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Sunday, May 19, 2013

{AUTHOR INTERVIEW} Carmen Stefanescu (Shadows of the Past)

Heya there, loves! Today's post is a special one because I'm having my very first author interview! Yay! ^____^ I'm so nervous and so excited at the same time. And since I'm relatively new to book blogging, please feel free to leave your thoughts about this interview. I'm open to suggestions and comments so I can improve things here on the blog. ^__^

So back to the topic, I'm interviewing Ms. Carmen Stefanescu, author of Shadows of the Past, today. It's a paranormal romance released on December 4th 2012. Read below for the short book blurb and author bio:

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.

Book Links:

Purchase Links:

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.

Author Links:

And now for the highlight of today's post: the interview. Let's all welcome Ms. Carmen Stefanescu and her book! ^__^

Welcome to the blog, Carmen! Please tell us a little something about yourself. 

I am a teacher of English and German in Romania, Eastern Europe, and mother of two daughters. My connection with books is a strong and special one. First as a reader. I survived the grim years of communist oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. I've been a lifelong avid reader, but the physical act of putting pen to paper was tempting all this time and I took some toddler steps on this path a long time ago.

What is your book Shadows of the Past all about? 

It's a paranormal, no vampires however, even if I live in Dracula's country. It's the story of two young women Genevieve and Ann, the ups and downs in their lives, the passion, and betrayal they meet and, above all, what links them over centuries. 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

What inspired you to write Shadows of the Past? 

Shadows of the Past is a combination- a reviewer calls it a crossover - of paranormal, light romance, light horror (ghosts), mystery and history. It was "inspiration at first sight", if I may say so, after reading a small article in a Romanian newspaper. It triggered the idea of a ballad, at first, and then I expanded it in the novel that was released on 4th December 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, in the USA. 

Which of the two main characters - Genevieve and Anne - is easier for you to write? 

Strange as it may seem, I found it easier to write about Genevieve, a tragic character, living in the 15th century, about the hardships and trials life throws in her way. I lean towards the dark and moody and I have a fascination for Medieval Times. 

Have you always wanted to be a writer or is there a defining point in your life where you decided that you want to write? 

Deep in my heart I always dreamed to become a writer. And the writer who, in fact, inspired me at first was Agatha Christie and her well crafted mystery novels. I started writing short satirical poems as a student. Then short -stories. All were in my native tongue Romanian, as you know I am not a native English speaker. After the fall of dictatorship in 1989, things changed a bit and the access to the Internet and the opening to the world helped me start publishing. Poems in English, first. Some of them were selected for a collection of contemporary English poems, Muse Whispers, and were published in 2001 and 2002. Now novels. 

How do you deal with writer's block?

I have a notebook full with ideas for my next books and first draft chapters of other new projects so I can't really say I experienced it. I only wish time allowed me to bring my many ideas to completion. It would be awesome. 

Do you have any writing rituals? 

I like to have everything handy: paper, pencils, markers, ballpoint pens as, please, don't laugh, I always write the first draft in the old, traditional pen on paper way. Sometimes, it depends on my mood, a bit of background, low music, either classical or pop. 

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

There are way too many to comment on but I love Somerset Maugham, Thomas Hardy, Catherine Cookson, Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Balzac, Jane Austen, and Jeffrey Archer. It may sound an odd mix of names but they are my favorites. 

When you're not writing, what keeps you busy? 

I read and read and read; I also take care of my four-legged friends (several cats and our faithful dog); and another hobby - not very often lately- I enjoy a good role-play game on computer. I am worse than a child in this respect. 

What's next for Carmen Stefanescu?

I am already working with my marvelous editor, SRHowen, on the first edits of Dracula's Mistress. It’s something linked to Vlad the Impaler’s life. Another paranormal. A historical one. So again, the Middle Ages, but this time in Romania. 

Is there anything else you'd like to say to your readers? 

Please, join my world! My books open a door into the past and allow you to live there for a while. So, as a piece of advice: Get quickly Shadows of the Past and read it! If not, you don't know what you are missing! Ha-ha-ha! 

Thank you Julie for hosting me here today! It was a pleasure!

Thanks for a wonderful interview, Carmen! I'm honored to have you here today. ^__^
author image

Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. It must be fascinating to be Carmen and to have experienced such different ways of life as her country changed from the limits endured under communism to the freedom of their new ways. I too feel that I was most inspired by the flow of Agatha Christie’s clever books in which she tied all loose ends always. SHADOWS OF THE PAST is on my summer reading list, when on vacation I’ll have the freedom to just relish and enjoy.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I haven't read Agatha Christie's books yet but I'm intrigued. I feel that I have to check them out one day. :) I hope you enjoy Shadows of the Past! Happy reading! ^__^

    2. Thank you, Catalina for your comment! Yes, I can say that I lived history, which is not a small thing. I can hardly wait to her your opinion on Shadows of the Past, as the theme of past lives is something you are interested in.

  2. great job Julie! wonderful interview! Carmen is a great pick for a first interview as she was mine as well! she is a wonderful person and I don't know what I would do without her friendship!

    Shadows of the Past is a truly inspired story that readers can read over and over again!

    1. Thank you Amanda ! I am honored to be considered your friend. I value your friendship and even if we've never met in person,you are in my thoughts.

    2. Thanks, Amanda! :) True, Carmen is really friendly and wonderful to work with. I'm glad I did my first interview with her.

  3. Excellent interview.. It's hard to find the balance between interviewing the author and interviewing the book. You made a case for both!!!

    I am looking forward to reading Shadow of the Past and finding more by this unique author

    Thanks for bringing her to my attention

    1. Thanks for the comment, Shauni! I'm glad you liked the interview. :) I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Shadows of the Past. I hope you enjoy the book. Happy reading and thanks for stopping by! ^__^

  4. Thank you, Shauni!
    I hope you will enjoy the story. It brings a new perspective on reincarnation, past lives.

  5. I thank my lovely host, Julie, for her friendliness to have my interview and my book featured today!
    I hope that my interview is the first on your blog, in a long line of future ones.

    1. You're welcome, Carmen! I consider myself lucky to have you in my first author interview. It's a pleasure to work with you. :) Thank you!

  6. Loved this interview and love this author and her book, one of my all time favorite paranormal reads. I'm so impressed with Carmen Stefanescu and that English is her second language, considering how masterfully this is written. Thank you for featuring this author. Paulette


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