Maria Lazzati – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

“Complain and Conquer, How Any Customer Can Get What They Want.” I wanted to help consumers stand up to companies, businesses, stores and professionals and guide them through the complaint process. Most people don’t know where to start or find contact info. I tried to cover all the major situations that we usually have issues with, like doctors, lawyers, debt collectors, airlines, contractors, utilities, landlord tenant and others. There are plenty of links and some really good information.

Many feel that complaining is a waste of time. I have my own experiences to show that anyone can win the battle. I always tell people to be persistent and never take “No” for an answer.

Tell us something about yourself.

I have been in the customer service field for over 25 years. I was an Operations Manager for a large corporation and my job had a lot to do with customer retention and satisfaction. I trained my employees well and I had a great relationship with my customers. After 15 years, I was laid off and devastated that I couldn’t find a job.

I had become a paralegal 8 years ago because I wanted to be able to add credibility and be able to write a complaint letter that someone would pay attention to. Looking back, it was one of the best things I’ve done. It has given me the confidence that I needed to stand up to anyone and argue my point. Being laid off opened my eyes to the reality of customer service and how consumers are treated. I knew that I wanted to help others that shared my frustration with the lack of good customer service.

I live in South Jersey and I am keeping busy by trying to build my business. I offer low cost searches (people screening, skip trace,etc), customized complaint letters, landlord tenant info and other services related to the everyday issues consumers face.

What inspired you to write this book?

My own bad experiences with businesses. Being unemployed, I had a lot of time to actually notice these things. When I was working 60-70 hours a week, I’d open a bill, grumble about it going up and just pay it. If I was in a store and was treated badly, I’d blow it off. Thing is, I’d always wind up regretting that I let someone get away with it.

How did you choose the title?

I wanted to tell people what my book was about in a nutshell. I didn’t want someone to look at the cover and wonder what it was about.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I made it an ebook because I am far too inexperienced to deal with publishers.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I love to write. I started a newsletter at work and it was a lot of fun putting it together. From there, I became a paralegal and I loved writing opinions and doing interviews.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I like to write in the early morning or late at night. It’s usually quiet…

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

John Grisham, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich are just a few. I love mysteries, especially those that add some humor. I also enjoy legal thrillers because I love the law and learning.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I have a few topics in mind but I really haven’t selected one topic. I would like to stick with helping consumers.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The absolute best part about writing is that it usually takes you to places that you never thought possible. I had no confidence in myself at first, I thought I was wasting my time until I realized that I had put together a respectable ebook with good information.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Consumers that are angry about the way they were treated. I wrote this for customers that are tired of the fight. I want people to hang up that phone and say, “Wow! It worked!”