July 6, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Book Spotlight – Dracula’s Mistress and Author Interview with Carmen Stefanescu
Dracula’s Mistress by Carmen Stefanescu
Publisher – City Lights Press
Genre – Paranormal historical/Light Romance
( Only $ .99)
From the day that the powerful, brave and merciless Vlad III Basarab, a descendant of the Draculesti family—better known to most people as the infamous vampire Dracula—ascends the throne, he knows only battles, betrayal and intrigue.
Evil grips the town of Targoviste, capital residence of Walachia. The secrets behind the stone walls of the palace are as dark and violent as a winter’s night, as terrifying as the prince’s deeds. Dead bodies, drained of blood and missing their little finger keep appearing in the streets at night.
Lovely, smart, determined, Angela Oltenescu ignores all the aggressive rumors and her mother’s warning regarding Vlad. Will she suffer the consequences of falling in love with a man nicknamed Dracula by his enemies—an infamous creature of the night?
Rich, sly, treacherous, Marin Craioveanu, a powerful landlord, craves the same woman loved by Vlad. Marin’s hatred toward the prince will make him an ally to Handsome Radu, Vlad’s brother and Sultan’s friend, ready to sell the country to the Ottomans to get rid of his rival.
Dracula’s Mistress will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
As a teenager I dreamed to be like Agatha Christie. She was my first mentor in the field of writing. Yet, my dream came true, I mean becoming a published author, later in life.
How many books have you written?
Four have already been published by different publishers, but there are a couple more in various stages.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
It depends. As a first draft, between a couple of months and six months at the most. But in a polished, final form it may take a couple of years.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
For Shadows of the Past, a paranormal/light romance/light historical, the source of inspiration was an article in a Romanian newsopaper. The novel will be republished soon as the first publisher closed its doors at the beginning of 2017.
Dracula’s Misytress and Dracula’s Prodigy are based on the real huistorical figure of Vlad the Impaler. As a native of his coubtry I think I bring a fresh perspective on the character.
For Till Life Do Us Part I based part of my story on a real event- the last witch in Europe.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have many favorite authors, both classical and modern times writers. I should mention though Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy, Catherine Cookson, Liviu Rebreanu, Mary Higgins Clark and Stephen King. I admire them, I read most of their books. I consider them my mentors.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Absolutely. Deleting, I mean “killing” characters. It happened to me with Dracula series. The editor I had at that time said I had to “kill”five POVs. A hard decision but I did it and, eventually, it was a good piece of advice. So always trust your editors!
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a room without any distraction. I mean no radio, PC, TV or tablet. Just shelves stacked with books, dictionaries and the photos of my family members. I call it the “muse’s den”.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No, never. I want writing to be something I take delight in doing, not a duty, something imposed on myself. And you know what they say – Man proposes, God disposes.
Do you use your experiences in your books?
I think life is the best field of research so yes, many of my characters or life experiences are to be found in my stories.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Absolutely, but I do not panic. I simply start reading something else and little by little things go back to normal between me and my “muse.”
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If I’m not doing it under the pressure of a deadline, I find it refreshing, rewarding.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
The very first review made by a complete stranger saying she laughed or suffered with my characters.
What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
They are happy for me. In fact, I broke barriers – think that I am not a native English speaker and I managed to be accepted not by one, but by three different publishers, which, in my opinion is a great accomplishment – VALIDATION. And my family and friends are my best cheerleaders, if I may say so.
Do you prefer pen and paper or computer?
I combine them. I write longhand first and then I transfer everything on the PC. I know it’s double work but it gives me the opportunity to make changes, to see things better at a new reading.
What is your next project?
Another two parts novel. It is a paranormal mystery based on the “haunted house” in Braila, my native town. The first part is ready. I am transfering it on the computer. The second will have to wait a little, as life has thrown a health obstacle in my way.
Also From Carmen
Paranormal/light history/light horror/light romance
Paranormal, romantic suspense, mystery
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula 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.
High-school teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of communist oppression by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.
She likes to blend genres and thus she writes paranormal stories with a smidgen of mystery, history and romance. The reader will find suspense, dark themes, adventure, danger as well as sweet revenge. She calls her stories “gothic” romance. Her writing focuses on rebirth, past life regression, karmic retribution.
Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.
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