams and Love!

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your work?
Let your work speak for itself. I work towards becoming a better person. I experiment in different kinds of writing, and see what works best for me. Switching genres also helps me rejuvenate. When I write for some established media houses, the byline alone helps. I don’t need to do anything to gain visibility. I write a bit of poetry. I make it a point to mail a copy to the local newspapers hoping they publish it. And most of the times it gets published. Secondly I never stopped writing since the day I started off in the media field. I continued writing- how ever big or small it may be. I believe that is one way you can create a mark for yourself. Besides I self-publish my matter on my blog on promote the links on social networking sites. Thus I make it a point to reach my writings to people.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your content development process and why?
Getting interview appointments. That is the most tedious process.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite writer. Name yours and why?
They keep changing. Right now I admire Ethel Da costa.

19. What is the story behind your social media journey was it by chance?
The social media helps you develop contacts and is the easiest way to promote your work.

20. Your connection with any others writers or collaborations and what your efforts on that?
None.

21. Do you think you get the raw deal when you were starting off, was it difficult?
Staring off wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. When they know you are new, with no god-father in the industry, you get tricked. But I have learnt my lessons and that is definitely going to help me.

22. Five adjectives that describe you.
Talkative, dreamer, compassionate, focused, determined

23. What is that thing that you would say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
My past experiences, both good and bad.

24. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Yes! Very easily. The negatives always inspire me to do better, while the positives just make me blush.

25. Do you plan to do more in collaboration?
www.mymagicjobs.comNah! I have a difficulty in team work. Ideas clash, it gets difficult. I like to work at my own pace, in my own way.

26. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
I read a lot of Romance fiction and crime thrillers. In newspapers/ magazines, I avoid politics, while I love the page3 and features section.

27. Words for me and my blogs www.MyMagicJobs.com and Blogger Interviews.
It is a great initiative. I wish you all the best.

28. Tell us the Next thing we will hear from you.
I am acting in a Konkani music video, shoot of the same is scheduled in the first week of April. And there is a fashion show I am walking the ramp for during approx the same time. Besides, I am focusing on my final exams.

Rahul Miglani : The Interviewer : This Interview has been amazing , wishing you best of luck.



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Interview with Dani Blanchette from Going Nomadic | Photographer, Videographer, Travel Ambassador

Dani Interview with Dani Blanchette from Going Nomadic
Dani Blanchette
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself ,your blog(s)/website(s),and your aspirations and your hobbies!!   My name is Dani and I am the creator of the anti-guidebook, locals-loving travel blog GoingNomadic .  I am also a music and travel photographer, and you can see, buy, and download my prints at http://LaGringaPhotos.com.   I love traveling (obviously),  photography (especially of live bands), I have recently started creating my own travel videos (which you can see on Youtube on the GoingNomadicTV channel), and I am a new burlesque performer.


2. How you first got involved in with blogging/writing, are you an imaginative person?   I've written stories since I was a child, and used to make up and 'direct' plays with the neighbourhood children (I was a mean and demanding director too!).  Hahaha...I started the blog when I decided to leave the USA on a one-way ticket and not come back until I had run out of money.  The blog was going to be a way for family and friends to see where I was and make sure I'm not dead.   Then I found out people do this for a living, so I decided to try my hand at that.

