I am so excited to welcome ALINA MĂCIUCĂ to my blog. Technically we are in an Horror Writers Association mentee/mentor relationship but she is such a natural writer she doesn’t need any help with her craft (more then we all constantly need to hone our craft). I love her dark prose, rich atmosphere building and realistic characters. If anything, she can just use a hand getting her name out there.

To that end, I’m happy to introduce her here in a five minute interview. Alina also has a story coming up in issue #140 of Space and Time (March 2020) and, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can read her work right now in the current Flash Battle. Go here to read all the submissions and vote for your favorite.

Alina, welcome and thank you for taking a few minutes to chat with me. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read by you and am excited to include your story in the next magazine. It’s always exciting to find a fresh talent. Tell me a little about yourself and why you write.

Hi Angela! Well, in a nutshell, I want to bring all these worlds and characters that I spawn in my head into our own world, imbue them with life, somehow. It’s an impulse, nothing too complicated. When I see something that intrigues me in a certain manner, I grab it and twist it and find a place for it in a universe I’m going to write down someday. Maybe it’s a rundown house that still has curtains in its windows, or a china puppy, or someone’s hair or whatever. But I suppose that’s how most of us do it. I’m a city girl and there’s lots of things you can imagine when you walk the city by night.

Hahahaha! Spoken like a true writer. One thing is true of all good writers is that they are always good readers. What are some of the books that have inspired you?

There’s so much stuff that I love to read and it’s all so different. I don’t even know where to begin. I set this rule for myself as to what concerns my reading habits, I should only be reading two books at a time, one fiction, one non-fiction but it doesn’t always work like that. For example, now I’m “officially” reading Gene Wolfe’s “An Evil Guest” and a book on sexuality and Romanian customs and taboos, but I’ve also skimmed some chapters from Alai’s ‘The Song of King Gesar’ or China Mieville’s ‘Iron Council’, which I should have read years ago, anyhow, because I’ll need to refresh my memory about the Bas-Lag stuff, as it’s been years since I’ve read the previous two.

A lot of authors that have inspired me are not actually SFF. When I say this, I think of Georges Bataille, for example, or of Herman Hesse. ‘Demian’ will stay with me ‘till the day I die Anyhow, my tastes are quite eclectic and really depend on my mood. I find beauty in both Byron and Bukowski. I also try to stay up to date with SFF and Horror and love reading genre magazines and anthologies.

I think reading a variety of material and genre goes far to helping us write creative stories. Something else I think is important is seizing every chance to polish are craft, which is how we met through the HWA mentorship program. I’ve been a mentee twice and can attest it really helps. How did you become involved with the HWA and their mentorship program?

I don’t remember precisely how I found the HWA, basically it was a long time ago. I guess I was Googling an author I was reading, and they were a member of the HWA or a Bram Stoker nominee or winner. I thought it was awesome that there’s such a thing as a Horror Writers Association and just lived with this thought in the back of my head for the following years, until 2020 when I started seriously reconsidering writing again.

Fair enough. So glad you joined up so I could run into you. I love the story you have coming up in Space and Time. What inspired this story? Does anything stand out in your mind as particularly easy or difficult when writing it?

Yes, and that’s amazing! When I was a kid, I loved to imagine that, at night, all the ghastly denizens of the city came out and played. I like to think of this story as a scene from one of those unseen worlds unfolding on the city streets.

To be honest, shaping the voice of the narrator protagonist was something I found frustrating, at times. I never thought it would be so challenging to write from the perspective of someone who’s completely hammered when you’re sober and sipping tea, and have twenty more minutes left until you need go to sleep, because, hey, work tomorrow. But overall, I really enjoyed the experience.

I think that’s what charmed me so much. You effectively caught the experience of being intoxicated. I think most of us have some experience to draw from there. What do you have planned for the future? How can new fans find and follow you?

I’d love to keep the short stories coming, and maybe I’ll want to live through the novel experience. Everyone that would like to say hi or just check what I’m up to, could follow me on Instagram or Facebook, but you’ll just have to request it first, as I keep my profiles private. Find ALINA on Instagram here and/or Facebook here.

I would love to read a novel by you and hope we will stay in touch. Consider me a fan.

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About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and an award-winning poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), a two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020, she offers free classes for writers on her website.

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