Friday, October 28, 2011

Firsts Fridays: Author Nadja Notariani and Killer Characters Day 3

UPDATE: We've got ourselves a winner for Nadja's e-book, Claiming the Prize. Congrats to ANGELA BROWN! Nadja will be contacting you shortly:)

First off, today is the final day for the Killer Characters Blogfest! If you want to spill the beans on who your fave antagonist is and maybe win a prize, go HERE! Read after the First Fridays interview to see who mine is.

Today’s Firsts Friday’s guest is a busy gal having just finished up a very creative blogfest called The Rule of Three, as well as recently publishing her first novel. Let’s see how Nadja Notariani can help us as she celebrates a first in her life.

From an early age, stories filled with adventure and romance captivated my imagination. Now I have become the storyteller.

Nadja Notariani

DB: Hi Nadja! Welcome to First Fridays and thanks for being hereJ

You have just published your first novel, Claiming the Prize. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and how you came up with the idea?

NN: Claiming The Prize is my first novel, published on 01 September, 2011. I still have trouble believing it! Ha.

The novel centers around Drago Zadrovec, a mixed-martial-artist from Slovakia who travels to the United States to train in an exclusive gym. Drago intends to fight his way to the light-heavyweight title, but he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Grace Antolini, daughter of the legendary trainer he signs on with. Of course, romance blooms. However, Drago and Grace are unique characters. They have definite ideas about love and life that add a balance to their passion. Claiming the Prize makes me smile.

I suppose the idea of a fighter, and his ensuing fighting career, isn't what one normally thinks of when conjuring a romance. Well, unless you're me! I liked the duality of the character, Drago. MMA is a brutal sport, but under those fighters are real men. I have three sons, all folk-style wrestlers, and one who trains in mixed-martial-arts. I've watched so many practices, tournaments, and matches! I'm a great fan. Through watching my boys and discovering how much they have to sacrifice to participate successfully in this sport, my admiration grew considerably. Voila! The idea for the novel was planted.

DB: Your novel sounds very unique.  Who doesn’t love a romance mixed up with some crazy fighting?

Also, Nadja is giving away an e-book of Claiming the Prize. Read after the interview for details.

What about you, how long have you known you wanted to write and what kind of writer are you, a plotter or a pantster?

NN: I've been an avid reader since I could read. I devour books. What's better than getting lost in the desert while sipping sweet tea on the breezy side porch? What's more exciting that trailing a kidnapper from behind a locked door? Hunting vampire? I do it all the time from my comfy chair!

DB: Not much compares to it!

NN: This love of the story – combined with the over-active imagination I have – inspired me to attempt my own stories. I always had thoughts like, “Oh! The heroine should say this...or do that...or go here...or ...” well, you see. I'm tickled that I did! Writing is the best fun I've had yet!

Now...I didn't have a clue where I was going exactly when I began Claiming The Prize. I absolutely pantsed my first novel, writing scenes out of order and following the muse as it skipped merrily around my brain. No more of that for me. I'm an organized sort of person. Very organized. Outlining is the way for writing and me to get on splendidly. I need a map to keep that overactive imagination from veering off the storyline. Ha. For me, the outline is like a guardrail dotted with reflective lights - for when I'm plowing through a hazy/foggy/dark part of the story.

DB: I’ve tried both routes too. It is plotting all the way for me now too.

What route did you decide to take to publish your book and how has the experience been so far?

NN: Before I had written half of Claiming The Prize, I had decided to indie publish. Being a bit of a control freak...(No, you say...But, yes, 'tis true. )... indie publishing offered me complete control over my work. I liked the idea of being part of each step in the process. The writing, the editing, the corrections, the cover design, the promotion – all come from me. I find this extremely satisfying as I'm also a task-oriented person. Each step enabled me to enjoy a sense of accomplishment instead of being tossed along in the ocean waves of traditional publishing. No waiting for someone to find my book idea as fantastic as I ...No accepting a cover I didn't want...No edits that fundamentally changed my story (although I cannot stress enough how important it is to get beta reader opinions and to use their thoughts, suggestions, and ideas to sharpen your writing – and to get yourself an editor)

 Keep in mind, however, that indie publishing is also scary! It's learning on the job for sure. I needed every ounce of self-confidence I could muster to take on formatting. I needed to follow my gut with my story – and then be prepared for whatever that meant, whether good or bad. (Thankfully, it's been overwhelmingly positive...whew! :) I've made some mistakes. But that's okay! How else can we learn but by doing? When we fail to learn, we fail to grow. When we fail to grow, we wither. We decay. We die.

