Alina Popescu, Writer

My First Interview as a Writer

My First Interview as a Writer
October 28
09:56 2013

Last week the wonderful Jacque Spillman interviewed me at the Book Chat Group. That’s a Facebook group that all those who love books should join! It’s warm, friendly, helpful, and highly addictive. This happened live, it was tons of fun, and Jacque interviews a writer each week  (another good reason for you to join our group!). Here’s how it all went down:

Jacque Spillman: Welcome to this weeks interview with author Alina Popescu. Not only is she our featured author this week she’s also one of our hard working admins that helps keep us in books;)
Alina, thank you for taking time to chat with us today! I’m going to post the questions here and Alina will post her answers in the comments. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Ok here we go!
Hi Alina!
1-have you always wanted to write?
2-do you write things that you like to read?
3-where do you get your ideas from?
4-who did your cover?
5-living in Romania was it harder to get published?
6-can you tell us what inspired your book “Pure Love of the Fallen”.
7-can you give us a brief synopsis of your book.
8-is this going to be the start of a series?
9-what has been your favorite part of publishing your book?
10-what are you working on for us next?
11-how can we find you?
Facebook, Twitter, blog, website?
12-where can we find your books?

Me: Morning everyone and thanks for having me here! So, let’s get the party started

1. Oh, yes! I’ve been reading since I was five and started to write soon after that. I clearly remember the first novel I’ve ever tried. I was about 9 and I had a co-author…  It was a gorgeous boy that was older than me and I was totally in love with.

J.S.: Whoooo whoo:)

Awww that’s so sweet:)

Me: 2. I always try to write things that I’d enjoy reading. The story I would have wanted to be told. And that unfortunately reflects in what I make my characters go through. I do give them a form of HEA, but, man, do they have to work for it!

Yeah, sweet, but I went solo after that first try Even though I still liked him for quite a bit after that.

J.S.: I bet he missed you!

Me: 3. I get my ideas from everywhere I can. Things that happen to me, to people I know, books, movies, TV series, songs, legends, myths, manga & anime, sometimes even the occasional wild photo showing up in my Facebook timeline.

J.S.: Silly question, what is HEA?

Me: Oh, I don’t know. Till this day, most of our interactions are a total puzzle to me. But we were great friends and he used to fuel my reading habit. We spent long summer days up in a tree or another, reading and talking about the books we read.

J.S: Do you have a “soundtrack” that you think goes with your book?

Me: 4. My cover was a very interesting story  A friend of mine recommended an artist, because he did drawings in the style I wanted. I talked to that person, agreed on everything, but he disappeared when it was time to deliver :d It was fun! It delayed my short story release and I felt awful. I started searching for photos and illustrations and found the fallen angel drawing by the wonderful M.P. Revita https://www.facebook.com/mprevita. She was wonderful, helped me out, and did he cover. She will be doing the cover for my first novel as well

Not really, no. My soundtrack varies. I have my favorites and the obsession of the day, songs that go with a certain kind of scene. But usually it’s just my favorites playing in the background. Somehow, the right song comes up at the right time

My playlist is public, so enjoy http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=FLyBXjireNRvAn5q43s82fxw

J.S.: Wow! What a story! I bet you were heart broken & frustrated to begin with but ecstatic in the end:)

Awesome! We now get to see what “rocks” you!  thanks!!

Me: Oh, it turned out for the best! But I felt bad! I had made a promise to all those who took the time to like my page and read the first part of the story… Still, I think the cover and meeting the designer were worth it.

J.S.: The cover did turn out very nice;))

Me: 5. I don’t know about that. I haven’t tried to get published in Romania… I started to write in English almost by accident. I wanted to take part in a writing retreat a friend of mine was organizing, and the two amazing coaches were British. I never looked back! While the initial vampire story I started writing about five years ago changed, writing it in English came naturally. If it turns out to sell well internationally, I might consider translating it and having it published in Romania.

The list is a mix of old and new faves, so I hope you enjoy! Thank you! I am totally in love with that cover. Never expected to find Ramiel so fast.

