Sunday, May 3, 2009
***INTERVIEW with Author LISA CERASOLI***
It is with great pleasure, and an honor to Interview Author Lisa Cerasoli! Author of: "On The Brink of Bliss and Insanity" Subtitle: "A comedy about sex, drugs, sex, religion, sex, crime, love & happiness" Genre: Chick Literature (that guys will dig reading) www.myspace.com/lisacerasoli www.FiveStarPublications.com www.onthebrinkofbliss.com www.lisacerasoli.com www.amazon.com www.barnesandnoble.com Lisa Cerasoli left her hometown of Iron Mountain in the upper Peninsula of Michigan upon graduating from its one and only school, Iron Mountain High. Michigan State University was her first stop. She tested into Lyman Briggs School of Science, majoring in pre-med. That dream quickly deflated when she realized she's a complete hypochondriac, and the last thing she needed was to feed her neurosis by being around "sick people" all day. Feeling lost, she fled to Arizona for spring break, and didn't get back on the plane to return home. Instead, she applied to Arizona State University. Four years, and a few beers later, Lisa got a very practical theater degree, and transported herself by way of Honda Accord(that would be stolen twice by year's end) to the city of Angels. L.A. was pretty good to the girl. She booked her first series, Acapulco Bay, within nine months. After that she spent two-plus years as a series regular on General Hospital, playing the quirky role of "V." She then booked a string of guest star roles including Oh, Grow Up, Diagnosis Murder, Pensacola Wings of Gold and two recurring roles on The Pretender as "Zoe and Boomtown." In the fall of 2002, Lisa and her manager Sandra Siegal, met with Ken Atchity of Atchity Entertainment International in regards to her screenplay, On the Brink of Bliss and Insanity. Ken thought it sounded like a novel, so she went home, and blew out three chapters. That's when she fell, for certain and truly in love with writing. AUTHOR INTERVIEW Geri: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Lisa: I never realized I wanted to be a writer. I just started writing ten years ago out of boredom and frustration, with a stagnant film career. I was on General Hospital, but prior to that, I had always pictured myself doing Indies, so I started writing one. Geri: What type of books do you enjoy writing? Lisa: Comedies, novels, and screenplays! Twisted, adorable, vaudevillian, possibly grazing on autobiographical comedies. Geri: Did a special person in your life inspire you to write? Lisa: Two people inspired me to write. My sister, Lora Cerasoli, and my manager, Sandra Siegal. They were both sick of hearing my redundant whining, and within the same week told me to, "Shut-up and go write something!" One month later, On the Brink of Bliss and Insanity, the screenplay was born. Geri: Have you written any books based on a true life story? Lisa: I'm working on several. I recently wrote an essay about my late father. It's on my website at: www.lisacerasoli.com. It's under, "Dedication to Dad." I may elaborate on that. I am also writing a novel based on my grandmother, her life, and her life with dementia. She lives with me. It's heartbreaking and hilarious, and sometimes the conversion from one to the other is nearly indiscernible. I think that story needs to be told. Geri: Who is your favorite author? Lisa: I sort of have favorite books over favorite authors. I don't read many authors more than once. Whatever I grab onto in the first book of the authors tend to overwhelm any that succeed it. I'm mad for The Fountainhead, The Catcher In The Rye, White Oleander, and The Secret Life Of Bees. Also, Henry's List Of Wrongs. John Scott Sheperd is probably my favorite modern day writer, because his style is in one word, cool! Geri: Are your characters created from people you've known in real life? Lisa: I think somewhere in the deep, dark depts of "brain Lisa" I met every single one of them, at least once! Geri: How many books have you written? Lisa: I have my debut novel, On the Brink, three finished screenplays, and three unfinished novels. Also, I have about a hundred other books, films, and TV series roaming about my brain from midnight to six. Geri: Where can your books be purchased? Lisa: www.lisacerasoli.com www.onthebrinkofbliss.com www.amazon.com www.barnesandnoble.com www.sears.com www.borders.com The Trunk Of My Mother's Car (no dot com) and recent addition, Barnes & Noble land stores. Yeah! Geri: Describe how you felt the first time you were published? Lisa: Getting my book published felt like watching my favorite Hugh Grant flick on a constant reel, and the best part is, that reel circled for five months. "About A Boy!" In case you were wondering the name of my fave H.G. flick! Geri: Do you have any current work in progress? Lisa: I'm envisioning On the Brink, the screenplay being made by