Author Interview: Cindy Mezni

I am thrilled to announce that Cindy Mezni, author of the Red Era trilogy, is here! Her latest novel, Poisoned Iris, hit shelves just a few weeks ago; it’s the first installment in the aforementioned series.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at Cindy’s new book:

Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it’s slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.
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The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Cindy Mezni and I was born in Switzerland. I’m still living in the region I was born and I wouldn’t move for the world because I love my country and above all the place where I live. I’m a reading and writing addict—no kidding, it’s a real obsession, not a day goes by without me reading or writing some pages. I write in French and in English and publish my books in both languages.

2. When did you start writing?
I started writing during my high school years. It all started with fanfictions, then one day came the idea of my first book Shadow’s Dangers, a YA paranormal romance. After I found a publisher for my first book, I tried my hand at two other genres and wrote and published an adult dark fantasy titled Ex Tenebris and a YA dystopia titled Poisoned Iris.

3. Why did you start writing?
The storyline of a very popular book I was reading wasn’t going the way I wanted so, as soon as I finished it, I rewrote the story and posted it on a blog to share it with other fans of said book.

4. How did you arrive at your book’s title?
My latest release is titled “Poisoned Iris”. It’s some kind of wordplay because my heroine’s name is Irisya—after the iris flowers—but her nickname is Iris, her mother often comparing her to her favorite flowers. Due to terrible events that followed her birth, Irisya saw herself as a poisoned iris, hence the title.

5. Does your story have a moral?
The world in my latest release “Poisoned Iris” is a very bleak and violent one and I wanted the moral of my story to be that, even in the darkest of times, there’s still hope and good things can come out of terrible events.

6. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in Poisoned Iris.
Caring, selfless, optimist, and determined.

7. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I’m usually comfortably sitting on my sofa with a lot of cushions all around, and my laptop and my keyboard in front of me. There’s also probably one or both of my dogs sleeping close to me.

  • Do you listen to music as you write?

If I’m writing, you can be sure I have my earbuds on and I’m listening to movies or TV shows soundtracks.

  • What is your preferred writing time? Morning? Afternoon? Late at night?

Late at night because everyone is asleep, everything I have to do is done and I have less chances of being disturbed by something or someone.

  • Do you prefer writing outside or indoors?

Always indoors. I can’t write outside, there’s too much distraction. Also I need to be comfortable to write.

  • Do you like to write in public places, or do you seek out isolation?

I need public places to “live” the scenes I’ll write but I need to be alone or at least undisturbed by the outside world when I write.

8. What is your favorite book genre?
I love all genres. I read a lot of romance books but I also love dystopian or post-apocalyptic books.

9. What is currently on your to-be-read shelf?
A lot of romance and dystopian books.

10. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
It can be the characters or it can be the world building—even if I dislike every character in the book, if the world the author has built is one that makes me want to visit it, I’ll consider that story a good story.

11. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write, write, write and write. Even if you feel like what you’re writing is really bad, keep writing. Practice makes better. Oh and don’t let a publisher/agent rejection or a bad review get to you. There will always be people who don’t like your story, just like there will always be people who like it. So keep doing what you love and write for yourself and the people who like what you do.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Do I really have to choose? Ugh, it’s so hard… Okay, books because it was my first passion.

2. Dogs or cats?
Dogs—sorry my adorable cat.

3. Summer or winter?
Summer means sun and swimming but winter means snow so winter it is.

4. Having telepathy or having telekinesis?
Not sure I wanna know what’s inside other people heads, even if talking with someone without anyone knowing we’re talking sounds kinda fun. But, well, telekinesis means not having to get up to get something to drink or to eat, or my phone when it’s ringing in the room next door so it wins lol.

5. Being Spider-Man for a day or being Batman for a day?
I love Spider-Man and climbing walls and playing Tarzan in the streets sounds great (and seeing Captain America for real sounds even more great) but Batman got the TUMBLER and the possibility of seeing Catwoman. I mean THE TUMBLER and CATWOMAN. Of course I choose being Batman for a day!

6. Reading or writing?
I can’t choose. It’s like asking me if I prefer my first daughter or my second daughter. Okay, the comparison is a bit much… and I have no kids but I’m sure you get what I mean.

7. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
Since we’ll probably have an app that does that for human languages in the near future, I’m choosing animal languages.

8. Staying awake for forty-eight hours (continuous) or walking for twenty-four hours (also continuous)?
Since I know what awaits me because I already did that—I know, that’s bad, don’t do that—I prefer staying awake for forty-eight hours.

9. Drinking a glass of expired, curdled milk or eating a bowl of cold, slimy worms?
No reflexion needed, I prefer the milk. I don’t care if I end up sick, there’s no way I’m eating worms—yeah, if there’s an apocalypse, I’m toast… which is very ironic for someone who loves writing or reading post-apocalyptic stories, I know.

10. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?
Losing my ability to speak because I can’t imagine not hearing my loved ones, my dogs or my cat or music again.

11. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
To never watch another film. When I say I can’t live without reading/writing, I’m really not kidding.

12. Spending half a day locked in a coffin (there would be a hole for air, of course) or spending two days trapped at the bottom of a well?
The memory of “The Ring” movie is still very vivid in my mind so I prefer the coffin.

13. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
I don’t like coffee—shocking for a writer, I know—so the choice is easy. Farewell, my dear not-friend coffee.

14. Finding yourself trapped in the universe of The Walking Dead or finding yourself trapped in a slasher film?
Is that a real question? I’m asking because one of those propositions got Daryl, Rick and Michonne—and now Jesus—included so I assumed the answer would be evident 😉

15. Have every day be Saturday or have every day be Christmas?
Have every day be Saturday. I love Christmas and seeing all my loved ones and offering them gifts that make them happy but Saturdays mean no work, no chores and lazy mornings and afternoons so yeah, my choice is Saturday.

Thank you for joining us, Cindy!
Readers: want to connect with Cindy? You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out her author website.

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