Tell us your latest news?
CMS: While receiving feedback for my debut novel "Hidden Heart", it's an ongoing latest news, I'm proud to announce that I finalized the cover and began the final edits on my second novel, a war romancetitled "A World Apart". The novel should be out by the end of December this year and I'm really excited!
When did you realize that becoming a published writer is what you wanted to do?
CMS: It was on my bucket list since high school, pretty much at the same time I knew I wanted to write. While I am fulfilled in my career, writing is my passion.
Would you say that being a reader is important to being a writer?
CMS: Absolutely. You have to read in order to create your own world, characters, learn the crafts of creative writing. People that write have talent, but it takes more that having a story line in your head to actually finish a novel. To give you an example my debut novel "Hidden Heart" begins atop Mount Etna in Italy on an August afternoon. I had to read about the climate, the scenery, even about gondolas. I could've made something up, but someone familiar with the area would've called my bluff and then my credibility, as an author would've really suffered. My upcoming novel "A World Apart" is set during the Iraq War. Half the book is set in Romania, the rest in Iraq. We all know what war means—attacks, victims, explosions, terror, dead—but I needed more than that. I spent more time researching that actually writing the novel. So to answer your question, it’s imperative to read in order to write.
Are you a part of a critique group?
CMS: I have a wonderful critique group that formed over 18months ago, with a new member added over the past month. We exchange work as needed, sometimes daily, sometimes a week passes by before we review another chapter. What's unique about us is that we write different genres, from YA to dystopian to romance, yet it works best because we can see in each other's work what writers from the same genre can't only because they have the same style.
How long does it generally take you to write a book?
CMS: It varies. "Hidden Heart" was done in three months (the first draft) with another six months spent editing. "A World Apart" took me over a year of intense research. My next project should be done fasterwithout the need for research.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
CMS: I'm born and raised in Romania. Before I moved to the U.S. in September of 2003, I lived in Austria, Germany and Hungary. Love took me to Austria, work to Germany and month-long vacations to Hungary. Then I returned to Romania for about five years, before love found me again. This time it brought me here to the States. Looking back, I realize that every single place I’ve been to, its people, its traditions, culture and language, every memory helped me create characters with different backgrounds and lifestyles, adding spices to the story. Aside from the romantic tone in my novels, my heroes are always coming from different countries. I use English as the books’ language not necessarily because it’s my adoptive tongue, but because no matter where we travel in the world, English is the catalytic, love’slanguage, as I like to call it.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
CMS: Write from your heart. Find critique partners. Edit. Edit. Edit. When you think you're done, edit more. Put as much effort into finding the right cover as you put into writing the book—it's your sales key. Be patient—stardom doesn’t come overnight.
Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
I'd love to hear from them at email@example.comFacebook
Debut novel Hidden Heart in paperback and e-format on:Goodreads
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