PUYB Blog Tour: Interview with 'Iconic Spirits' Mark Spivak + Win Kindle Fire HD!

Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique.

His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website at http://www.iconicspirits.net.

Become a fan of Mark Spivak at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mark.spivak.3

Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iconic-Spirits-Intoxicating-Mark-Spivak/dp/0762779268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434224&sr=1-1&keywords=iconic+spirits

------- Interview -------

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

In Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, I chronicle the untold tales of twelve spirits that changed the world and forged the cocktail culture. Some are categories and others are specific brands, but they’re all amazing stories---stories that are unknown to the average reader.

The idea occurred to me one day when I was thinking about Campari, about how bitter it is and how unpleasant it is to some consumers (myself included), despite the fact that millions of cases are sold each year. I did some reading about the physiology of taste, and realized that the taste receptors on our tongues function as an early-warning system that we’re about to drink something toxic or poisonous. Your brain is telling you, “Don’t drink this---it might kill you,” and yet Campari is considered to be one of the sexiest things on earth. The more I looked into other spirits, I found the same kinds of compelling stories.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing this book was a beautiful experience. Of course, I had already been through decades of false starts and rejections. This time around I had a terrific agent who sold the proposal in record time, but apparently I also had an idea that resonated with a large chunk of the population. Unfortunately, writers are not always the best judges of these things. The only tip I could pass on is never give up. It’s not easy if you’re enduring years or decades of rejection, but if you’re really a writer you’ll find a way to persevere.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

It’s published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot. My agent had a relationship with them.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I was pleased and delighted by how easy the editors were to work with. They were sensitive, competent and professional.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

When I saw the first page proofs, I was in tears.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m sworn to secrecy, but my next project will focus on spirits and the enjoyment of life.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The primary message concerns entrepreneurship. Some of the most famous and profitable spirits in the world were created from nothing more than the flash of an idea. The people who brought them to life had incredible vision and courage.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

If you’re an aspiring writer and you’re reading this, your first and primary task is to believe in yourself.

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