I chose the option that was best for me. Each of us must weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision that fits where we are at the time.

DB: I totally agree! Us writers are all so different. I think it’s wonderful to have as many options as we do to get our work out thereJ

NN: Oh! Do I have plans! (smiles like a Cheshire cat) In five years, my goal is to have at least eight novel length works published. I'd like to be selling a minimum of 50 books per day. (that would put me at the earnings of a median income wage in the United States) And, I'd love to have laid a solid foundation for my business platform. As for the how-to...well, I'm learning as I go. I'm in stage one, which is building my library, growing in my craft, and gaining readers. I'll be studying up on marketing techniques, gleaning information from fellow indie authors, and applying the golden rule to all I meet.

DB: Awesome plans!

Tell us anything! It can be about you, your writing; something fun…the choice is yours.

NN: My sister and I (I have four sisters and four brothers...;) once took a personality test on the computer. The results promised to match you up with your best movie/cartoon characters, so we thought it would be a hoot and delved right in, imagining our perfect match know.

We received our results, and while I cannot argue with them, as we both laughed our 'unmentionables' off at how 'right' their assessment was, neither of us wanted to admit to our responses.

My sister's over-all title was 'Mastermind', and her number one match up was Cat-Woman from the Batman movies....Ha! I still laugh until the tears roll as that describes her to perfection. She was always coming up with these 'ideas' and 'plans' when we were growing up that were guaranteed to get us both a spanking.

It was a bit harder at first to laugh at my own result, but I've managed to 'own' it...

My over-all title was 'Barbarian', (ouch) and my number one match up was Lucy from Peanuts (you know the one who pulled the football out from in front of poor Charlie Brown over and over....the one who set up a stand and charged 5 cents for advice...yeah,her.) Who wants to be Lucy? Maybe Lucille Ball....heh heh.

Anyway, I hope you gained a laugh. And in the end, old 'Lucy' and I came to an agreement. We'd tone down the football snatching and concentrate more on charging the 5 cents...Ha! My sister calls that 'growing up'. She's the 'strategist', right?

DB: HA! That was fun and I like LucyJ

Again Nadja, thanks so much for being here!

Want more of Nadja? Check out her blog HERE

If you are interested in getting yourself an e-book of Claiming the Prize comment below and you will be entered. I will announce the winner next Friday!

If you're here to find out who my Killer Character Antagonist is you've come to the right place.

There is not a scarier antagonist then the balloon totin', kid killin' clown in the movie IT in my opinion. I have never looked at clowns the same since.

Nuff Said...eek!
Until next time…
Keep writing. Keep learning.


Chrissy said...

Hello! (((((hugs)))))

It’s so awesome to visit your lovely blog today on this Halloween blog hop. I think this is an awesome opportunity to meet other authors! I’m joining your blog and I hope you’ll join mine, too, so we can learn more about one another.
My favorite monster movie is Night of the Living Dead and I’m dressing up as a mime. Mime is one of the most ancient forms of theatre, appearing around the time of the Greek tragedies. I hope to perfect the art and technique of portraying a mood, idea, or narration by gestures and bodily movements. The only problem is…that I have a big mouth! LOL. It’s so nice to meet you!


P.S. I’d love to connect with you online!
My blog link is Facebook link is:!/chrissy.peebles1
My twitter link is:!/ChrissyPeebles1

Angela Cothran said...

This sounds like such an interesting premise for a novel. My hubby LOVES MMA, and he's converted me a little. I'm so interested to see how you added romance into that situation.

Julie Flanders said...

Great interview with Nadja, I enjoyed it!
And I'm scared to death of the IT clown, the picture alone made me jump when I got to the end of your post. I hate clowns in general, so this antagonist is a nightmare for me. Great pick!!
Thanks again for hosting this hop, I've had such a good time with it!

Emily R. King said...

Interesting interview. Now I really want to read this book. Anything with a good romance plot and I'm hooked!

