Thursday, January 22, 2015

Author Spotlight: W. Nikola-Lisa on his Top Honors award winning book

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and why?
In my mid-20s, I was a parent of two young daughters and a second grade teacher. That pretty much did it as I was reading children’s books day and night, and fell in love with them and the art of writing.
As a child, what did you aspire to be when you grew up?
I grew up on a ranch in south Texas. What did I want to be? Easy. A cowboy!

How did you get the idea for your award winning title?
I was doing research for another book—Dear Frank: Babe Ruth, the Red Sox, and the Great War—and I stumbled upon a few things that puzzled me, like... Who were the Yankees before they came to New York? How did they get started? Why did it take them two years to enter the New York market? Perplexing questions are always my starting point.
What has been your greatest literary accomplishment?
Having published 25 books over a 25 year period. Equally important was winning the State of Wisconsin’s 2001 Golden Archer Award for Shake Dem Halloween Bones. The Golden Archer Award is a children’s choice award, which makes it even sweeter.
What literary achievement has had the greatest impact on your life as a writer?
My fourth book—Bein’ With You This Way—because it was a multi award-winning book that has taken me to many different audiences I could never have imagined.
Can you tell us some of the other books have you published?
Can you tell us something our readers will find interesting about your writing style?
I often write standing up. I learned this from an interview with the great singer/songwriter Paul Simon, who often stands throwing a rubber ball against a wall to establish a rhythm and melody. That seems to work for me, especially when I’m stuck.
Which author has most greatly influenced your writing style?
Actually there are several: M. B. Goffstein, Jane Yolen, and George Ella Lyon.
Can you describe the process of becoming published and any tips you might offer for other aspiring authors?
You need three things: intelligence, creativity, and persistence. Of the three, persistence is the most important. You have to knock on a lot of doors, many of which don’t open, or at the least don't open very easily.
Can you offer any advice for writers on how best to promote their book?
Join, by far the best and most wide-ranging reading community on the internet. Great for making connections with other literary types.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
People ask me two questions all the time: Why do I write? Who do I write for? The answer: I write because I can’t seem to turn it off, and I write first and foremost for myself—that’s how I learn, by reading and note-taking. My books are simply a by-product of my learning process.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Why, of course,....
My next book goes to press early next year. Entitled Shark Man, it is a follow-up to my memoir Dragonfly, only Shark Man is not a memoir; it is a novelization of my adolescent years growing up on the Florida beaches. It should be out by March 2015 and available on Amazon, both as a paperback and as a kindle e-book.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

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