Monday, 07 November 2016 01:18

Lisa Marie Interview

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As someone who recently graduated from college and changed career professions, unsure of where my life was headed I could relate to the book, Ten Years Later. After interviewing the author, Lisa Marie Latino I realized that everyone is going through the same situation. Trying to fit in, and pleasing others is a common mistake people make. Lisa Marie Latino gives us the facts about the process she endured when trying to write her book and the fears and emotions she faced before releasing it to the public. 

1.  What ignited the spark in you to start writing your book entitled, Ten Years Later
I had the idea for my book Ten Years Later, back in 2011. When it was a year leading up to my high school reunion and I just remember kind of feeling behind the eight ball because I just started my own production company called Long Shot Productions, I was living at home, single, and kind of struggling a little bit to find my way. Meanwhile you sign on Facebook and see whose getting married, whose having kids, whose moving into a house and its nerve wracking you ask yourself what am I doing with my life? I was very happy, but I asked myself when is my turn going to come?
  I brought it up to friends and family, but then you realize everyone is going through this situation. Everyone gets sort of axed when it comes to their own life path. They wish they could be doing a different job, or didn’t settle down so soon, everyone has the mentality maybe the grass is greener on the other side. So it inspired me to put all of these thoughts and emotions on paper. I always wanted to write a book and I always enjoyed writing for myself. I was passionate about this topic and I wanted to put it into book form. So five years later here we are.

2.  What motivates you?
I was so passionate about the subject content it was so much fun. I would disappear into my own little world; it was not stressful I could let my imagination run wild. No one was holding me back or telling me “no”. Whatever you want to see come true, it comes true cause you are the author and if you don’t like something you could easily delete it. That fun, motivated me and the passion for the subject. I felt like the characters and the story came perfectly together in my mind, that I needed to get this out there.

3.  What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Writing a book, I wasn’t fearful about writing it at all, releasing it that’s when the fear came in. It’s scary because it is your thoughts on paper. It’s fiction, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that some of my real life didn’t influence the thoughts and actions of these characters. It’s opening part of yourself up to the audience and allowing yourself to be scrutinized. You know not everyone is going to love the book and that is just the fact of life when you’re dealing with the public. You have to separate yourself and it’s just that fear of being vulnerable and allowing people in and opening yourself up to ridicule and for them to scrutinize you. But I’m over it now, the books out, and you just have to ignore it and keep your eye on the prize and not let the fear consume you.

4.  What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
  Keep pounding the pavement by promoting it every chance I get which is what I do. Whether it be hanging up my bookmark in restaurants, and just giving it out to people, and talking about it with people. Not in an annoying way, but when the subject comes up, I will bring it up. That’s the way to talk about it with others. That same fun and passion that drove me is the same fun and passion I have to have now to promote it any chance I can.

5.  Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Yes, I mean it’s tapping into the fun and passionate aspect and never losing sight. Since you do get sidetracked when writing a book. I wish I only had the book, but I’m being pulled into so many different directions running the production company, and running that I wish I only had this to worry about. It’s finding the time and making valuable use of the time and pushing yourself to keep going. Also you have to have confidence in what you’re putting out there. If I thought the book sucked, I never would’ve published it. But I think it’s good it’s a fun, quick read and that’s why I have no qualms about talking about it. So confidence is definitely a key. 