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging/writing about your topic?   Writing!  I ac tually find writing consistently, and finding things to write about the hardest part.  I'm not a writer.  I actually failed English three times in college.  I am a photographer and the blog and writing are mostly narrations to go with the photographs.  Although sometimes I have a lot of fun, like coming up with ways old-school hip-hop prepared me to travel.  I'm a pretty silly, sarcastic, and snarky writer.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?    Well, I met my husband while in Medellin, Colombia!  I've also met other great bloggers, a ton of bands (I write often about the local music you discover when traveling),  and just really awesome people I know call friends.   That's the best part about traveling without a guidebook; you meet more locals and often become friends with them.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging/writing style?   Horrible, sarcastic, funny, and wrong.       I write exactly like I talk, so it is full of slang, and new tenses for words, and it rambles (although I can write proper, and depending on the article and mood of the day you may get a verbally visual tale, a slangy, sarcastic, passive-aggressive rant on what not to do, or something actually informative).   My blog is highly visual and full of my photos, and I use the photos to illustrate what I'm writing.   I always try to provide information, but I like to do so in amusing ways – so my readers don't get bored.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?     I dance!  A lot!   I dance multiple nights a week at the Las Vegas Burlesque Studios doing everything from stage presence classes to belly dancing.   I was a ballerina for 15 years growing up, do the more I dance, the more I want to.   I also freelance write about Vegas, run around making videos (ok, for the blog, but it is still fun), go to burlesque shows and Insert Coins, and hang out and have BBQs with friends.   So it's mostly burlesquey stuff and blogging.  But I love both so I'm happy.

7 .Where do you see yourself blogging/writing wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?     I want to do a cross USA trip for the blog, and get faster and better at making and editing videos.   I (of course) want to host my own travel show on Create or The Travel Channel (what blogger doesn't?).   I also want to get my husband on the same continent as me, and would like to start a family.   But not settle down in a house and stuff.  That will never happen.

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging/writing business?     I try to talk with other bloggers, and I always carry business cards (for the blog and my photography) that I pass out to people as often as possible.  I also like to contact people and businesses in the places I travel before and after trips, and ask them what about their cities I should show off.   I think making friends while traveling is the best networking.    Companies and bloggers are great, but the point of blogging is to give information to non-industry people.


9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.     I'd be a liar if I said I didn't struggle like everyone else (and possibly more than everyone else it feels like sometimes).  When I'm really struggling I will listen to music and look at photos I have taken.   Sometimes those give me inspiration.   I have also been known to Google “Blog Post Topic Generators” and search through some of those until one sparks and idea.   Sometimes I also just need a day trip to spark my creativity again.  Anyone who says they don't struggle with topics to write is a liar.  I have no idea how people consistently run multiple blogs.

10. Whats your strategy with your blog in general?   Tell my readers about awesome stuff that isn't in any guidebook!   Seriously.   There are enough guidebooks out there that all tout the same, regurgitated, information and I find it frustrating.  I only write about places I have actually been and things I have actually done and I try, even if visiting a tourist place, to find a new or interesting spin on it.  I also try to write consistently, but have learned not to beat myself up if I skip a day.  It happens.  

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?     Write.  Photo.  Make videos.   Don't worry if you don't blog everyday or even every week.  Figure out what your blog is.  Do you want to write only while on a trip and that is it?  Do you want to keep writing even after the trip stops?  Both are fine.  Don't worry about numbers either.  It will drive you batty.  Worry about writing first, because in your first year, you will likely see no money at all.  Also talk with people on social media.  Other bloggers are nice.   Reach out to us. 

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?   Readers & content, SEO, then traffic.  Although, when starting out, content is number 1.  Write about what you like.  You will obviously attract readers who have similar likes to you.  At some point you will start to see what types of content does better, (ie: what your readers want to read), and you begin to start every article  thinking “What does my audience want to know?”.  This is when you start writing for your audience, instead of for yourself ('you' not 'me').   Readers and Content should always share #1.  SEO and traffic I mostly ignore (because there is a giant dent in my wall from smashing my face upon it in frustration).  

13. Whats the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?     EXCITING AND HONEST INFORMATION.  By this, I mean you should provide information in ways that your readers are excited to read about.   Anyone can list info, but it's boring to read.  Hook your audience with your story, or wit, and they won't even realize how much they are learning.   Also, always be honest with your audience.  They are smart and will quickly pick up on ulterior motives (like being paid to say good things).   You are not more clever than your audience.  Remember that. 

