Weronika Janczuk

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weronika is a seventeen-year-old aspiring author who lives in Minnesota in the US. She's had short stories, poetry, and essays published in Teen Ink, Alive, multiple Creative Communications anthologies, and numerous e-zines. She's working on a novel at the moment (the latest of many) and she says a bit about that in the interview.

One thing which I really love about blogging about books for teenagers - apart from being able to support great authors and their books - is getting to know teenagers across the world, who are smart and motivated. So, yes, when you see Weronica's name on the spine of a bestselling book, you can say, "Hey, Steph Bowe's awesome. She had that girl on her blog." And I'll say, "Yes, I know, I'm fabulous. Bask in my awesome glow."

Weronica writes a really interesting, intelligent blog about books and writing - both YA and adult - that I recommend you check out here. Smart people will like it.

1. What inspired you to start your blog? Tell us about your blog.
I love all things technological, so a few years back, when blogging began to hit the world with force, I decided that I should experiment and for a while I kept a personal diary/journal of sorts online. Soon after, I got bored and took a break. Only a few months ago did I stumble upon some interesting and informative blogs maintained by editors and literary agents in the publishing community and my posts began to skew towards all things literary. The pattern also coincided with my desire to write another novel. Now, my blog serves a few purposes--to inform and entertain readers (most often with literary undertones) and to act as a medium for my thoughts, goals, and inspirations on both a "professional" and personal level. You'll find a bit of everything, not to mention that I'm always looking for new things to try and add on.

2. Who are your favourite authors?
I have many--Audrey Niffenegger, Jodi Picoult, Joyce Carol Oates, Sara Dessen, Steven King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, J.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Edith Pattou, Nora Roberts, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and others. I could add to this list hundreds of books that I've absolutely loved, though for whatever reason I haven't necessarily chosen to follow their authors' careers (there are just too many things to read!).

3. You can choose five books to take with you to a desert island, which also conveniently has unlimited food and water. Which books do you take with you?
EAST - Edith Pattou
THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE - Audrey Niffenegger

This list would probably change depending on my mood.

4. What is it you love most about writing, and when did you discover a passion for it?
I'll start with the latter question first--it's easier. Sixth grade (I'm a rising senior--seventeen and a half years old--for those who need context). My class did a "free write"--I think (for the first time that year) it was to write something fictional, and I did. The story bloomed into a novel and I've become rather obsessive about writing. Why is that? Sometimes I'm not so sure, but I think that it's why I love reading so much: You can recreate your vision of humans and their humanity--you define interactions, relationships, places, motivations, goals, and inspirations. You give birth to breathing souls and you contextualize their experiences. It's a process that always calms and refreshes me and will forever remain the greatest source of my daily adrenaline and spark. I live for my writing.

5. If you were in a novel (any one you’ve read), who would you be?
I hate to be repetitive, but EAST serves as one of my most favorite novels of all time, and the main character, Rose, always strikes a chord in me. It would be an honor to live her life.

6. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? (Or today? Don’t worry; we won’t call the men in white coats on you.)
I did not and do not have an imaginary friend of the stereotypical kind--the best friend that sits across from you and tells you how to avoid getting into trouble while you have a little bit of fun (unfortunately). My "imaginary friends" are many--They are the characters that live in my mind and around me, the characters I dream about and the characters that can invade my thoughts and both live and relive stories until I write them down. They talk to me and sometimes--rarely, of course--you might catch me talking back.

7. Who is your favourite fictional character?
I've always loved Hermonie from the HARRY POTTER series, probably more than I should. There has always been something about her that makes me laugh and wish, more than anything else, that I could be next to her at Hogwarts mixing potions.

8. Tell me about your work-in-progress novel. (Imagine I'm a literary agent.)
The thought of a literary agent scares me. I'm not there yet! My exact storyline hasn't been refined yet and it's so complex I can't imagine how I will ever write a one-sentence hook for my query letters. Here is what I will say: WHERE THE DOVES FLY is a literary/mainstream novel that tells, in a dual point of view, the stories of two women as they seek to define themselves artistically in radically different worlds.

Anna has grown up in Communist-dominated Poland and, in order to achieve her full artistic potential, she chooses to leave Poland for a summer art program in England; she leaves behind her abused mother, young and uncared for brother, and lover. At Oxford, circumstances beyond her control force her into a marriage she doesn't want, a marriage that affects the lives she left behind in unimaginable ways. Then, in modern day Minneapolis, Fatemah is dealing with the nearing deportation of her Iranian father, but the day his flight is to depart she discovers a set of letters and paintings from the mother she has never known. Supposedly dead in a car crash weeks after her birth, the mother carries dark secrets that will twist everything Fatemah knows about her parents, her life, her heritage, and her own artistic desires.

9. Tell me about your writing habits: where you write, when you write, how much you write, etc.
Most often I write secluded in my bedroom at my corner desk and on my laptop. (I know for sure that I can't write longhand, and that I sometimes write well with a movie or music blaring at full volume in the same room that I am in.) I had a very tight writing schedule at the beginning of the summer, but things got flipped around and now I'm trying to get out 1000 words a day, but I don't force anything onto myself. I know where this story is going well enough to take it slowly and to cherish the flowing of words from my fingers.

10. Complete this sentence: When I’m not reading or writing I’m…
probably in school, doing homework, walking the dog, or sleeping. That is very true.

Otherwise, I do find time sometimes to watch good movies--I love international films, to work with HTML and other computer languages, to design graphically, to play a game of flag football, to swim in deep lakes, to try new teas, to lay down and listen to the newest indie music hits, to take relaxing drives on the highway, and to visit coffee shops and pizzerias across the Twin Cities.

Weronica's blog is here.
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