6.  Who has been your greatest inspiration?
You know what’s so funny, strong woman that have parlayed their situations into success that’s been a strong inspiration. The craziest thing with this whole book is that if I could pinpoint two parties that inspired the character and content with the book it has to be Kelly Clarkson. I’m a huge Kelly Clarkson fan and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City if I had to pinpoint a fictional character. It’s so funny because the book came out October 4th and coincidentally Kelly Clarkson came out with her first book October 4th and she had her first book launch October 5th in New Jersey. We covered it for Hip New Jersey and it was great she was awesome. I had the opportunity to meet her and give her a copy of my book which is insane because I seen her in concert ten times, her music has been such a huge inspiration for me. She got me through the best of times and through the worst of times. The fact that we became book sisters and I got to hand her a copy was one of my biggest aspirations the timing of that was wild I can’t wrap my head around that. To further my point Sarah Jessica Parker, who played Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City was in my backyard, Bloomingdale’s Short Hills Mall. I wore her shoes for my book launch at Bloomingdales. Then when I went to her book launch she was there selling shoes. I gave her a copy of my book. When the book comes out within that week I meet Kelly and “Carrie” I mean I feel as though something is working there. Before you asked what is the pattern or formula and I got my book in front of them now are they going to read it I have no idea, but that takes a lot of guts I think to be confident enough to approach them and ask them to read my book. 

7.  What book has inspired you the most?
I love the Devil Wears Prada I’m obsessed with the movie because it’s about a girl she’s fresh out of college and she’s trying to find her way. She gets her start working in a not really good situation, but she learns a lot and that was an inspiration to me. I like the voice of Kim Gruenenfelder she writes, A Total Waste Of Makeup and a lot of other chicklet, witty, vain books. Those books have definitely inspired me.

8. What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful book?
You must have confidence in the product, be passionate, and have fun.  If you are bored you won’t want to finish it. Being strategic is tapping into what I learned at Long Shot Productions and the audience that I built with Hip New and you definitely need to be strategic in that aspect. Lastly, you need to have time management because you have to set aside time to do all of the necessary stuff. Such as, meeting people, networking, and cultivating relationships. 

9.  If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
  When I started Long Shot Productions I did it with the intent of doing a HipNewJersey like a talk show interview, I didn’t want to do corporate videos for other people. Now I learned a lot, but if I would have done it over I would have carved out more time for my ambitions verses giving life to other peoples. I think as a woman, business owner, and people pleaser that’s a mistake that we’re making all the time. Putting yourself to the side you get paid less and at the end of the day you can’t do that, you have to make yourself happy. 

10. How many hours do you work a day on average on the book?
It varies I can’t even put an hour amount to that. I work on the book during the day/at night, when it’s quiet. 9-5 it’s crazy who needs your attention, what clients need your attention, it’s insane. I love writing at night because it’s quiet and I can be in my own little world.
11.  In one word, characterize your life as an author.
You know what’s funny about the book everyone thinks it’s about me because of the talk show background, and I’m Italian and people think the main character, Carla D’Agostino is me. However, there are pieces of me in every character. There’s the main character’s best friend, Katie, who she gets laid off from her job as a baker and she figures out what to do and she says let me buy the bakery because I could probably do it better than they could. I think as a business owner and entrepreneur, I put a lot of those qualities into that character as well. Then there’s bits of me that I threw out, but obviously Carla’s emotions I could relate to the most. But Katie’s creativity and turning her situation into a positive I could relate to as well.

12. Synopsis:
  Ten Years Later, is about Carla D’ Agostino she’s down on her luck – she’s stuck in a job she doesn’t like, she’s still single, still living at home, with her overbearing parents and then she gets the save the date to her ten years later high school reunion. So her world comes crashing down because she feels that she can’t keep up with her peers because nothing seems to be going right with her since she graduated from high school. So she decides to put the pedal to the metal and make her life, what she wants it to be and you follow her on her journey of self-discovery and realization. At the end you see did the plan come together, or did it not, or did she not need a plan because everything she wanted was there for her all along. It’s very witty, and very funny, and there’s mistakes she learns along the way and she becomes the person that she’s always meant to be by the end. It’s just a fun journey anyone could relate to whether it’s their 10th, 20th, or 30th high school reunion. This book is funny, empowering, and a fun book everyone could enjoy.

Written by:
Jaclyn Natoli
A UIF writer and supporter,  considers herself a "closet writer" who originally went into teaching. But after reflecting on my life, I realized I lived up to my parents aspirations and decided I needed to fulfill my own dreams
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