Meet Rami Ungar

If you’ve read this blog at all during the past five months, you’ve probably noticed the name Rami Ungar, a writer who has been a daily commenter. Well, now you can learn more about Rami and his writings because I’ve interviewed him for my author blog Pat Bertram Introduces . . . Here is an excerpt from the interview:

cimg1481Hi, Rami. Good to talk to you! What is your book called?

It’s “The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones”, and it’ll be available later this year as an e-book.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

At least since I first read “Harry Potter”, though I didn’t realize it till I was around ten or so. At that age you want to be a scientist, a superhero, a firefighter, President. But at ten I realized I wanted to write, and I’ve been writing since.

What writer influenced you the most?

I’d have to say Anne Rice, Stephen King, and James Patterson. I discovered the first two when I was in junior high and high school, and they blew my mind. I knew after reading them, horror was what I wanted to focus on. I discovered James Patterson shortly before graduating high school, and I think he was the one who taught me how to write thrillers. To this day, I think of Alex Cross and James Patterson when I think about how I was able to write my thriller novel “Snake”.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I spent about a week for every short story, so about five weeks. Each story had its own challenges in writing it, but I enjoyed writing each and every one of them. I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I basically collected a bunch of ideas that popped into my mind all of the Fall 2012 semester, wrote them down, and then picked the five best ones out of those ideas and worked on them over winter break. I was really surprised how easily some of these short stories came to me, like “Addict”, which is about a guy trying to recover from a sex and porn addiction. I managed to get that one typed out in a day, a record for me with short stories.

Read more . . .

What is the easiest part of the writing process? What is the most difficult?

The easiest aspect of writing for me is editing. The words are all there, it’s just a matter of making sure they are the right ones and that they say what I want them to say. The most rewarding is knowing I wrote a book worth reading. People tell me they really enjoy Daughter Am I, that they “hate saying goodbye to these wonderful characters.”

The most difficult part of writing for me right now is just sitting down and writing. I have no real inclination to write fiction, and I find it hard to focus on a long project. I’m sure the desire will come back, probably when I stop spending so much time on the Internet.

Here are some responses from other authors about the easiest and hardest parts of the writing process. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with J J Dare, Author of False Positive and False World

The easiest part of the writing process is inspiration. When it’s there, the words flow like a raging river. If the story is in my head and I’ve been tapped by my muse (and she stays with me), I can write a novel in a week.

The hardest part of the writing process is inspiration. When it’s not there, it can’t be faked. Constipated writing can be unbearable.

From an interview with Dale Cozort, Author of “Exchange

For me, the easiest part is writing the rough draft. Once I have characters and a plot outline I can write the rough draft of a novel in four to six weeks and I enjoy doing it. What happens before and after writing the rough draft is far more difficult and time-consuming.

The most difficult part is the last five percent of the editing process, the part that gets you from almost the right words to exactly the right words. For me that takes more time than writing the rough draft.

From an interview with A. F. Stewart, Author of Once Upon a Dark and Eerie

For me, the easiest element of writing is the dialogue. I rarely have a problem with the flow of dialogue. Possibly because I can hear all those character voices whispering in my head.

The most difficult part is writing the middle section of the plot. I’m great at churning out beginnings and endings, but I always have to work at writing the stuff in between.

So, for you, What is the easiest part of the writing process? What is the most difficult?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

What is the easiest part of the writing process?

The easiest aspect of writing is editing. The words are all there, it’s just a matter of making sure they are the right ones and that they say what I want them to say. The most rewarding is knowing I wrote a book worth reading.

Here are some other authors’ responses to the question about the easiest part of the writing process. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .
-

From an interview with Rod Marsden, Author of “Disco Evil” and “Ghost Dance”

The first draft is the easiest part of the writing process. You can really let yourself go. Very few writers expect the first draft to be the last. Michener went through a number of drafts before he was happy with Hawaii. I go through a number of drafts before I even approach an editor.

