Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Alina Popescu for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Craving Stains
Author: Alina Popescu
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Cover Artist: unknown
Genre/Sub-Genre: Gay, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.
Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?
Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.
Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.
But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?
Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed Craving Stains. You can find the review here.
Brandilyn: We are here today to talk about Craving Stains. What can you tell us about it?
Alina: Hi Brandi, thanks for having me here today. It’s a pleasure!
Craving Stains was my first ever anthology submission and while I loved the original short story, after a talk with Lily Velden from WIP, I decided to expand it. I love writing stories like this one, where the paranormal aspect touches people in a way that has them questioning their sanity and wonder whether what’s going on is real or not. This novella allowed me to mix a futuristic world with the unusual encounter between two souls who, without the paranormal, dream-like setting, would have never met.
Brandilyn: Tell us more about Wynn?
Alina: Wynn’s biggest wish is to break free. He’s been trapped in a perfectly white, pristine environment. It’s a cold world he lives in, his mother is distant and other than his doctors, he never interacts with anyone. He watches the world and reads about it, but he cannot fully enjoy the experience as he’s almost lost hope of ever being allowed outside. The hopeless he is, the more rebellious he becomes.
Then Doyle happens and his dark exotic features, overt sexuality, and leather clothes are the most thrilling adventure Wynn has ever been on.
Brandilyn: What about In the Craving Stains makes you the proudest?
Alina: Craving Stains is not a typical romance, it’s why I refer to it as gay sci-fi fiction. It makes it hard to tell what’s real and what’s not, and it has an open ending which lets readers choose their ending. Whether they love it or hate it, it makes them think, and that’s the part I am most proud of.
Brandilyn: Craving Stains originally appeared in the Stranded anthology. How does this version differ from the version in the anthology?
Alina: The biggest difference is that it’s more than double in size and it has a second point of view, that of Moira. However, the basic story isn’t different, the ending is the same (although some people hoped for a sequel type of expansion). It was very important to me that readers choose their ending, and do so based on their ideas and personalities. Either way, given the circumstances of Wynn’s life, both options provide a sort of happy ending.
The novella focuses more on Wynn’s mother, Moira, her background, what brought her where she is now. It also shows, through Moira’s devious eyes, what was going on in the outside world while Wynn was meeting Doyle.
Brandilyn: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Alina: Stay true to your stories, keep on writing them, and cherish your loyal readers. I think we all know it’s impossible to please everyone, especially when we don’t stick to one genre or one expected formula. But the reality of it, of having your story out there, is so much different that we forget there is no single story that everyone loves. I’ve seen a lot of writers who are discouraged by negative feedback and let it affect them more than the positive feedback. In my opinion, those who love your stories should matter most and you should take whatever is helpful from the negative reviews and move on.
Brandilyn: What is the nicest thing a reader has said to you in a review, email, in person, or on social media?
Alina: I have been blessed with a lot of raving reviews. But my biggest joy was when people stepped out of their comfort zone for me and ended up enjoying the experience. I’ve had both readers who had stopped reading MF and loved my MF debut novel, and readers who’d never read gay romance or any type of gay fiction and still enjoyed my stories.
Brandilyn: What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Alina: I am currently reading Lily Velden’s The Race Is On and my TBR… well that one’s scary! I have a lot of books on it and I keep adding more every day. Reading from almost all fiction genres and quite a bit of manga does not make it any easier on me 😀
Rapid Fire Time:
Sushi or pasta?
Neither anymore 😀 I could never really learn to appreciate sushi and I switched to paleo food, so no pasta, although I love it.
Beach or Mountains?
Both. And if you could have the mountains right by the sea, even better! I once went up the Babadag mountain in Oludeniz and paraglided for twenty minutes, landing on the beach. It was an amazing experience.
Coffee, black or souped up?
Coffee, lots of it, with a little milk and sugar. I can’t really enjoy it if it’s black.
Sex or Chocolate?
Sex. Or Chocolate on the splurge days when I take a break from Paleo (usually once or twice a month)
Windows or Mac?
Windows and sometimes Linux distros.
Harry or Draco?
Cry or Scream?
Cry. It’s easier when you’ve lost your voice, plus if you keep it quiet, it does not give away your position
Multiple choice questions or essay questions?
Either type is fine, although I noticed essay questions sometimes give me a bigger advantage.
Hugs or Kisses?
Both, but if I have no control over who does the hugging or kissing, then hugs.
Brandilyn: What are you working on? What is next?
Alina: That’s a long list! There are a lot of books coming up next. I have a werewolf novel that’s currently in the editing phase with WIP. Strength to Let Go is a series starter and it will be out in early July. I am also working on another standalone science fiction novella. This one is also the result of an anthology – I started writing it and realized that even cut in half it would be too long. Then there are two series – Warriors of Vis and Famous on the Internet – both series starters should be out this year, also published by WIP. Then there are my MF books 😀
I have also joined Free Fiction Friday and everyone who wants to try a free gay romance fantasy story can check out my blog. It’s called Magic Unleashed and I publish a fresh chapter every two weeks (more often when I have the time).
About the Author:
Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.
Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
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I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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