I was very happy to be tagged by the lovely Julia Grantham, to do this Confession of a Writer. I enjoyed reading the Confessions and I feel honored to be asked to continue it. The Confessions tag was started by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly
I started to write ten years ago because of long-term Unemployment. Writing "Destination: Freedom", the first part of my memoir and trilogy was primary kind of self-therapy. I always felt that it is my duty to talk about the topic “War-Refugee” because so many people have NO CLUE about it. When I published the book in 2014 and started the promotion in 2015, I couldn’t predict that the Refugee topic would become a global issue and divide the entire world as it did and still does.
And NO, I never ever thought I would become a writer. From a young age on drawing, graphic design and the TV & Film industry were my passion, but not Books.
What genre do you write?
Meanwhile, I have published eight books on Amazon. The two parts of my trilogy “Destination: Freedom” and “Definition of Freedom” are memoirs. I have two Song lyric Books with more than 46 lyrics that are patiently waiting to be discovered by amazingly talented composers and voices to be shout out in the world and four children’s books. Obviously, my memoir is non-fiction. But even my children’s books that are a mix of non-fiction and fiction are always based on true events. The same with my song lyrics that are messages from the heart based on real events and experiences.
Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
Right now I’m working on the third and last part of my trilogy, my memoir “Definition of Love” and the second part of my children’s book “Monsieur Jac traveling Europe”. The Adventure of Monsieur Jac Couture, Lily, and her mum continues. I can’t work only on one project. I need the change. Working on a memoir is emotionally very challenging. Working on my children’s book gives me the creative balance that I need because I do the Illustrations myself with the support of my talented and loving mum Sima. I'm working on both titles for the last four months.
What was the first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
The first piece that I wrote was the first part of my memoir ten years ago. Before that, I was not into writing at all. I put all my creativity, desires, and feelings into drawing and painting.
What’s the best part about writing?
Everything about writing is exciting. When I work on my memoir I travel back in time and relive my life. Realizing the mistakes I’ve done is a reminder to not repeat them again. Appreciating the good moments and memories is priceless. Reliving the bad times is an eye-opener and makes me be grateful for what I have overcome and achieved. And when I work on my children’s books there is no limit to imagination. I feel and think like a kid. So there is no rule. I’m the creator and enjoy the writing process as well as the making of the Illustrations.
What’s the worst part about writing?
Nothing about writing is bad. If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it. Life and reality is hard enough. So I only do things that bring me joy and happiness. Writing is a good way of escaping from reality and spending your energy, thoughts, experiences, creativity, feelings, emotions, hopes, and passion on something positive.
What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)
I like this question. My all-time favorite character is without a doubt “Pinocchio” written by Carlo Collodi from Tuscany Italy. It is a fictional character and the protagonist of the children's novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”. The best-known of Pinocchio's characteristics is his nose, which grows in length when he tells a lie. Throughout the work, Collodi chastises Pinocchio for his lack of moral fiber and his persistent rejection of responsibility and desire for fun.
Why do I love Pinocchios character? Because Collodi found a way to entertain and educate children with important lessons of life. We all have enemies like Pinocchio’s, the Fox and the Cat - that only have negative intentions and want to harm us for their own benefits. Life tests us and our consciousness daily with horrible people and unexpected difficulties and obstacles.
For as long as I can remember I rejected liars and negative people in my life. And unfortunately from a young age, I learned that not all people feel the way I do when it comes to honesty and loyalty. The older I get the more I suffer under Liars, cheaters, and two-faced people. Actually, I wish the human’s nose would grow in length and reveal liars in our society. Because it would definitely make life easier and our world a much better place if everyone was honest and had a sense of morals and responsibility. Honesty is a gift from God that sadly not everyone is blessed with.
It’s such a tragedy that Carlo Collodi the writer and creator of Pinocchio died in Florence in 1890, unaware of the fame and the popularity that awaited his work. Pinocchio has been called an icon of modern culture and one of the most re-imagined characters in the pantheon of children's literature.
My goal is to achieve the same with my tiny and super smart snail Monsieur Jac Couture. Right now I’m writing the second part “Monsieur Jac Couture travels Europe” and I’m working on developing his character. Monsieur Jac is maturing like I do daily. I want him to entertain and educate children like Pinocchio and hopefully one day also become an Icon. A symbol for deep friendship, honesty, loyalty, caring, compassion and support. The trustable and loving friend that every one of us wishes in Life. In the third and fourth book of the series Monsieur Jac Couture will fall in Love for the first time and even travel to the USA.
How much time a day/week do you get to write?
When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
It really depends on my health. Since I was fourteen I “survive” my life with heavy migraine attacks. The days when I wake up without migraines I’m very active and motivated and I can work for hours. Then there are days where I’m completely incapable. I’m not functioning at all. So writing and creativity is the last thing on my mind. I’m simply useless and try to survive the day with painkillers.
My best time for working starts between 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon. I’m absolutely not a night person. Never was and never will be.
Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?
No, I never took a traditional writing course. I had a short course during my Public Relations Academic Training. But it was more about writing a press release and PR concepts etc.
