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Princess Alethea, in Romanian

I do believe this is my first official translation ever: my interview is now live over at Lumea lu’ Ciaudatu’! Beware: the text has actually been translated INTO ROMANIAN. *glee*

Do please click on over to see what a beautiful job Ciudatu’ has done — but I will post the English translation of the interview here, for those of you folks who don’t happen to speak Romanian. Cu plăcere.

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1.Tell us in a few sentences about your book “Enchanted” and how is it special from other books?

This is a fairy tale book that does not make fun of the traditional stories — it honors them. It is about a girl with a very large family, and a prince who has no one. It is about love, and acceptance and loss. It is about magic in the world, and the magic we all have within ourselves.

2. If you could be a character in your book, who would you like to be? and why ?

I think I am most like two people in Enchanted: Sunday (the main character) and her fairy godmother, Joy. Sunday is me when I was young: a writer in a big family who did great things, always wondering if I was good enough to measure up. Fairy Godmother Joy is who I am now: the creator of these magic people in this magic world, bringing all the happiness I can to young people all over the planet.

3. The cover of your book is absolutely brilliant! You had this idea?

Thank you! I had no idea what the publisher was thinking about for the cover until I saw it, and I was shocked at how beautiful it was. The girl in the dress is the niece of the photographer–but she’s only one element of the artwork. The frog and the title artwork and the flowers — the very talented cover designer at Harcourt (Christine Kettner) put it all together.

4. Who’s your favorite author and why?

I have been influenced by so many authors in my life that it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite. I loved the fairy tales first, Grimm and Andersen, and poets like Odgen Nash and Gelette Burgess. After that it was Meredith Ann Pierce, Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Lloyd Alexander, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lewis Carroll. And so, so, so many since then.

5.When you were little you wanted to become a successful author, or it came by itself?

When I was little, I wanted to be two things: an author and an actress. I was an actress first, getting my first stage role when I was seven years old, and then landing a small TV miniseries when I was eight. Right about the same time, I started writing poetry. I told my parents that if my acting career didn’t succeed, I could always be a writer. This scared them to death far more than any other child who wanted to be a princess or an astronaut or a veterinarian. I was an old soul and they knew that once I’d made up my mind there would be no changing it. I understand why now — an artist’s life is a very emotionally and financially difficult life to have. But it is oh, so rewarding. I can’t imagine ever doing anything instead of writing.

6. If you could be a season. What would it be? And why?

I wish I could be Autumn, but I know I am more like Spring. Autumn is full of soft colors and cool air. It is restful and quiet after the heat of the summer. But Spring has the thunderstorms and the sunshine that brings rainbows and brilliant little flowers everywhere. It is the season of beginning things. That is me: crazy all the time, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and always happy.

7. Romania, our contry, is famous because of  “The vampire house”. If you were a vampire, what would you do ?

The first thing I would do is book a trip around the world, because I am going to LIVE FOREVER and I can see it all! The second thing I would do is figure out how to survive without killing innocent people. Maybe I would only feed on selfish men and women whose only desires are to do evil deeds. I have an ex-boyfriend in mind to start with.

8. Have you ever heard about Romanian’ authors and our books?

I don’t know many Romanian authors, and now I wish I did! I have heard that the Dracula Castle was based on Vlad Tepes’ Castle in the Carpathian Mountains, but I was a child of fairy tales, not of vampires. I also loved the stories my Greek family would tell around the dinner table. The oral tradition has always been my favorite. Perhaps I can visit and everyone could just tell me stories?

9. What you think about my blog ?

I think it’s lovely — such an inviting place for book lovers! It makes me wish I knew more Romanian than mulţumesc and Ce mai faceţi? or Vorbiţi englezeşte?

10. Send a message to all Romanians, not only readers!

Romania, I have admired you since I was a young gymnast and watched Nadia Comăneci score a perfect 10 at the Olympics. The Fall is one of my favorite movies of all time–it wouldn’t have been the same without Catinca Untaru. You are a beautiful country full of art and history and nature and stories. You know how to tell stories the old way–the right way!–by telling them out loud. But that hasn’t stopped you from reading–I just learned that the literacy rate in Romania is 98%! That’s amazing! Be proud, Romania. You are magic. Believe in yourself!

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