Blogger Interview: Ana Milosavic

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with a fellow blogger! You may remember her. We did a post with her last week on the Jodi Picoult interview. Her name is Ana Milosavic and she is a blogger and marketing expert. Check out her answers below:

Blogger Interview


  1. What is your top read of 2018 so far? 

There are so many good ones! Even though this wasn’t published in 2018, I read it this year. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was fantastic! I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but the emotions were so real and raw, that once I was finished, I couldn’t seem to stop talking about it!

The Girl with All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is a close second, that I also read this year. I have a slight obsession with anything sci-fi or dystopian, so this book very easily filled my need for sci-fi at the time.

  1. What is your favorite book friendship? 

Without a doubt, my favorite book friendship is that of Jude, JB, Willem and Malcolm in A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s not often that you get to witness characters age, grow and change together, and see how that affects the dynamics of their friendships. I find that this relationship most closely matches that of real life, long-term friends, and I like a little reality in my fiction!

  1. Most anticipated book release of 2018? 

Can I say my most anticipated book release of 2019? I’m most looking forward to The Butterfly Museum by Rene Denfeld. I’ve been waiting a while for her to release a new novel, so I’m counting down! I highly suggest reading The Enchanted, her debut novel, I promise you won’t regret it.

  1. How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

Too many to count. I have an ongoing list on my phone that just keeps growing. I’m hoping to one day get through all of them, but every year so many amazing books get released, and my list just keeps getting longer.

Audible has been great with helping me get through some of the longer books on my list. This way, I can listen while I’m driving, doing chores, working out, and any other time that I would usually be listening to music. I don’t know what I did without it.

  1. Who is your favorite author? 

Currently, I’m really loving Rene Denfeld. She only has two fiction novels released (with a third coming in 2019), but I really like her style. Her books always grasp me and fully immerse me in the story. She has a fresh perspective and comes from a background in law enforcement, so she’s a breath of fresh air!

And I can never say no to a Stephen King novel. The Stand was the first book of King’s that I couldn’t put down, and from there, I just can’t seem to get enough.

  1. How did you start blogging? 

I work in marketing, so I’ve always been a writer. However, the copy that I create would be specific for each brand I worked with, and the voice I used was always the voice of the brand and not my own. The reason I started blogging was that I felt like I needed a creative outlet for my own thoughts and for my own projects, and honestly, I just wanted to write material in my own voice.

I also found that there was a void missing. I typically blog about careers, particularly career journeys. Before I started blogging, I kept looking for material, blogs or events, where others spoke up about their own journeys, but all that I was able to find were speakers who had achieved a level of greatness and were toward the end of their career. I wanted to create something for all of us in between looking for advice to get to the next step and just seeking encouragement. I guess you can say I started blogging as a necessity to myself, to find the information I was looking for, learn from it, and extend my knowledge to others.

  1. Where is your favorite reading spot? 

I’m from Vancouver, Canada, and we’re known for our rain. My favorite reading spot is in my sofa chair, facing my window, while it pours down outside.

I always envy those that can head to a cozy coffee shop with a novel, or to the park or the beach, but I need silence when I read. Distractions pull me out of the story, and I tend to get distracted too easily in a public setting.

  1. How long have you been a blogger? 

I’ve only recently started blogging, about a month ago, but have already had the opportunity to interview some women I truly admire! I’m looking forward to what 2019 will bring and how I will adapt with experience and knowledge gained.

  1. What do you like about reading? 

I’m always on the go, and I find that sitting down and watching a movie never gave me the relaxation and pleasure that it does for others. Reading lets me completely enter a new world using my own imagination, and helps me get away from the stresses that can occur in daily life.
I like reading because each book is such a different and unique experience for everyone and encourages the reader to use their creativity to fill in blanks or highlight specific parts. Depending on what you’re going through in life, I find that each story is adapted by the reader to suit their specific needs at that specific moment.

  1. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

The Girl Who Doesn’t Stop Moving! I’ve noticed recently that I’m not calm unless I have multiple projects going on. I enjoy a full plate, and lots to be going on in my life, otherwise, I feel like I’m missing out. I like to say it’s because I have too many ideas and don’t want to sit on them, but it could also be that I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’ve dedicated 2019 as the year I learn to relax and learn how to take breaks, so hopefully, when you ask me this same question at the end of 2019 my answer will be, The Girl Who Learned to Relax!


That wraps up our interview with Ana! You can find her on Instagram!

Stay tuned this week for more book reviews coming your way and make sure to leave a comment below if you would like to participate in an interview with us and be highlighted on our blog!

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Guest Post: Jodi Picoult Interview

Hey bookworms! So I have been connecting with a lot of different bloggers lately and one had reached out to me about the interview she had with Jodi Picoult. I decided I would share her post because it was a good interview and I am sure that many of you know who Jodi Picoult is and would be interested.

But first, a little blurb about Ana!

Ana Milosavic works in marketing in the tech space, and on the side runs a blog that is focused on career growth and journeys and helping others achieve their own version of success. Ana hopes that her interviews with women in all stages of their career will help others reach goals they thought were unachievable, and will give them a realistic expectation of what it takes to get to their dream job – while breaking many glass ceilings along the way! As a huge bookworm (and leader of two book clubs in Vancouver, Canada), she was very excited to get the chance to interview author Jodi Picoult. Ana and Jodi discuss career, including Jodi’s inspirations, best and worst career advice, mentors and much more.

Website: anamilosavic.com

Instagram: @amilosavic


Interview with Jodi Picoult

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Occupation:
Writer

Why do you do what you do?
I can’t not write.

What’s your current dream job?
To be a writer… and a Broadway librettist.

Tell us what your average day looks like.
I get up and run for a few miles, then go up to my computer and edit my way through whatever I was writing yesterday, and when I get to a blank spot I keep writing. I continue until about 4 pm.

It’s great to see that you are living your dream job! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing novels, and perhaps winning a Tony.

Amazing, I have zero doubt! Have you had any big career struggles so far?
It was very hard, at the beginning, to write what I wanted to write – fiction that asked moral questions. There were not many writers doing such and finding an audience was a slow climb. Also, being categorized as commercial fiction or women’s fiction has prevented people from taking my work seriously.

And what has been your biggest career win so far?
11 consecutive #1 NYT bestsellers.

Now that’s a career win! Is there any career advice you’ve received that you still hold on to?
Don’t write about the dinosaurs ’til they become oil – in other words, don’t write about what happens to you until you have time to process your emotions and regard the incident from an objective POV.

What about bad career advice?
Write that sells.

You have achieved so much already! What is the one thing you are most proud of?
My three children, who are all changing the world in various ways.

Is there one person that has inspired you in your career?
My editor, Jennifer Hershey – who is extraordinary at her craft – and my publicist, Susan Corcoran, who makes my life so much easier.

I think mentors are so important to a successful career. Do you have any mentors?
My former professor, Mary Morris, who taught me everything I know.

When do you feel the most confident?
When I’m standing in front of an audience talking about one of my books.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Currently coveting: Chocolate.

Favorite way to sweat: Hiking.

Favorite book: Too many to name.

Morning person or night owl? Morning person.

Favorite food: Chocolate ice cream.

Favorite city: London.

You can see Ana’s full interview here!

*Disclaimer: This content was sent to me by Ana Milosavic to post on my blog.*


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Book Review: Unlocking Your Business Voice

New book review!! Unlock Your Business Voice: How to speak as well as you think by Simon de Cintra. This one was done by our external reviewer Chris Connors. He has been out and about traveling but managed to send in another review during his off time.

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Synopsis: The foolproof results of a polished and professional verbal delivery illustrate how the voice can be used to achieve greater confidence, credibility, professional success, and sales in this handbook on applying voice-control techniques used by voice-over artists in business communications. From a comprehensive voice evaluation of a step-by-step voice improvement plan, a range of activities provides information on how to improve diction and articulation, speak with greater warmth and enthusiasm, and make a lasting impression. Practical tips include how to leave a voice-mail message that is 40 percent more likely to be returned and how to make outgoing messages sound professional. Insider secrets about the influence of the spoken word will help speakers acquire and practice the skills necessary to sound more credible, tell great stories, and add a more musical quality to the speech by mastering voice pitch and inflection.

In book reviewing it isn’t often a title will raise a red flag. This one did because the title assumes people think in words. Many people do not. They see pictures or their thoughts are like road maps (general overview of many possible conversations, but no details).

Others deal with colours and flavours. One of the big challenges for people who think differently is to translate their pictorial representations into words, as well as take other peoples’ words and translate them into pictorial representations. At the end of the day, the need to translate can leave them mentally exhausted. However, as I read on the above critique doesn’t apply. The author’s point isn’t so much about how to speak as well as you think, but how to structure and order your message to get it across clearly regardless of how you “see” thoughts in your head. It is also about how you present yourself to an audience—how to command the attention of the audience—even if that is an audience of one. Personally, I’d just remove that whole subtitle so as not to distract from the message of the book.

The author’s VOICE (Vocation, Observation, Intention, Casting, Experiment) Methodology is outlined in the Introduction, but the details don’t appear till page 76 (in a 169-page book). He goes on at length about the business voice but buries the lede (to borrow a phrase from journalism). Chapters end with sentences like “Unlocking Your Business Voice is the logical and appropriate next stage in your career development”. Or mentions My Business Voice Methodology®, but doesn’t really explain it. In fact, the first half of the book comes across like an infomercial or that awful book on natural cures “they” don’t want you to know about that doesn’t actually have any natural cures in it: that author is currently serving a 10-yr jail term for criminal contempt related to his fraudulent claims.

Despite the rambling and slightly confusing first part of the book, there are some good bits of advice. For example, “playing it safe with non-verbal communication is a false security because dialing down your body language, contact and facial expressions too much is likely to be interpreted negatively by recipient”. People will see what they want to see—or fear to see—in a neutral face (see The Kuleshov Effect), so bosses playing it neutral to give their employees a voice may actually discourage their voice.

He also recommends hitting people with the conclusion first. Don’t fall in love with your own well-reasoned arguments as you build to a conclusion. People hearing the argument for the first time don’t need to know all the details; they don’t need to have a logical step-by-step process to arrive at the conclusion. Perhaps this advice should be applied to the book because it takes too long to get into the details of the Methodology®. For example on page 116 is the VOICE template. This is the page that should be stuck right in the first few pages of the book! Put this template on page 10 where the generic ambiguous
VOICE is now. Giving people this template will give them the mental “hooks” on which to hang the ideas they find in the book. Perhaps with this template, the chatty rambling in the first half of the book will be less confusing.

And while I’m nitpicking please note that the table on page 17 has the acronym spelling VIOCE (just switch Intention and Observation in that table and it’d be fine). Page 37 continues with a story about “Jerry” except in one paragraph the name is changed to “Scotty”. The paragraph about what science entails is also woefully incorrect. I hope he doesn’t use that example in his classes.

Another good bit of advice that I found useful was “Your intention is a choice you make first in the mind. It is then carried in the language your [sic] use, the simpler the better,…”. At the time I read that I was struggling with a science communication letter. It was down to 8 pages from 15, but I wanted it at a page or two, each paragraph one or two lines for easy reading. When I read the paragraph about intention I realized my intent with the letter was not to persuade the person I was sending it to but to have that person understand how their views unintentionally hurt others. A detailed logical argument wasn’t necessary—I just needed to show how the views were harmful. After that, it was easy to get the letter down to 1.5 pages.

Once de Cintra gets into the VOICE details the book comes together. It is like the author had two books in mind as he wrote, but wasn’t clear on what the first book should be—i.e. his intention wasn’t fully formed. The latter part of the book though has the intention much better formed. There is some excellent advice to follow for speaking to an audience summarized into easily remembered phrases (“Did you take the opportunity to sparkle or did you just deliver the main ingredients?”). There’s also a good section on what he calls “low status” and “high status” behaviours that nicely summarize how to
present yourself to an audience. These are presentation tips that should be taught in all high schools.

I’d give this VOICE detail section 4/5 stars. The first half of the book probably 2/5 stars. Overall, 2.5-3/5 stars. With a bit of reworking of the order of the chapters, removal of some of the earlier material, and jumping right into the details first rather than trying to sell the VOICE methodology this could be a 4 to 5 star book. It has some good advice scattered throughout, and a solid workable outline of learning and applying the VOICE methodology. I can see why people would want to take Simon de Cintra’s courses—there’s some solid working material that everyone can use.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find the book on Amazon and the author on Twitter!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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