Sunday, November 11, 2012

Indie Author Interview: Mindy Levy


Interview with Mindy Levy - Author of the Non-Fiction / Humor Book Mindy's Musings.

Mindy Levy is an Independent Author living in the Southeastern United States. A native Bostonian, she relocated after a year stint in Europe following college to be close to family.

By day, Mindy pretends to be a technology executive for an enterprise software vendor when she would rather be writing. She spends her free time consuming large amounts of coffee, traveling and doing a bit of volunteer work.

Mindy's Musings is Mindy Levy's debut book.

Interview with Author Mindy Levy

Interview w/ Author Mindy Levy
Author Mindy Levy
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Mindy Levy: Mindy’s Musings is my first book. I do quite a bit of writing for work in the form of marketing content, professional correspondence and technology blogging, but this is my first attempt at writing for leisure.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I’ve always loved a good mystery/thriller. It’s a great way to really escape into another world. My favorite authors for this genre are Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson and David Baldacci. One of my favorite book series is The Women’s Murder club by Patterson, but I’ve read every one of his books.

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood so my writing influences run the gamut. From books and blogs to the literature and writing classes I took in college, I think I’ve taken lessons from all of the source to which I’ve been exposed.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I did not make a conscious decision to be a writer, it was a natural progression from blogging to writing. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, and I’m thrilled that there are vehicles today to enable people like myself to create and publish easily.

"I would define my writing process as unconventional."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I would define my writing process as unconventional. With a busy technology career, family and business travel, there was little time to write. As a result, I found myself writing on airplanes, late at night and early in the morning on weekends. The blog was an enormous help as I was able to create content offline whenever the spirit hit me and publish later.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest part of writing for me is developing content, at least for this book. Since it is based on real life events (and I’m blessed with some pretty whacky family and friends!) I have more content than I can possible cover. And new fodder comes my way every day!

The most difficult part of writing for me is transforming that content from “idea” to pen and paper in a form that others can digest, appreciate and in a way that will make them laugh.

Mindy, please tell us a little about your debut book 'Mindy's Musings'.
Everyone has a story. It’s true. Some are sad stories of hardship and tragedy, while others are full of laughter and joy. I’ve been transfixed by tales of travel to the farthest reaches of the globe, or daring adventures of skydiving, bungee jumps and scuba diving (nothing, by the way I would EVER try- these people are nuts. Who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane?)

Mammoth acts kindness and courage renew my faith in mankind, and I’ve been bored senseless by a neighbor who has chosen me as the sounding board for their inane anecdotes.
So you see- good, bad or boring- everyone has a story.

Mindy’s Musings is a collection of my real life experiences stemming from every day encounters with family, friends and colleagues. These seemingly mundane events are anything but boring!
Readers meet Mom, a leading competitor and favorite to take the gold in the Jewish Mother Olympics. Her best friends, Food and Worry, make frequent appearances, as do a host of characters who will make you scratch your head, laugh or really feel good about their own situations.

As readers thumb through the pages of my “escapades through the extraordinarily ordinary”, they learn how I to use humor to combat fear, anxiety and a myriad of other challenges. Lessons of how to handle Mom’s false arrest at TJ MAXX and coping with party disasters will be bestowed upon you. Finally, this digest of the daily dilemmas that result from both voluntary and involuntary human interaction is chalk full of priceless nuggets that are sure to remind readers of someone they know- maybe even themselves!

Mindy's Musings (Mindy Levy)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
Friends and family, the humor associated with my propensity for worry and my husband's use of humor in battling a chronic illness. These folks (and their crazy antics) are the foundation for the book. My true inspiration was my husband.
My husband was diagnosed with MS in 2004, at 38 years old. He is nothing short of amazing- staying positive every day with a focus on what he CAN do versus what MS has taken away. He is a brilliant role model for our kids and people with challenges of ANY kind, big or small. I’ve ready so many accounts of marriages and families that fall apart when chronic illness hits- we are just the opposite.
Once an avid cyclist, he lost his balance and could no longer mountain bike or road bike. So we got a recumbent three wheel and he can still out pedal me in spite of chronic pain, numbness and spasms. Less time hiking and biking could have been devastating but he filled the time in the kitchen and is an incredible cook and bread baker (uh, yeah, his homemade baguettes don’t suck!)
Anyway- we’ve been married for 9 years and I love him, my step kids, and my neurotic animals more now than ever. We are living proof that laughter and love can overcome just about anything.
I realized we had some pretty funny stories, like most families do, that could potentially brighten someone’s day or help them learn not to take themselves so seriously. So I wrote them down.
I started with a blog then quickly found I had enough fodder for a book. I channeled my husband's attitude and determination and voila- Mindy’s Musing’s was born.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My target audience is anyone who likes to laugh, anyone who is looking for a light, easy read and anyone with a sense of humor. The book is available in paperback and ebook formats via my website and Amazon [see Links below].

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
So far so good! It was just published in June and it’s getting great reviews!
[Click here to see the 17 out of 18 Five-Star Reviews !]

How long did it take it to write the book?
About seven months.

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
Self published with Create Space

"[...] check the publishing guidelines and format their work well in advance[...]"

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
The self-publishing process with Create Space, Amazon Kindle Direct and Smashwords was very smooth. All of these publishing vehicles have excellent guidelines and instruction, as well as online and human support. One thing all self-publishing authors should do is check the publishing guidelines and format their work well in advance of trying to publish. The guidelines vary for each self-publisher and incorrect formatting will cause unwanted frustration and delays.

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
No, I did everything myself and leveraged the Create Space tools for the cover design.

"[...] try to format your book as you go."

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
My main advice for Indie Authors who wish to self-publish is to get your work as complete as possible prior to attempting to publish. Making changes once the process is started is tedious. Also, when writing, try to format your book as you go. Attempting to do so after you’ve written it can result in formatting errors and/or undesired changes in your book’s appearance.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
Mindy’s Musing Volume II, of course. Look for it in 2013!

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I plan to remain an Indie Author.

"It’s more than just reading the book [...]"

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
My hope is that book stores do not disappear. It’s more than just reading the book, it’s the entire experience of scanning the shelves of a book store or library, the scent of the books and the feeling one gets when surrounded by so many works of art! I do believe ebooks will become the main vehicle for readers but paperback and hardcover books will remain available, if not in proper bookstores, via online ordering.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I have a full time day job as an executive in a technology company. Someday, perhaps when I’m closer to retirement, I’d like to take up writing full time.

How can readers connect with you?
My website, Twitter, and Facebook.[See Links below]

Thank you very much for the Interview, Mindy.



About the Book Mindy's Musings

Mindy's Musings - Mindy Levy
Click to Read an Excerpt
Everyone has a story. It’s true. Some are sad stories of hardship and tragedy, while others are full of laughter and joy. I’ve been transfixed by tales of travel to the farthest reaches of the globe, or daring adventures of skydiving, bunji jumps and scuba diving (nothing, by the way I would EVER try- these people are nuts. Who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane?)

Mammoth acts kindness and courage renew my faith in mankind, and I've been bored senseless by a neighbor who has chosen me as the sounding board for their inane anecdotes.

Mindy’s Musings is a collection of my real life experiences stemming from every day encounters with family, friends and colleagues. These seemingly mundane events are anything but boring!

- "Loved it! Mindy's book feels like being neighbors with George Costanza's family"




Links to the Author and the Book

Link to the Author's Website

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @mindylevy

Connect with the Author via Facebook: readmindymusing

Link to the Paperback Mindy's Musings on Amazon with Excerpt

Link to the eBook Mindy's Musings on Amazon with Excerpt


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