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Author Spotlight with Roza Csergo
by Emma Swan
Hello, everybody and thanks for reading “Author’s Spotlight”! This is an interview for all of you Litnet fans out there. Today we have Roza Csergo, another amazing Litnet writer. Hello, Roza!
Hello, Emma! Before we start, I'd like to thank you for this opportunity. Doing this interview is such an honor. I can barely sit still.
You’re welcome. Without further ado, let’s start our talk with an easy question. How about giving us some insights about yourself and what makes you different from the other Litnet writers. What makes Roza Csergo “unique”?
I was born and raised in Transylvania, Romania. I learned English from television. Post-revolution, the national tv channel was full of American movies. Also, I started reading English novels at a young age. A couple of years ago I followed my husband to the UK, and we settled down. Now, I'm a mother, wife, and champion for a disabled parent (her full-time career). And I'm also a Litnet exclusive writer meaning that my works can be found only on this platform. I have two ongoing action-adventure fantasy stories and a couple of writerly aide books. Both my stories have female protagonists who must overcome difficulties specific to their world set in medieval times.
I know very well what you’re saying. Well, you are a wife, the mom of a five months baby girl, you’re helping your mom and you are also a writer. Sometimes all this could be a bit of a handful. Does your husband support this passion that is burning inside of you?
He does. When he's at home he helps me with the baby and with my mother. And he also listens to my ramblings as I'm trying to figure out a dilemma in my story. I don't know why or how but whenever I'm trying to explain story-related problems the words that come out of my mouth make no sense. I'm lucky he's so patient with me. I like going through the plot with him because he always asks logical questions. And those are so important for further developing the storyline.
You’re writing Fantasy novels. Your stories, “The Thunder Tournament” and “Her Blood” are doing great in “Fantasy” and in “Action & Adventures” categories. Why did you choose this genre?
I chose these genres because I'm fascinated with the ancient and medieval time periods and they give an immense amount of creative freedom. Citadels, castles, strongholds, sword fighting, fair maidens, young masters, primitive living including technology and herbology, magic, nature, beasts - it's what I enjoy reading and writing about. Basically, I'm trying to create the stories I want to read.
Writing Fantasy novels isn’t easy, so tell us about your writing process. Where do you find your inspiration?
I like to start with the world-building and create the cultural aspects of the story, then populate them with characters. World-building is the strongest pillar of a fantasy story. If it doesn't tower up like an iceberg, you can't create strong diverse characters and a conflict worth telling. It's not enough for the characters to go through the motions like puppets. They need goals and motives, desires and dreams that explains their actions. And culture plays a big part in how these personalities are formed.
What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I consider myself a plantser (planner + pantser) because I have a vague idea of what I want to happen in a chapter, but I also leave room for last-minute breakthroughs. So I do research as I plan, and I research as I write as well. I browse the web, but I also visit my local library for information on everything medieval, from saddle soreness to sword fighting, chimneys, animal skin clothing, anything relevant to the story.
Your characters' names are quite original Jozeb, Nolly, Levedi… How do you select their names?
Thank you. They are Hungarian inspired made-up names if it makes any sense. And I like to think that I've created characters worth remembering. Would be nice if one-day people would say "Have you heard of Jozeb from The Thunder Tournament?" or "Cheer up. Levedi in the book had it much worse than you." I know... Don't wake me up! (LOL)
I won’t, don’t worry! It’s a kind of dream that we all have. Tell me, do you base the characters of your novels on real people?
Not really. They're people created specifically for the stories I want to tell. But some of them are archetypes and have very relatable roles and personalities. Like Jozeb from The Thunder Tournament, he’s the main character's mentor, he teaches Igrin and guides her. We all had a favorite teacher at some point, right?
I couldn’t agree more with you on this. I also saw a few “little helpers”, a collection of guides for those who are trying to be better writers. English isn’t my first language so, I am keeping an eye on your guide “Simple Grammar and Punctuation”, I find it quite useful. What made you start writing these guides?
Thank you so much for reading my work. I'm thinking of naming the series A Taste of Writing. I noticed an increase of writers whose first language isn't English. I'm one of them and I thought maybe I can help the Litnet community ease into writing in another language because I understand their struggles. I personally see this as a challenge that elevates your skills and not a hindering difficulty. All you need is practice. Litnet also houses the works of many young and new writers who just started budding with their creative side. I figured I'd share a couple of guiding materials in the hopes that it would spark their interest and they'd start researching more in depth about the principles of storytelling.