6. Pure Love of the Fallen was a mix of things. Some angel comic strips, a song – The Devil’s Trill, and the idea of people sometimes overlooking what’s right in front of me.

J.S.: Oh! I didn’t realize! Thank you for correcting my misconception:))

Overlooking what’s in front of you is so easy to do too:/

Me: No problem! I know a few Romanian writers and I know how the market goes… It’s about as difficult as it is in other parts of the world, but the ebook market is moving at a slower pace

Yes it is! Just as taking it for granted is

7. gladly! The tagline of World Unfolding (Book 1 of Bad Blood Trilogy) is “The Road to Hell is Paved with Bad Relationships”. The blurb I’m currently working with is:

A marketing campaign for an unpublished novel piques the interest of the wrong demographic. They have access to unlimited resources, they are ancient, they are powerful and they want to control the information the author is planning on sharing with the world.

This unexpected promotional success drags author Alexa, who is on a self-prescribed emotional recovery vacation, into the mysterious world of vampires. But the secrets of their origin and their very existence are far more important than her life to some of her new acquaintances.

As Alexa discovers their complicated, blood and old feud bound world, she also tries to better understand herself, heal old wounds and give love chance after chance, despite numerous failures. Will she survive the journey?

8. Yup, a trilogy  Book II is actually ready for edits, the manuscript is completed and I am half way through book iii.

J.S.: I do love a series;))

Sounds like you have been a very busy lady!

Sounds like it’s going to be really good with a strong plot!

Me: 9. Publishing was a wild ride for me. Five years ago I thought I’d self publish. Later on the PR girl in me thought that self publishing wasn’t that easy from an image standpoint, some people still associate it with poor quality. I didn’t want a big publisher though, because my research made me decide I want a better reason for a certain word count than how the book fits in a box to then be delivered… So i reached the middle ground of finding a small publisher that would be my partner and allow me to have some control over my book. But after a while, I realized it was not what I wanted or needed. Regardless of how many people told me self publishing was crazy, that’s what I decided to do in the end.

I also love series! I also don’t hate cliffhangers… But I realized I have to have a warning for that, otherwise readers get angry  I’ve been working on this series for the past 3 years I’ve had time. I think the plot is strong, it also focuses a lot on having to pick yourself up and trying again repeatedly. My MC Alexa is not the luckiest person ever.  I did take events of my own life and put them in the story, but the girl cannot catch a break at times.

J.S.: Not every author wants to stay in a strict guideline or write on demand. I’ve read a lot of books that the story is sooo good and they hurry up and finish the book and you can tell they had to cut pages out to “fit” the publishers rules.

Me: 10. NaNoWriMo is coming up, I am a participant and also an ML. As I can’t work on something that’s in progress, I think I will write a romance novel this Novemner  I had an idea and toyed with it, published something like a first chapter on my Facebook page and people seemed to like it  I might just go with that. Then it’s back to Bad Blood III. I am also knee-deep in getting World Unfolding ready for release. So…, lots of coffee in my future and crossing all my fingers.

J.S.: Did you buy your Starbucks stock yet;) lol!

Me: Yes, that’s true, I’ve seen it too. What’s equally bad is when they have to stretch the story just to up the word count. If there a different reason to explore a certain aspect or cut parts out, sure, but just because of a production requirement… seems weird to me.

No, I actually prefer making coffee in a kettle. Takes some time, but I think the taste is better. And it’s way stronger. I add extra shots of espresso to anything I buy at Starbucks.

J.S.: I think also that the whole “Indie Author” self published is becoming more accepted! I know I personally have many indie books in my kindle:)

Me: 11. You can find me everywhere.  My facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu
I am @alina_popescu on Twitter (http://twitter.com/alina_popescu)
My website is http://alina-popescu.com
And the Goodreads profile is – https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

If you want to add my personal FB profile, go ahead! I love to connect with readers and authors.

