Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Take Five and Meet Author Carmen Stefanescu


Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Carmen.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Shadows of the Past?

I read a small article in a Romanian newspaper 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 moment I put down the newspaper I felt that I had to write about them. And so The Ballad of the Priest and the Nun came to life, first. Later, I considered it was not enough. I felt Genevieve’s story must be presented in detail. And I wrote Shadows of the Past a paranormal/light romance/light history/light horror novel.

How do you use setting to further your story?

The use of imagery was essential in establishing the tone in order to move ahead and create a vivid world of mystery, suspense and even a bit of horror both in mood and in plot.  Shadows of the Past is, in fact, two stories in one, or story within a story. At the beginning of the present time story, the opening description of the silent, mysterious forest, and the fact that Ann feels, " a chillness surrounding her in ice claws,” that she feels “the night fell over them, thick with the smell of danger, " provides a dark and dreary world in terms of setting. Imagery does indeed help move the plot. Old Bertha’s house, the cursed forest, St. Mary’s Abbey have an important part in moving further the story.

In Shadows of the Past setting is both antagonist and integral, controlling and influencing the characters. Genevieve and Andrew in the past, Anne and Neil in the present must resolve the conflict created by the setting in the novel. They are directly connected and interact with the cursed forest, thus the plot advancing to the climax.  Anyway, for me, settings are more than scenery. They’re the cohesive grounding, the foundation, of the whole story.

How do you construct your characters?

I think that every writer has own ways of creating characters. For me, it’s a mix of things as I take a little bit of me, a little bit of people I know, a little bit of something I’d like to be, a few traits that my character needs in order to act in certain ways or do certain things. I add a fatal flaw that’s going to cause big trouble for my character, and I roll everything together into a unique character who has his or her own personality. The addition of personality traits is a subconscious process. Other times I set out to create a specific behavior quirk for my character and I have to twist things until they fit.

How is your main character completely different than you?

I try to avoid my characters getting too similar to me and I push them away so they can actually grow autonomously. Anne is a smart business woman, dynamic and strong willed. Something I will never be.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

I am addicted to coffee and playing computer games.

Give us a brief summary of Shadows of the Past:
When Anne and Neil leave on a one-week holiday hoping to reconcile after a two-year separation, little do they know that destiny has other plans for them. Their discovery of human bones and a bejeweled cross in the hollow of a tree open the door to the supernatural realm and the anguished life of Genevieve, a nun from medieval England.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love. A touching story of loss, grief and the power of endless love and good magic.
Buy Links:
WildChild Publishing

          Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
          Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 
          She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

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