Please welcome Patricia Furstenberg to When Angels Fly.
Hello Mary, it is so exciting to be here, thank you. I follow your blog and your writing so ‘When Angels Fly” is a fabulous place for an author and a reader such as myself.
Patricia Furstenberg is a writer of many genres of literature as well as a poet and she brought along her latest book release, Dreamland: Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Transylvania, 100-WORD STORIES, Folklore and History
Patricia Furstenberg’s most recent books are “Dreamland” (2022) and “Transylvania’s History A to Z” (2021). She is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose including “Joyful Trouble” (African Historical Fiction Amazon Bestseller) and ”Silent Heroes” (chosen One in Five Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime – Manisbookcorner). The recurrent motives in her writing are unconditional love and war, while Patricia’s keen interest for history and dogs brought her writing, through a perfect loop, to her native Romania, Patricia being the creator of #Im4Ro hashtag, sharing positive stories from Romania – the country where she was born and where received her medical degree. Her writing appeared in various online magazines and anthologies.
Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Thank you for inviting me here, Mary. I am a mother and a writer, a reader, a dreamer, and a traveler – even if mostly on paper. I was born in Bucharest, Romania, and grew up listening to the legends and folktales of Romania’s past that gave me a love for words and an interest in history, but mostly in the people, and the animals, the dogs, who took part in it.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
I was always drawn to writing, to weaving words into stories, describing, or analyzing life on paper. I wrote throughout school, took a break during my university study, but after my children were born writing returned to me, or my life’s path brought me back to it. And we’ve never parted again.
Writing my first book was part of a challenge, a writing competition. Then I never stopped. I couldn’t stop. The flood gate was open.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
The difficult part about writing my first book was finding the time and the discipline to work on it every day. I discovered that waking up in the very early hours of the morning, before our neighbors’ rooster even sings its morning call, works for me. The house is quiet. The world is quiet, and no one needs me, but my story.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
I don’t like giving up on a task. I usually plod along until it is done. If a story or a passage doesn’t work, then I set it aside for a while and turn my attention to another writing project. Besides, what example would I set for my children if I gave up on something I love?
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My husband always showed constant support and enthusiasm towards my writing passion, and especially towards the time I must steal, now and then, from our family time.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
There are stories everywhere, hiding in the shadows or bursting out in laughter, waiting to be discovered, written, and read. If I look at my writing path, I can see how one book led to another. After my contemporary fiction “Silent Heroes” came out, I used blogging as one of my promotional tools. From here to sharing memories of our travels throughout Romania, its customs and folklore was just a step while the historical tidbits seeped through. For it is history that adds colour and flavor to a place, isn’t it? This is how “Transylvania’s History A to Z and “Dreamland” came to be.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
I like to read what other authors share about their writing paths. But it is the words of Nelson Mandela that I think of now, “to get up when you are down, to fight more intensely when you are struggling, to put in the extra effort when you are in sheer pain, to come back when nobody expects you to, and to stand tall when everyone is pulling you down are what makes a champion.” As any other writer would know, this is a pretty solitary lifestyle, siting at your desk hour after hour, and inventing another world out of words.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
As my writing covers a few genres, from children’s stories to contemporary and historical fiction, I try to channel my style to fit each category. If it is length, chapter structure, style, vocabulary, I make it work.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I love to design my own covers, I use a few computer programs and online tools and covers usually come at the end, when I have a good idea of what the book is all about.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
My current work in progress is outlined as a historical fiction trilogy focused on the lives of medieval women of Romania’s past, and it opens like this:
“If I listen, without straining my ears, I can hear the snow falling off the branch and the bucks calling. If I look through the window, the image is hazy, the stretched pig bladder allowing no detail to penetrate my new world. When I open my door the sun smiles through silver blades dangling from eaves. The sunlight turns to bright gold among the evergreen trees, as bright as the gilded thread of the rich brocades I once wore, and it beckons me outside, to dance in the dead silence of a frozen ballroom, just like I once did …”
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Like a river flows free, like the bird knows no boundaries, and like clouds spread over the entire horizon, so is history, and the tales of Romania’s past as you can enjoy them in Dreamland. This isn’t a history book, or a storybook, but rather a collection of fleeting impressions, lived truths, reflections, descriptive essays, and snapshots of a life lived in fabulous ways. Savor it.
Thank you, Mary
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