Tuesday, April 9, 2013


10 Questions for author Irina Shapiro.


Hi, Irina! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author? What kinds of books do you write? 

I’ve been making up stories since I was a kid, but I never actually wrote anything until I was well into my thirties.  Once I actually started writing, I wrote my first novel within a few weeks.  I write historical romance with a hint of supernatural and a dash of mystery.

What got you into writing? 

I quit my job as an Import Manager to stay at home with my autistic son.  Writing became a form of therapy. 

Can you tell us about your books? 

I love books that surprise me, so I try to implement that in my own writing.  There’s nothing more boring than a predictable plot, so I make sure to throw in a few twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very last page.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

I find inspiration everywhere: the books I’ve read, the movies I’ve seen, the stories I heard as a child.  The challenge is to create an original plot out of all those bits and pieces and present it in a unique way.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her? 

I don’t have a favorite character because I love them all.  After all, they are all a little part of me, so it’s hard to choose just one.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue? 

I would have to say that my favorite part is to come up with an idea and then see where it takes me.  I never really know how the story will end when I start writing it.  It takes on a life of its own.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it? 

It takes me a few weeks to write a first draft, then I start to develop it and flesh it out.  All in all, I can have a book completed in about two months.  I don’t have any particular process other than to tune everything out and transport myself into the world of my characters.

What makes your books different from others in their genres? 

They are different because they are mine.  No one can tell the same story.  Every author’s voice is unique.

In your opinion, how has the Internet age affected the book world? 

The internet has presented us with amazing opportunities that weren’t there before, but it also cluttered the market, making it more difficult to get noticed.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you? 

I’ve read everything from trashy romances to classics, but I have to say that Diana Gabaldon and Arthur Conan Doyle left a great impression on me.  Diana Gabaldon because hers was the first time-travel series I’d ever read and I was blown away by the breadth of her imagination, and Conan Doyle because I thought Sherlock Holmes was one of the most complex, interesting, and unpredictable characters in history.  I never knew how the story would end, and to me, that’s priceless.


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