by Manuela Timofte
I wish I could fly like you, Sing a song or maybe two, Flutter softly my good-bye, And fly, birdie, fly! Birdie, Birdie
M.- Why do you write?
The idea of writing and being a writer has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I was greatly influenced by books, movies, and TV as a child. My father studied commercial art, and I used to watch him sit at his drawing board and draw. The whole process of creating something new out of my own imagination always intrigued me and became part of my own identity and lifestyle.
M.- Since when do you write? Was there a specific moment that prompted you to start writing?
I wrote my first poem in third grade when we were studying spiders. It wasn’t a very good poem, but I still remember it.
M.- In your workday, how much time do you spend writing? Do you have a ritual before facing the blank page?
What type of writing I do everyday – and how much time I spend on it – depends on the circumstances of the day. It could be a blog post, a research paper, a poem or short story to submit for publication, a novel in progress, or simply compiling research notes and story ideas. I must have my morning tea before doing anything else. My aunt, who was enormously proud of our English heritage, instilled this habit in me as a child. As a result, I’ve struggled with caffeine addiction my entire life. Once the addiction gets fed, I strive to create the right mood. I spend a lot of time thinking, creating, and writing in my head before actually sitting down and putting pen to paper. I create the vision in my head first and then try to re-create it on paper.
M.- Are you a compass or a map writer?
I hate to be constrained by rigid outlines and plots because that’s just plain boring. I can’t stand to be bored! On the other hand, just wandering around with no direction or foreseeable conclusion leads to confusion and a nonsensical story. I like to have a rough idea in my head of what I want to achieve and then let myself be surprised by what develops. But I let logic and cause-and-effect guide me.
M.- What would you like to review about your literary work?
Flexibility and adaptability have been my strategy in getting published. Writers forget that they are writing for an audience and not just themselves. When I worked with Underneath the Juniper Tree, it was a great opportunity to work with other writers and illustrators in creating a wonderful digital children’s literary horror magazine that also appealed to adults. I knew nothing about writing children’s horror, but I accepted the challenge. The experience stretched the bounds of my imagination and improved the quality of my writing immeasurably. I have tried to carry that experience over into my other projects.
M.- What do you think about new technologies as instruments for the writer. Do they help or hinder?
Electronic technology has been a great boon for writers. Although using a typewriter sounds romantic, computers are so much easier to use! Computer software, such as MS Word, makes it easy to format and edit creative projects. Email makes submitting projects quicker and easier. Plus, there are programs now which will even help you to write your novel.
M.- Publishing in digital, does it change your methods of inspiration or work?
Digital publishing has not changed my source of inspiration or method of working because that has no influence over what I write.
M.- Do you think that accessing the reader who reads on a tablet, computer or mobile phone, in different spaces, for example, train, bus, metro, can help you be more read?
Look at any commodity. The wider range of consumer exposure that exists, the better chance there is of selling the product. Writing is no different. Traditional publishing and self-publishing both have their place. Ebooks and other digital platforms expand access, exposure, and readership that otherwise would not be possible.
M.- Do you think that during The Pandemic, loneliness and isolation influenced your network of contacts? Did the number of your readers increase?
The pandemic didn’t affect me in the same way as some other people because I worked as a registered nurse throughout the lockdown. Since I worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit, I dealt with other people’s depression, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness and their abilities to cope. I saw an increase in romance scammers and troubled people reaching out on some well-known social media sites. I definitely picked up more readers and, especially, people looking for more personal interaction.
M.- Self-publishing or editorial? Do you think there are still misgivings in contemplating desktop publishing work?
When self-publishing first became a popular alternative, I decided to wait and see what happened in the marketplace. I’m glad I waited because the market became flooded with a lot of mediocre writing, and a lot of writers got burned by scam artists and small press publishers that went out of business. I would feel much more comfortable with self-publishing right now because the platforms have evolved, and the market seems more stable.
M.- Do you think Masticadores’s bet in the search for that digital reader is correct? What’s your opinion about it?
Masticadores is an international and multicultural digital platform that provides a variety of content by writers from around the world. It’s an excellent place to discover both new and established writers that appeal to a broad audience.
M.-Participation as a writer in Masticadores, is it positive? What has it given you?
Masticadores has been a positive experience for me because I have made friends with talented writers who are imaginative, creative, caring, supportive, funny, and deeply inspiring. Director and founder, J. Re Crivello, and all the individual Masticadores editors, are fine writers themselves and provide wonderful encouragement and support.
M.- What would you say is your hallmark as a writer?
I pride myself on being a versatile writer who can write in a variety of formats, from newspaper articles and research papers to poems, short stories, and novels.
M.-Tell us about your latest project. Are you working on a new one now?
While other writers complain of writer’s block, I always have too many projects and ideas in the works. I have to prioritize which project is most important in the moment. I have been concentrating on publishing poems and short stories while I work on my ultimate project – publishing a novel. I have several already in progress. I’m trying to decide right now which one to work on exclusively.