Interview with Cătălina Ivan

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town and also Romania it's kind of a small country. I think what influenced my writing was my wish to live in another country and to be a city girl. Also, what influenced my writing were things I experienced or I my friends and family experienced. Sometimes, my best friend said that she sees me in my characters and I think I do this without intention because I want my characters to be different, not like me. For one, I want to be my characters because they don't have boring lives at all.
When did you first start writing?
I think I was 7 or 8 years old. I started writing "Naruto" fanfiction because I loved the anime with all my heart. I still do, it is a part of my childhood. I gave it to my friends to read it and they liked it. It was awful but we were kids, what did we know about writing, right? After that, I took a break and when I first saw "Camp Rock", I started writing a book based on it with a girl named Heather. It was such a CLICHE and it was awful too. I deleted it and never spoke of it again.

I took a break again from writing to focus on my drawing but I gave that up too 5 years ago. After the fiasco with that book, I started to write a horror one but it became a young adult one. My cousin loved to read it but eventually I ran out of ideas and I deleted it. When I started watching "The Vampire Diaries", I started to write a series named "Cursed Blood". It was about a girl with a special kind of blood that could made vampires really strong. I had the usual cliches: girl falls in love with the vampire that was meant to protect her, his brother was evil and wanted her blood, she had supernatural friends and she had no idea they were not humans, her vampire boyfriend/protector dies at the end trying to kill his brother. I had even a second book but with another plot and more enemies. I also wrote three more books of this series, but with other characters and plot. The next two books were with fallen angels and the last one was with werewolves. I gave up on the third one because the plot sucked and I didn't like where I went with the plot. I think I'll never start to write it again. It was never my kind of genre, anyway and it's hard to be original in this genre mostly because all of your ideas may already exist in other writers' books.

In the 9th grade I started writing my first serious novel, or so I thought. It was contemporary romance. Only that I added some action and FBI agents in it. I finished it in 2014 and now I want to rewrite it and publish it here, on Smashwords. I want to rewrite it because I like the plot and it deserves better writing because what I wrote in 2012 is cliche and the plot is really chaotic. I finished my last book in 2015 and also I want to edit it and post it here and it will have a spin-off too that I'm currently writing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my phone mostly. I read on my laptop too but not too often because other things distract me but on my phone it's easier.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a hard question. It's hard because I never can really answer this. My favorites change a lot because I find a lot of books that I love. Currently, my top five favorite books are "Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo, "The Raven King" by Nora Sakavic, "Damaged Like Us" by Krista & Becca Ritchie, "Always and Forever, Lara Jean" by Jenny Han and "The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Krista & Becca Ritchie, Morgan Matson, John Green, Veronica Roth, Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell, Gillian Flynn, James Dashner, Michelle Hodkin, Nora Sakavic, Maggie Stiefvater, Nina LaCour, Cristina Nemerovschi and the list goes on and on and on.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My passion for writing. At first I though I write only for myself, but when I started to write on Wattpad and I saw that a lot of people loved my books, I decided to not give up on this.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book is that I found a picture with the definition of the word "wanderlust" on it. After I read the definition, it was like the plot flashed before my eyes. I was obsessed with Kendall Jenner and Dylan O'Brien at that time (I still am, by the way) and I imagined them as my characters. I had the characters, I had the plot, but not too many ideas for their characters so I turned it into a two point of view book. I wanted the book to be about the power of money, about growing up and find your path and happiness and love. I think I did a pretty good job with it and it's my favorite book. I fell in love with my characters and I'm so sad that I'm going to finish writing the spin-off too and I'll say goodbye to them forever.
What are you working on next?
After I finish the spin-off of my latest book, I will try to write some LGBT+ books. I wanted to try this for a while now and since I'm a member of this community too (I'm bisexual), I think it will be fun. I also plan to write a Science Fiction trilogy and a New Adult book, I hope.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Watching TV shows or movies, losing time on tumblr., listening to music and just chill, working out or reading.
What is your writing process?
I just write the ideas that I have for the book at first and then I split them into chapters and I write them. Sometimes I delete some of the scenes or dialogue and I edit it or I come up with better ones. When I'm not satisfied with the ideas, I don't write them because I don't want to write something I don't like or it will be a disaster. I change ideas a lot because I'm not satisfied with the way it will turn out or I think about what my readers will think or if it's just cliche. I hate to be write cliches and I try so hard to avoid them and sometimes it's inevitable.
Published 2017-07-02.
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