Interview and Giveaway with Iryna K Combs
Sci-fi fantasy author Iryna K Combs is here today with a fantastic interview. She is here to discuss her newest release novel Black Wings. Please help me make her feel welcome.
Iryna will be giving away an e-book of Black Wings. Be sure to leave a COMMENT in order to be entered into the random drawing. A winner will be drawn and announced on Saturday January 23rd, 2016 at 5pm
Before we get into your book, let us talk about you.
Originally from the Ukraine, I am still considered a new face to America. Speaking three languages including English, that became just as natural to me as my native Russian. I grew up in a town on the south of Ukraine doing the same things that other kids my age did. Dreaming, hoping and wishing. Growing up, I spoke absolutely no English and never even saw myself somewhere abroad. Nevertheless writing a novel in another language! I went to the local school that brought mostly negative experience in my life. But it shaped me throughout the years. My college life was much better. I was known to study well and to go out partying as much as it was possible. In my first year of college I began to work in the marriage agency and met my future husband. We dated and traveled to most of the Europe along with Egypt. When I finally got my fiancée visa, we both moved to the states, where soon after, got married. In the first few years I did some modeling and acting. Photo-shoots, run-way and photo in the magazine fulfilled my childhood’s dream. A few years later I became a mother of a wonderful and most handsome little boy. Along with learning and experiencing motherhood, I began to make hand-made jewelry and organic soaps. This hobby turned into my small business and became bigger than I thought it would. In the last year I discovered: an author lives inside me. Never did I think that I would write an English book and that I would love doing it. But I did! And I loved it!
1. What is your favorite color?
I like pretty much all colors, but I believe my favorite that I use mostly is grey.
2. Tell us about your greatest adventure?
Life itself is the best, brightest and greatest adventure for me!
3. What is your biggest fear in life?
Not sure if it is good thing, but I do not think I have any…
4. What is your greatest accomplishment?
I would have to say my greatest accomplishment is becoming an author. Writing a first time novel and becoming published and re-published within one year was a great accomplishment! As growing up, I spoke no English and of course, never thought I would ever become an author. That is so amazing where life takes us sometimes. I learned one thing – you never know where you will end up, so it is best to know and being able to do as much as possible!
5. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? (besides writing)
I do. I am also a jewelry maker. I create hand-made unique jewelry made from gemstones, Japanese beads, Swarovski elements, leather. I have been doing it for the last two years and had a big success in it. This type of jewelry is extremely rare to find and takes a long time to make, but the finished product worth every second! I have my shop on Etsy called Iryna’s Crafts and also a facebook page where I post all things I have ever made (custom, sold out or still for sale) at Iryna’s Crafts.
On top of that, I also love to cook. I am, in fact, one very food-driven person! My husband says I am like a man – mad when I am hungry. I love to try new things, I love to create something new and I hope one day within next two years I can write my own cook-book.
6. How do you spend your spare time?
With my family, writing or reading.
7. Who is/are your biggest supporter(s)?
My dear husband is my number one. He is my rock.
8. If you could live in any time period which would you choose and why?
Honestly, I feel very fortunate to live in this time period we are living now. After experiencing modern technology, it would be a bit of a torture to go back in time. And future might be a little scary to visit. So I feel good right where I am today!
9. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
My first writing experience was in the very end of 2014 when I finally decided to write a book. It took me about two months to finish it and about another two months to find a publisher.
10. How did you choose the genre you write in?
It just happened that way. My novel Black Wings has a few genres mixed together. Fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, drama, romance. Some might think it is too much stuff for one book, but I have never heard anyone said it yet. I feel I pulled it off pretty well combining all these genres together.
11. Where do you get your ideas?
My idea came from a dream that I saw last year. It was stuck in my head for many months before I developed the story and loved it. So I decided to let others live through it. However, many other ideas in the book came upon me while I was writing. Sometimes feeling like I squeezed everything I could from my, suddenly I get a new boost of ideas!
12. What comes first, your characters story or the plot line for the book?
With “Black Wings” it was kind of both. But I think plot was one step ahead though. Annabel’s story was behind it.
13. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
This is another story that makes my writing unique. I do not have any author who influenced me to write. Also, I am actually not a big dearer… I am not proud to admit it though. I wish I had more time to read. My novel Black Wings and the next one in the making come pure and untouched, from my own imagination and dream.
14. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Well, as most authors, I was rejected more than I could keep count. Likely it all happened very fast and finally I heard two publishers interested in my manuscript. One of them never wrote back but the other accepted my creation! It was a lot of sleepless nights doing researches and planning my next steps.
15. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I am happy with what I have, but I am also looking forward to try self-publishing one day.
16. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I would love to tell you more about it. I am currently working on my next book which is going to be realistic Biblical fiction. With this being said, there is a lot to it in order to make it as close to the Bible as possible. I do however, believe it will be great and might even serve some lessons, encouraging or support.
17. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I am very laid back person and I do not take criticism very personal. I even wrote an article for SuccessStory.com about negative thoughts. My article was published on their website in December 2015. And to be completely honest, I have not heard any bad critique about my book or myself as an author that would touch me… not yet. But some of the best compliments are when people tell me that my story made them tear up or even cry and experience other emotions. This is what makes me feel I did something right! Also, I love when people get into my book to the point they want to see it become a movie.