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging/writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging/writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?     HAHAHAHAHA...oh, I'm sorry.  If you think you are going to become super rich and famous by blogging, you should just throw away your computer right now.  Most bloggers make money by selling advertising, writing books, freelance writing for other travel companies, working other jobs (I also do some roadie-work, freelance as a writer and photographer, and am head of social media at the burlesque school I dance at).   Some of us have web design companies, some are day traders, and yes, a couple just run blogs, but they offer services on their blogs to make them money.    Basically, if you want to make money as a blogger, get creative and sell people stuff.

15. What motivates you most in life?     An insatiable desire to know everything firsthand.  I have never felt right with “good enough”  and I am not content with being content.  I have never been one to take anything I'm told at face value either, always needing to experience stuff for myself (and I have the scars to prove it!)    
Some times I think I'm addicted to the adrenaline rush of jumping headfirst into the unknown.  Other times I think I am afraid that if I stop, I will die.  We have a huge Alzheimer's rate in my family, and the older I get, the more I want to do stuff now,  (in case I can't do it later).

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?   Just getting  out and talking to people.   Whether on social media or in person, I try to talk with everyone.  It helps that I am super extroverted and that I am known for crashing a party and coming out with 4 invites to do stuff.   But even if you are not super loquacious like me, you can still meet people and just say “Hi.  I write this blog!”

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?     Again, actually sitting down and writing.   Sitting still is not my strong suit, and neither is writing.  Even when I just did band photography, before my blog, sitting and editing photos was the hardest part of the process.   This, and my total lack of any sort of writing, marketing, or business background, has made figuring aout exactly what my blog is hard.   Attending TBEX (a travel blogger conference) helped me a lot, and I feel like now I know who I am and what my blog is better.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?     My first post.  Oh my god, it is horrible!   I don't think I capitalized, punctuated, or spell-checked anything.  I was not writing a blog post as much as I was free writing. (which is a great trick, but you don't publish it!).   I still keep it on my blog and will never erase or edit it.   It shows me how far I’ve come as a writer.   You can see it here: http://www.goingnomadic.com/danibisgoingnomad/

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?     Erica and Shaun from OverYonderlust.  They are awesome and do crazy stuff, and somehow manage to post all the time and in a timely fashion (I have chronological schizophrenia and write about things 2 years later).  I also love 1 Dad 1 Kid, and the Escape Artistes because when I have kids I want to educate them around the world too.   And of course Kate from Adventurous Kate and Brendan from Vagabundo because both are heavy hitters in the travel blogging world and actually make a living through their blog (but yes, they also both freelance or have published books).   Jeremy from TravelFreaks is awesome too, and runs the Travel Blogging Calendar charity group I work with.  I also love Mike Corey and Ryan Van Duzer because I they make great travel videos (and it is something I am learning to do).  

There is a million more people who I regularly talk with, follow,  and/or stalk.   I feel bad not naming them all. 

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?     Oh geez.  It was originally DanibIsGoingNomad because I couldn’t get GoingNomad.   But that quickly was too long and obnoxious, and once I actually went to South America (my first trip after starting the blog), I HATED telling people my blog's name.  I was embarrassed at how long it was, how juvenile it sounded, and how it just didn't flow off the tongue.  All my new friends has easy blogs, so I looked and looked and realized GoingNomadic (so different from the first name I couldn't get too) was available.  So I bought it up and changed to this name in the early Spring of 2012.   Moral:  pick a name that rolls of the tongue.  People remember it easier.

21. Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indi blogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?   I am a founding member of the PTBA (Professional Travel Bloggers Network),  I volunteer with the Travel Bloggers Calendar (it's awesome.  This year we are raising money to save Thai elephants, and giving away a trip to Thailand for one lucky donor). 

I've found a lot of these sites to provide no promotion and just email me a bunch of spam.  I have found the best sites are Triberr, StumbleUpon, and just promoting your posts on Facebook and Twitter. 

22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?     I don't think any genre gets a raw deal.   There are always haters, but people who are in your genre will love you.  Want to know about creating costumes for a live action role playing game based on season 3 of the original Land of the Lost tv show?   It may not be a popular blog overall, but it will be in your genre!   Also, there is fight between traditional journalists and bloggers.   We all do the same thing in different ways and there are people in both who excel, and people in both who disgrace us.  (I'm looking at you Geraldo Rivera).   Work your butt off and stay out of the pettiness, and you will learn the “raw deal” only happens to people who use it as an excuse for laziness.

