Our special author guest today is Nick Oliva, author of the book ONLY MOMENTS, a whirlwind life-lesson panorama romance that shows hope through tragedy, happiness through love of the self.
Nick Oliva (O-lee-va’) has been a musician, composer, photographer, an audio engineer, an Entertainment Director and Technical Director for over twenty-five years and is a successful self-made money manager. He has just opened an upscale restaurant for his brother called “Wyatt’s” in Henderson, Nevada. He lives in the mountains outside of Las Vegas.
You can visit his website at http://www.onlymoments.com/.
When did your passion for writing begin, Nick?
I started in grade school writing for the school newspaper. I have always written poetry and songs, but this is my first novel. I have no formal training, but my homeroom nun who had a Master Degree in English, taught me by the stick and did a great job way back then. We had her for three years so her influence on me for English and reading skills was great.
Can you tell us what your typical 'writing' day is like?
I am up at 6 am and keep an eye on the stock market as I trade options to help keep the wolf away from the door and continue to have the flexibility to allow myself the time to write.
Do you write full time?
I own a restaurant in Las Vegas called Wyatt's (as in Wyatt Earp)and my brother is the Chef. Right now I am marketing the restaurant, trying to do an audio book, trying to make a buck in stock market, doing interviews and promoting "Only Moments" and writing the next book. I think that's enough to keep me busy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
“Only Moments” was originally written within the cyclical theme of Birth, Death, and Rebirth over ten years ago. I focused on the unforgiving world, the false hope of technology and religion, incorporating one’s own search and questioning of the spiritual aspects that provide some measure of meaning, and then tying it into the romance of total devotion of man and wife. Some might call it a fairy tale romance, but there are many “high school” relationships that have survived the test of time, however difficult. These two characters are both heavily flawed but those flaws are what binds and drives them with their deep passion for music.
This journey begins in the year 2020, with a romantic surreal dream and the waking of one sixty-six year-old widower Chris Vadia, a retired professional musician, and his sullen celibate perspective due to his wife dying fifteen years earlier. After establishing the human surroundings of the time period, we flashback to 1970 and we find how he meets the love of his life, while on a wild summer vacation driving through California. A beach in Big Sur is the dramatic background for the beginning of their impassioned romance.
Time then shifts through their college days, marriage, their struggling and successes, parental deaths, their Carnegie Hall debut, and then the crisis of having grown so far apart despite being with each other constantly. Our unforgiving fate, the duality of technology, the commonality of human emotion throughout history, ties into a tale of human devotion that eventually brings understanding and hope.
The road, throughout the novel is representative of one’s life path and sense of curiosity and discovery.
I wrote it because I challenged myself to write a better book than John Grisham. Now, don't misunderstand. That I have a small percentage of his success would be wonderful. I just wanted to write a book that was more meaningful and see if I could get it published.
Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?
When I chose to get this book in print I chose Publish America. I could have went with I-Universe or a similar type of company and paid up front but I didn't want to go to what I thought was a vanity press. After the papers were signed, I realized all the controversy surrounding the publisher and read many complaints as well as people who had good experiences. I can only say that my covers were designed with my supervision and were my photos and they did a great job putting them together. There were typos and they did clean them up. It is frustrating to deal with them with the email only communication, but they have done what they said they would do. Many of the vociferous attacks on them have come from self-promoting authors who want to put down others to make themselves look better so they propagate threads on their websites and contribute little to the literary world. I think some of the complaints stem from people who have never been published and they want their book to be "perfect" in every way and it doesn't work that way with any publisher. There are always mistakes. I had my manuscript edited twice and proofed twice and there were still typo and formatting errors that occurred. I think that they have published things that probably shouldn't have reached the public, but again they are a POD and in the process of making money they have allowed acts of sloppiness to damage their reputation. I cannot fix their problems, but I wish they would bring their current standards up as their reputation is important to survive in business world. I on the other hand had a good experience, but because of the perceived and actual problems it has been difficult to get reviewed because of the Publish America stigmata. Let's face it, the publishing world has always been an exclusive enclave of "country club" mentality and this new wave of POD's and electronic distribution is a threat to democratize the business and the publishing business has been in trouble for many years. If JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series had been published by them, would the validity of the writing be in question? Does the way something is brought to print affect the quality of the work? I think it is a transition from the old to the new and in the process there is pain, stupidity, and competitiveness that obscures the art for it's own sake. If the stories hold up, and the literary quality is there then it should not matter. I am proud to have a book that I know turns the lights on in a room and hopefully those who read it see things they haven't before. I leave the arguing over the way it is brought to the public to others.
Can you tell us the inspiration behind your book?
What started as a documentation of a wild teenage vacation across country and through California at age 16 and changed my life permanently, morphed into an attempt at showing life's bittersweet ride on the road to acceptance that our humanity is all we can embrace regardless of whatever technology we can muster.
Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?
Dorothy Thompson's Pump Up Your Promotion is set to begin my virtual tour in September. I hired a public relations firm in June to get access to radio and print media. I have held book signings and have sent press releases to the media and sent books to those that I feel could influence my fate to get the word out. It is an uphill struggle.
Do you have a mentor?
No, I do not, but my influential authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Herman Hesse, Henry Miller, Joseph Campbell, Heidegger, Hemingway, and my personal favorite is Dalton Trumbo.
What future projects do you have in the works?
I'm working on an audio book for Only Moments and then I will write a non-fiction book on the my life and details of my near-death experience.
Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?
Stay positive. Many people will tear into your work to make themselves look good.
Accept reality. Perhaps your book isn't up to snuff. Go back an rewrite and make it clear to your audience and target market.
Don't assume! Never assume that the world needs another book.
How does your book stand out from other books?
Remember this-your finished a novel. 99% of the people who start one don't and rarely does anyone even begin one. You are part of 3 billion people in this world. Do the percentages. One percent of 3 billion is 30 million, one tenth of that is 3 million and one tenth of that is 300,000 and that is roughly how many books get published each year. That means you have 1/100th of a chance to be a part of 300,000 books that are for sale. That's a sobering thought! So don't get your hopes up or your expectations too high. On the other hand, do it for you! That's who counts anyway. You did it, you accomplished an incredible thing. Don't downplay it because you aren't on Oprah, or the movie of the week isn't based on your book. Life is about the little things. Enjoy them and be proud! Smell the roses.
What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?
I think that my cross-over to the land of the dead, my flatlining and death experience that imitates the book I wrote years earlier is incredible but many people avoid wanting to talk about it. I think their religious beliefs or perhaps their own disbelief of anything metaphysical keeps them from wanting to hear the experience. It is almost as if it is a threat to their perceived "blanket of security" that their faith and/or lifestyle keeps them from being open minded to other possibilities of life after death. It is not just strangers and friends, it extends to my own family. No one wants their applecart upset.
Thank you for coming, Nick! If you would like a chance to win a copy of ONLY MOMENTS, leave a comment below. All winners will be announced at http://www.virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/ on Sept. 30. Good luck!
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