18. If you had to choose one of your book/series to make into a movie or tv show which would you choose?
That would defiantly be my dystopian sci-fi novel Black Wings. I would love so much to see those creatures to come alive and the story in front of our eyes.
Tell me about your book/release, Black Wings.
Give us a 30-word or less tagline:
Dystopian sci-fi fantasy novel with elements of romance. Great read that will take you to another world.
- Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
If you like fantasy, sci-fi, mystery – this is right for you. I think everyone should read this book because I had so many times when people who are not big on these genres still decided to read it and were happy they did. I honestly feel this novel is good for everyone. They should read it because it is different. It is truly unique and extremely exciting. After all, you will be pleased with a happy end!
2. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
“Black Wings” represent my main heroine Annabel. She is very unique among others. She has some distinct differences about her inside and outside. But she was not always like that. The story will take you to her world, what happened to her and how she became different.
3. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
This is actually quite interesting. My former SCP was the first publisher that took care of my book. While I had a perfect idea in my head for the cover, Dawnee Dominique – the cover artist, came up with another idea. The first idea she sent me did not appeal so great to me. So, we talked more, discussed it better. She sent me her second creation for the cover and as soon as I saw it – I loved it. I fell deeply in love with it! Although, it was still very different from my original idea, hers was way better! The green-eyed brunette on the cover is just about the exact image of Annabel in my head. How cool is that?
- How do you come up with your characters names?
I used the names that I personally liked and they just fit perfect to my characters. It was kind of one of those things – my characters told me their names.
- Are your Characters modeled after any one in your life?
- Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Annabel and Dexter. Beautiful, interesting creatures. Strong, smart and in love but intriguingly staying apart until the right time comes.
- What was your favorite chapter to write? Scene? Why?
My most favorite, absolutely best chapter is Chapter 2 when Annabel tells her story. Readers go into her mind and back in the past year to re-call what happened to her, why she became different and what makes her that way. The pain, torture and fears she had to live with every day is very exciting and intriguing. And finally her escape that will also bring some twists and surprises.
I also really like the last chapter, Chapter 6. It is fast paced and has a lot of excitement as well as the story gets to the end. It is full of twist and surprises that you will not expect. And do not forget – a happy end! Good enough to smile after all!
8. Do you have a least favorite character? What makes them your least favorite character?
I think all my characters are unique. I do not have least favorite. Even bad buys are still interesting enough.
- If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
I do not want to sound self-righteous, but I honestly feel that I would not change anything.
- Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
The best one is that this book comes from a simple dream of mine. The dream that had to be just forgotten but it was not. It was in my head for months and now it is here, out all over internet and online book-stores.
11. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Please visit my website: http://ireneangel333.wix.com/blackwings
12. What can we expect from you in the future?
At least one more good book. Realistic Biblical fiction is in the making!
13. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Please spread the word and leave your honest review on amazon or other websites. For readers who are interested in my book, I am already thankful beyond this world for your interest and for the time readers take to explore it. I feel bad t ask for more as it is already a lot! But when readers spread the word and leave reviews – it truly helps more than any promotions ever will!
14. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Yes! Do not give up! Sometimes it takes longer to achieve things, but everything is possible and as long as you want it, push through and work on it – you will get everything!
- Think about your book. You realize that we all read books at different paces, with varying amounts of distractions. Is there a particular part of your book that you want to highlight– not because it is your favorite – but because you want to encourage your readers to read it carefully and get all the details?
I would say The Prologue as it carries important information for the rest of the story to be well understood. I had many readers thanked for The Prologue as it sure helped and without it the story would be lost and hard to imagine.
16. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you. Thank you, Heather. And thank you readers, authors and quests who took time to read my answers and who stopped by this blog today! Please know that I respect each one of you and highly value your opinion about my work. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have questions, or just want to share your thoughts about my novel.
17. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
I would love to do that! Here is it, please enjoy:
I slowly sip a little of his bitter dry wine while he has a smile on his face. I swallow it, fee…ling bitterness as it passes down my throat. For a moment I think maybe this is a mistake. But now I can’t take it back or change it. I’m scared my plan is not going to work as I’d hoped. “We might just have started something new!” He takes back his wine. He drinks more and continues. “However, my sweetie, you will need to prove your intentions to change. And of course, let me say something so we do not have any miscommunication… I do not want to see any more tears rolling down this pretty, innocent face.” He walks around me, stops behind me. I stand as still as I can, my pulse beating in my head. “You know very well what happened to you while you were not cooperating, while you were stubborn and stupid. Do you know?” He touches my hair, letting his cold fingers run through it. “I know,” I reply not moving. “My dear, if you ever break this joy that you give me, or lie to me…” He stops, takes my hair, rolls it around his hand and pulls my head back to him. ”Your punishment will not know an end…your pain will not know any limit…you will not know…death.” He leans close to my face. Worried, scared and freaked out, I quickly answer to him in order to distract him from me. “It will not get to that point,” I promise, barely controlling my shaking voice.