year's end. Also, I have another Rom Com that is simply incredible! I can say that because I wrote the script, but the story was conceived by my brilliant manager, and a protege of hers. It's a big budget Sandra Bullock type piece, and will find the right studio home soon, I'm certain! Geri: Do you have goals set for the future? Lisa: My goals as a writer? Destination Oprah, and sell two movies to Hollywood by 2010. Geri: Are you exactly where you want to be with your writing? Lisa: I didn't plan my career around writing, so this is a tough question. I thought I would have won an academy award by now for acting. When I was five, that was the goal! Now, I just want to sell millions of copies of On the Brink! I think the story is an important women's piece and worthy of book circles, and again, Oprah! Then, I'll have bags of money to feed the hungry, clothe and house the needy and make movies, and really show my daughter "the point of life." Follow your passions, and be of service to those in need! Geri: What can help authors to reach their dream? Lisa: I think the one and only key to great writing is to steal everything you got from your subconscious, and don't give a shit about who will ever read it! Also, take plenty of notes, and criticisms from people smarter than you, it really helps grammatically! Geri: Have you ever experienced writer's block? Lisa: I've never experienced writer's block, mainly because I am not a disciplined writer. I mostly write when I feel inspired. Now, I have experienced "scared-shitless" block! That's when a studio tells you to rewrite a section of your screenplay, and you have no idea how to do it, and you have a week to get it done! But then you eventually whine to your manager, Sandra Siegal , who tells you to, "Go shut-up and write something!" You manage to pull it off! Geri: What advice can you give to prevent writer's block? Lisa: Go talk to someone, anyone, and not about writer's block! I mean, get out there in the world, and hang in there until something hits you. Also, read your favorite book all over again. Then, watch your favorite movies with a pen and paper, and write down everything that works! Geri: As a child, did you have favorite books? Lisa: I swear, as a kid, I was a math freak! I slept with my geometry book under my pillow, so I could solve all the extra credit questions through osmosis. The only reading I mostly did was required. Geri: As a child, did you enjoy reading a lot? Lisa: No! Geri: If you had the opportunity to live one day the life of a famous author, who would it be? Lisa: Is Oprah considered a famous author? She does have her magazine. Alan Ball is a screenwriter and TV producer, American Beauty, Oh, Grow Up! Also, Six Feet Under, True Blood! I met him when I guest starred on the set of his first TV series, the sitcom, Oh, Grow Up! I love his writing style. His characters are really outer limit. They're funny, they lack emotional boundaries, they're pensive, and generally in a static state of turmoil. The best part about them is they are unlike anyone you know, yet you root for them, and hope they find freedom from their predicaments, and themselves. I don't know if I want to be Alan, but it sure would be great to work by his side. That would be a dream come true! Geri: Many authors feel a sense of self-satisfaction, or a sense of achievement after having a book published, can you relate? Lisa: I feel fantastic! I'm a rock star! Geri: How do you balance occupation with writing? Lisa: There is no balance! I need so much assistance, it's pathetic! A daycare provider, an accountant, an in-home nurse to help gramsy and ten thousand books to sell per month to even come close to balance. Also, a therapist, and a massage therapist couldn't hurt. Geri: How did you feel at your first book-signing? Lisa: I felt perfect, like being on a set when I was acting. I smiled until my cheeks hurt! Geri: If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would change? Lisa: I would be executive producing On the Brink of Bliss and Insanity, the movie. It's a small budget Indie flick. I could do it easily for two million, and half of that if I had to! Geri: We begin with a manuscript, and end with promotions. What was your most difficult task? Lisa: Waiting, waiting for feedback, waiting for a publisher! Waiting for publicity, waiting for sales, waiting! Geri: Some writer's listen to music, or look at flowers, or the ocean while writing. Do you have a particular scenery? Lisa: I have no special needs beyond a semi-functional computer, or notebook to write on. I wrote my debut novel, while caring for my dying father. I have a four year old who loves to hang all over me. Writing is the only time I'm not high maintenance! Geri: Thank you very much for your time with this interview. It was quite interesting, and enjoyable! Lisa: Your Wellcome!