Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the seventy-eighth, is of Nina Munteanu.
Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. In addition to eight published novels, she has authored award-winning short stories, articles and non-fiction books, which have been translated into several languages throughout the world. Recognition for her work includes the Midwest Book Review Reader’s Choice Award, Delta Optimist Reader’s Choice, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year, Speculative Literature Foundation Fountain Award, and the Aurora Award, Canada’s top prize in science fiction.
Nina has published over a hundred articles and short stories since 1995. She is contributing author of Suite 101 and served as assistant editor-in-chief of Imagikon, a Romanian speculative magazine. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of DL Publishing in Palm Coast, Florida. Nina regularly publishes reviews and essays in magazines such as The New York Review of Science Fiction and Strange Horizons, and serves as staff writer for several online and print magazines.
Nina lectured at colleges and universities for over twenty years. Nina has been providing personal coaching and group workshops for writers on all aspects of writing and publishing in fiction and non-fiction venues for over fifteen years. Nina’s guidebook on writing, “The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now!” was nominated for an Aurora Award. It is being used in several schools and universities. It was translated and published in Romania by Editura Paralela 45.
Nina’s award-winning blog The Alien Next Door hosts lively discussion on science, travel, pop culture, writing and movies.
And now from the author herself:
I’m a successfully published author with acclaimed novels, short stories and essays published all over the world. But what if I told you that I never read as a kid, I was the worst speller in my school and I used bad grammar? I didn’t excel in typing class and practically failed English 101. Based on my Career Aptitude Test score, the school counselor recommended that I go into some trade like car mechanic.
Let me tell you a story… When I was ten years old, it was 1964 and I’d taken my favorite rock group’s song to heart, the Beatles’ “I Want to be a Paperback Writer”. It was an incredible moment of clarity for me and despite being challenged by my stern and unimaginative primary school teacher, who kept trying to corral me into being “normal”, I wasn’t going to let anyone stem my creativity and eccentric—if not wayward—approach to literature, language and writing.
As a teenager, I wrote, directed and recorded “radio plays” with my sister. When we weren’t bursting into riotous laughter, it was actually pretty good. She and I shared a bedroom in the back of the house and at bedtime we opened our doors of imagination to a cast of thousands. We fed each other wild stories of space travel, adventure and intrigue, murmuring and giggling well into the dark night and long after our parents were snoring in their beds. Those days scintillated with liberating originality, excitement and joy. I also enjoyed animation and drew several cartoon strips, peopled with crazy characters as I dreamt of writing graphic novels like Green Lantern and Magnus, Robot Fighter. My hero was Ray Bradbury; I vowed to write profoundly stirring tales like his. Stories that lingered with you long after you finished them. Stories that made you think and dream and changed you imperceptibly.
Then life got in the way. I grew up.
Well, that, and the environment intervened. I quietly held my dream of being a paperback novelist close to my heart, even if it was closeted in my subconscious. I discovered a cause worth investing a fervent energy: the well-being of our planet. With the cause came my relentless pursuit of a science degree, which proved worthwhile in my “calling” and self-expression: to make science accessible to the lay-public and to write hard-science fiction stories and novels of substance. The latter didn’t happen for several years after I acquired my Masters of Science degree. Once I began publishing fiction stories, I never looked back. And as far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit now.
A few years ago, I quit my day job as scientist at an environmental consulting firm and moved across the country to an artistic community on the east coast. I am currently travelling the world and pursuing my dream as a full-time author and writing coach. Come, walk with me, and pursue your dream. It’s for the taking.
I think most of us reading this will know how ‘life getting in the way’ goes. Thank you, Nina.
You can find more about Nina and her writing via her website www.ninamunteanu where you can find her teaching DVDs, webinars through Writer’s Digest University, and other teaching materials.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with artist and writer Lesley Fletcher – the three hundred and forty-seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks from Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. My eBooks are now on Amazon, with more to follow, and I also have a quirky second-person viewpoint story in charity anthology Telling Tales. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.