Getting to know Farida Mestak
Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Absolutely. I have always been writing and I have always wanted to be a writer. I am the happiest when I'm writing and I always saw myself as a writer. I always said that I would be one. At first my family thought that it was just a whim, a childish fantasy and that it would pass, so they didn't exactly encourage me. However, once they realized that I was in earnest and that I wasn't about to stop anytime soon, they started really supporting me.
Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
It's really hard to say, because it all comes from within. There are writers who inspire me with their books as well as their life stories, but I have become a writer quite independently. But I suppose in my Regency-set books I am most influenced by Jane Austen, her writing style and her portrayal of Regency England. As a writer I am a staunch follower of her school of Regency-set novel.
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
I think it's a combination of engaging characters you can identify yourself and people around you with and interesting plot line.
Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
The characters come to me already formed. It's like meeting people in real life: you can't supply them with qualities and characteristics, because they already have them. I describe my characters as I see them. They are quite independent from me. It’s as if they hire me to write their stories and that's what I do and as I write I learn more and more about them. I didn't have any problems with the characters from “A Secret Arrangement” and I loved writing them all: the good and the bad. Perhaps, the bad a bit more, because they are always fun to write. But there is one heroine, in a long-standing project of mine, that I find very challenging to write. I intend to start working on her story as soon as I am done with my current revision and I hope to overcome our problems, though so far her story proved very difficult to tell.
Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Currently I am revising another M/M Regency-set novella. Also I'm thinking about writing several short stories that take place before, during and after the events in “A Secret Arrangement”.
Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
They can find out what’s new at my blog: http://www.faridamestek.blogspot.com/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
I love watching films and if I fall in love with one I will watch it every day until another movie catches my fancy. I love romantic movies: “French Kiss”, “You’ve Got Mail”, “Mona Lisa Smile”, “Miss Potter” just to name a few. Naturally TV series and movies based on Jane Austen’s books. “Pride and Prejudice” (BBC 1995), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and “Emma” (1996) are my favourites.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you?
It would be highly inadvisable, but I suppose a lot of books, some warm clothes, a knife, a gun and someone with a good escape plan would make things somewhat bearable.
What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
I like reading, but if my eyes are too tired I prefer to listen to an audio-book or watch a movie or a TV show.
What is one historical figure you would love to chat with and why?
Jane Austen. Definitely. I think it would be so much fun.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
I have two published books at the moment: “Margaret’s Rematch” and “A Secret Arrangement” and I like them both very much. But I have a very soft spot for the very first book – a fantasy novel – that I’ve ever written and that unfortunately didn’t make it into the printed world. Maybe one day… It keeps revisiting me all the time…
What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
The very heroine I have mentioned who keeps giving me so much trouble. My friend says that the reason why she is so difficult to manage is because I write her from myself.
What do you feel is the most important aspect a new author should remember when writing/creating their own stories? Any advice for aspiring authors?
Do your best. Your characters trust you. Have fun while writing! And don't give up. Don't stop writing as long as you have a story to tell.
What would we find on your bookcase if we looked? What is one of your favorite authors?
I love Jane Austen. All six of her published novels share the shelf with Harry Potter books; I'm a huge fan of the series. I'm also very fond of Anne of Green Gables, Jeeves and Wooster and Sherlock Holmes books.
A Secret Arrangement – M/M Regency-set novella from Dreamspinner Press
Description:Henry Chadderton's father earned his wealth in trade, but he looks to elevate his son to the gentry through marriage into a titled family. And so it is that Edward Montford, the second son of an impoverished baronet, accompanies his twin sister Emma to London in order to introduce her to her future husband.
Henry neither appreciates being ordered around nor has any intention of marrying anyone. Then he meets Emma—and Edward—and falls in love with the wrong sibling, setting off a chain of events that will cause arguments, bloodshed, jealousy, and scandal. But Henry will endure it all if it will eventually lead Edward to him.