1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hello! My name is Farida Mestek. I was born and still live in Ukraine.
2. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The name of my latest book is “Almendra: A Fairy-Tale”. It is the first book that I ever wrote, but I published it only this year. It is a fantasy fairy-tale about friendship, love, danger, with elements of mystery, adventure and an unusual twist.
3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have loads of plans and I wish I had all the time in the world to write, write, write! I have plans for Almendra-based three-book series, about a dozen of Regencies and even one Victorian.
4. How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write?
I have always been writing. I can't imagine not writing. I don't think that anyone had to inspire me in the first place, however, I admire many writers who inspire me by their example.
5. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely. I'm always happy to share my stories with readers. However, I was not very fortunate with “Almendra: A Fairy-Tale”. I gave a number of copies away with an understanding (an agreement even!) that people would read and review it, but I never heard from them again :-(
6. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I like to take the most outstanding or outrageous features and characteristics of people that I know or meet and use them for my characters. I have lots of fun exaggerating them. And, despite the fact that my life has not been particularly eventful, I tend to use many autobiographical moments in my books. “Almendra: A Fairy-Tale” is definitely full of them.
7. Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I would say that Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling influenced me quite a lot. When I'm working on my Regencies, I closely follow Jane Austen's school of writing and my Regencies are quite slow-paced and old-fashioned. When I'm working on fantasy, I'm trying to use different methods of narration, characterization, clue-dropping, mystery, action, world building, etc., that I've picked up while reading J.K. Rowling's books.
8. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I definitely prefer paperbacks, because I love to read in bed, holding a book in my hands. But I am very much grateful for e-books, because I have restricted selection of English-language books here in Ukraine and with e-books I can download them whenever I want. I also adore audio-books!
9. What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I have great many favourite books that I've read many-many times. Usually these are the books that make me feel at home and that I can turn to whenever I feel sad or bad or just bored. Books whose characters are my dear friends and kindred spirits and whose worlds I adore and wish they were true. Among my top favourites are all of Jane Austen's and J.K. Rowling's books, Anne of Green Gables series and Sherlock Holmes stories.
10. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am currently reading and enjoying “Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman” (paperback), “Cecilia” by Fanny Burney (e-book), a book in Russian about medieval castles in Europe (hardback) and I am also listening to “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” audio-book.
11. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I always wish I could change something, but I also know that you have to stop at some point, otherwise, there will be nothing left of the book.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details? http://the-upper-kingdom.blogspot.com/
Your facebook page? Farida Mestek
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @faridamestek