From an interview with Joylene Nowell Butler, Author of “Broken but not Dead”

Editing. Once I’ve written that first draft, I step back and regroup for a week or so. I do the same thing when I’m finished the last draft. The second draft is my favourite part. It’s filling in the blanks, eliminating all the garbage, adverbs, excessive wordage, unnecessary characters and scenes, and baring the bones of the story. It never fails to excite me during this process. Like unveiling Cinderella’s beauty. Love it.

From an interview with J J Dare, Author of “False Positive” and “False World”

Inspiration. When it’s there, the words flow like a raging river. If the story is in my head and I’ve been tapped by my muse (and she stays with me), I can write a novel in a week.

From an interview with A. F. Stewart, Author of Once Upon a Dark and Eerie

For me, the easiest element of writing is the dialogue. I rarely have a problem with the flow of dialogue. Possibly because I can hear all those character voices whispering in my head.

From an interview with Michael Haskins, Author of “Car Wash Blues”

Oh that’s easy, turning on the computer!

From an interview with James Boyle, Author of “Ni’il: Waking Turtle”

There comes a point after you’ve struggled for days and weeks, seemingly trying to wring words out of stone, when you finally hit your groove and the story simple flows out of you. It feels less like writing than channeling the story from some outside source. It is an amazing feeling when it happens.

So, for you, what is the easiest part of the writing process?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

What inspires you to write a particular story?

Like most writers, I’ve written the beginnings of a few books that have gone nowhere. I have zero interest in pursuing them. On the other hand, for various reasons, the books I did write took hold of my imagination and didn’t let go until they were completed. For example, A Spark of Heavenly Fire came about because of a Washington Irving quote: “There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” I loved the idea of a woman who felt half-dead when everyone else was doing well, but in a time of dying, she came to life. Since I didn’t want to do a war story, I created a plague — the red death. I had fun with that, and the story so captured my imagination that I had no choice but to pursue it.

Here are a few inspirations other authors. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

I was inspired to write Disco Evil because I believe everyone deserves a fair go and that people who go out of their way to be nasty to others really do build up bad karma for themselves. I happen to like quest/adventures stories so that’s how Ghost Dance came about. Two of the women in Ghost Dance are based on certain stand up and be counted sort of ladies I know and love in real life.

From an interview of Malcolm R. Campbell, Author of “Sarabande”

“The Sun Singer” is about a young man’s solar journey. I wanted to look at the other side of the coin, so to speak, and write about the lunar-oriented ordeals of a young woman. Sarabande, my protagonist first appeared in “The Sun Singer.” However, I have written her story so that it can be read as a standalone novel, a woman’s story that could be whole in and of itself.

From an interview of J J Dare, Author of False Positive and False World

I was inspired to write about hidden government agendas and their devastating aftereffects when I thought about why we, as a nation, involve our resources in other nations’ conflicts. My biggest inspiration: the eternal, What if?

From an interview of Joylene Nowell Butler, Author of “Broken but not Dead”

Honestly, one day it occurred to me that there weren’t enough stories about fantastic 50-year-old women. I wasn’t quite 50, but decided that while it might be nice to be young and beautiful like Cheryl Ladd and all those other famous ladies from my era, there’s nothing quite like the wisdom and empowerment that comes with age.

I was inspired to write the book after reading some nonfiction books about contemporary domestic slavery and human trafficking.

From an interview of Sheila Deeth, Author of “Flower Child”

Actually it was a writing competition at our local writing group. The prompt was to write a short piece inspired by music, and I had John Denver’s Rhymes and Reasons spinning around in my head — For the children and the flowers / Are my sisters and my brothers… I found myself putting a childhood misunderstanding together with my adult experience.

If you’re a writer, what inspired you to write a particular story? If you’re a reader, what inspires you to read a particular story?

Another Great Blog to Bookmark!

If you haven’t checked out the Second Wind Blog, you’re missing out on a treat. With more than fifteen writers posting articles, there is something for every taste, from Noah Baird’s hilarious take on life to JJ Dare’s more philosophical bent, from Sherrie Hansen’s inspirational articles to Norm Brown’s blend of mysticism and reality. Here you can find contests, interviews and excerpts. You can even find me occasionally!!! So what are you waiting for? Stop by Second Wind Publishing Blog and check it out. Here are a few great articles to get you started:

DO YOU GESTALT? by Nancy A. Niles talks about role playing to get to know your characters.

Traveling Thoughts by Mairead Walpole talks about the magic of the Florida sun.

Top of the World at Just the Right Moment by Norm Brown talks about a stunning moment when he was in the right place at the right time. And check out his classic Do Not Lean, which was “Fresh Pressed” here on WordPress.

The Trouble With Birthdays by J. Conrad Guest is a celebration of life, baseball, and summer. And If the Novel is Dying, What’s That Say About Imagination? is a celebration of reading.

Writer Beware–POV Confusion/Character Overload by Juliet Waldron explains the dangers of too many point of view shifts.

Chemistry and Subtext by Lucy Balch tells how writers can enhance the budding romances in their books.

How living in Germany Helped Me Become a Better Writer by Coco Ihle talks about the importance of detailing subjects familiar to the author, but possibly unique or unconventional to someone else.

The Joys of Lying to Children by Noah Baird I had a hard time choosing which Noah Baird post to highlight, but lying to children is perhaps even funnier than Vasectomies For Beginners by Noah Baird. Or not.

Compelled to Compare by Sherrie Hansen talks about appreciating what she has, both as a woman and a writer, but my favorite is Don’t Keep Me Hanging Too Long!

Are You Happy? by J J Dare talks about being happy and feeling heated rush the assassin feels right after he pulls the trigger. Um, yeah. You’ll have to read the post. Or this read this one instead: Goodbye, Mr. Phobia by J J Dare.

Writing what you know by Nichole Bennett talks about writing what you’re comfortable with and researching the rest.

On Butt Glue, Diplomacy, and Lying: Lessons Learned by Laura Wharton talks about the lessons she learned in her first year as a published writer.

Isabella’s Smile and the Miracle in Dakota Park — by Calvin Davis is a delight parable for writers and everyone who needs a bit of assurance that sometimes the impossible is really possible.

Excuse me? What? by Dellani Oakes talks about the ways in which writing is like childbirth. If you’re an author, you will probably agree.

Killer Cocktail Events in Minnesota by Christine Husom talks about the Midwest Booksellers Association annual trade show. Be sure to stop by and tell her about trade shows you’ve gone to.

Interview With Deborah J Ledford, Author of Snare and Staccato

Excerpt From “School of Lies” by Mickey Hoffman

and don’t forget the Second Wind Short Story Contest!! The deadline is December 31, 2011, so you still have plenty of time to enter.

Interview with C.A. Milson, author of The Chosen

Interview with C.A Milson, author of The Chosen, available from Amira Press:

Bertram: What inspired you to write The Chosen?

CM:  The first inspiration for writing this particular story came to me in 1989, when I was living in Melbourne, Australia. The original story was titled “Shack of Evil”, a 9-page story based on the character of Jamiesonn. The story idea came from a Hobbytex picture my mother had on the wall of her apartment. After writing “Shack of Evil”, I went on to write an additional 25 short stories, all of different genres, including a children’s story. “Shack of Evil” would later become the base for what is now the trilogy of The Chosen, Bloodline of Darkness, and Prophecy’s End.

Bertram: What was the hardest part of writing your novel?

CM: The hardest part is the re-writing of chapters and scenarios. No part of writing is perfect from the first sentence, as I will have an idea for a chapter, then when I have reviewed it I am likely to scratch that whole scene and go in a completely different direction. The other hard part is coming up with new ideas and concepts. There are times when I can sit in front of the computer for hours with no inspiration at all.

Bertram: What is your favorite scene?

CM: One of my favorite scenes in The Chosen is when Alex faces his nemesis for the last time. Alex has been anointed with supernatural power that even the forces of darkness sit back in awe. There is a scene where he is thrown into the sea of fire, and . . . well, I won’t say too much as that will give the plot away.

Bertram: What do you hope readers will say about your book?

CM: I hope my readers will say that they loved my novel and await the second one to come out!

Bertram: What’s next for you?

