Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with Adria J. Cimino

Tara: Welcome. You’re here to promote “Close to Destiny,” a contemporary fiction book. Tell me, please, what was the inspiration behind this story? How did it come to you?

Readers, here's a blurb:

Does déjà vu have a deeper meaning?

A puzzling gift from a stranger in a hat shop. Whisperings and footsteps in a dim luxury hotel. Dreams that transport to elegant parties where champagne flows like water. Kat is both frightened and intrigued by the events that have plagued her since she arrived in London, in a final effort to save herself from anorexia and recover from her latest suicide attempt.

Most disturbing is an encounter with a mysterious woman who introduces Kat to Will. And this lovely messenger has information she desperately wants to share with Kat: an incident from more than a century ago that could transform Kat’s future. But will Kat listen?

A story of the role of destiny in life... and of righting the wrongs of the past.

Adria: “Close to Destiny” is about a young woman whose unusual encounters in a London hotel lead her to discover a past she never imagined could exist. My inspiration actually began with a hotel in London, where I used to travel for business. And each time I stayed at that particular hotel, in spite of the size of the place, I felt almost as if I was the only one there. It had a mysterious feel to it. Like the main character in “Close to Destiny,” I could walk through the mazelike halls and never cross a soul. Yet, I would hear laughter far off. So one time, when I was staying there, I asked myself “What if…,” and the story wrote itself in my mind.

Tara: We focus a lot on heroines here on Book Babe. Tell me what makes your heroine strong. 

Adria: Kat, my main character, is strong in several ways. She is in the process of overcoming a long battle with anorexia. And as the story progresses, Kat takes charge of her own life and decisions rather than relying on her older sister as she always did in the past. She remains close to her sister and still values her thoughts, but as the story develops, we see her becoming more and more independent. Kat also is strong because she takes the lead when it comes to ending or continuing romantic relationships.

Tara: Do you see any of yourself in her?

Adria: Yes, I see my sense of curiosity and determination, an eagerness to get to the bottom of a situation that’s unclear.

Tara: Was there any particular part of this story that was the hardest for you to write? Tell me why.

Adria: I had to be particularly careful writing the final part of the book because there were many elements that I had to explain or weave in at just the right moment. There had to be a lot of attention to detail at this stage rather than just writing driven by inspiration. For me, this is more difficult than the freedom of letting inspiration carry you.

Tara: What kind of research did you do when you penned this novel? Did anything surprising come up in your search?

Adria: Since my novel is set in London and New York, and I’m very specific about places the main characters frequent, I did on-the-ground research when I was in both places. There is some magical realism in the novel, so developing that aspect of the book required research as well. What most surprised me in my research: Sometimes a mystical explanation for an event makes more sense than a concrete one!

Tara: What would you like readers to gain from reading your book? Is there a strong moral? Do you hope they will laugh, learn something about a particular subject/person, ponder a point?

Adria: I hope my readers will question the reality around them, will think about the control they might have over their own destiny and will be filled with a feeling of hope!

Tara: Your book takes place in London and New York. If I were a tourist, what would you recommend I see these cities?

Adria: In London, Hyde Park, and in New York, Central Park. I’m really a fan of natural spaces in big cities! My main character, Kat, actually does a lot of thinking during strolls through Central Park, as I’ve done in the past as well.

Tara: Moving on to personal things...if you could time travel to absolute any time and place in history, where and when would you go and what is it that draws you to this time period? What would you do whilst there?

Adria: Nineteenth century London. The idea of society, social behavior and traditions. All that I’ve read in the classics I devoured as a teenager. I would enjoy visiting people at teatime and simply walking through the streets at the busiest time of day. I love to observe the world around me!

Tara: What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish before you die? Your main goal?

Adria: A few years ago, before having my daughter, I would say: “Become a famous author!” But now that I have my little girl, I would say bringing her into adulthood and seeing her become a strong, independent woman.

Tara: I like that answer! I’m a dog mom, so I always ask this. Do you have pets? If so, tell me about them and do provide pictures.

Adria: We actually had our dear cat, Lelee, for 13 years, but she passed away a few years ago, and we’re still mentally preparing ourselves to adopt another cat. It’s not easy to move forward sometimes. Lelee was the cat we adopted in South Carolina, and she moved around with us, finishing her very spoiled cat life in Paris, France. She practically lived on the couch and bed, and loved gourmet sardines. We miss her terribly.

Tara: She was gorgeous!! And she obviously still lives deep in your heart. Thank you for sharing and for visiting us today. Best luck to you with your new release.


Adria J. Cimino is the author of novels “Paris, Rue des Martyrs” and “Close to Destiny” and is co-founder of indie publishing house Velvet Morning Press (http://www.velvetmorningpress.com). Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. In addition to writing fiction and discovering new authors, Adria writes about her real-life adventures in her blog “Adria in Paris.” (http://adriainparis.blogspot.com/). You also may learn more about Adria and her work by visiting her website at http://ajcimino.com/ or following her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Adria_in_Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the interview, Tara! I enjoyed answering your questions. Happy reading!