An Interview With Alina Popescu – Author of Craving Stains: Blog Tour and Giveaway
Welcome Alina, nice to finally be the one interviewing you. Tell everyone a bit about yourself.
Hi Andy, thanks for having me here! It’s a pleasure to chat with you under any circumstances.
Let’s see… I am Romanian, born and raised here. I am addicted to coffee and the Internet. I love to travel and I love dogs. I’ve been writing all my life, my first attempt at a novel happened when I was about ten. I am a bit of a geek… Okay, a lot of a geek, and I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. Always reading what the boys read, which I guess it’s why I’d got so into science fiction, adventures, mysteries, and fantasy.
Craving Stains is your newest release, talk about this for a bit.
Craving Stains has been quite a journey for me. Deciding to write it led to amazing things, but more importantly, amazing people. It started out as a short story for the Stranded anthology and then I worked on expanding it. It went from about 7,000 words to a little over 15,000 and that helped me explore Wynn’s world more, as well as his mother’s background.
Craving Stains is a story about being safe and protected, but having no freedom or control over your own life. Although Wynn’s case is extreme, all of us experience that sense of being stuck and having no say on what will happen next. I think that’s one of the reasons people find it easy to relate to Wynn’s emotional turmoil.
Can you tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb?
I can tell you that in the future, the mere mention of the IRS (in its new form) still terrifies everyone. They are incredibly powerful and they don’t joke around. Apparently, even if we get better at evading death, we have no such luck with taxes.
What part of the book was the most fun to write and why?
The meetings between Wynn and Doyle were the most fun to write. The black-white play, the fact that they are complete opposites, yet form a perfect unit, that made those encounters quite enjoyable for me. Neither of them has the slightest clue about what’s happening to them, yet they go along with it. The thought of challenging it, of stopping, never occurs to them.
What part made you struggle them most?
The final part. It wasn’t really a struggle (thank heavens for tight deadlines), but it was difficult for me to write. I have decided quite early on that I don’t know what happens with Wynn in the end. So I wrote it like that. I get very attached to my characters, so knowing both possibilities of my ending hurt and made me want to pull Wynn into my arms and snuggle him. The thing that helped me go through with it was the fact that, regardless of what each reader chooses as their ending, given Wynn’s circumstances, it still is a happy ending.
What else have you written?
I have released a few stories before Craving Stains. I started with two free fantasy short stories which were meant to get my name out there. One was MF, the other one was MM, both in the same Lost Angels series—Pure Love of the Fallen and Flawless Design. My debut novel was released in April 2014 and it was the first book in a vampire trilogy. The Edge of Hope has been my first real taste of publishing something and it’s been great. About six months later, the anthology version of Craving Stains was released and was soon followed by more gay romance / gay fiction works.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
I don’t really have a favorite part, but that moment when a story comes to life, triggered by a flicker of inspiration, I adore that.
What’s your least favorite?
Titles and blurbs. Titles more than blurbs as sometimes it takes me a really, really long time to come up with a good one. It’s either a quick process, or I struggle for years. Nope, I am not exaggerating here, The Edge of Hope took me almost three years to come up with.
Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?
Right now I am in the middle of edits for Strength to Leg Go, a werewolf gay romance that will launch the Tales of the Werewolf Tribes series. It will be published in early July, right on time for Euro Pride Con in Munich. I am also working on two other series, both gay romances, Famous on the Internet and Warriors of Vis, and a standalone dark science fiction novella called Angel’s Feather. With a bit of luck, you’ll see them all released in 2015.
What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?
I’ve mostly read books that I wanted to review, so as they currently are or have recently been on tour, they have been in the spotlight. I am currently reading two science fiction books, Appearances by TM Smith and The Luxorian Fugitive by Mann Ramblings. I think readers in general should get out of their comfort zones a bit more. We tend to stick to a small niche within a certain genre and miss out on a whole world of amazing stories. I try to push myself to read in all genres, and I think others should do that too.
If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s an easy question. Mihai Eminescu. He’s arguably the greatest poet in Romanian literature, although he’s written prose as well. To understand why, think of a manlier, darker, more brooding version of a genius such as Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. Only Eminescy was really good at getting women to fall at his feet. I think I would have been his biggest fangirl if I were born in the same period as him. It would have required me to invent fangirling, but I thing I could have pulled it off.
Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?
I love going to the movies and I love traveling. I am pretty outdoorsy, so a quick trip to the mountains is always a great idea. I used to have a lot more hobbies, but unfortunately, I rarely have time for more than the occasional outing with my friends and one or two road trips abroad every year. I usually tend to combine those with work anyway.
Last question is all yours – feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.
I think the one thing I feel I haven’t said enough is how grateful I am for every reader who’s picked up one of my stories. I feel particularly happy when they happen to enjoy what I’ve written, but I am still thankful for every reader who decides to invest time and money in my books.
Thanks for having me here today, Andrew. It’s been great fun answering your questions!
Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment. Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?
Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window. Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger. But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?
Title: Craving Stains
Author: Alina Popescu
Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
WYNN woke up with a start, splayed on his living room floor, gulping for air and feeling hot, sticky fluid all over his boxer briefs. “God damn it! If felt so real,” he yelled, a fresh wave of tears washing his face. He dragged himself to the bathroom and shed all his clothes.
Before throwing it into the laundry bin, he smelled his T-shirt. It held a trace of spicy cologne and male. Wynn’s hand flew to his mouth, covering the gasp. No, it was impossible, his brain was just making up scents that weren’t there. He threw it away with a huff, removed his now very sticky boxers, and went into the shower room, turning on the water and all the cleansing agents his mother insisted were added to the mix.
He massaged his body carefully, relaxing his muscles, tight and a little sore from sleeping on the floor. Every touch seemed to bring his body to life, more than ever before. Within minutes, he was panting, hard as a rock, and clear fluid dripped from the tip of his cock. He closed his fingers around the base of his shaft and started stroking lightly, tip to bottom and back again, just how he liked it.
“Doctor Miller is here for an unscheduled medical visit,” the central computerized system announced, the metallic voice making Wynn jump. He groaned, pushing down his frustration and turning the water to ice cold. He rushed through the rest of his shower and dried off quickly, walking into his bedroom to put on a pair of white sweats and a loose hoodie of the same color.
“What are you doing here, Doctor?” he asked in a sharp tone, not bothering with any niceties. “You shouldn’t be here for a few more days.”
The good doctor gave him an understanding smile and a nod, getting right on Wynn’s nerves. “Your mother ordered an emergency checkup. I hear you were not feeling well yesterday,” he explained in a honeyed voice, smiling as he took out scanners and other gadgets from his bag.
“I was angry she broke her promise again. I am perfectly healthy, and you should just pack your bag and get out,” Wynn said in an even voice, plopping down on a chair and eyeing the doctor with murderous intent.
“Your mother decides these things, not I.” The doctor shrugged and continued to arrange everything. Wynn stood as non-threateningly as he could, walked to the coffee table now filled with medical instruments, picked up a scanner, and threw it. He laughed as he watched it break into dozens of pieces against the thick glass of his window wall. The light buzzing of the maid bot hover propulsion was the only sound in the suddenly quiet room. Maud cleaned everything quickly and retreated to the kitchen.
“Doctor, unless you want me to break your stuff, all of it, and then punch you in the face, I suggest you pack up your bag and get out of my house.” Wynn turned swiftly and walked back into his room, giving the door a strong push to make sure it was loud when it closed behind him. He leaned against it, sticking his ear to the wood, listening for the sounds in the living room. Without a word, the doctor did as instructed.
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About the author
Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.
Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com