Thanks for stopping by today, Stefanie. I know you hail from the beautiful country of Romania, and you are one busy young woman. Please tell us a little about what keeps you hopping when you're not writing.
Hi Mysti. Good to be here. I’ve always greatly enjoyed your blog. Now I have another reason to do so ;) And you’re a fantastic critting partner as well.
Hmmm... when I’m not writing… When I’m not writing, I usually fantasize about writing – I know what you’re going to say – insane – but I do most of my writing in my head. Then it all comes down to putting it on paper and actually remembering what I wrote in my head (mind you, I sometimes forget the original phrasing and I get kinda pissed :p)
Other than that, right now, my life revolves around studying. I’m in my last year of law school and am about to finish college (it was about time too). After that, I have another exam to go into judge training.
I also listen to a lot of music, watch TV and hang out with my boyfriend (of 7 years) and my numerous family (have 2 brothers and 2 cats)
I've had the privilege of critiquing one of your novels-in-progress so far. What can you tell us about Hunters? Where did the inspiration come from, and which of the characters do you most identify with?
Well, this should be fun. Hunters came to me on a whim – while I was in Prague with my Mom. I just thought – hey, why don’t I write about vampire hunters? The inspiration was also brought on by one of my critting partners who said she wanted two of my characters, who are just best friends, to end up together. So I tried that.
What can I tell you about it? It’s a short paranormal romance about two Hunters (I made them a whole different species) who try to bring down the head vampire. In the process, they are accused of treason by their own kind and turn into the favorite prey for both Hunters and vampires. In their whole wild adventure, they fall in love and unravel a conspiracy. You can read the first chapter here (http://stephacrosstheborder.blogspot.com/p/hunter-first-chapter.html)
Although I did enjoy writing my two characters, Rachel and Daniel, I can’t say I identify much with either of them. I mean Daniel is wild and cocky, and Rachel will turn out to be a kick-ass babe with a twinge of an insecurity problem. I’m not like that. J
Since I've begun this writing journey, I've met writers from all over the world. For all the writers from outside the U.S. and U.K., tell us a little about the challenges you've faced while writing in English when it's not your first language.
You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. Most my troubles come from not knowing the right word for the occasion – I know it in my language, but I’m not pleased with how it translates. Also, my speech pattern for characters ends up a bit screwy. I can’t tell the difference between British and American expressions and my knowledge in expression is limited either way.
Other than that, I can’t complain. I’ve learned English from reading and watching TV, but did get My Cambridge ESOL diploma, so I guess I’m certified ;)
Besides Hunters, I've done my snooping, and see you've got a few books brewing, and three of them are a series. You've even got a character blog HERE for those guys. I have to say, I've never heard of a character blog before, but it sounds like a great way to get to know who the stars of your story. Now, give us the scoop on this series. What's it all about and who are your favorite characters in it?
Lol, prepare for a long one. You’re right, I am writing a series, but it’s made out of seven books. It’s basically upper YA since it has a lot of romance and people dying in it. It’s about five brothers whose life becomes much harder due to their parents’ mistakes. They become secret agents in search of legendary jewels that will supposedly solve the power crisis in the world. Only that during this time, they are hunted down by an old enemy of their parents’ who wants the agency to fail and them dead. Exotic destinations, relationships, humor and a lot of family interaction shows the path of these guys who try to find themselves and…grow up.
The idea of the character blog was for me (and curious others) to get to know my characters again, to be able to put their voices out there. So far, four of my five MCs have interviewed there. After they’re done with the introduction, I will turn it into a blog structure to present their day to day life (which doesn’t come out so much in the books, seeing as they’re always on missions and stuff).
