Her name is Anca Antoci, and she is from Romania. Her first writing job was for Blood Ties (a Canadian TV-show after the Blood Books by Tanya Huff). The TV-show got canceled in the second season and ended abruptly. The fans were disappointed and so was Anca, so she wrote a much more suitable ending to relieve the tension heaped up between characters. The second fanfiction she wrote was for another Canadian Tv-show called Lost Girl. The main character is a succubus, and it is a sexy story. The positive reinforcement she got was astounding. She had plenty of ideas, so she started working on her own story. This January, after 6 years of writing as a hobby, she finally published it. The reviews she got were amazing and unexpected. So many readers appreciated her stories!
So what’s your recipe for writing fiction?
I start from an idea, a scene that just pops into my mind. Then I try to figure out why it happened, what drives the characters and where can it lead.
Often she is inspired by others in her works:
For example, the idea from Forget Me Not came from an episode of Criminal Minds, where two brothers were kidnapping people and hunting them down in a forest. So I created a backstory for the main character to get lost in a forest and be hunted by monsters. And then I added an ancient race, a secret and a prophecy. Of course I added a romantic subplot to drive the action. And so I got myself a story!
Tell me about your favorite female character?
I don’t have a particular character in mind, but I do have a type. I like to see the evolution of the character. I want to see her weak and struggling to become strong. I think that’s what makes it a relatable character.
Do you base your characters on yourself?
No. If anything, I’m living vicariously through my characters. I live behind a computer screen dreaming of adventures and magic dangers, but without taking any of the risks.
Tell me, what do you wish to manifest in your life on the romantic plane?
Well, I’m happily married, so I’d love to travel more with my husband and go on many adventures together.
Tell me about your relationship – obviously happy relationship – what’s the recipe for family happiness?
To be honest, I’m quite happy from a romantic point of view. It’s the adventure I miss. I’ve been married for over 14 years. The recipe is to have good communication, but also when you fight (because it happens sometimes) remember that you’re on the same side, not enemies. Treat him like you want to be treated. A little kindness goes a long way!
That’s a great piece of advice. Well how does your professional life affect your personal life?
We work together. We have a small IT business, so we spend together 24/7 🙂 and we still love each other. I schedule my writing hours within office hours, and if I’m lucky, he won’t interrupt me then.
We usually make a great team.
What do you do when you have to write and have no inspiration for it?
The best advice I can offer is even if you have no inspiration, start writing. You don’t know what to write? Write the small talk between your characters, write about the weather, describe the setting. It doesn’t matter what you write. I sometimes write something that I know from the start I’ll cut during the editing phase, but it gets the story flowing and that’s what matters.
Tell me how do you write dialogue?
You’ll laugh, but I sometimes start the dialogue with small talk, the characters dance around the subject for a while before they actually get to the point. When I edit I cut out the lines that I feel are pointless. To be honest, I rarely strugle with dialogue. Write it as it comes, you can always polish them later.
Suzy Kassem once said that “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
So when you edit the book, what are your rules?
First, I go through the story looking for inconsistencies (I don’t correct grammar, spelling, or anything else). At this point, I share the file with my critique partner (my husband). He lets me know if there are any weak points, loose ends, things that don’t make sense (even though they make sense to me). Afterward, I make alterations and fix things. Then I run a check for overused words like that, just, and so on and cut whatever is not necessary. Then I run everything through Grammarly to check for misspelled words and other mistakes. Then I read it a couple more times to see if anything sounds weird. I do my best to polish it and then publish it.
What makes your literature great?
Oh, I don’t think it’s great! I only published one book so far and I’m working on the sequel. My fanfiction stories were even less great and still got outstanding reviews. I think that as long as your story is entertaining, readers will be quite understanding. Writing every day I am honing my craft. My first work isn’t perfect, but my second will be better. Storywise, I do my best to create relatable characters and even likable villains sometimes.
So you are writing a series…tell us about it?
It’s a fantasy trilogy called Chimer.
The first book is called Forget Me Not and I introduce the main character, Rae Davis, who gets lost into the rainforest and is hunted by humanoid monsters. The chimera is a creature with 2 DNAs ( I put a new spin on old mythology such as vampires, shapeshifters, witches). So she uncovers a secret that threatens her life. She is saved in the nick of time by another Chimera and there is a romantic subplot. When she finds out about an ancient prophecy she realizes she is destined to do more. She has some tough choices to make and a lot to give up. In the sequel, she gets ready to fulfill the prophecy…and that’s all I can say without giving any spoilers.
You have vivid imagination. What are your hobbies?
I love reading (obviously), hiking and cooking.
Any special diet?
Both my husband and I are gourmands and we love eating a variety of foods. We’ve travelled a lot through Europe and picked up some great recipes. Tonight I made pizza (I do that every Friday night), but I make a lot of international recipes. I see you’re from Bulgaria. I make kavarma sometimes and I love Bulgarian biscuit cake. I also make some chinese recipes that my daughter loves.
What was the last very good romantic book you read?
I don’t read a lot of romantic stories, but I recently read Postscript by Barbara Avon which is a bittersweet lovestory with an unexpected ending. I also love Laurann Dohner’s books, she writes paranormal romance.
Do you read more fiction or non-fiction?
I almost always read fiction, mostly fantasy because I also have a book blog where I review fantasy novels.
Tell me about it?
It’s called www.summonfantasy.com and I post sporadically because I struggle to find time for reading these days. You’re welcome to take a look. There’s not much romance there (except for Barbara Avon’s book).
What is the most precious thing in your life?
My family: my husband and my daughter.
What does your daughter dream of?
When she was little she dreamed of having her own zoo. Now that she’s older (13) she dreams of designing the perfect costume for Comic Con.
How do you feel when you get a new positive review for your work?
I suffer a lot from impostor syndrome. I constantly worry that my work is sub-par, especially since I chose to write in English despite not being a native speaker. So, every time I read a good review I feel enormous joy and a bit of relief that the reader wasn’t disappointed. Also, good reviews motivate me to keep writing. It’s such an incredible feeling!
*Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
Would you like to tell us more about how you fight your condition?
I keep writing. If I expect to write well from the start, I’ll be disappointing. So I do my best to keep writing, to let the story flow. The hardest part is not to stop to edit. Sometimes I know I’m using the wrong word, so instead of trying to get it right, I’ll leave myself a comment to fix it later and just go with the flow. No matter how many times I edit that first draft, I’ll always worry that it’s not good enough. But then I give it to beta readers. If they say it’s good enough, then it’s time to move on.
To keep it short, the more you write, the easier it gets.
Thanks to Anca, who let us understand how therapeutic writing can be.
Here is an independent review for her book Forget Me Not
Here is a LINK for who would like to read this tantalizing story.
Also, right now her book is on a blog tour. I still have some left. If someone wants a free copy, they can download it from HERE if they agree to leave a review: