I’m so excited to share my first author interview. As I said before, I love my tribe. I am forever amazed at the generosity and bonhomie that exists between writers. This is a solitary job, so we connect over the miles via social medial and share our stories of woe and joy. Today’s author is Irina Shapiro.
A bit about Irina:
Irina Shapiro will be first in line if recreational time travel ever becomes a reality, but for now, she must rely on flights of imagination, traveling through time and space vicariously through her characters. Irina particularly enjoys stories set in the past, where the characters must navigate the volatile political climates of their time while still managing to live, love, and cause mischief.
Irina has always had a particular fascination with the paranormal, and explores some of these themes in her books. She believes that nothing is truly impossible; true love can transcend space and time, and live on forever. Please visit Irina Shapiro at www.irinashapiro.com to learn more about her titles and upcoming releases.
Tell us about your decision to write that first book, even if it wasn’t published. I’m not sure that there was ever a decision. I always thought it would be wonderful and fulfilling to be a writer, but I never believed that I had the imagination or the eloquence required. After leaving my job to stay at home with my autistic son, that keyboard just sang to me like a siren. I kept doubting myself, thinking that I couldn’t possibly come up with an interesting story, but once I finally gave in and faced that blank screen, my first novel just poured out.
Discuss your path to publication. Do you have an agent? Do you self-pub? My path to publication was kind of a backward one. I wrote a book, threw it on Amazon with a home-made cover and terrible editing, and waited for it to sell. Surprisingly, it did, but I quickly got several negative reviews pertaining to editing and presentation. So, I did my research, found an editor, learned to make more professional covers, and immersed myself in discovering the most cost-effective and successful marketing techniques. My efforts paid off, but I wish I’d done the grunt work before putting that first book out there.
What genre do you write in and why? I write in the time-travel and gothic romance genres because those are the genres I most enjoy reading for pleasure. I love that moment of dawning realization when characters find themselves in the wrong time and place, or the sudden awareness that they are not alone in a room with no other people around. Adding that little bit of fantasy allows me to explore scenarios I would never be able to broach in a story that’s firmly rooted in reality, and take my characters on journeys that are full of twists, turns, and unexpected situations.
When do you write? Do you have a set schedule, or do you write when the muse hits you? I used to write only when I had something to set down on paper, but now I write on schedule. I begin around 7:00 a.m. and write for as long as the words keep coming, then turn off my computer and go do something else. But just because I’m not actually writing, doesn’t mean that my mind is not constantly thinking up new plot twists and testing out possible new developments for my characters.
Kindle or paperback? I used to love my paperbacks, but haven’t read one since I got a Kindle seven years ago. There’s no going back for me.
Tell us about your most recent book. My most recent book is called “The Lovers.” It’s the story of an archeologist who must investigate the discovery of two skeletons found locked in a chest. As she learns about the 17th century couple and what led to their tragic demise, she finds out secrets about her own past.
Where is it set — both location and time? It’s set in modern-day and 17th century England, during the reign of Charles II.
What draws you to this area and/or time? I really like Charles II. Out of all the English monarchs, he was the most tolerant and had the greatest lust for life. He loved music, color, and romance – a man after my own heart.