Free Book Reviews said...

Halloween Hop

I want to thank Jeremy Bates for the chance to participate in this blog hop.

My Favorite monster movie - Hellraiser
My Costume - Dragon (well the wings of a dragon and the rest is my sexy self)
And I am now following this Blog (yay)

I have read quite a few of the posts on this blog and I do believe I shall
be reading more as I have found them interesting to say the least. I hope that my participation brings this blog more visitors and that those turn into more readers for this blog's future. Thanks for being a participant and for those visiting this blog for the first time. Please comment, that is what we bloggers live for. :)

****Promoting my own Blog****

Free Book Reviews is a blog that reviews indie books, interviews indie authors and generally talks about whatever amuses them in the literary world. If you are an author please feel free to submit your book for review and/or an author interview. If you are a reader feel free to check out any book listed on our blog. In any case please share this blog with as many people as you can!

Abby Fowers said...

Has anyone ever told you that you look like Cameron Diaz? Cuz you do!

And I will officially have nightmares over the "IT" thing. Oooh - I remember having to sleep in my brothers room after watching that when I was younger. Haven't watched it since.

Angela Brown said...

I love Nadja's writing. Her Rule of 3 submissions kept me glued to the screen. I have a new appreciation for Djinns. Plus, it floors me that her main character is an MMA fighter. Probably because my awkward outcast protagonist for my YA novel is studying MMA. Man, I love it.

This was such a wonderful interview.

Jennie Bennett said...

nuff said, indeed :)

Nadja Notariani said...

Thank you so very much for having me today! You're First Friday theme is such a great idea.

As for monsters...I'm a big, BIG chicken. I never watch scary monsters. A movie that totally scared the pants off me many years ago, (when I was still silly enough to scare myself half to was Event Horizon. I still get the creeps just thinking of it. Jeepers!

Have a great weekend!

Karen M. Peterson said...

Indie publishing is such a daunting challenge. I applaud those who are brave enough!

And that clown is seriously creepy. Ick.

Cortney Pearson said...

Great interview, and the book is definitely intriguing! I'm such a wimp--I avoid scary movies at all costs if possible, but I do love The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Shelley Workinger said...

Happy Halloween Hop, Deana - good to *meet* both you and Nadja! I found a lot of similarities in both her process and her sense of humor with my own ;) And I do believe Pennywise ruined for clowns for ALOT of people.

Unknown said...

Oh my god that photo!!!!!!!!!!

I totally have a phobia of clowns lol! Whoever decided they're great entertainment for kids, is mental!

Passing through for the Halloween blog hop :-)

I'm not really a fan of anything horror related to be honest. I used to be, but the movie Halloween H20 scarred me for life! I won't be dressing up this year until the late celebrations in November...haven't decided what to go as yet

Great blog :-)


Deana said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and supporting Nadja and her book. Thanks also for all your Killer Character ideas and my blog hoppin' buddies coming around! I love you all:)

Shelley Workinger said...

Hi Deana - Thanks for following BWATE? ! I can't find the buttons here to follow you back.

Penelope Crowe said...

Hello hoppers!!

So glad to visit your blog! This year I will be a swachbuckling pirate and my favorite book is either Let the Right One In or The Witching Hour. I am visiting this blog from the Coffin Hop! I am #63 over there, and my blog is Hop over--you can win a NOOK! Happy Halloween! :)

Penelope Crowe

LisaAnn said...

Great interview, Deana, and best of luck to Nadja! The cover is beautiful, and the book sounds so unique! :)

Jeremy Bates said...

penny whats his name!! seriously, one of the scariest antagonists around!!!
cant think of a scarier one right now... maybe freddy kruger when i was younger.........

Author A.O. Peart said...

Great interview, Nadja. I'm putting your brand new book on my to-read-very-soon list :-) Hoping for many many more!

As for the scary movies -- I like so many of them. I'm not sure which one is my favorite, but John Carpenter's Vampires and Night of the Living Dead are on the very top of the list :-)

Arrowhead Aussie said...

What a great interview, her Character really comes out in the responses, makes me wanna read her book even more!
As much as I'd love to read the book, please don't pick me as a winner. I'm going to find so much more satisfaction in becoming one of her daily 50 goal :)
Keep up the great work.