23. Which one plug-in would you suggest all bloggers to have?     Screw the plugin.  There's a million you need based on your blog's platform and what you do with your site.    Hire a tech guy to do it for you.   Not only will you have hours of your life back, you will save your forehead and walls.  I use Michael Tieso with TravelBlogSuccess.   It's 100% worth the money I spend each month (and it's not expensive either) to stop giving myself concussions every time I needed to do something on my blog. They also do preventative maintenance (doing updates, upgrading anti-hacker protocols, etc).  And they will help with any super noob questions too (you should see some of the ridiculous problems I've had).  

Note:  If you have AdBlocker on your computer, it WILL also block you from seeing your own ads and Amazon affiliate boxes in your sidebar.  Took me a year (pre-Michael) to realize (post-Michael) this was my problem.

24. Five adjectives that describe you.    Exciting, energetic, friendly, outgoing, passionate

25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?    I love reading, and think each book makes an impact in some way.  I am a giant fan of memoirs and have read some absolutely beautifully-written horrific stories.  There is one book series I can't get out of my head, and I just found out a 5th book is coming out soon (I already pre-ordered it), and it si the Night Watch series by Sergie Lukyanenko.  It is fictional, good vs, evil, and highly visual series that I am completely infatuated with.  

26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??     Positive – yes!  Even the slightest positive comment I run around like I'm the man.   Negative – nope.  If the negative comment is about me, I wil use it to try to improve myself.  If it comes from s troll trying to put down things on my blog (like the guy who went on a rant about Colombian women), I have way too much fun arguing and 'shutting down' the troll.  I even created my 11 Misconceptions About Colombia People Really Need To Get Over post as retaliation for thing people said to me in person and in a comment.   It is my most popular post to date, and probably the one I am most proud of.

27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?   HAHAHAHA...oh that is so not every bloggers dream.  I am one of them.  

I've toyed with writing a Local's Guide To Vegas, and very well may, but that is just because I am so sick of all the guides out there.  It would be more a giant middle finger to the guidebook companies than me completing some dream.  No, my dreams are:
     1. Have my own Going Nomadic travel show on TV, which I host. (Basically get paid to be awesome around the world) and
     2.  Travel as a rock band's tour photographer.

28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?     I grew up in Boston, so yes, of course I'm judgmental! It's in my culture!
But besides from ranting between friends as an amusing pastime, I'm really not judgmental at all.     I may have opinions about stuff, but that doesn't mean your opinion is wrong.  I actually like meeting people with different values and views than me, because I love learning what makes other people tick.   The biggest thing that pisses me off is discrimination.  I don't understand why it matters what color someone is, where they grew up, what they like to eat, or who they love.  I am discriminatory about discrimination.

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?     I am a social networking whore. I love collaborating with others, and love promoting companies, blogs, people, and music I like on social media.   I also like helping other bloggers, and collaborate with them when possible (whether its on a big project, or just passing on contacts and info I have that may help them on their own project).   Travel bloggers (and bloggers in general I find) are always willing to help each other out, because we are all striving to be taken seriously in the journalism realm.

30. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?     Well, of course travel and music attract me.   It's what I do and love.   I also love some mommy bloggers because I love cooking, and love recipes.   I obviously avoid any blogs that are racist, sexist, or discriminatory in any sort of way.  I also stay away from political blogs as I find them to be based in opinions and fear mongering, not facts and observations.  I am also super attracted to snarkyness (The Oatmeal, The Bloggess, Unbrave Girl)

31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?     Don't steal my shit and pay me! :) 

Contests are often, when you read the fine print, nothing more than a way to get free links, or to scam artsist for the full rights to use their photography anywhere they please without paying or you.   I stopped submitting to contests long ago.   If you want me to create great content on your destination, pay me to do it, don't ask me to fight alongside others in a popularity contest (which are easily rigged). 
Plagiarism is NEVER acceptable and neither is reprinting my articles and photos, in full, on your site, without permission or links back.   If you ask if you can use a photo, I will often just let you.  If you want to use an excerpt, or quote my article, and link back to the full article on my site, go for it.  Steal my stuff and say it is your own (or use my content to make you money without giving me any), I will send you a bill. 

32. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews and my Website www.MyMagicJobs.com    I love the Blogger Interviews and that you interview bloggers from all sorts of genres.   It's great to learn about, and meet people outside of your genre!   I would make the title of MyMagicJobs much bigger.  It is so small you don't even notice it.   Destiny vs Desire should just be a photo blog!   Make the homepage just posts of photos, but put a nice size button on the sidebar for MyMagicJobs, so to promote that site.  I think you should add captions to your photos too.  I want to know what river you are on, and what type of snake are you holding! :)

33. On winning the Award/s , Are they Really necessary.     Awards are always nice, but you do notice how many awards are totally meaningless. I just won one of the Best female Travel Bloggers, along with 79 other female travel bloggers.   They gave us a button we can put on our blog.   Pretty much, they found every female travel blogger they could find and gave us an “award” hoping we would put this link back to them.  It's a joke.  Most awards are.  
As for winning actual awards,  I have never.  Would I like to, of course.    (Hint hint hint Bloggies, Nat Geo, Matador, Getty, etc awards.....)

34. So whats Next in your list?     Maybe get dressed and brush my teeth.  I'm not sure yet. (Perks of working from home on a laptop).


35.Words for your readers and why they should follow you?  THANK YOU!  And... Follow me if you hate guidebooks and love Awesome! 

Rahul Miglani (The Interviewer)  : One of the Best Interview So far ! Cheers and Good Luck , Dani !

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Interview with Author Terrill Davis of the Authonomy


Tell us something about yourself
I remember being young and I would read a book.  Some books I loved so much that I would wait for a second part.  And while I waited I would imagine how it would go.  Then the saddest part would happen, most of the time there was no second book.   So what about these visions I have, I would wait for someone to write about them.  But sadly, no one has done it yet.  Some have come close, but it still wasn’t the same story.  So I finally figured around the age of thirty, (yea I was a late bloomer,) that if these stories are going to be told, I would have to do it.

Your Blog and your Website
www.authonomy.com has done wonders for my writing.  I have never had a formal class.  I am somewhat self-taught.   I say somewhat since I got a lot of advice to improve my writing from fellow writers, from my writers guild, and from the good people of Authonomy.   Without you folks I would be nothing, right now I’m potential I would say.

Your Experience
Authonomy has a rather unique rating system and I say unique because to me it seems to be missing the key gate keepers, which is good and bad at the same time.  The editors Desk is reached when you get ranked 1 thru 5 and you stay there for 30 days.  Which is okay.  But you get there by ratings and backings of fellow Authonmites.   Which that is okay as well.  Here is where the problem lies, when folks back books just for the exchange of backing their book as well.  The key is we are all trying so hard to reach that desk and through sheer popularity it is possible for pure garbage to reach the desk.  I’m not saying this has happened but the possibility seems to exist.  I’ve been offered several times to exchange backings just to exchange them.  No reads necessary.  I don’t participate in them because I want to know if I truly belong in the same categories’ as Stephen King or Dean Koontz.   I want to know I belong with other writers, not just want to say I wrote a book.

More like what do I not do for a day job, lol.  I work as the assistant manager for a gas station convenience store full time.  I also work for a Telemarketing firm fulltime.  My third fulltime job is my wife and I own a store at the flea market in Beaumont, TX.  It’s only open on weekends but there is enough work during the week to prepare for the weekend coming.  Then we have the launch of my wife’s blog to where I am a constant contributor.  We also have a designer lotion line that we will soon have a website for.  Right now they are available at www.dailybrewconnection.com  under the nice and natural tab.  I am also currently marketing all our family ventures throughout the week.  (Wow a rather workaholic, lol)

Inspirations
I am a big Stephen King fan.  A friend once told me you know when you are getting old when you reading habits switch.  I now read more nonfiction than fiction.  So lately John C. Maxwell has been on the nightstand.  Just got his five levels of leadership on my kindle.  I just recently got Halo of the damned and A True Thug Wilsin.  I’ll get to reading them when time permits.

