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vineri, 11 aprilie 2014

Author Interview: Ioana Vișan, writer of The Impaler Legacy series

1. Hi, Ioana. I’m so glad to have you here again. How have you been since we last talked?

Busy, busy, busy. :) It’s been almost a year since we last talked, so let’s see… I finished The Impaler Legacy series, The Impaler Legacy Omnibus is out, I collaborated to three Romanian anthologies, and now I’m working on a brand new project. Oh, and I received the Encouragement Award from the European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013. Yep, it’s been a good year.

2. Tell us more about the Blog Tour that you are organizing? Are you excited?
I am very excited. It’s my first blog tour so I was a little reluctant to start it as it is a lot of work to put everything together, but everyone has been so nice and supportive that the experience became less stressful than expected. Of course, my tour organizer, Alina Popescu, has been a great help too. So, for a whole week, between April 7 and April 13, we have book promos, excerpts, reviews, interviews, character interviews, guest posts, and a big giveaway, all spread over more than 40 blog. Hopefully, this will start some hype about the book.

3. How was the entire journey of The Impaler Legacy?
It’s been an interesting journey. I’ve been toying with the idea of this story for about two years now, but I only wrote the first novella in the series, The Impaler’s Revenge, in November 2012. Then in the summer of 2013, the entire series was complete. Publishing-wise, the novellas were released in April (The Impaler’s Revenge), August (A Victory that Counts), and December (Order Restored), the first two being accompanied by short stories (Sweet Surrender, Casualties of War) that connected them with the next novella in the series. And now the omnibus edition is out, which includes a brand new short story (The Third Wheel).

4. Do you regret anything in this journey? Is there anything you would have done different? 
Having seen the readers’ reactions over the past year, I think the first novella in the series is not marketable enough. It’s too much of a turn from the current vampire trend, being neither erotica nor YA and dealing mostly with politics. It can put people off if they were expecting something else. Also, I should have published the short stories right away instead of hosting them on my site for half a year where, apparently, readers had difficulties with finding them. But it’s a learning process, and as a whole, it went rather well.

5. Tell us about the covers of the series and how they came about.
Oh, this is a good question. All of the covers feature the photo of a decorative knife that belongs to my brother. We got it during our vacation in Greece a few years ago. It’s not quite like the yatagans mentioned in the series but close.
The color of the silk used as background was chosen strictly related to what happened in each story. The cover of the first novella is red because that’s where the first blood is drawn then the cover of the first short story is also red because it’s mostly romance and the two of them come as a pair. The situation changes drastically in the second novella when many lives are lost, a fact illustrated by the dark brown on the cover, and things get even worse in the following short story with its metallic gray. There’s a dark green-turquoise on the cover of the third novella, matching the blue on the hilt of the knife and looking like muddled waters. Too much has happened and things can never go back to the way they used to be, but there’s still hope. In the last short story, Liana and the gang take a day off in Marrakesh, so the cover is bright yellow.
For the omnibus edition, I kept the knife and the silk, but the knife is turned upside down and the silk is much lighter, ivory-pink, so it will look good on the print edition. It’s also worth noting that the knife is sheathed on two of the covers, the short stories being mostly fluff and less related to the main storyline. And to answer to those readers who noticed the silk creases on the Sweet Surrender cover kind of resemble to a vagina, well, that was done on purpose as, while not graphic, it does include the only sex scene in the book.

6. What can we expect next from you? Do you have another project in mind? 
I’m close to finishing the first draft of a sci fi novel in the upcoming Broken People series. With a little luck, it will be done by the time the tour is over. It deals with a heist and a special circus crew. The story isn’t hard sci fi but focuses on the characters’ internal drama while still being an action and adventure story, so even people who aren’t big sci fi fans will be able to relate to it. The plan is to have it out before the end of the year.

7. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively since your first story?
Everything I read and write helps me improve my craft. I’ve learned to have a better control over the storyline and the characters, not to lose time with irrelevant stuff and divagate from the plot, and to express myself better. In the same time, I think I managed to preserve my voice, and you’ll recognize it if you compare my old stories with the most recent ones.

8. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the length of a book. When I’m working on a project, I write 1,000 words per day except for the weekends. Sometimes I write a little more if I’m in the middle of a scene but never less. However, it takes much more to write a book until it’s finally done. There’s the first draft, then the second, the third, the fourth, the self-editing round, the beta reading part, another draft, and then the final editing. It usually takes longer than I would like, but it has to be done.

9. What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m going through the pile of books I bought at Librex book fair in March, some Italo Calvino, Dino Buzzati, Peter Mayle, Julian Sanchez, the last J. K. Rowling, and several issues of CPSF, so not exactly the usual sci fi and fantasy, but I’ll be back to them soon.

10. And now, a few random questions to know you better. What is the thing you are afraid the most? 
Dying? Losing the ones I love? As a sci fi writer, I contemplated the issue from various perspectives and couldn’t find one that agrees with me so I’d like to avoid that as long as possible. I also don’t like spiders, snakes, and human stupidity.

11. I was wondering, what is your idea of happiness?
Hmm, maybe those close to you being happy too… but that’s hard to achieve, and sometimes, a good book can take you out of the real life and transport you to a place where you can be happy, even if only for a few moments. That’s quite something. I hope someday my books will be able to do that for other people.

12. How do you spend your free time? Do you have something that relaxes you?
I hate the cold, but I’m a big skating fan, so following all of the competition and shows and running a skating site with my friends take a lot of my time. But it’s fun!

13. Thank you for your time and for letting me to be part of your Blog Tour. I can’t wait to read more of your work. Happy writing!
Thanks for participating. See you in the next book!