Unger the Radar

Lisa Unger is an author that keeps things simple. She was (and still is) determined to have a career in the publishing industry. Her simplistic, yet passionate approach can be seen in everything she writes, including her novels and blogs. Authors can and should learn from her example.

Lisa Unger is an award winning New York Times bestseller and has been published in over twenty-six countries. Born in New Haven, Connecticut and growing up in the Netherlands, England, along with New Jersey, Lisa has quite the background. She graduated with a degree in Social Research and spent time working in New York with a job in publicity.

Not everyone enjoys Unger’s books. She knows this, but does not take it personally. “As a writer, I am fortunate that my novels have found a large number of readers.  Some people love my books. And some people don’t.”

Here are a few quotes I found about Unger. “Masterful” (St. Petersburg Times), “sensational” (Publishers Weekly) and “sophisticated” (New York Daily News) with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press).

Everyone has doubts once in awhile. Here is what Lisa had to say, “For a long time, I didn’t really believe that it was possible to make a living as a writer … mainly because that’s what people always told me. So, I made it a hobby. A little voice told me that I needed a ‘real job.’”

Authors are pressured by the world to get a “real job.” You have bills to pay and a family to take care of. Nevertheless, the dream buried into your soul will not go away. You have to decide at some point to be an author, no matter what the cost. No, it is not a “real job” according to society. As an author, you will be tired, stressed, broke, worn out, always busy, confused, maybe even depressed once in awhile. But I guarantee you will not work one day as author. It’s not a job. Being an author is so much more.

Unger: “The desire to write is a disease, a congenital condition. Writers are born with the germ. I am sure there’s a cure — a traditional education, a 9-5 job, or an angst-free childhood. Any or all of these things, and myriad others, can drain the urge; freeze the words before they reach the page. But the germ remains, dormant, waiting for the right conditions to start to grow.”

It’s strange that Lisa compares being a writer to having a “disease,” which is an unhealthy condition of the body or mind. What Lisa is trying to articulate, is that everyday you wait to be an author, part of your body and mind dies a little more.

I was quoted saying, “If there is one thought in my mind that has not been written down before I die, then I have failed.”

Do not take your career to the grave. Cemeteries are filled with unrealized dreams.

After Lisa met her future husband, they left their corporate lives behind and moved to Florida. Moving away from New York and the publishing industry was even crazier.

Nevertheless, it worked out for Lisa.

“Before we left, I sent my manuscript to my five top choice agents and said good-bye to New York City.” Lisa also said good-bye to the job and became an author. “It’s only when I’m writing that I know I’m truly home.”

I have given plenty of advice over the years to authors. Now listen to Lisa Unger for moment.

“I knew I’d look back and hate myself for never even trying to make it, never trying to write what I really wanted to write. So I did what a writer must, I gave up the romance of it all, got serious about the craft, the hours, the tenacity it takes to tell a story – a real story with a beginning, a middle and an end, populated by people who live and breathe. I did exactly what I now tell people they must if they want to be a writer – I wrote. Every day. Every day until someone said they’d buy my work for a nickel and a cheese sandwich. And then I wrote more, worked harder.”

And what about the “disease” as a writer? Lisa has the answer. “I always know the real writer, the fellow patient, suffering the disease that wants no cure. She’s sitting in the back of the room, clutching a notebook, too shy to raise her hand. She’s listening and observing. And she’s writing down every word she hears.”

Thank you Lisa Unger…for everything.

Ron Knight

You can visit Lisa Unger at her web site: www.lisaunger.com

You can visit my web site: www.authorronknight.com

My literary manager is Melissa Powley Link. Email: Melissa@scbranding.com

Ron Knight

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  1. Enjoyed Lisa’s take on writers…most people look for a cure to a disease, but this is one disease that needs no cure. Writing for me is a form of meditation. It blocks out the real world and allows me to bring the world as my mind sees it to life.
    My hopes are to get readers to enjoy the world of my mind. Thanks Ron again for bringing other author’s view to light. It is nice to read that other authors have the same fears and thoughts that I have had over the last several years.
    I have a five year plan to make writing my full time job. I love nursing, but my need to express words on paper engulfs me everyday.

  2. Can’t wait to see authors spotlighted here who come from small presses or are even self-pubbed. These are the authors that need the publicity. 😉

  3. Ron Knight says:

    Hey Sue:

    All authors who join, UP Authors, are promoted on the web site and in my blogs. Looking forward to hearing from you. ~ Ron Knight