My favorite characters in it… this is a tough one, since there are five MCs plus their love interests. Depending on the book and/or scene, my favorites vary. If I have to think really hard, I think my favorite character is Sam. He’s most like me (well, I’m not THAT brainy) and is the one most aware of his flaws. The female character would be Jessie – she’s a feisty redhead who is smart and funny and very loyal. She’s the one I tried to base Rachel off, but failed miserably. :p
As to the character I like writing most, it’s Tom, Sam’s twin. He’s spunky, doesn’t think before he acts, is rude and cocky, but a good guy at heart.
What stories/ideas are you working on now?
Right now, I’m only writing inside my head, and I’m mostly trying to plan out the fifth volume of the series – I already wrote the first four (though I still have to majorly edit them). I’m also considering a fantasy novel for NaNoWriMo, if I’ll have time.
Don't look now! You looked, didn't you? Just for that, you get the random question: Has there ever been a book that gave you nightmares or made you jump at every little noise, and what was it?
Darn, I tried not to look, but it was so shiny! There actually was such a book. I read John Saul’s The Guardian when I was ten. I’d probably Lol at it now, but back then, it gave me the creeps. I remember reading it while listening to Modern Talking’s Romantic Worriers album. I have to say, that even if the fear is long gone, I still get chills when I hear those songs :p
Now, Miss Pristavu, would you please give us a short excerpt from one of your works in progress?
Yeah, sure… let me find something *rummages through computer*. There – this is from chapter 5 of Hunters
The street was deserted. Heart beating with excitement, Rachel closed up her leather jacket to hide her weapons. It had been so long since she’d last killed a vampire. Her entire body hummed with anticipation.
Her senses picked up on where the vampire was. She turned in the opposite direction and dashed up the street. A Shadow blocked her path. She skidded to a halt. Two of them, huh? Good. She needed someone to lash out on.
As she backed away, she threw a glance over her shoulder. The blood in her veins froze. There were two of them behind her. Shit. Three was a bit much. She swallowed the slither of fear creeping up her throat. She could try climbing one of the buildings, but the vampires might still catch her. Maybe they didn’t know she was a Hunter. The element of surprise could decide the battle.
“Bon soir, gorgeous.”
Rachel flinched, but didn’t move as the two vampires came up behind her. She had to play this just right.
“What are you doing alone on a night like this?” One vampire grabbed her shoulder and turned her to face them. He was blond and handsome, but still scary as hell, and to her senses, completely disgusting. The other shivered in his companion’s shadow, thin and reedy.
“I’m not alone.” Rachel breathed through her mouth, trying to avoid their smell. “My boyfriend is meeting me on the other side of the alley.”
“But of course, she is lying.” The other vampire, a brunette with way too much facial hair, joined the party, speaking with a thick French accent.
“If I’m lying, it means I don’t want your company.” Rachel jerked her shoulder out of the vampire’s grip and put her hand under her jacket, on the handle of her pistol. These vamps were begging for holes in the head.
All three vamps backed away, watching her through narrowed, reddish eyes. Damn. She should’ve sounded more scared, but she was too angry. The tall blond sniffed the air. He would tell she wasn’t human any second now.
Rachel tightened her grip on the pistol, waiting. The blond flinched and stepped back, his nose scrunched in disgust. She whipped the pistol out and rapidly fired three shots. Blonde and Hairy sidestepped the bullets. Thin and reedy received a blow in the head and two in the heart. The remaining two grabbed her wrist and bashed it against the wall. The gun fell out of her hand.
Rachel reached her free hand under her jacket, pulled out her knife and sunk it through Hairy vampire’s forehead. He screamed and cursed in French, trying to yank it out of his head. Rachel punched Blonde in the stomach. He groaned and let go of her. She jumped as high as she could and grabbed a window ledge. She scrambled up the building until she reached the roof and turned around, her fists raised, ready for the face off.
Thank you so much for being here, Stefanie, and I wish you the best of luck. I'll be first in line when you publish your first book!
Thanks Mysti! Glad to be here! And I’ll make sure my published books come to your door ;)
For more about Stefanie, please visit her blog, Across the Border!