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.
What inspires you to write?
I think, in my humble opinion, that writing, whatever its influences, comes naturally and as a result of accumulating life experiences. We don’t create from nothing. Life touches us and our writing reflects this. So, life is my most valuable source of inspiration, my muse whispering into my ear.
Tell us about your writing process.
As I am a teacher, I write during summer holidays. I retreat to my “writing room” and loose myself in the imaginary realm of my characters and plots. I have to have complete silence and plenty of light. No multitasking. My creative side needs complete concentration.
I write longhand as I can easily insert new ideas, dialogue or description on the back of the sheet of paper. Then I transfer everything on my PC. I re-read what I wrote the previous day and cut or add new elements. I like this process. It’s like polishing an uncut diamond to turn it into a valuable piece of jewellery.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Most often. However we don’t always agree as I torment them along the story. Sometimes my characters tend to become rebellious because of it.However, in the end, they have to obey and understand it’s to their final good.
What advice would you give other writers?
Every writer starts somewhere, even the most prolific and most celebrated authors. Follow your dream. Roll with the punch of rejection, be open with constructive criticism, yet stay true to your style of writing and go on.And above all, read, write, read and write. You’ll finally succeed! It’s what happened to me.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted the expert opinion of a professional editor on my writing. I wanted to know if what I wrote had any value or not. It appears it has.
For me, a non-native English speaker, living in Romania, better known as Dracula’s country, the release of Shadows of the Past by a USA publisher, Wild Child Publishing, is a huge accomplishment.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Everyone says book publishing is changing forever. E-books are taking off, giving writers more options, readers also. I don’t think, however, that traditional books will ever die out. There’s a definite pleasure to holding a book in your hands that an e-reader can’t offer. Whatever happens, it’s bound to be interesting.These are exciting times in publishing . For editors, publicists, and of course, writers. It seems like anything is possible.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write:: paranormal/light romance/light horror
What formats are your books in: eBook