Author Interview: Helen Mihajlovic
In today's interview, we are asking author Helen Mihajlovic about her writing and what inspired her science fiction, time travel portal story Phantasms of the Past.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
My favorite thing about being a writer is it allows me to create a different land and live in it for a while. I can set the story in a medieval castle, another planet, anywhere in the world and I can do anything with the characters.
What is your genre? Did you write outside your preferred genre for this anthology?
My genre is usually Horror, especially gothic horror. I'm a big fan of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', Stoker's 'Dracula' and Stevenson's 'The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde'. I did write outside my preferred genre for this anthology, but I do love science fiction too. I think it's a very intelligent genre that allows you to question the world.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Why?
I'm a plotter, I need to write notes on the structure of the story. But sometimes the story can change from the original plan. Sometimes I don't know the ending and it comes to me after a while. I recently looked at Bram Stoker's many notes on his structure for 'Dracula', it's interesting to see so many details in his notes.
What is your favorite thing you've written?
My favorite story that I have written is 'The Untamed Spirit', it's about freedom from what society tells us we should look like and how we should live our lives. It's also a lesbian love story. It's about Sophie meeting a free gypsy Eva. Sophie is wearing shoes that hurt her feet, all this makeup and she's starving in order to be skinny. Eva is the opposite, she is barefoot and doesn't even wear a bra (she's the untamed spirit) and Sophie is more tamed by society but not happy.
What inspired the story you wrote for Another World? What was your writing process like for this story? Was it different from your regular workflow?
I was in love with a man but he didn't love me. While I was thinking about him an idea popped into my head, maybe if I went through a portal to a different dimension, he'd be different and he'd love me. The writing process was similar to most other stories, I made notes on what each section would be about. I don't write in order, I write according to the emotion I am feeling when I start writing. If I feel sad, I write the sad section.
Lastly, what is a piece of writing advice you'd give seasoned or new writers?
My advice to writers would be to get an editor. Don't think you know everything or that you will get it right each time. A good editor makes a story better.