Friday, March 09, 2012

Interview: Michele Rubatino - The Origin of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Michele Rubatino has actually combined an incredibly interesting concept in the world of Jewish Themes. Who would have thought that the Wizard Of Oz has Jewish themed influences within it?! Read On & Enjoy.

About The Book:

Genre: Literary Criticism

The meaning of home and the implications of not having a heart or brain, or courage are metaphoric questions that remain in heavy rotation in popular culture and popular fiction. Yet in an un-fictitious twist, this new book depicts one aspect of Baum's story that was not metaphorical but, in fact, actual - the origin of the maps found in Tik-Tok of Oz published in 1914 by L. Frank Baum. Rubatino provides the evidence to show the source of the Oz maps found in the Oz books, 40 of them in all, were derived from drawing blueprints taken from the text of a King James Version Bible, dating from around 1611. Baum himself is credited to admitting that these maps were derived from discovery, and not penned from his own imagination. Rubatino suggests that this information found by Baum formed the foundation for the creation of this fantasy series. Rubatino sees her research as a step forward to understanding Baum's work specifically, and artistic expression generally. "The book reveals the source and foundation to the Oz story, leading to newly discovered knowledge concerning the core of our humanity process via imagination,"  she explains. "Humanity as a whole can benefit in understanding the process of their imagination, and how it affects all aspects of living relating to our human emotions." 

The process of the story of Oz is derived from the blueprints of the bible story known as, the twelve tribes of Israel. The foundation, first appearing in the Torah. Revealing what jewish scholars already know, and have been teaching for 1000's of years, concerning our human nature.

Oz enthusiasts, psychology scholars, theologians, and all interested in the works of Baum will find much in Rubatino's book to decipher the many facets Baum included in this stories. Helping fans gain a better perspective on the mysteries still to be found in the Bible and Oz series.

About the Author, Writing & Publishing:
Is writing a full-time job for you? If not what else do you do? Rubatino is the Vice President of Rubatino Maintenance, and has worked in finance 27 years.

How many books have you self-published or have been published in the traditional manner? One book, self published

Why do you write? To share the knowledge I have discovered with humanity, as well as a creative outlet in writing short stories and poetry.

When you are writing something new do you ask someone's opinion about it? Oh yes, I seek many to guide me, as it helps to know how the reader is perceiving the words I have chosen. 

When you write do you need absolute concentration and quiet? Oh yes, and without interruption or I lose the flow of creative inspiration.

Do you believe or have you experienced "writer's block"? If so, when and why? Oh yes, I have discovered I can only write three hours a day, and then I must play to reactivate my imagination processes by filling my brain senses with something other than the story I am working on. In some cases, I see writer's block as simply emptying all ideas, I found this to be true when I was finished writing, there simply was no more to say on the subject.

Do you incorporate incidents from your own personal life into your works? Oh yes, I pull many experiences from my own life as I write, that is to say, when I write short stories and poetry. However, writing technically, I base it on the facts and ensure I have not included any assumptions based on my own personal experience.

Do you write what you think the public wants to read or what you feel to be your inner-expression and forget about the public? Oh I write with my inner expression and forget the public while writing short stories and poetry. But writing technical, I am focused on the public, and highly concerned with not writing data that can not be proven, so research and facts weigh heavy.

If you did Self-Publish why did  you do it? Rubatino attempted to find a writing agent, and go through the process of writing this book through a publisher. However, due to the nature of the story, The Wizard of Oz is coined as a US fairytale, a national treasure, and the copyright is owned and protected by the US Government. Comparing it to the bible text, publishing agents did not believe this could be true, regardless of the evidence she presented in the maps. Rubatino could not write about the movie, due to it's national protection. However, the books by Baum are now in public domain, and not held under the protection of copyright. So Rubatino focused her research on the first book, The Wizard of Oz.  (Rubatino's attempts to get an agent were unsuccessful. )

When you market your book what path did you chose? Why? And what has not worked out for you and what has worked for you? Rubatino self published through At publishing this data went out to 27,000 book stores, world wide. Sales have not been high. Upon further research, the politics of publishing were changing. Rubatino was informed that agents and publishers were no longer taking new writers, due to the risk, and that they were focusing only one writers that had previous success, to ensure the publisher would get a return on their investment. Currently, Rubatino is now going to the media, newspapers, radio and television, set to launch spring 2012.

