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Monday, 24 January 2011

Young novelist, Mihai Cristian reveals his debut book:

La Tiers du Cylindre

"In a city as big as this one, nothing is tragic anymore. Everything becomes information. Deaths, births, diseases, fires, accidents, all become news, only meaningless data that must be sorted and stored in our mind for a while, than erased. No wonder history repeats itself."



When a New York socialite falls in love with a singer, his life is changed forever. But there's something strange about the woman he loves. Something tragic in nature, something deep inside her eyes. We never get to really know anyone. Not even ourselves.

How much of our lives do we actually control? How much of it is actually chaos? How much of ourselves do we really know? What about the others around us? Mihai Cristian's debut novel is trying to figure out exactly that. Every good story begins with a couple of questions.






Author, Mihai Cristian is a young Romanian writer who currently resides in the city of Constanta. In 2006 he was awarded first prize in the Nicolae Labis National Literary Contest, in 2010 he was awarded first prize at the Tinere Condeie Literary Contest and was a winner of the Nanowrimo Contest. La Tiers du Cylindre is his debut novel.
Click below for the interview:


What age group is your book geared towards?
It is really a book oriented toward all ages.

Into which genre would you say your book falls?
Literary Fiction. Maybe Romance, even though I don’t really like that definition of my novel.

Tell us a little about La tiers du cylindre?
Well everything started when I decided to take part in Nanowrimo. I figured it was exactly what I needed, especially since I was having some problems with writing (the famous writer’s block). After the contest was over I ended up with this draft that I wasn't sure what to do with.

But you did do something with it! Your finished "draft" is published. Where can I get a copy? Are there e-books and hard copies available, too?
I am a self-published author with Createspace. Yes, there is a kindle edition available on Amazon.com, where my paperback edtition is available. Being self-published wasn’t really a choice for me because I’m from Romania. It would have been very difficult for me to find an agent and I decided to try it on my own with my first novel. I don’t know if I would self-publish my next novel as well.

What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
My favourite scene is the one when the two main characters are having lunch at this restaurant and they hear this old song:

“In the restaurant there was this old jazz song playing. It strucked me as being a very passionate song. Refined. Have you ever heard about the Stendhal sydrome? It causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting and even hallucinations when someone who suffers from it is exposed to art, especially a piece of art that person considers to be overwhealmingly beautiful. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the Stendhal syndrome, but as I listened to that song, I knew it was the closest I would ever be to having an authentic Stendhalian reaction to a piece of art.
“It’s a beautiful song isn’t it? I asked Alice.

“Quite so. It brings to mind all the glamour of the roaring twenties.

“Or at least, the way we perceive those times to have been.

We both listened to the song without even touching the food on our table. The song really was amazing.

“It’s sad that this song is going to end.

“All songs end. But that’s no reason not to enjoy the music.

I like to think that was the most we could ever expect from a moment. A subtle perception of something being so close to perfect. The feeling that we were part of something great. But such a moment was not meant to last.”

Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family or by real-life experiences?
What writer isn’t? I was inspired by my own experiences, my own failures and the people around me as they influence my life and my personality. Every story has a little bit of the author in it. Sometimes you just have to look really close to find that piece. Every day life is inspiring. I guess that’s what inspiration is actually. The world around you as you see it. The world being transformed in your mind into something else.

Can you sum La tiers du cylindre up in one sentence?
A lonesome individual trying to find a place in the world.

Who is your favourite character and why?
It has to be Alice, a singer that has to carry around her own mistakes and misfortunes. I guess I feel this way about this character because it is based on an actual friend of mine and that makes the character feel alive.

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
In most of my stories, nothing seems to happen. I tend to emphasize characters and their emotions and thoughts more than plot development.

What marketing have you been doing to help sales?
I have been submiting my novel up for reviews on various site, I have been advertising on Facebook and other online alternatives. That’s everything I can do actually, since I am some thousand miles away from where all the fun stuff happens.

This is the beauty of the Internet! No matter where you live, you can meet people at the touch of a button. So, what is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I write mostly at night.

Ah, a night owl! And do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
Sometimes I write fragments of stories on paper, but usually I write on my computer.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I usually write for as long as I have something to write. I don’t write because I want to but because I have to. When I feel I have a great idea, or image in my mind, something I can’t get rid off, I write for as long as it takes for that idea to appear on my computer screen.

What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve always loved reading. And being read is the greatest acomplishment a writer could have. I don’t think about succes as a writer in terms of financial benefits.

What is your writing process like?
When I began writing I thought that it was supposed to be fun, but most of the times is not. You get confused and angry when, after five or six hours of writing, you end up with something you consider to be nothing but a waste of time. That’s why I usually write only when I feel like it. There is no reason why you should force yourself to write.

Do you belong to a critique group?
Yes. In Romania. It is called Aterlierkult.

How did you get into writing?
It’s a funny story actually. I remember that I was fourteen years old and it was a dark winter night. It was snowing and I had this strange feeling. I wouldn’t call it a vision or something like that, but I had this idea about a novel. And that’s when I started to write.

Most of my novels have their origins back in my childhood, when I was making up all kinds of stories. I was a bit of a loner as a small kid and I used to stay inside a lot. That gave me a lot of time to imagine all sorts of stories for my toys.

Are you working on another book?
Yes, I am working on a novel called “The next 24 hours”. It is about a bunch of people and the following 24 hours after their biggest desires come true. I’m still working on the plot and the characters so I don’t have that much to say about it.

What mistakes do you see new writers make?
They see writing as some kind of job or business. They should remember that writing should be the one thing that makes them happy and the one thing they really enjoy doing.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
That it’s not about what they write or how they write it, it’s about the person they are when they are writing.

What is your website and/or blog where readers can learn more? Can they friend you on Facebook or Twitter?
I have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mihai-Cristian/182878531737456?v=wall and a blog: http://latiersducylindre.blogspot.com/











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