Wednesday 24 July 2013

Interview with Zrinka Jelic



Olivia Owen, a busy, single, high-functioning, corporate executive officer, is not afraid to die a spinster for the sake of her career. But in an alternate reality world, bridged by the angel of her Down’s syndrome sister, she meets Tom Medar, a dedicated, Croatian defense attorney who dreams of the right woman, but never has time to find her. Together they foil an adulterous murder plot while discovering there’s room for love and family in their busy lives—but not before they are separated again. When they awaken from their alternate world, will they be able to cross countries to find each other again?



Tell us about your story-

1. What was your inspiration for this story?
Many things, but mostly women I’ve encountered working in offices, those who stayed behind working away, long after everyone left for the day. In my snooping I discovered many of them devoted their lives to their careers and passed on the things such as love and families. Was this by choice or their lives just played out this way? I somehow don’t think any of them foresaw getting old and alone, looking after aging parent. I wanted to explore on the "what if" theory. If they were thrown into a different life, how would they fare?

2. Do you see a little bit of yourself in any of your characters?
I see a lot of myself in every of my characters, but they are not me. They are extensions of me. Or what I’d do if put into situations I put them in.

3. About how long did it take you to write the story?
From conception to the finished product, it takes about a year. I’m a member of critique loop and I upload my chapters for critique and while I’m waiting for others to work through my rough drafts, I either critique the work of others or work on the next chapter. Once the book is completed, I put together a synopsis and a query letter, then submit to various publishers. Sure, there are rejections, but there are also acceptances. So far, everything I wrote has been published.

4. Did you have any trouble writing it at all?
No, the story just poured out of my fingertips and took shape before my eyes.

Tell us a little bit about you as a writer-
5. Do you have any kind of writing schedule?
Working full time and taking care of my house and family and now promoting three books, leaves little time for writing. However, I try to squeeze at least an hour or two in the evening, after dinner has been taken care of. I don’t watch TV since there’s really nothing interesting on the program, so why not create stories?

6. What is your writing environment like?
As long as I can block away the outside noise, I can write anywhere. So a good pair of headphones and my music, laptop and imagination.

7. And what would your ideal writing environment be like?
A deserted island, a prison, a convent, someplace away from internet and all distractions.

8. If you’re ever stuck for an idea, how do you go about finding inspiration?
I usually read other books. Maybe watch a movie (on DVD), listen to music.

9. Did you always want to be a writer?
Not actually. I’ve liked making up stories since I was little, but never thought to write them down. It wasn’t until I read some book that was quite popular, that left me disappointed. So, I thought, I told better stories, why not try and resurrect them and come up with my own stuff. And little did I know, it just took off from there.

10. What’s the first thing you can remember writing? (it doesn’t have to be published)
Oh God, that was some sappy love story I wrote on a pages I tore out of my school work book. I wish I still have it to get a good laugh out of it.

11. Do you have any advice for new writers?
I’m sure by now they’ve heard it all. My advice is stick with it, learn the craft, it changes with times and what was acceptable (or not) years ago, it not today and vice versa.

Tell us a little bit about you as a person-
12. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
Work, housework and workout at the gym.

13. What’s the best way for you to unwind if you’ve had a hard day?
Just sit down with my work in progress and get lost in the story, live it with the characters.

14. What are you currently reading?
"The Wizard’s Heart" by S. R. Howen, it is a very intriguing story of betrayal and discovering the truth.

15. What was the last thing you watched?
My gym has treadmills with TVs in the consoles, so I flipped through the channels and landed on America’s Funniest Videos.

16. What, to you, would be a perfect day?
Spending a day in bed, making love, eating, reading books and sleeping.

17. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go, and why?
I’d travelled the globe. Each corner is unique and different with its wonders, people and their cultures.

18. And finally where can my readers find you?

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