Notes from Nadir
by Lisa Maliga
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Crystal: Today as part of this Goddess Fish Virtual Book Tour , I have the opportunity to interview Lisa Maliga. Welcome Lisa, I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Lisa: Sometimes I think I'd like to be a fulltime reader because I love diving into books and going to different places and getting to know new characters. I have to limit my reading if I want to get any writing done.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Notes from Nadir?
Lisa: I was writing articles about such topics as dog and cat care, insurance for pets, bath and body products, exercise tips, and some travel pieces. Too much nonfiction -- I needed to get involved in a novel. The task seemed daunting so I thought I'd write it in small doses and created the Notes from Nadir blog. I'd been writing almost every day for three months before I posted my first blog entry.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Lisa: An exciting new project and that's all I can say at this time.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Lisa: I write every single day. I write better as the sun goes down—I'm a night owl.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Lisa: I'm a huge fan of doing research. I love researching; it's something I've done ever since I worked in my school library as a student assistant. For this book, I wrote in detail about a road trip so I got several books out of the library as well as visited a few websites with detailed photos. Sometimes I'd stare at the pictures and feel like I was actually there. Guess I'm somewhat visual. Here's a fun fact: in Texas the speed limit at night is five miles lower than it is during the day.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Lisa: Too many to list, plus it varies. Oftentimes I'm at a library or a bookstore and just happen to see a captivating cover or notice the description and I'll be hooked. I occasionally read book series, like I started the Anita Blake series but got tired of it after about 6 books. I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books along with two of Charlaine Harris's other series: Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard. Mostly I read stand-alone books by authors such as Paul Theroux, fiction, and nonfiction travel, Cormac McCarthy, Bill Bryson, especially Notes from a Small Island, where he recounts his adventures in England. Then I like to look at dessert books and when I wrote Sweet Dreams, I read and found [online] so many recipes and pictures of macarons that I actually dreamt about them.
At a library book sale I found a new copy of Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White and was captivated by it—this is a massive book, but so riveting--a Victorian story that doesn’t hide the grittiness of 1870’s London. I also enjoyed reading Under the Skin, Michel's thriller set in the Scottish Highlands. Then I got addicted to reading The Walking Dead series of novels [by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga] and next month will read the second part of the Governor's fall. Of course there are many more books but I think this is enough for now.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Lisa: Science fiction or fantasy. Although I did write snippets of that genre in my novella, Sweet Dreams, it was more fantasy than sci fi. I didn't think I could write horror until I gave it a try a few years ago with a short horror story. It was fun to write in that genre although I don't like to make it graphically gory, as it's unnecessary. I even wrote a full-length horror novel. So, I don't ever discount a genre completely.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Lisa: From the first chapter where the main character's looking for a room share with a resident manager in West Los Angeles:
I followed Phil down the hall and the first room to the right was the bathroom. There was a tub with a small window above it. We went back out into the hallway and further along was the room for rent.
It was about the same size as my about-to-be former room. There was a mirrored closet along one wall. Single high set northern facing window. No view of the Getty Museum -- just rooftops. Phil's room was situated right across the hall and the door was open, revealing an unmade bed. The bathroom wasn't connected to the room so I'd have to go down the hallway which led past the manager's room. Then I was shown the kitchen and when he opened up the fridge I saw that half of it was occupied. He made a big deal about the hot and cold water cooler and how I could have it for an extra 50 bucks and the wireless issue was brought up and the numbers changed more from my benefit to his benefit. I let him babble about the new countertop/snack bar and he began pulling out a chair for me to sit down on so and we could talk more. The phone chimed, and it was a tenant or someone he didn't want to talk to and he said he'd call them back. After he hung up, he grinned and said that he wouldn't bother and laughed about it. Now that was a sterling quality to have in a resident manager.
As he intently stared at me, I asked about parking and storage. We went downstairs where he showed me the open garage plan—beneath the building but ungated. He made a big to-do about the locked wooden storage bins above the parking spaces and said there was a couple available. A ladder was needed to access them, but as he was slightly taller than me, he was able to open one. We saw old books and boxes of assorted stuff. Mentioned there was something wrong with the lock but it just needed fixing and it was something I could do. Along with remove the entire contents of the storage bin? Guess that wasn't the resident manager's job to actually fix something, let alone clean up items that had been left there by a previous tenant who had departed five years ago!
By then he told me he liked me and I obligingly smiled and noted his chapped lips. He liked me because I didn't complain or ask too many questions.
I needed a place to live so I conveniently overlooked potential problems. And that man was a huge potential problem. I said I'd think it over and let him know the next day. He also wanted first and last month's rent upfront in cash. Another red flag hoisted up the looking for a roomie flagpole.
A Los Angeles-based writer returns to her Midwestern home due to financial difficulties. Moving back in with Mom, she lands a job at an online auction site. From encountering wacky characters to dealing with unsympathetic relatives, to her mother's health issues, the narrator struggles with being in Nadir--the place and the state of mind.
From Chapter 19 ~ The Boss of Bakery Bleu
I met Gordon, a tall auburn haired man bordering on pudginess. He wore a navy polo shirt with the golden-brown Bakery Bleu logo [a pair of crossed breadsticks] above one of his manboobs. He shook my hand and sat down across from me so he could see both me and all the baked goodies to the north.
"Do tell me about yourself," he said in a hearty voice. His accent wasn't local, that's for sure. He sounded English. Of course, I didn't think he wanted to know about my personal history but about how valuable I'd be as a minimum wage slave, I mean, employee. I smiled, and for once, I wasn't unhappy about sitting across from the man even though he could only offer a part time job. I pulled out a pale blue resume and handed it to him. He nodded and looked at it. I knew he was probably surprised when he saw the word Dreamweaver on the bottom where I listed a few web related things.
"You had your own business," he studied that piece of paper atop the black table. "You lived in Los Angeles…what're you doing here?"
Much as I want to, I couldn't avoid that question. The man was scrutinizing me now. I looked at his dark eyes, then down at the darker table. "Cheap rent. I live with my mom."
He had a genuine, hearty laugh. It sounded so wonderful after not hearing much of it that year. And I laughed out loud myself. It was true, that cliché about laughter being healthy.
"I did too when I first moved here from London."
"Not London, Kentucky?"
He smiled broadly and I was feeling more comfortable with this man I had just met. "England." He replied, though I knew the answer and he knew I knew that he was from across the pond.
"The people are so boring here," I said. Oops, not the kind of thing to say in a job interview, especially as I was applying for a job where I'd be waiting on those boring people. But somehow this didn't really feel like one. "I didn't say that," I said.
He leaned forward a bit, covered his ears, and replied, "I didn't hear that!"
God, we were like teenagers on a first date.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lisa Maliga has been writing ever since she learned how to put crayon to paper back in kindergarten. Since then, she has learned to type and uses a laptop, citing it as way more convenient. She still makes and uses her own soapy creations. You'll find more about her work at:
NOTES FROM NADIR – Book Links
Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Notes-from-Nadir-ebook/dp/B00486UDJA/
Amazon Kindle UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Notes-from-Nadir-ebook/dp/B00486UDJA/
Amazon paperback http://www.amazon.com/Notes-Nadir-Lisa-Maliga/dp/1493519077/
Amazon paperback UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Notes-Nadir-Lisa-Maliga/dp/1493519077/
B&N NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/notes-from-nadir-lisa-maliga/1100144163?ean=2940012697790