What’s your Writing style like?
I made myself a deadline.  I hope to have Angel complete by August 31, 2012.  I want it done by the summer so I can market it in the fall.  This may seem like a bad strategy since my book will miss Xmas sales but I believe a lot is marketed during the summer in hopes of Xmas sales which means a publisher may not give your manuscript the right amount of attention it deserves and you may get rejected when you shouldn’t have.  A true fact, Stephen King was rejected three times before someone said yes to Carrie and look what that spawned.

How do you come up with content, do you have lots of it?

No.  Now this is where I still need practice as a writer.  I hate doing queries and I hate writing pitches.  But both are necessary tools in the marketing of a finished manuscript.  I have purchased books on how to write a query.  I have sent off some queries for other projects I have written in the past and got no response.  I am somewhat glad of it, because honestly I wasn’t ready.  If those books were published I guarantee they would be found at Dollar Tree or in the dollar bin at your favorite bookstore.  My writing then was so not what it is today.  And today I still need some work. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Interview with Priyanka Batra Harjai of the BookNewsIndia


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your blog/website, and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
Personally speaking, I am a newly blessed mum and a god-fearing person; while on a Professional front, I am a book blogger publishing a book and author promotion blog at http://booksnewsindia.wordpress.com . This is a blog dedicated especially to Indian authors and their works. I aspire to make my blog a one-stop destination for information about Indian authors, their news updates and their creations.
In addition to book blogging, I am a freelance content writer as well.

2. How you first got involved in with blogging/writing, are you an imaginative person?
Priyanka
I experienced blogging for the first time when I started working as an SEO with one of my past employers. Before that, I knew about blogging but never dealt with it. Therefore, to be particular, I can say that I was rather introduced and exposed to corporate blogging - today, one of my expertises.

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging/writing about your topic?
Sometimes, the contributors (publications and authors) exert to publish their contributions on as-is basis. I find it difficult because I could see the imperfection or as I say, I feel I could re-write it in some better version but they resist. I always highlight the problem areas to them mostly they agree to modify while some do not.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
In relation to this blog, I have not met anybody in person as of now. I have started this blog only recently and cannot visit people or events, as my kid is too young to be left alone for long. In future, I look forward to participate in book launches, book signings and book reading events actively.
Passively, I met, chatted and exchanged emails with whole lot of people in relation to my blog.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging/writing style?
Someone - you mean to say readers. Well, my readers would consider my blog posts to be descriptive having a critic angle. I would categorise my readers as book readers, authors, publishers, distributors, academicians and media person.
To be particular, the book readers will find my blog very informative as I have various sections interconnected with each other and hence, they need not visit different websites to vouch for information. The publishing fraternity will find my blog to be  transparent because I publish maximum amount of information without limiting them in word limits and I publish live links to connect the book lovers with their authors and publishing houses. In addition to these, Media person (online and offline as well) will consider my blog to be comprehensive resource for digging information.
Rest, you need to ask them, this is what I perceive.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I am a family person. If not blogging, I am busy at home front.

7. Where do you see yourself blogging/writing wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
I will continue blogging voraciously as the time permits. Initially, managing work-from-home profile was a little confusing for me but with time, now, I am able to manage the work and homely chores, smartly.
In future, I would like to become the voice of leading publishing houses and authors as well (aspiring and established both).

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging/writing business?
Frankly speaking, I am totally an internet addict person. I am available to my blog readers, authors, publishers online. My priority remains to reply their queries instantaneously or maximum within 24 hours. If an immediate action is not required then I provide them with the permissible time limit, within which I complete the task and keep them updated about every move.

