We are pleased to have Alisa Jeruconoka here today. She will be sharing with us her book "Unparallel Worlds."
Where do you currently live?
I live in the best city in the world London! Samuel Johnson once said that ‘’When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…’ I completely agree, there is still so much to see and do here even though I have been here for the best part of my life. London is really cosmopolitan, my friends come from all over the world and we enjoy a different night out every time we meet over the years, from drinking in Cuban themed bars to eating great Ethiopian food and that’s on top of always finding great attractions and buildings to visit.
Tell us a little bit about your life.
I was born in Latvia but moved to London when I was young. I enjoyed school and eventually went to University to study medicine. However when I left University I did not stay in medicine but got a job as a professional interpreter/translator for a private multinational corporation, I did this job for 10 years. A couple of years ago I got married and decided to start a family, I also decided to work freelance during this time so that I could have more time to write.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was young. My mum got me into the habit of writing fantasy fiction as a way to enjoy homework from school. She always told me that if I enjoyed school I would enjoy learning and if I enjoyed learning I would always enjoy and do well in life. So as a small child I would write imaginary stories for her and as part of my schoolwork, and then at weekends I would read and act out my stories to my mum, we both enjoyed this immensely.
What was your very first story about?
Although I had written stories before this, my first proper story, or the one I am most proud of, came when I was 9. I had been to a funfair with my mum and on the way back in the evening we stopped at the roadside to admire the night sky. I remember it being full of twinkling stars and then for the first (and last time since) I saw what my mum explained was a shooting star. She told me that this meant that a special person had come to visit earth. Being so young I believed my mum and so when I got home I gathered all the best chocolate sweets for the visitor and while I waited over the next few days to meet him/her I decided to write a story about the visit, it was called -‘ My Special Guest’.
Have you written anything that you were too afraid to let anyone read?
Yes, I had written some poetry for a friend who wanted to present this in a valentines card to a girl he was (as all boys are at 18) deeply in love with. In the end I never gave it too him or let anyone read it since, for although I spent loads of time on it, the best way to describe the final outcome was that it was completely cheesy and if a boy gave that to me I would have run a mile away in minutes, I could not do that to my friend.
Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
As much as I would like to say yes, the truth is no, Unparallel Worlds is so rich as a fantasy fiction in all aspects that nothing in its pages could happen in real life.
However I will say that our world is as beautiful as any imaginary world and things such as diving in the red sea to witness the sea life around coral reefs is an experience as good as any in my book.
Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
This is a hard one as I love so many books and writers, but if I was stuck on a desert island and had a choice of three books then I would take Tad William’s ‘The War of the Flowers’, Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ and Kim Newman’s ‘Anno Dracula’. All three have the ability to not only take your mind into completely different worlds but also to get you thinking about the areas and parts of the books world that they have not written about.
What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
I have two degree qualifications, one in medicine and the other in international business, none of these have actually had an influence on my writing, but whilst at college I studied A level literature and A level Drama. Both these studies helped me a lot, Literature got me writing like a writer but Drama showed me new a way of writing, I started planning my stories out like a play so when you read ‘Unparallel Worlds’ you will see that it can be converted to a play very easily. I also think that using this style of writing helps build a stronger picture in someone’s head when they are reading my story.
How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
I spent almost 6 months researching opposite effects that occur in nature and cultural belief. This ranged from Ying and Yang in Chinese culture, to the effects on our planet of night and day and how this developed both human and animal psyche. In between I also studied a bit of chemistry to understand the universe within an atom and understand how the positive and negative charges in it help it to exist.
Who is your favorite literary character?
It has to be the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. She fascinated and scared me at the same time when I was a child and fascinated me even more when I read Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
I would say that it’s Zalion- The King of Darkness. Although the book starts by portraying him as hateful towards the light side and evil in everything he does, later you understand that it is the events that happen on the light side that have made him this way, especially him knowing that the weird mutations occurring on his side of the planet are a result of events on the light side.
If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
‘My Own Adventure’
Tell us about your featured book.
"For any reader who is hoping to be transported to a different world, this is the book of choice. The imagination oozing from the pages of this novel is transcending. Picturing completely new worlds that are either bright beautiful and happy, or dark dangerous and full of monsters is the easy part of reading this novel. Though fantasy and science fiction don’t typically overlap, the reference to mythological characters along with the incorporation of scientists (rather than someone magical, like a wizard) is what makes this book teeter in the sci-fi genre. ’Unparallel Worlds’ opens an original world of dual dimensions of Light and Darkness that hints to the making of a new series.’’
-Amelia Albanese EZRead eBook Specialist.
Why did you write that?
One day I visited a bookstore with my fourteen years old niece to choose a book. She’s read a lot of fantasy books and she did want to find something different where it’s not written only about mythological livings and superheroes. That’s when I decided I would use this time to write a book for her age group that was completely different to anything else out there.
Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
I mixed many genres in my book ‘Unparallel Worlds’- romance, magic, otherworldly fantasy and urban fantasy. Most importantly I would like to say that I wanted to create a book like no other out there and from the reviews I have received on Amazon I think I might have done it. What’s most important is that people enjoy it.
Where is the one place you’ve travelled where you’ve felt most like you fit in?
For me it has to be the Red Sea from Sharm el-Sheikh. It is paradise on Earth for scuba divers like me; the corals and sea life that you can see so close to the shore are amazing, I could stay there all year round.
What activity or hobby, besides writing, do you find most enjoyable?
I love swimming and travelling to new countries around the world.
If you lost the ability to see every colour but one, which one would it be?
It would have to be indigo! I love the deep rich feel it gives you.
How do you treat people you’re not fond of?
I try to be nice if they speak to me but otherwise I try to ignore them.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Live each day as if it’s your last.
If you had to explain the concept of “love” to someone who’s never heard of it before, how would you?
A dizzy dreamy feeling of joy and comfort every time you are with a special person.
What do you classify as an “adventure?”
Something new I have never experienced before whether I like it in the end or not.
If you could learn one new thing instantly, what would it be?
To be an astronaut, I would love to go to space.
Finish this sentence. “I sometimes find it hard to…"
Wait for exciting news!
Our thanks to Alisa for taking the time to be with us today. The cover below will whisk you away to her website. The included video is a one minute trailer for the book.