Desislava, tell us about yourself. You are a chemist by profession but you wrote such a long novel in the fantasy genre. How did your profession help you in the writing process?
My life has offered me many challenges, most of which I peacefully welcomed and used to my advantage when it came to fitting in with people and the world around me. Unfortunately, my field of study has nothing in common with my profession today. If you think about it though, there are many people that radically change their decision subsequently. Quite logically chemistry as an exact science didn’t reflect in the creative process of my writing but on the other hand, other types of science like medicine and astrophysics smuggled in the trilogy due to the characters’ interest and the plot development. “Transformed” is written in continuation of four years and in order for everything to sound plausible I had to research much of the information and to read lateral scientific literature….
When did you interest and love for fantasy start?
I started reading fiction and fantasy in my childhood. There is nothing coincidental in the fact that the trilogy is fiction/fantasy. It is still difficult to give an unequivocal answer to the question – what is the genre that the history of Diana Vasileva is written.
Your novel “Transformed” immerses the reader in a parallel world (of vampires, transformed, crossbreeds, strategists, observers) that is built on a strict hierarch with order and harmony. The characters that are vampires are surprisingly kind and charming. Is that how you imagine the future of the human race? Do you wish to live in a world like that?
That is a very unexpected and compelling question! I think that the readers’ opinion regarding vampires is radically changing from book 1 to book 3 and in the reverse order as well. You always have to be careful when you see a shiny and beautiful wrapping. In most cases something disguised and of poor quality lies beneath it. They may seem perfect but vampires are way far from perfection. The topic of aliens and their eventual invasion on Earth has intrigued humankind ever since the beginning of the ” cosmonautics era”, however in “Transformed” the ideology is rather targeted at values and disadvantages in the human nature and not at the outside aggression even if it is played out by aliens. I dream of living in a world in which I won’t be afraid to turn on the television or will not have to purposely avoid posts in the social media; and won’t have to close my eyes so I don’t have to look at beggars; or to be worried that come dawn somebody will hurt me in order to rob me….Behind all of this, however stand people, not animals, not aliens.
Do you have a favorite character in “Transformed”?
Yes, that would be Arviel.
The scenes in the novel are carried out only on Earth and even in close to us towns. Do your characters in the novel have prototypes in real life?
• Some of the characters resemble persons that I know in my real life, others simply have their names, and the third – the personality of the characters. On the other hand, the cities with their location and the described details are real.
What inspired you to write this novel – you started it as a novella and now it is great work of art? Have you dreamt of the event, the characters?
The inspiration is only the cause for starting and was invariably the falling in love with vampires in my teenage age after the onscreen release of the movie “Interview With The Vampire”. I was a student in high school (with a focus on the German language), I loved writing essays and poems and suddenly I got the idea of writing a novel. Nothing significant, just a little escape from the German language and the pleasure of creating life on paper. Long after I graduated high school I returned to the plot and rewrote it of course with many new elements and characters. In accordance with the previous rough draft, only 3 or 4 names and a few aspects of the main plot were the same…I have dreamt of whole chapters of the novel, I especially sympathized with the third part.
Which was the most interesting part to write about?
I was extremely excited when Diana and Arviel finally met even if it wasn’t in a very pleasant way for her.
In literature and in theater, the topic of vampires is very exploited and evidently quite of interest. What else can be said about them?
Every story that is a bit more different and creative is a new point of view and a new line in the branch of fantasy. I completely don’t find this topic to be tired. In fact, that is the reason that books within this genre continue to be of most interest worldwide, especially among young people.
Is the idea of creating a movie based on the novel tempting for your?
Of course! I doubt that there is an author that would reject the filming of his book. This is a special flattering and acknowledgment of the value of his work of art.
How do you imagine a supposed movie – Bulgarian production, Hollywood production, series or feature movie?
I won’t be surprised at all if in 5 or 10 years time “Transformed” filmed in a Bulgarian studio in 3 or 4 seasons. The story is graceful enough to be a long series due to the numerous action scenes. Even with the elements of fantasy, not much funds will be needed for the project implementation.
You are not only an author but a reader as well. What type of books do you enjoy reading? What book is on your nightstand at the moment?
I mostly read fantasy and fiction. I am currently reading Brent Weeks, „Der Weg in die Schatten” and “Wizards from Sofia” by Martin Kolev.
Give a present to the readers of newspaper “Compass” – a passage of the novel “Transformed” by say.
“I didn’t even turn around. I reached and grabbed my favorite sword. It was too beautiful to serve for practice for Transformed. I received it as a special gift from the club of the vampire-warrior personally from the chairman Eir Kastelqn. I counted more than 200 vampires and it was safe to say that their technique completely competed with the converted Transformed. It was very difficult for them to let me in their closed and conservative society but once that happened and they accepted me as their equal, I attend their gatherings and trainings and felt very calm and composed. I was the only woman amongst them and on top of that I was Transformed but when we were training they never treated me differently. That made me happy and… often times bruised and cut. The vampire-warriors trained only with real swords. Luckily they were like mine and not with laser ones that caused even greater lesions when used with negligence. Eir Kastelqn often participated in missions with the queen. And only him. The skills of these vampires were so refined (amongst them there were vampires that had already lived a few thousand years!), so gracious and so frighteningly cold-blooded that there were moments that I stopped in the middle of training and started following in awe their unique dances with swords and their sweaty bodies.
Very good but to enough… the Secondary had an unpleasant advantage to capture their consciousness and to make turn them into smashed tomatoes.
The vampire-warriors cleared the front lines so that the Transformed won’t waste their strength. The real battle began afterwards…”
“I saw the determination in his eyes and I denied to whine. However the actual aftermath for our great trio was as follows: we had to release the two strong vampires and ten companions that were vampire-warriors from the Secondary’s alleged well preserved underground city; they were probably abducted and guarded closely; it wasn’t clear to us how we would slip in unseen; I had no idea of the structure of the town and how to escape from it; we were three against… unclear how many with biases against us enemies; I was an unconverted Transformed with abilities some of which I didn’t posses that well, others – I couldn’t control, and third that triggered spontaneously and instinctively, on top of that I was a princess that had only once seen the Secondary; Aleksandar was a scientist- cosmologist with many abilities but he was of the Third rank (because of the fact that he was a scientist and not because of his strength), he didn’t posses the physical strength of the vampire-warriors; the crossbreed was an immortal and rough spy but she never talked about her past and I didn’t know what she was capable of – for now I thought of her more as an obstacle rather than an advantage to our pathetic rescue squad. Crossbreed with extras, a scientist vampire and an unconverted crazy Transformed. The Secondary had to prepare the with tablecloth again because dinner was coming!
It was madness but the hope goes last.
– Have you ever been to a Secondary town? – I asked timidly awaiting for an answer that will be to my liking.
Alas I didn’t receive such. Aleksander abruptly raised his head and I saw panic in his eyes.”
Thank you for the wonderful questions!