CM: Next for me is writing Bloodline of Darkness, which is the second in the trilogy in the life of Alex Manning — a man who is put in the middle of a spiritual conflict he otherwise wants no part of. Bloodline of Darkness is set seven years after The Chosen. Alex has forsaken his powers to live a “normal” life, and the forces of Tartarus have arisen to harvest the souls of humans and plunge the world into darkness. Alex once again must stand and save humanity but can he overcome the ever-present darkness that also reigns in his own heart?

Savor the Moment: Inspiration for Writers

Aaron Paul Lazar has graciously consented to be a guest host on my blog today. The author of LeGarde Mysteries and Moore Mysteries, Lazar enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his websites at www.legardemysteries.com and www.mooremysteries.com and watch for his upcoming release, MAZURKA, coming in 2008. Lazar says:

It’s the last week of August. Autumn has already stretched tentative tendrils toward us, cooling the evenings and drenching the morning with heavy dew. Today, as I rounded the top of a hill overlooking the valley, my breath caught in my throat. Before me lay the snaking path of the Genesee River, previously hidden from casual view behind fields and woods. Nebulous clouds of fog hovered above, revealing the river route that quietly meanders out of sight most of the year.

My soul exploded with a sensation of splendor best described by the Japanese philosophy, wabi sabi*. This was indeed a wabi sabi moment, a fraction of time linking nature and man, steeped in intense sensual beauty…so full of wonder it transports you to a moment of spiritual enlightenment.

In addition to the vapor-bound river, the countryside lay punctuated with farmers’ ponds, exposed via banks of fog steaming overhead. Normally hidden by tall fields of grass or corn, the wisps of moisture called attention to the quiet shallows, home to frogs and watering holes for livestock.

Stunned by the beauty, invigorated beyond belief, I continued on the drive that I’d taken thousands of times before. Heading north on River Road, whispers of “Thank you, God,” floated in my brain. Still and amorphous, the words vibrated in syncopation with stirring grasses.

Once again, nature presented a feast so lovely I choked with emotion. There, to the east, clusters of wheat waved in the sunlight with heavy heads bowed under the weight of soaking dew, their curvatures swan-like as they moved in glistening silence.

The ephemeral nature of this phenomenon is part of the allure. That precise moment of intense immersion, that amazing connection with nature, will never repeat. The sun’s rays may not hit the grass with exactly the same angle or intensity. The grass will change tomorrow, perhaps drier, taller, or shorn. This transient moment of staggering beauty must be absorbed and cherished.

What path do writers take to experience this? How do they open the channels in the brain that might have been content to listen to Haydn’s 19th Symphony in C Major, but blind to nature’s offerings? (this was playing on the radio when I delighted in these visions today.)

First of all, one must be a “visualist.” That isn’t a real word, but it describes what I mean. A person who is stunned by physical natural beauty (certainly not at the exclusion of aural, tactile, or emotional stimuli) possesses visual aqueducts to the world through his or her eyes. Infinitesimal flashes of stunning images move him beyond belief. These impressions are captured in his mind’s eye, never to be lost, forever to be savored. And often, when this type of writer is creating, they see the “movie in their mind,” pressing from within, allowing readers to feel intimate and involved in a scene.

What type of a reader are you? Do you soak up scenes written by others? Imagine them for days on end? Find choice gems of passages that affect you for life? Do you want your readers to feel this way about your own prose?

It is this deeply felt appreciation for nature, for life, for wonder, that promotes a good writer to potential majesty. Perhaps not to best-seller status – that illusory fate is in the hands of a publishing industry often not tuned into art, but focused solely on profit. Try to ignore that aspect when you are creating your next masterpiece. In time, if the stars are aligned and you achieve this pinnacle of greatness, it may happen.

Open your eyes. Reel it in. Absorb the beauty around you, whether it is the flash of love in an old woman’s eye, or the fragile petal of a tiny orange cinquefoil. Allow yourself to be in that moment, record it in your soul, and play it back for your readers for the ultimate connection.

* Wabi Sabi for Writers, by Richard Powell, Adams Media.

You can find Aaron Paul Lazar at: www.legardemysteries.com www.mooremysteries.com www.aplazar.gather.com www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com www.murderby4.blogspot.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,404 other followers