Friday, July 1, 2011

Author Interview: Marilena Mexi (Antara)

Today I welcome Marilena Mexi, the author and illustrator of Antara for an insightful author interview.

1.  Tell us about Antara.
Antara is an illustrated fantasy romance for young adults, and its target audience is mostly women/girls. Of course, it was illustrated by me. A couple of years ago, I've written a short story on a paper and then I started making illustrations based on this story. Afterwards, I decided to sit down and write it from scratch, creating a full novel, where the reader could also see the concept art of the story.

2.  What inspired you to write Antara?
I come from Greece and Greek mythology has inspired me, along with symphonic metal music. Also, my grandfather was a fisherman, and many times he's been telling me stories with mermaids when I was a child, and I adored them. So, my first story couldn't have been anything else.

3.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer/illustrator?
The best thing is that I feel I'm creating a new world. I like the fact that I give color and live to the story by myself; that makes me feel a complete artist. When I write something and then I illustrate it too, it excites me, because I can transfer my thoughts and imagination to the readers much better.

4.  What was the most time-consuming part of writing/illustrating Antara?
I finished the story in six months, but the illustration took me about two years, and it was undoubtedly the most difficult and time-consuming part. I gave everything I got to achieve the best possible result. I think that Antara couldn't have been magical and "different" without the illustrations.

5.  Do you have any other books in the works now?
I'm working on the second and last part of Antara. Many people ask me why it is not a trilogy. I understand that trilogies are common nowadays, but I don't feel that Antara should end in a third book. I'm going to publish that in a few months too, hopefully during the summer.

Thanks Marilena for joining us today - please make sure to check out her other book tour stops on the Teen Book Scene Tour.  Also check out my review I posted yesterday if you haven't yet.


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