Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writer Chat Wednesday: Alisa Jeruconoka - London Calling!

My Writer Chat today is with Alisa Jeruconoka from London, England. Alisa is a YA fantasy writer and author of Unparallel WorldsI had a chance to chat with Alisa recently and I was so intrigued by her description of her story and inspiration, I had to buy the book to read it for myself!

Alisa JeruconokaFirst of all I want to thank Natalie for this fantastic opportunity to spread the word about my YA fantasy fiction novel ‘Unparallel Worlds’. The future of the whole planet depends on the delicate balance of Light and Darkness. Love and Hatred, Friendship and Betrayal are the keys to open and reveal the ancient secrets.

Natalie Wright: Do you have any news to share about your work?

Alisa Jeruconoka: Having only recently put the book on Amazon I’ve had 5 reviews already and there all great! It made me really happy that people are enjoying my book and for me this was the first step and although sales are important knowing that I have managed to write a story that people enjoy is priceless!

The other bit of news is that I had a very talented video maker email me after visiting my site, he said he was really impressed that at a time when everyone else is writing about vampires and werewolves in the YA market (and I’m not saying that these aren’t good reads) it’s refreshing that someone is trying to introduce the almost lost genre of otherworldly fantasy fiction to this audience. He said that this was vital to give them the opportunity to expand their minds with such a richly imagined story (I gathered that he was a fantasy fiction fanatic).

He liked the whole idea of the story so much that he went on to create a really cool video for me which is now on Youtube and my website

NW: I love this trailer for your book so much, I had to include it here for people to see.

NW: What was the inspiration for your book?

AJ: I have always enjoyed writing and from a young age I found I really enjoyed writing fantasy fiction. I could never wait to get home from school to read the latest story to my mum (who’s still my biggest fan) and we would have a real laugh acting out the characters.

This love of writing stayed with my throughout college and university where I had many of my works chosen over others to be performed by the drama students in annual productions.

Like everyone else though when I left University I went straight into full-time work as a translator/interpreter and because I was dealing with international clients from very early in the mornings to late in the evenings my favourite hobby of writing fantasy fiction was put on hold for several years.   

Then one day I visited a bookstore with my fourteen years old niece to choose a book and found that there was a lack of genres for her age group to read (strangely the same view the video maker I mention above shared). This happened about the same time I had changed jobs to one which was not so demanding, so all of a sudden I had spare time on my hands. It was then that I decided I would use this time to write a book for her age group that was completely different to anything else out there. The result is Unparallel Worlds.

Whilst writing London the city I live in also inspired me. I visited my favourite places in London to get inspiration. Top of my list were Hampstead Heath where I got most of the ideas about the forests I write about in my book, The Natural History Museum and it’s exhibits played a part when I needed ideas about either the colourful fantasy creatures or the odd and weird dark creatures that exist on the planet Adriana in my book. 

The Natural History Museum building was also a source of inspiration with all the carvings on its walls. This along with the beautiful monuments and mausoleums in Highgate Cemetery gave me inspiration to describe the two great palaces in my story. 

If anyone reading this has not been to any of the above places then please make sure you do if you visit London I highly recommend them.

I also got inspiration whilst writing the book from listening to different types of music when writing about characters. The main types of music though were classical and gothic. I would use the melodies of each to create images and characteristics in my head for the wonderful, weird and odd characters in the book.

NW: What is your favorite scene from your book and why?

AJ: My favourite scene in the book is when Aurelia the princess of Light, a main character in the book, makes her way to the deepest and darkest part of the vast palace library that has thousands of halls and rooms, a part not many visit. She goes there to read the most ancient books and also to find an ancient spider, a guardian of this part of the library that can give her the answers about an ancient prophecy, which forms the basis of my story.

NW: Which character from your books do you like most / are most like?

AJ: From all the colourful and weird characters in my book, my favourite is professor Norris Wolfidge, a bumbling but likeable and wise character (almost like Boris Johnson the mayor of London). If only Zalion the King of Darkness had listened to him, it would have prevented the mutation in his land on the Dark Side and saved a lot of lives. (but if he had listened to him then I would not have such an interesting book)

NW: If you walked through a portal to dimension without books, what three books do you want to take with you?

AJ: This is a difficult question because I have so many favourite books. But if the portal took me to Adriana then the books I would take are:

Mark Chadbourne ‘Age of Misrule’ (first three books in one volume)- Just because I love these books

Tad Williams ‘The War of Flowers’ – This because it’s about someone who becomes part of a fairy world in the end.

Martin Millar ‘Lonely Werewolf Girl'- This because it would always remind me of London I love with a bit of urban fantasy.

NW: Do you have a “day job”? And if you do, what do you do when you’re not writing?

AJ: In the day I do freelance translations for large multi-national corporations. This is not as demanding as my previous job so it gives me enough money to survive but also gives me the time to write - my favourite hobby.

NW: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

AJ: I love creating and developing new characters in my head and then trying to overcome the challenge of describing them exactly as I want on paper.

NW: What is your favorite movie – the one you can watch over and over again?

AJ: ‘Hell Boy 2’and ‘The Fifth Element’

NW: What is your favorite band or musical performer?

AJ: Umm, I love good music and it depends on my mood what I want to listen. I like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, ‘Muse’, ‘Cold Play’.

NW: What do you hope readers will take with them from your writing?

AJ: As I am aiming this book at young teens I hope they realize there is more genres that just the vampire and werewolf stories out there. I hope they read my book and really get lost in the fantasy fiction I have written. I hope that after reading my book their minds are expanded and I secretly hope my book inspires the next generation of fantasy fiction authors.

United States customers can buy Unparallel Worlds by clicking on this link:

UK customers can buy ‘Unparallel Worlds’ by clicking this link:

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