How much time do you spend on marketing your own work? Rubatino spends about 3 hours a day working web sites, about 15 in all, to promote and spread the news of her book. I also spend countless hours creating machinima (video made in a video game) to help visualize the evidence published in my book, that is published on my youtube link below.

If you self-published tell us in order the route you went, e.g. Kindle to Print to Smashwords or whatever you did. Rubatino went through They were very helpful in setting up all the sites, and marketing plan for the book. The most money to be made in self publishing is through You have total control over the text, and upload it yourself. If you need to make changes, you simply do it yourself without any fees. However, to alter the printed version, they charge you money, because of the printing machines, and the data transfer involved in correcting.

Which publishing sources would your recommend? And which would  you not recommend? I recommend Some say they are too expensive, but their experts and editors are top notch. They know what their doing. They also advertise heavily on the internet and now the media. They hope to lead the industry in the future for anyone who wants to self publish, as they believe this is the path of the future. Where agents and publishers will no longer decide or control who can get published and who can not. This is a great era were entering for the creative writer.

How much time and effort did you put into the cover of your book? Several hours, and the first three choices we scratched. Once they get all the other data that needs to be on there, it can take some time for you to arrive at a cover everyone is pleased with.

If you are a Kindle publisher, did you join KDP and if so what were experiences there and how would you judge it? KDP was helpful, and the software to create the ebook was free. Rubatino had some issues with the photos, but their tech support was quick to assist and get my book ready for sale. Furthermore, if anyone buys a book and their are flaws, KDP will correct and resend the correct version.

Exactly what formats is your book in? So far I have hard back, paper back, and kindle ebook. 

How did you decide on the price of your book?  The publisher decided on the price, based on the word count of the book.

What advice would you give other authors or other people starting out? Due to the nature of my book, being scientific, technical, and scholarly, in the genre of literary criticism, I needed the utmost care and strict adherence to using the evidence I could prove. If any facts were off, or used from a source that is not credible, like wikipedia, then my book would not be recognized by literary academics. If I was writing in another genre, I do not believe one has to use the same steps I used. One could self publish at a much lower cost, it really depends on your audience.

Do you consider yourself a success in writing, a wannabe, a failure or just misunderstood? Rubatino believes her writing is a success, perhaps not yet in monetary gain, but the reviews so far have been outstanding. The readers were highly skeptical prior to reading the evidence, but once read, they became believers. Which to me is success, because to explain this connection has been the biggest obstacle Rubatino faced.

Excluding free giveaways (such as KDP) - have you ever made it into the top 100 of a list and stayed there for over 2 weeks? Not yet, but Rubatino has hope to. 

Name one thing you absolutely hate about the publishing and writing world. The cost of marketing. With more and more websites coming online, that will go down. Kindle has just joined twitter and Facebook to give authors a free place to market, now if readers will use these sites to look for information on books, it will be great for self published authors.

Name one thing you love about the publishing and writing world. Self publishing was a good experience for me, because as the author, Rubatino was in charge of her work, and her detail to the facts that she might not have been able to do through a traditional publisher. It can take time to be recognized, and from what I have heard, publishers will often usurp the author's wishes on what should be written.

What is your ultimate dream in writing and  having your books published? Rubatino hopes to present humanity a new perspective on the meaning of Israel, and how it relates to the entire world concerning our human nature through the process of our emotions as man and woman. There has been much speculation, and many books written about the source of Baum's fairytale. However, no book written to date has revealed the source of his mystery maps that appear in Tik-Tok of Oz, the 14th book, the last book penned by Baum. There are a total of 40 books, but another author took over his story design. So to discover that it is based on our design, as a human species, could impact the world in a very positive way. It is the hope of Rubatino to bring peace to the literal and mental land of Israel, to the Jewish people, and help the world understand why Israel is so important to us all.

To Contact Michele Rubatino:
Twitter: @eyeonoz

Links To Buy The Book: The Origin of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Books by Ted William Gross

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