Why do you write fiction?
I started by writing poems. Their theme is more on the philosophical side of life and nature. As a teacher, I always encouraged my pupils to write essays on various subjects, to express their feelings and emotions. So it came easily to start writing longer fiction. It’s my way to explore the world – more mental than physical. You see, I try to write out all my interactions into characters, those same interactions I’ve been too hesitant to carry out in life.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
I accidentally read a small article in a Romanian newspaper, ( I live in Romania, better known by many as Dracula’s country), about a haunted mountain in England. The souls of two sinners, a nun and a priest who break their vows and elope, can’t find their rest. The tourists visiting that area sometimes hear agonizing moans during the night. That was all the article said, but enough to stir my imagination. The moment I put down the newspaper, I had an urge to write about the two unfortunate lovers, and The Ballad of the Priest and the Nun came to life. Later, I felt just a poem wasn’t enough. I felt that I had to tell Genevieve’s story in detail. It was as if the nun herself pleaded with me to tell the world about her fate. Shadows of the Past, a paranormal/historical romance, is the result of my decision. It’s the story of Genevieve and Anne. Jumping from past to present and back, the story focuses on the lows and highs of the two, alternatively revealing the hardships, passion, truth or betrayal they meet. A touching story of loss, tragedy and the power of endless love and good magic.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
In my opinion, there’s no “ideal” reader. If you write for one specific audience, you’re going to tune out others who might actually be interested in reading your book. Danielle Steele once said, “Write what you write. What happens next is up to the public.” Many times I’ve been in bookstores and picked up a book whose content I’d not normally read because either the cover and blurb attracted me, or I saw the book advertised. Sometimes, I loved the story. Other times, I read the first two chapters, decided it wasn’t my cup of tea, and put it away.
Please describe your writing routine.
During the summer holidays, I retreat to my “writing room” and lose myself in the imaginary realm of my characters and plots. I like to have everything handy: paper, pencils, markers, ballpoint pens. Also, sometimes, background music, either classical or pop. I always write longhand. My first drafts are longhand. After I finish the manuscript, I transfer everything to my PC. I find it easier to make notes on the back of the sheet of paper regarding characters, adding paragraphs or deleting sentences, rewording some parts.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Follow your dream! Read, write. Read and write. Be civil, good-mannered even towards publishers who reject your manuscript. If they take the time to write you an explanation, be courteous and thank them. Swallow the bitter tears of rejection and go on querying. Never give up! In the end, your dream must come true. It’s what happened to me!
More about Shadows of the Past:
Anne’s relationship with her boyfriend, Neil, has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week-long vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world – one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil’s vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve’s soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
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