The secrets of their origin and their very existence are far more important than her life to some of her new acquaintances. They are ancient, they are powerful, they have unlimited resources, and they are keen on controlling what the world knows of their kind. As Alexa discovers their complicated, blood feud bound world, she tries to better understand herself, heal old wounds and give love chance after chance. Will she survive the journey?
Polite and stiff, no facial expression, no smile, no unnecessary movement, only her dark brown eyes showed some life, some slow fire that kept her going.
“Hello, I am Louis and this is Alexa. We will be your hosts during your stay on earth.” Louis smiled and extended his hand, which she shook after a few awkward moments.
“I look forward to it. May I be shown to my room now?” she said with no inflexion in her tone.
It took me a second to react as I was analyzing her outfit…jeans and a plain t-shirt, sport shoes and denim jacket. It seemed completely wrong for her attitude and behavior.
“Sure, I’ll take you to your room,” I eventually said. “It’s right next to mine.”
She did not sound like she meant it. She sounded more like cyborgs from a sci-fi movie. She wasn’t as captivating as Anukh or Louis, or even Anthony. She was just formal and…uptight. Oh, brother, I said to myself. This will definitely be tons of fun.
When she entered the room, I finally noticed her backpack. She took some more clothes out of it, all plain and simple. She asked where she could put them and I pointed to the closet.
“What is it?” she asked. “Why are you frowning like that?”
I hadn’t realized I was. I had been warned before that my face and eyes give away what I was struggling to keep from saying but, apparently, I never learned.
“Umm, dunno, you are just not what I expected,” I confessed.
“And what did you expect?” She cocked her head and waited.
“I guess someone similar to Anukh, but more impressive and graceful?”
“Are you asking me?”
“No, just turning it into a question till I figure out how offensive my statement is.” I shrugged.
“You are very blunt, aren’t you?”
It did not sound like a compliment.
“Yeah, maybe. Anyway, I can atone for that by kindly inviting you to use any of my makeup and raid my closet whenever you feel like wearing something less…”
“Less what?” she demanded, raising an eyebrow.
“I am on a mission and I have comfortable clothes for it,” she answered, quickly. She was just staring at me and I thought I should put an end to kicking the hornet’s nest.
“I should go now. Catch you later.”
I finally allowed myself to enjoy a refreshing sigh the moment I got on the other side of the door. I also added yet another note to self. Whenever I find myself talking to a deadly creature who can kill me in under five seconds, maybe, just maybe, watching my tongue would be smart.
Getting immersed in my stories and seeing how they play out. There’s nothing like creating new characters and having them tell their stories. The other thing I like just as much is seeing someone genuinely like what I write.
Out of all the great books out there, which one do you wish you had written?
Tough question. Maybe the Dune series? Although… I don’t really wish I’d written any of the books I loved. I don’t think I could have ever written anything better than my own stories.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Shutting up my inner critic and going ahead with publishing it. I wanted to push back the release more or forget the whole thing, but those were just manifestations of a bit of fear. Releasing a debut novel is scary as hell at times.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I have things I need, like a working laptop, my music, my coffee, but that’s about it. I don’t have a particular time of day or place to write. My process however is a bit different. I need to visualize the story. Not every detail, but the main story and character interactions, those play in my head until I have a clear picture and that’s when I start to write.
Any hidden talents or crazy facts about you?
Let’s see… I knit sometimes. I play airsoft. I love action movies and the one to get me hooked on them was a great actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee. You know, that guy who beat Chuck Norris.
Do you prefer eBooks or printed books?
I only read eBooks. My eyes get tired easily and most print books have very small fonts. I am a lot more comfortable reading on my kindle or tablet. But I still love printed books and I buy the printed copy for some of the books I read. The fact that I get an eBook in two seconds while I’d have to wait for weeks to get the paperback also plays a huge part in this.
What is the most important character trait the hero and the heroine should possess?
Hard to say, it depends a lot on the story being told. I think heroes should be relatable, even in paranormal, science fiction, or fantasy. They should give you the impression they could be real people at some point.
Do you have any advice for other authors or aspiring writers?
My only advice would be to never give up on telling stories. It’s a tough road, not one of the easiest, especially in the indie world, but I think it’s worth it. Every time someone will tell you the magic words “I loved your book,” you’ll forget about all the effort.
Write three sentences using each of these words: ignorance, emotions, love.
Ignorance is blissful only because you can’t realize how harmful it really is. Emotions are the wild cards of every human interaction. Love happens, it never waits for you to be happy or in a good place, or for the right circumstances.
What are you currently working on?
I have a few stories that I am working on. The first one is book three of the Bad Blood Trilogy. I’m half way through it. Then there’s a bunch of other WIPs, a sci-fi story, a werewolf novel, and a few romances.
About the Author
Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
A lot of people have asked about the inspiration for the Bad Blood series and for Alexa and I tried to give as many details as I could. I have been pretty open about how similar some of her experiences are to my own and how close to how I am and how I react she sometimes is. Putting her through the events and heartbreak I experienced at one point or another was my way to deal with my demons (sneaky bastards) and to point out that we survive a lot more than we think we can, and that sometimes it takes a lot of failed relationships before you find the one.
The similarities, however, go beyond a few character traits and experiences. In "The Edge of Hope", Alexa starts where I was when I started writing this book. The betrayal and heartbreak were very real, although they are toned down in Alexa’s case. We both took a long trip to mend and lick our wounds. She went to Malta, I drove around Europe for a month, seeing cool places and visiting friends. I did however research Malta quite a bit before and after starting to write the book because I wanted to move there for a few years. Just as Alexa, I didn’t take the trip immediately after the breakup, but a while later.
While things go in very different directions after that, Alexa is the character that’s molded after me. She’s not the first I’ve created, certainly not the last, but she is the one that’s closest to me. It’s in how she reacts and in how she speaks at times. In some ways she’s stronger, in others she’s toned down. Maybe she’s how I would be if I had her experiences.
Writers put pieces of themselves into their characters, their stories, their settings. They do write a lot of what they know. But writing a character that’s basically you comes with a few caveats. The biggest is that if you do and admit to it, parts of your life will be exposed. Having been dumped is hardly breaking news, so I’m pretty much safe, but it is something to consider. The other big thing is that if you start writing at a point in your life and then everything changed tremendously, you might not want to keep writing the story. This is actually what happened to the first Alexa story, which was quite different from the one I wrote. The other thing to consider that I believe is very important is that people will make assumptions about you based on your character. In my case, no biggie, most of them will be true. In Alexa’s, well, it got her into trouble, but it made people underestimate her and it ended up helping.
If you want to write and use it as a way to deal with aspects of your life, by all means, do so. Every caveat can easily be handled. That’s what pen names or the choice not to disclose certain details are there for! So pick up your notebook or your computer and… Happy writing and reading!