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Interview with Amazon Kindle Singles Best Selling Author Mishka Shubaly

3 Dec

I became acquainted with a very interesting gentleman on the internet by way of me leaving a not so favorable review of a Kindle Single he had written on Amazon.com. The review was favorable for the story but not so for the main character, which happened to be the author. He responded to my comment and an exchange began and I better understood him. It turns out my views were fueled by my own experience, which actually meant the author did his job, he made me feel.

Let’s back up, what is a Kindle Single, you may ask? They are short stories or works between 5,000 and 30,000 words, a sort of novella only available in digital version using Kindle or an online reader. Works are submitted or chosen by Amazon and promoted by them. Not just anyone can sell a Kindle Single, it’s pretty much like they are a publisher and they say yay or nay. It has become quite lucrative for some.

Mishka

So, enter Mishka Shubaly. Mishka has written seven, count ’em 7, best selling Kindle Singles! The poster boy for Amazon Kindle Single success stories has recently published his seventh hit Of Mice and Me.

I absolutely loved this story. I read it from beginning to end in just a few hours, I couldn’t put it down. The description from Amazon is most accurate…

“At 37, writer/musician Mishka Shubaly thought his life was going great. He had a beautiful new girlfriend and sudden prosperity as an author. But when he adopts an orphaned infant mouse, his world is turned on its head. The mouse comes to symbolize everything left unresolved in his life — his relationship with his divorced parents, his fear of family and commitment, and his inability to feel true happiness and love. By turns hilarious and moving, Mishka Shubaly’s latest Kindle Single captures the journey we all take in life — from being loved, to giving love.”

While clearing brush he finds a baby mouse in dire straits and somehow feels compelled (maybe guilt) to help the mouse. Help turns into care and nurturing, which haven’t been natural instincts for Mishka thus far in his life having never been married nor a parent and being a recovering addict. It’s funny, it’s moving, it’s insightful. I highly recommend this Kindle Single. I also recommend all of his other works which can be found here at Mishka Shubaly’s Author Page on Amazon.com.

As an added bonus, I had an interview with Mishka to gain more insight on the author and Kindle Singles, excerpts are below… (my questions/comments in bold)

Where were you born and raised?
Born in a small town in Ontario, Canada. Moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico when I was 8. Moved to New Hampshire when I was 13. Started college in Massachusetts when I was 15. Then… the wind sorta took me. Saskatchewan, Colorado, Massachusetts, Virgin Islands, time in California and Virginia. Wound up in NYC at 21 and been here ever since. Moved here with $300 16 years ago this month. Jesus.
Damn, girl! Ok, what college for undergrad?
Simon’s Rock for two years, then University of Colorado for BFA, then Columbia for my MFA. I mean, none of that shit matters, though…
No, I know but in a way it does. It doesn’t necessarily “matter” but it contributes to who you are, good or bad.
What’s remarkable is how little I’ve done considering how much $ was spent on my stupid education
You sound like you’ve had a Kerouac-esque life.
In some ways, yes. I wanted to be like Jack Kerouac until I read his writing and realized that I had nothing in common with him. I was way more into Burroughs and Bukowski.
Well, I mean I read a biography on JK and he moved around a lot.
I hated the whole ‘Beat’ movement until I read the description of it not as a drumbeat but as in ‘tired, worn out.’ That made a lot of sense to me.
I realized in the book that I didn’t like him because he was an irresponsible, bored, dick. And I’m not comparing that part to you at all, just the moving around. So, when did the interest in writing start
I can’t remember ever not having an interest in story– telling stories, hearing stories, reading stories. Apparently, I wrote narratives in my head before I could write. (this is from my mom) when I was six, I wanted to be a kind of troubadour/ roustabout, just traveling from town to town with my guitar and, Jesus, I don’t know, a bindle?
hahaha
When I was 17, despairing about what I would do with my life, my mom said “you’ll probably be a writer” and bought me a subscription to the New Yorker. That was a fairly pivotal moment for me. I think that’s when I started getting serious about it. Or “serious.” I mean, I was 17.
Has your Mother always been supportive, encouraging like that?
FUCK YEAH

I can’t remember which of your stories contained the story about grad school.
I think it was Beat the Devil, the one you HATED, the one that made you HATE ME!
Oh stop with the pity party. I was internalizing your story. lol
To be fair, that was a pretty rough story to start with a lot of people had negative reactions to it.
Self-examination can blow. But can be as healthy as a colon cleanse when it’s done.
It was a brutal time in my life, and it’s a brutal aspect of my personality. I’m as proud of the writing as I am unproud of the behavior described. But it’s not really a story that leaves the reader eager to read more by me. C’mon, Madge, grill me! where are all the gotcha questions?
I’m tricking you right now and you don’t even know it.
grrrrrrreat
Um, so where was I? OK, so did you feel guilty making money off stories of being a train wreck and leaving people in mangled bloody heaps behind you? How was that for gotcha?
Well-played
*curtsies* Was your first published work a Kindles Single or was there something before it?
I feel guilty for a few things, okay a lot of things, okay almost everything. But I don’t feel guilty about my writing or the money its generated. I earned those stories the hard way. Yes, I did hurt some people but, even when I was fucked up, I did my best to shield people from the worst because I understood that I was fucked up. I didn’t really have a long-suffering enabler who I abused and took advantage of. One thing we tend to forget is that being wrong doesn’t necessarily make the other party right. I was wrong for a lot of my drinking career… but a lot of the other folks involved were also wrong. I published a few reckless accounts of my drug abuse in the NYPress before I published via Kindle Singles. But that was certainly my first publishing of note.
Wow. I’m really impressed with your insight.
Well… I worry about my past professionally, you know? I sort of get paid to go through therapy in public.
It ain’t always fun, but it beats having a real job.
———–
Beats having a real job indeed. I had a lot of fun interviewing Mishka Shubaly. I’m going to keep trying to get my stuff on Kindle Singles, I want to be just like Mishka when I grow up, sans being a male recovering addict. Big kudos to you sir, and I look forward to reading more in the future! Again visit Amazon.com to see the collection of his (and others) Kindle Singles.

 

 

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Oh My God, it’s a Giveaway! It’s the Next Best Prize to the Powerball!

16 May

Hey hey hey, it’s a giveaway!

That’s right, it’s the first time in my 8 year history of blogging that I have ever done a contest!  Behold the fabulousness that is my contest…

Madge tell us what you can win!

Well Bob, we’ll be giving away 5, count ’em 5 copies of my book…

“When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!”  Making the best of the crap life gives you.

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Here’s a review from Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU LIKE LAURIE NOTARO, YOU’LL LOVE MADGE MADIGAN!, May 6, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: When Life Gives You Lemons… At Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!: Making the best of the crap life gives you (Paperback)

Sassy, opinionated, and hilarious, Madge Madigan won me over as a blogger by always managing to say (well, write) what I probably would have been thinking in any given situation she describes. Now she turns her razor-sharp wit to book-length nonfiction and blazes a fresh path through familiar domestic territory like single motherhood, dating, finances, unemployment–and well beyond.

Some essays are built on helpful advice, Madge-style. Sample titles: How Not to Have Your Obituary Read: “She Was a Pain in the Ass'” and How to Keep Your Daughter Off the Pole.

Some essays are purely satirical (I hope!), such as her illustrated campaign to land a reality television show for her “rack”

My favorite passages reflect her typically creative, no holds-barred assessment of the world as we know it. Madge on Fifty Shades: “The girl is everything that’s wrong with women, and he’s a controlling douchecopter.” Item number three on Madge’s list of dreaded Facebook cliches: “The health overshare: `I just got home from the doctor, still can’t figure out what is wrong. Still have purple ooze coming from my rectum. But doc said my mologium levels are normal. Will test my saliva tomorrow.'”

The bottom line: Buy this book. Read it. You will laugh.

******

Tell the people how they can win!

Well Bob, it’s easy the top 5 vote-getters will win a copy of the book.  Here’s how you get points…

1.  Leave a comment below telling me why you want the book. (1 point)

2. Like this blog. (1 point)  (I don’t mean force yourself to enjoy this blog, I mean actually click the Like button below)

2.  Share this post on Facebook, and provide the link below.  (1 point)

3.  Tweet the following – I just entered to win a copy of @madgemadigan‘s book “When Life Gives You Lemons…at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!” and so can you at http://wp.me/p1NlG3-8J         (1 point every time you Tweet)

4.  Send a friend to my blog and have them leave a comment telling me who sent them (1 point)

5.  Punch Kris Jenner in the face and record it for me (10 points)  NO!  Just kidding.   Don’t waste your energy, she’ll just sue you afterwards.  Douche.

6.  Post a picture on Facebook or Twitter of you holding a sign that says “I Love Madge” and provide the link below (5 points)  I know no one will do this, but hey I like to give people lofty goals to ignore.

Winners will be announced… when I’m damn good and ready.  No, let’s say next week.  Next Monday May 2oth to be exact.  I’ll be out a of town a couple days next week gettin’ ma boy from NYU, woot!  So get your ass in gear y’all I got shit to do!

Coming up… whenever he gets HIS ass in gear… a blog from our very own Mike Danger from 98.9 The Buzz in Rochester.  Any day now, Mike…  no actually, it will be in the next few days

Danger

Danger has been a great blogging friend over the years, I appreciate his support… and vitriol.

So yea, I’m going down to NYC next week to get the boy.  The drive wouldn’t be so bad, it’s only like 3 hours to the edge of the city, unfortunately it takes another 2 hours to drive through the city to get to your destination.  Usually I like to drive to NJ, stay at a hotel there and train it in.  But this time I’m going solo and will just spend the night in the boy’s dorm room to save $ and fill up the car the next day with his crap.  We are trying to hit the punk exhibit at The Met on the way out of town, we’ll see how that goes.

While I’m down there I’m excited to meet with my fabulous literary/publishing world friends – NY Times Best Selling Author Wendy Corsi Staub and Soaps in Depth Magazine’s Editor Richard Simms!  Girl, we gonna’ get our drink on!

On a side note: anybody have any ideas to amuse myself on the ride down by myself?  I get a little antsy in my old age.  Most of my CD’s are in storage, I don’t have the special cable thingy to plug in the iPod, and talking on the cell phone in NY State is almost completely illegal now unless you talk through your car dashboard.  Fuckers.  Why don’t they then make driving with kids, dogs, cigarettes, coffee cups, sandwiches, and primping your hair illegal too?  They are just as distracting!  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph…

In other book news, I’ll be on The Brother Wease show on 95.1 Monday morning in the 7:00a hour.

So do that stuff up there and participate in my God damn contest!

Ok, then just pretend you want the book and do it anyway!

I’m Friends with a Rapper, Does that Make Me Hella Dope? My Tribute to MC Lars.

7 May

Look bitches, I got me a book!  That officially makes me an author!  Add that to my 21 other job titles on my resume!

Me and my book

Yes, now available on Amazon.com!  Stay tuned I will be giving away copies here in coming weeks! But you know, don’t be afraid to buy it because I don’t make jack-shit if I give it away.  🙂

Click here to buy!

Oh and I’m going to try to get back to that guest blogging thing this week, things got a little out of control here.

I’ve got more KickStarter rewards to go!  This time it’s… my main man MC Lars

photo-main

Mc Lars

Isn’t he a hottie?  Oh how I love me some Lars (AKA Andrew Nielsen).  Visit his website here MCLARS.com.

Lars is an indie rapper in the fine genres of nerdcore and post-punk laptop rap.  2 Chainz he ain’t.  And I mean that in a good way.  I can’t stand that dirty, nasty, misogynistic street rap.

I first heard him back in 2006 when I moved back to Rochester and was listening to my favorite indie radio station WBER.  Yea, I used to work there as a DJ back in the day.  I heard his song “Space Game”.  I was like “this is f-ing awesome”.  So I looked him up online, I wanted to find out more.  I found him on MySpace.  Don’t laugh, that’s what the cool kids did back then.  I commented on something, he commented back.  We started corresponding.  I flirted with him a little, I asked if his CD entitled “The Graduate” was because he liked older broads.  He was cute and said “maybe a little”.  I know he was just completely patronizing me but it was fun.  Yea, homeboy is approximately 17 years younger than me.  But I was enjoying plotting his corruption in my head.

We talked about old school rap, which I am a huge fan of – Afrika Bambaataa, KRS One, Sugar Hill, Run DMC.  I like to think I educated him a little bit on what it was like back in the day, and he showed me some new stuff to listen to.  I’ve met up with him a few times when he’s been to town.  I took my son to one of his shows and he met him.  We shared drunken texts from time to time.  He critiqued the rap I wrote for my son’s graduation party as, and I quote, “so dope!”.  I fondly remember the time we shared a romantic after show meal at Jay’s Diner with 8 other people.  *Swoon*

What’s different about this guy?  Dude has a BA in 19th Century American Literature from Stanford University.  He is really funny.  And he is sweet as hell.  He has this boyish charm about him, addressing everyone as “friend” and proclaiming what a “joyful” time he is always having.  He is a true millenium kid and musician that uses social media as a launch pad for his career and is incredibly interactive with his fans.  I think that’s why every time he plays a gig there is a line a mile long waiting to say hello at his merch table.  Other performers should take a cue and learn not to be a douche to their fans, they are what’s making you money.

Lars is a talented visual artist as well.  Paintings, drawings, cover art, comic books.  He’s very creative and smart… who else could write rap songs about Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”?  Hey, puttin’ that degree to work!  He also has quite an adventurous spirit as he is currently visiting Peru.  Doing what he loves and travelling the world, I’m so envious.  He is indeed, living the dream.  Thanks for your support Andrew!  xoxo

Pucker Up, It’s Lemon Time! Help Set the Lemons Free!

2 Apr

I didn’t have any dreams for years.

I don’t mean like the kind where a giant Lucky Charms Leprechaun is chasing me yelling in a deep growly James Earl Jones voice “Gimme back my Lucky Charms, bitch!”  I meant like goals/aspirations type dreams.  Well, other than the ones for my kids.  I’ve had plenty of those – I want them to get good grades, be healthy,  be great athletes, get into good colleges, be happy, live long and prosper.

Me?  The last time I had a dream (other than Tony Danza tap dancing naked) was when I was just out of college, I wanted to move to New York City and be the world’s greatest radio DJ.  I also someday wanted to be a wife and mother.  Little did I know which one was more likely…

Things changed, my path took a different turn.  I found love, I had kids.  My husband and my kids were my dream come true.  Then as one dream turned to a nightmare (with my own real life Lucky Charms giant), my only dream left was my 3 very young children at the time.

Now as they are starting to leave the nest one by one, I feel it’s time to dream again.  I took a real shine to this writing thing in the past several years.  I’ve finally been convinced by several friends that I should try to write a book.  So, I did.  Hey girl hey!

I’m excited.  Really excited!  I hope it makes you laugh and think.  I just want people who are going through crap in life to know that they’re not alone and you CAN figure it out.  And if the critics think my writing isn’t great, well then I’ll just make it better on the next book!   I’m determined to make Madge’s writing a “thing”.

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Actual cover photo for book, artwork not done yet.

So hooray!  My book “When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!” is almost ready for sale!  Just a few more weeks!  It’s a humor book filled with observations and life lessons, and personally how I got myself out of a lot of crap with perseverance and smart ass remarks.  But I need HELP!

Please help me on Kickstarter.com to help fund the final stages of my project.  I set a goal to raise $800 for some production costs by April 13th.  I really could use more but I tried to set an attainable goal, so the more the merrier!   However, it’s all or nothing, if I don’t reach the goal, I will receive nothing.  Booooo.   BUT, I’m not asking for a handout, you will get rewards for each level of giving, including a copy of my book (just like Public Broadcasting!).  I only wish I had a neat tote bag to give like they do.

UPDATE:  You guys are awesome!  80% of the way there!

Please click on the link below to contribute and thank you so much for believing in me! I really appreciate it!

Kickstarter.com

A Sightly Interesting Announcement From Madge…

20 Sep

Thanks for coming over to see what all the fuss is about!  So, I have a little announcement…

After much prodding from others, and a need to add something legitimate to my writing resume, I am… writing a book.

Yes, After writing blogs for 7 years, I decided to do something constructive (one would think) with my stories.  So I have a book that’s in the editing stages and I hope to have it out in time to make a great holiday gift!  I figure if Snooki can write a book, so can I!

The book is a collection of re-worked blog posts with some additional content and summary lessons.  The content mostly focuses on overcoming adversity in regard to relationships, finances, children, and career, all with a big dose of humor.    And the working title is…

“When Life Gives You Lemons… At Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!”

 

In recent years I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming over to the bright side.  I’ve had no choice but to stare that bright side in the face and decide to make the best of whatever life brings.  However, for years I did find strange comfort in soaking in the hot tub of the dark dreary side of life, you know the one that drunk spring break couples got nasty in?  (that was a metaphor kids, I didn’t really hang out in a skanky hot tub)  It was easier (so I thought) to expect the worst and be angry at the world.  I honestly don’t know how some of you folks put up with me.  Obviously some didn’t, if you take a look at my dating resume.  Oy.

I don’t claim to be all self-righteous and pretend “Madge Knows Best”.  What I do know is I made some mistakes along the way, as well as some good decisions too.  I hope others can gain some insight from the lessons I’ve learned because things always seem a little more manageable when you know someone else has been through it and survived.  I also give helpful hints on things like which douchecopters to stay away from and how to prevent your kids from becoming A-holes, like those kids down the street.

I’ll keep you all updated.  Any questions, feel free to ask!

 

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