Same here, Jacque! To be honest, after reading a few books by our very own Kerry Frith, the Ashlyn’s debut novel, then everything by Author Kindle Alexander, I realized the misconceptions are just that and readers are smart enough to ignore them. My kindle is full of books by both indie and traditionally published authors.

12. The fantasy short story Pure Love of the Fallen is the only one that’s been published. It’s free to download and it’s available in several places: Smashwords – http://bit.ly/1561Dv1

Kobo – http://bit.ly/166uRkX
Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/16aTGVW
My site – http://bit.ly/157oGFU
iTunes – http://bit.ly/GEbQd8

J.S: Thank you for sharing your links!

How do you keep your story lines organized?

Me: My pleasure

It depends a bit on the story. With Bad Blood it was sort of easy, not that many characters. Plus, that trilogy has a mind of its own and always ends up taking me somewhere else than I had intended. For others (i’ve got a werewolf story in the making), I use tons of sticky notes plastered all over the wall behind my desk I have notebooks full of ideas, character bios, story lines. But my creative process is a bit different, I have to visualize the story, where it starts, where it goes. Once that is clear in my head, sort of like a movie going on in there, I start to write. All I have to sort out is the details.

That’s what my wall looks like right now. There’s a problem though, my dog, Ares, sometimes tries to eat my notes

IMG_1179

J.S: We will just keep the wind away from the wall of sticky notes:))

Any last minute tips, tricks or comments you’d like to add?

Me: Yeah, the 40 kilos of white furry wind, that is

J.S.: Is Ares your furry editor then?

I love you sharing your wall!!

Me: I have a few of those. First of all, I cannot begin to tell you how much the writer community has surprised me (in a good way). I’ve been in open and helpful communities, because I am also a travel blogger, but writers are just amazing! So are their readers. I am always in awe at how open, helpful, and nice people have been ever since I started focusing on my writing. So this is also an official big fat thank you and I love you all.

My number one tip would be to keep writing and do it on your terms. Sure, we have to be open to editing, recommendations, criticism, but your heart and mind will always tell you where to go. So trust your instincts and just go with it.

J.S: That is so very encouraging! Even though there are so many new authors every day and the “community” is continually growing I think it still feels small & friendly too;)

Me: Yeah, i had that photo taken a while back. The number of marks made by Ares’ paws scratching it has increased since :d He is my very own furry editor. He thinks all I write is crap, cause I should be playing with him, not waste my time with it. Also, he’s a character in the werewolf story

J.S.: Great advice Alina Popescu!!

Me: Yes, it feels like a small group of friends. I always feel… at home in a way.

J.S.: Awesome! He really is a star!

Me too;)

Me: Definitely! Or… His owner really needed him to be nice and obedient for a few minutes. That was not going to happen, so she wrote a book about how he was nice and obedient.

J.S.: Alina Popescu, thank you again for taking the time today to chat with us! I know many people are waiting for your next books! Please make sure and keep us all posted when you have your links! Also if you do a preorder promo!!

I love it!! Lol! :))

Me: Thanks for having me here Jacque! This was my first ever interview as an author! So I am super excited. I will keep you all posted on what’s going on with the book. I am hoping for a cover reveal at the end of November/early December. And an early 2014 release.

Also, if anyone has any more questions…. I live online, so shoot.

J.S: You’re welcome Alina! Can’t wait for your new reveals:))

Me: mm, I only saw that question now Jacque! Sorry. HEA, as I discovered a few weeks ago  is Happily Ever After. You’ve got to love your internet acronyms!

J.S.: Lol! Yes, thank you!! I had to explain to my mom last week what idk was! “she’s like I don’t understand” I answered “I don’t know” we went round & around for several minutes with her getting madder with every second!!

Me: I bet that was fun! To be honest, I’ve been recently introduced to idk. Talking with the younger crowd helps keeping up!

J.S.: For sure:))

 

That’s about it, folks, hope you’ve enjoyed the madness of it! 😀 What’s missing (and can be found in the original): the tons of smileys I actually used in my answers and the comments from other members. I thought I should at least try to keep this under 3000 words 😀

About Author

Alina Popescu

Alina Popescu

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