Interview with Mosanami Etal

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in New York City. I grew up in Greenwich Village. Washington Square Park. The heart of New York University. I was the only child of a single, working mother. It was just the two of us. More often than not, she worked two jobs, including the overnight shift at New York Hospital. I was alone -- a lot!

I was the little boy with an apartment door key dangling from a rope around my neck. From the early age of six years, I enjoyed enormous freedom roaming the streets with my curious and adventurous nature. My childhood was exciting and adventurous! I was exposed to a great many things at a very young and impressionable age.

Out on the street, I was prey for every older boy and pedophile, so I needed to teach myself how to listen to my intuitive voice. And, how to see them coming before they saw me.

This experience gave birth to many short stories, some of which are shared in this book series. Growing up in this environment helped me to become a good storyteller. I have always had good stories to share verbally. I have had much practice sharing these stories with others, as I grew up. As a writer, I write almost exactly as I speak. Therefore, I see myself much more as a storyteller than a writer.

However, as a writer, there comes a point where you must access your intuitive voice to help you shape and tell the story that you want to share. There are times when you become too self-conscious, and as a result -- You find yourself stuck in a place where the words are not flowing out of you. You need your intuitive voice to help guide you back into the flow.
How would you describe your writing style for this book series?
The first two books are written in an easily accessible, conversational tone of voice. First person narrative. It's like I'm sitting in a cafe sharing coffee or tea with the reader, and sharing intimate stories of my childhood. Universal stories that most every adult can relate to -- We were all once children exploring and discovering our worlds. There was magic everywhere!

The last two books of "Volume I" are written with the third person point-of-view, as an outsider looking inside. I view my life as if I am recording the events with a camera. If my life was a film, this is what it would read like -- an action movie! Action! Action! Action! One big, action-packed mystery!
What inspired you to write this book series?
It began with a simple but yet complex question that has been eating at me throughout my adult life. A question that has remained a huge mystery to me. I love mysteries! I like trying to figure them out. What was the question?

"What is the nature of pain and suffering in a loving Universe?"

To answer this question, I began to reflect upon my life as a jigsaw puzzle. I saw these puzzle pieces as short stories. I began with my earliest memories. The memories that have shaped my character.

I said to myself, "Hey! What if I created my life? What if I created all of the events in my life specifically to answer this question, and unravel this mystery? How cool is that?"

My initial intent was never to write a book for publication. All I wanted was some answers. However, when it was completed -- I thought about my approach as a useful tool for self-development, and personal growth.
What was the most challenging aspect of the writing process for you?
Well... These are my personal life stories. I challenged myself to relive my experiences emotionally. So, I really needed to dig deeply to recollect exactly how I felt in each moment, and then -- write from that place with that feeling. I wanted my stories to feel authentic to me. Because, as I said earlier, I was writing for myself. I was the audience.

Overall, the entire writing process presented a challenge. In one hand, there is a bald chronicle of events. In the other hand, emotions are always at play. I needed to clasp these two hands together. Sometimes, the process was fun and entertaining -- I had a lot of fun while I was writing! And, other times, the experience was... Excruciatingly painful. No doubt. It was hell of a roller coaster ride! Challenging but worthwhile.
Okay. You finish the book. Next! The editing process. What was your experience?
In short -- It was Hell!

You see, when I was writing for myself, it was all about flow. The flow of simple storytelling. And, I love to play with words too! So I was having a lot of fun with layering deeper meaning into a simple and accessible structure. When the words simply flowed out of me, I knew that I was on the right track. This was a natural high! When I struggled to bring the words out of me, I was on the wrong track. It was necessary to walk away from the writing for a while, and to wait until the flow began stirring again inside of me.

When I was finished saying all that I had to say. I was so proud of my accomplishment! I was like, "YAY! Woohoo! I did IT! I completed the piece that I wanted to write. There was nothing more to say. And -- I found the answer to my questionI"

I stepped away for a while to bathe in my accomplishment.

After a few months, I returned to the material for a read. I was reading for flow as a reader. It felt good to read. This is when I thought, "Hey! This isn't bad at all! It is a decent read!" The flow was definitely there. Then, I considered publishing the material. I read the material again. "Okay," I thought. "Maybe it's not as good of a read, as I thought it was. It needs a lot more work. The flow is there but it needs to be tighter -- A LOT TIGHTER!"

I made a few edit passes on my own. Still not tight enough. Editing my own material proved to be more challenging than anything I have ever done. It was like conducting heart surgery on yourself without anesthesia. I surrendered to the fact that I needed professional help.

I found an editor with whom I felt comfortable. We fought -- a lot! He tightened the material way too much, and he totally killed the flow. The flow was gone! So now, I needed to return to the material to re-edit, his edit, and find a way to return the life to the material. The final piece needed to fall somewhere in the middle.

Let me put it this way -- The editing process was, at least, four times as long as the writing process. When it was completed, I didn't feel the natural high of completion. I was exhausted! Completely and utterly exhausted! I needed a break! And, I treated myself to a long one. Yes, I did!
How do you approach cover design?
Simplicity. The first cover I wanted to be simple, as if a little boy put it together without any concern of artistic merit. And then, with each cover there is an evolution. The third book's cover I really love! It is simple but layered with hidden messages. The cover for "Volume I" is simply black. It is a mystery. I wanted the title alone to carry the weight of the book.
How do you plan to reach your target ebook reading audience?  Blog?  Twitter?
Blog? No.  What would I blog about?  The book series is my Blog.  And what would I tweet about?  I have absolutely no clue as to how to reach the core reading audience for this series.  The book series is available so readers can randomly stumble upon the read, and perhaps give the material a chance.  Trustfully, my material will resonate with some readers and give them something to talk about.  The answer to your question is positive word-of-mouth.

And, right now, both "Book I" and "Volume I" are available for FREE on this site. I am presently testing the global marketplace to help determine where I will launch my first print run. So far, the best response is coming from Russia and Ukraine, followed by Central and Eastern Europe.
As a compassionate person, I want to help drive some potential readers to your book page -- what is the lowest common denominator that threads your core audience? WHO should I seek out?
Any person that has been humbled repeatedly by Life and Love. The keyword here is -- "humbled."
What are you working on next?
An audio recording series that celebrates creative process. My experience with writing this series has taught me how essential it is to fall madly in love with process -- with the journey! Now, I want to celebrate it!
Published 2018-06-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Fool's Journey Volume I
Price: Free! Words: 92,870. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Emotional healing
Volume I (Books I-IV) is the first of an ongoing book series where the Author takes pause to reflect upon his life as a jigsaw puzzle. It is a mystery where he begins to fit the pieces of the puzzle together in the hope of achieving greater understanding of why he is here. "I share with Roland Barthes the opinion that the text is formed by the reader rather than by the author." — Rain-walker
A Fool's Journey Book II
Series: A Fool's Journey Volume I, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,910. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Book Two is the second of an ongoing book series where the Author takes pause to reflect upon his life as a jigsaw puzzle. It is a mystery where he begins to fit the pieces of the puzzle together in the hope of achieving greater understanding of why he is here. "I share with Roland Barthes the opinion that the text is formed by the reader rather than by the author." — Rain-walker
A Fool's Journey Book I
Series: A Fool's Journey Volume I, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 15,900. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
(5.00)
Book One is the first of an ongoing book series where the Author takes pause to reflect upon his life as a jigsaw puzzle. It is a mystery where he begins to fit the pieces of the puzzle together in the hope of achieving greater understanding of why he is here. "I share with Roland Barthes the opinion that the text is formed by the reader rather than by the author." — Rain-walker