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
Yes, it is true. Even in my case, I also have one blog but content is not a problem for me at all. Based on my experience, I publish the posts in a timely manner that makes the availability of new content easier, for blog visitors. I continually brainstorm different avenues wherein I request contributions from publishers and authors hence, my hands are always full.
However, in near future, I will be posting informational and educational articles (apart from industry updates) that will be useful for publishers and authors for marketing and promotions purpose.

10. What’s your strategy with your blog in general?
My strategy is to position it in good light within the book publishing fraternity.

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
There are so many but I will constrict it to one (so that they may not bore, as they read this interview). Always have an ad-hoc plan for at-least 15 days before you take a leap and start publishing posts. Of course, you can have a room for little modifications in your plan that can be accommodated in strategy very well.

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
In order of priority, I would go as:
Content>>SEO>>Readers>>Traffic. IMO readers = Traffic.

13. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
Some informative content educating them with tips and actionable that would make their work easier and / or blog- reading experience interesting.

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging/writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging/writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
Be patient. My experience has taught me that expectations vary depending on industry, mode of promotion chosen and strong strategy to transform visitors to customers.

15. What motivates you most in life?
My aspiration to earn recognition in my name motivates me.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
I am just simply reaching out to publishers, authors and book readers - online.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My book review of novella: 'Done with Men' by Shuchi Kalra is the chosen one. I restarted blogging when she contacted me. You can check it at: http://booksnewsindia.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/book-review-done-with-men-by-shuchi-singh-kalra-publisher-indireads/

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
To be true, there is no one as of now. Following others confuses me. It becomes a rat race then and duplication of ideas of others creativity, it is something, which I do not advocate, at any cost.

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?
Just a short phrase made up by using related keywords.

24. Five adjectives that describe you.
Frank, straight forward, God-fearing, observant, internet addict and happy-go-lucky kind of person

25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
It is from my latest possessions, I liked 'The Start Ups Diaries' the most. It is a collection of accounts of six start-ups of India, compiled by an author couple – Neeti Jain and Gagan Jain.

26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Not always but yes, sometimes.

27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
No, not in any case. I have had my share of experiences of book writing while managing a team of content writers with my past employer. It is altogether another game.

28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
Yes, I do not prefer hanging in middle rather make up my mind after an extensive retrospection, I take a stand and then stick to it.

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?
No, I have not collaborated with any of the fellow bloggers. At present, I am taking my work my passion my style.

31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
Contests are an interesting feature to catapult the visitors to the blog but it cannot hold them for strong. Not only this, one prize is no guarantee for sticking them for long but as far as the idea of creating a buzz is concerned, a big yes.
My views about increased plagiarism are very much focused. I am into this industry since about more than 12 years, IMO, self-policing is the best method to curb the menace. As a content writer, if we are motivated, enough to write our opinions in our words then it will not end up into plagiarism. Moving further, we can always run a plag-check for our creations (or say submissions) that will help us in restructuring the content we are working on.
As a reader, we can always report or raise voice against the plagiarised content by highlighting its occurrence, as soon as we spot it. It is similar to shouting as we do, whenever we sense something wrong is about to happen.

 32. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews and my Website www.MyMagicJobs.com
You seem to be a hard-working and nice person. I have not met you personally but exchanging emails was enough to judge you as a person. Your availability to answer emails and tone of your replies was the best indicators. I am sure you would be nicer, if met in person.
I read your blog you have a flair of writing. However, you are covering myriad of topics thus, I am not sure what your focus area is? You have a good command over writing knowledge. Next, w.r.t. your website, it seems to be a comprehensive job website. Having too much information clubbed on homepage might derail the visitor. You can highlight the action-oriented landing web-pages and drive visitors to supporting pages.

33. On winning the Award/s, Are they really necessary.
In my opinions, awards are not necessary but as per industry norms they do provide a recognition. At least, it serves as a podium to attract the clients (or media) who consider it to be a yardstick of credibility and capability.Therefore, no harm in having one and no regret in having none
zz
x

Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner