Archive | October 2012

The Life of a Stripper by Romana Van Lissum

The Life of a Stripper is a compilation of interviews with fifty exotic dancers who shared their experiences on stage, their reasons for choosing to become a dancer and advice for others looking to get into this career. As a whole each dancer viewed themselves as professionals and based on the type of money they make it most definitely would be considered a very lucrative one.

Most of them have family including husbands and children. This book in no way glamorized the life of a stripper, instead gives an honest look at the positive and the negative side of this career choice.

I initially thought that this book would be adult in content, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was well written and wrought with interesting antidotes and positive advice and warnings.

I like the in dept look into the world of exotic dancing that the book provided, I also liked the stripper etiquette the author provided. Some how I think it will never make it to the hands of those who actually patronize such establishments. For those of you who are unaware of common terminology in the stripper industry the author also provided a glossary of terms. The book became a  little boring and repetitious toward the end. I think I would have like it more if the questions were varied with each dancer instead of the same information being provided for everyone. With all of that said I gave the book three and half stars. More variety would have made the book more interesting and pushed it to a four.

This book is available in ebook and paperback format here.

This book given free for review.

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Interview with

Today I have the honor of talking with Romana Van Lissum. Thank you for talking with me.

  1. 1. Tell us about your book The Life of a Stripper.

The Life of a Stripper contains short biographies from 50 Canadian exotic dancers who have been dancing from just a few weeks to 23 years. Each woman explains what motivated her to step into this line of work and what her daily life as a stripper holds. The stories reveal what their childhood was like, advice they would give new exotic dancers, strange customer encounters, any regrets regarding choosing this as a career choice, embarrassing moments, plus a lot more. To keep identities anonymous, the name of a flower has been substituted as this allows the women to open up further.

This is the book to read for anyone curious about what goes on behind the strip bar scenes or for the woman who contemplates going into this line of work. 

2. In the blurb you talk about “inside view of the world of exotic dancing.” What did you mean by that?

What I meant by the quote, “inside view of the world of exotic dancing,” is that each girl gives her own story which allows the reader a peek into this taboo world; an inside look at the business side of this industry, the clientele, how a girl mentally handles this job and if her family accepts her career choice or not.

Working as a cocktail waitress in a popular Canadian strip club for over 17 years, I have come to know that the general public basically stereotypes exotic dancers. Many assume that all strippers are drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes who come from broken homes, have been molested or abused and are even too brainless to be employed in a regular job. The reader will obviously read about some heart breaking stories, but well-educated women who save/invest their money, have children, are married, who never touch alcohol or tried drugs are some of the positive stories the reader will learn about.

3. What gave you the innovation to write this particular story?

I had just sent the manuscript of my first book, How to Be a Waitress and Make Big Tips to the printer. I was at work the next day and as I watched one of the girls spinning around the pole, I thought, “I wonder why she’s taking her clothes off for a living. She’s so pretty. She could be a model. This could be an interesting book.” Within ten minutes, I had the idea and outline of the book planned out in my head.

Friends and family found this funny because as soon as I got the manuscript off my hands, after spending 2 ½ years working on it, I barely had time to breathe and I was off and running with another book!

4. Has your writing been inspired by family/friends?

My dad has always been the person to inspire me to be a writer. I was always writing stories as a kid, and he never forgot to mention to me that I should write a book one day.

5. Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

I can’t pick a favorite excerpt but I will say that one of my favorite things about the book is how each story is so different from another. It was interesting for me to interview the girls and find their motivation and reasoning as to why and how they got to this point in their lives. Every girl had a different kind of hardship to deal with in her life and this book proves that these women are tough little cookies who don’t give up! 

6. What are you working on now?

Right now, I am compiling the information needed to write my fourth book, a true story of when the Russians invaded my birthplace Czechoslovakia and how my parents escaped and came to Canada.

7. Have you written anything previously?

The first book I published is “How To be a Waitress and Make Big Tips. Get a Top Server’s Secrets to Maximizing Your Tip Earning Potential.”

My third book is an ebook “The Life of a Stripper Special Bonus Edition. 5 Exotic Dancers Confess Their Personal Experiences in the Adult Entertainment Industry.” The link to this free ebook can be found on my website, www.thelifeofastripper.com. This ebook is a taster for The Life of a Stripper.

8. Are there any stories that were cut in the editing process you wish had made it into the book?

Yes, there was a story that was cut from the book and I wish it made it into the book because I feel that other girls can learn from it. It wasn’t my choice to pull the story, but one of the dancers that it belonged to. She did it out of respect for a friend…her girlfriend was underage and ended up drinking with a group of men in an after-hours bar. She passed out, was gang raped and thrown into the back alley with no pants on. This story makes me cringe whenever I think about it.

9. Can you give us one fun fact we might not know about The Life of a Stripper? Something about the story itself or the writing process?

Something the reader would find interesting is the fact that during my interview process, five girls had pulled their stories from this project. Although the names of flowers were used as an alias, reading about their life on paper was too real and raw for them. The funny thing is that out of those five stories, there was nothing bad or unusual about them. Well educated girls with parents still happily married, these stories were possibly the tamest of all!

10. How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?

When I was in grade school, my favorite subject was language arts/English/writing. I loved writing short stories! At the age of 12, a girlfriend and I had written a poem together called Alberta In The Future which was submitted by our teacher to a writing contest, sponsored by the province of Alberta. It was chosen among many and published in the book, 75 And Growing. This was my first taste as a young, published writer.

11. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three material things you couldn’t be without?

Three things I couldn’t be without if I was stranded on a desert island would be my laptop, my kindle jam-packed full of various ebooks and my dog Charly. (Charly isn’t a material thing, so then I would pick a hammock.)

12. What are you reading now?

I’m such a geek. Right now I’m reading a random book on grammar and sentence structure. I’m also reading 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer and Cold Hard Truth on Business, Money and Life by Kevin O’Leary.

13. Which author has inspired you most and why?

The author which has inspired me the most is Danielle Steel. I own every one of her books and I’m amazed at the knowledge and research she must do to capture the different eras she writes about. I lose myself in her books and find myself thinking about her characters for days after finishing. She’s a great story-teller.

14. What advice would you give aspiring authors?

The advice I would give aspiring authors is to always write and always read. Get educated and always try to improve your writing. Write what you’re passionate about and dedicate time to your writing.

I like to carry a notebook with me at all times so if I hear a quote or think of an idea, I can jot it down before it escapes me. (I also have pen and paper on my nightstand beside my bed).

15. As a quotes person I always like to finish off with a special saying, do you have a quote or poem that has stuck with you over the years and what is the story behind it?

I heard one of my quotes from Oprah Winfrey, years ago…”Devote today to something so daring even you can’t believe you’re doing it.”

It’s a powerful quote that reminds me to try and get out of my comfort zone every day.

Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with me, Romana Van Lissum. I wish you much success.


Win a copy of The Life of a Stripper by Romana Van Lissum

Win a Copy of

For 17 years (and counting), Romana Van Lissum has been a cocktail waitress in a popular Vancouver strip club. In between slinging brews and burgers,

Romana decided to get some answers to the questions we all want to know about exotic dancers. As a fixture in the industry, Continue reading

Guess what I’m Reading-The Life of a Stripper

Ok, this one really caught my eye. So far it has held my attention and I have had several people try to talk me out of it just based on the title.

This book is much different than I thought it would be, but it is quite interesting. I’ve thought about taking a pole dancing class before and now I am even more interested in taking a class. Let’s see if I learning anything when I’m finished with this book.

Book Synopsis: Continue reading

It Can Happen to You-by Phette Ogburn

This is a book of short stories centered around various person situations. I believe everyone can relate to these stories, because as the title implies, it could happen to you or me, maybe even someone you know.  Warning, these stories contain adult content, but it is not overly graphic. These stories deal with dating issues, sexting and alternative lifestyles. It Can Happen To You is a quick and easy read, yet it was interesting. Continue reading

BLOG HOP-The Next Big Thing

Okay, I was tagged for the BLOG HOP- The Next Big Thing

Thank you Karen from Karen’s Different Corners. Like her, this is my first blog hop. I have enjoyed her blog and I am humble by her ability to help her fellow authors.

The rules for the Blog Hop are as follows:

*****Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you

*****Post the rules for the blog hop

*****Answer these ten questions about the current WIP (Work in Progress) on your blog

*****Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Nest Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

I am currently working on four different projects right now:

Nursing Dr. Miller (Let’s focus on this one for our purposes today)

Love on Fire

The House of Assignation

The Other Side of Crazy- the second book in the Crazy Series

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Nursing Dr. Miller started over three years ago as a string story on my other blog http://www. kimmiethomas.wordpress.com after I was snowed in at a hospital I was working at. A doctor and a nurse were caught making out in a storage closet and the idea of an ongoing story about the antics I’ve witness in the various hospitals I’ve worked in over the years began.

What genre does your book fall under?

I unapologetically write smut. This book is urban erotica.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Idris Elba as Dr. Miller. I think he is so damn sexy.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

If you really knew what went on behind the scene at most hospitals, you would take better care of your health.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

It will be self published as a print on demand book and KDP.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Several months. I wrote this story off the cuff and in parts, then posted it on my blog twice a week.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I read a lot and so far I haven’t read anything remotely similar.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My blog and my followers. They really egg me on for this one.

What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?

Nursing Dr. Miller will be a novella making it a quick read, but it is essentially a soap opera in book form. There will be plenty of sex, lies , deceit and drama.

The writers I’m tagging are:

www.cristianmihai.net/2012/10/13/writing-is-rewriting

www.sylviahubbard.com

www.realechos.wordpress.com

www.nevealane.wordpress.com/tag/nevea-lane

www.katrinasworks.com

I can’t wait to read everyone else’s blog hop responses.

The Travel Auction by Mark Green-Book Review

After being dumped by his long time girlfriend, Jonathan Cork has to find someone else with the same name as his ex-girlfriend to go with him on a three month trip to South America. After sifting through hundreds of possible candidates named Kate Thornly, he finely finds the perfect one. But once they finally meet he discovers that he has been dooped.

Taking a chance he decides to give it a go with the replacement Kate.  Their trip has many ups and downs, but each of them discovers truths about themselves that they could have only learned from each other. As with any good story there are skeletons each of their closets.  Will they end their trips as good friends or passionate lovers?

The main characters are funny and believable. It is obvious that the author has visited all the place Jonathan and Kate travel to in this novel.  His descriptions are very vivid and compelling. I now want to go to Peru more than ever.

I didn’t like the pace of the story. It could have moved along a bit faster for my taste. The story is told from Jonathan and Kate’s point of view in first person alternating throughout the story. This made it a bit confusing at times, especially during the dialogue.

I gave this story four stars. I enjoyed the story and found myself laughing often. This is an odd but beautiful love story with a unusual ending. Here is an Indie author to watch.

This book is available in ebook on smashwords. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214407

This book given free for review.