Now I’m actually planning to take a writing class hopefully in the near future. Not for Book writing though. Because to be honest, I feel that good writing comes from the heart. Like everything else that is produced creatively. Whether it’s an artwork, a song lyric, or a book. You can’t learn it. You either have it or you don’t. There are for sure technics that you can learn but that is not relevant to me.
I’m actually thinking about taking a class for scriptwriting. I like to turn my memoir into a screenplay and I think a scriptwriting course by professionals and experienced people from the Film Industry would be really helpful.
What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar Errors?
When I read I don’t care about spelling, punctuation or grammar errors. Because that’s irrelevant. What counts is the story and the messages that I feel and learn from what I’m reading.
What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Write from your heart and touch people’s soul. Don’t care about spelling, punctuation, and grammar! That’s my advice to myself.
What advice would you give to another writer?
Don’t care about spelling, punctuation, and grammar! Write from your heart and touch people's soul.
What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips, or encouragement?
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
What are your Hobbies?
I love drawing and painting. Enjoy watching movies and TV shows. Visiting musicals and live concerts. But most of all traveling. I love to travel to new countries and doing Sightseeing tours. Visiting historical places and learning new cultures and meeting new people.
What is the best book you’ve read this year?
I love reading a biography from people that I admire or are inspired by. I was recently in Barcelona and we celebrated my mum's round birthday. It was our first visit to Spain and we both were very impressed. Not only by the beautiful city, the fabulous weather, and the lovely people but also by the astonishing work of Antoni Gaudi. So I bought a book about his life and achievements that I’m reading right now and I’m enjoying it very much.
What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
I love movies, especially old classic Hollywood films. Stories that touch your heart and teaches you about Life and Love, such as movies done by Billie Wilder. I specially love watching movies that are based on true stories.
I think the last movie that we saw in the Cinema was “Frozen” in Toronto and I loved it. Needless to say that I adore Olafs character. His Enthusiasmus and Optimismus are exceptional. Not only did we love the Film but also the Cinemas you have in the US and Canada. The European Cinemas are nothing like that. So we prefer to watch movies on DVD at home with homemade popcorn! :-)
What is your favorite book or series of all time?
I just looked at my book shelve and it is hard to say which one I love the most. I love them all for different reasons. Because depending on what it is about and when and where I bought it, they all remind me of a certain time and memories in my life.
I either learned something or I was inspired by them. It’s like asking a mother, who’s your favorite kid? A mother can’t answer this question. A mother loves all her kids the same. Do you know what I mean? I’m such a loyal person that I even care about the feelings of my books. :-)
One book though is very precious to me. Because my mum gave it to me on my 20 Birthday. It is the biography and full collection of Salvatore Dali’s Life & Artwork. It is a huge and expensive collector book that I truly treasure and love.
Who is your favorite author?
Sorry, I don’t have a favorite Author like I don’t have a favorite book. I admire and respect all Authors as well as all creative people in general. Imagine our world without Authors, musicians, composers, singers, filmmakers, actors, and artists! It would be such a boring and uninspiring place to live.
Every single human being that is gifted with talent and shares it with the world is a blessing for all of us and the next generations.
What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
Well 2015 is coming soon to an end and it was a very productive year for me. I was fully and 100% committed and focused on writing and promoting my books.
I promoted my first memoir “Destination: Freedom” in the UK and have enjoyed strong media exposure and public interest. Placements included two features with national newspaper the Daily Mirror as well as interviews with popular lifestyle websites Female First and Frost Magazine. A review on Lovereading.co.uk – the UK’s most visited book recommendation website – praised the memoir as a "frank, powerful and thought-provoking true-life-story".
In 2015 I published the second part of my trilogy “Definition of Freedom” and four children’s books “Angel of Hope & Lily”, “Angel of Love & Lily”, “Peanut & Lily” and “Little Lily”.
Since there is no chance for me at the job market in the field of PR and Marketing, I will continue my writing and put all my energy and focus on my passion. Thanks to Amazon I will publish more books. Being a Selfpublished Author, translater, Illustrator, Web publisher, Blogger and Social media Agent all in ONE has become a full-time job anyway.
I will also work on my musical and film production plans for my memoir. I want to bring more awareness about delicate and unpleasant topics in our society such as (Refugees, discrimination, Unemployment, depression, bullying, emotional and sexual harassment and more) but also spread hope and love for young and adult.
My recent achievements with my three song lyrics at the UK Songwriting Contest 2015 certainly encouraged me to write more song lyrics and continue my goal which is to Entertain & Educate people with a musical show “Angel of Hope” based on my memoir.
I will also try everything in my power to stock my book titles in traditional bookshops which seems to be a huge challenge so far. But I don’t give up easily. I have no other choice than to keep on trying and hoping for the support of book stores to be able to become hopefully one day soon an Author who can actually live and exist fully from writing.
My website: www.lilyamis.com
My Author page on Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/Lily-Amis/e/B00PSLRSS8
On Twitter: @nassimadesign
My blog: lilyamis.blogspot.com
Lily on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LilyAmis