Irina Shapiro, Time Travel from Russia, Part 2

Dear Readers,

Today, I welcome back Irina Shapiro, my fellow author of time travelesque novels! Irina visited with me back in 2016 and it's fun to catch up again!

As with many interviews, I'll be breaking hers into several parts, to keep them to quick reads. To see the beginning of Irina's interview, go to part ONE

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And now, please welcome Irina Shapiro!

What books influenced you the most and did they impact your own writing?

I would have to say that Outlander by Diana Gabaldon had the greatest influence on me. Outlander was the first time-travel book I’d ever read, and I was blown away by the possibilities. To tell a linear story was fun, but to hop between time periods and historical events was true storytelling freedom. I started with the Hands of Time series and progressed to my Wonderland series. Both were stories that took place in the modern day and the seventeenth century. It was only with the Echoes from the Past that I was able to break away from limiting myself to one historical period and skip around the timeline like a gleeful child. Given that every episode of the program revolves around a different victim, I could literally go anywhere from ancient Rome to Colonial Jamestown.  

What inspired your book? 

The Condemned was inspired by an article sent to me by a friend. The remains of a heavily pregnant woman had been found on the outskirts of some tiny village in Italy. What made the discovery interesting was that the woman had a round hole in her skull, evidence of being trepanned in a late stage of pregnancy. The woman’s baby died before it was born, but its tiny skeleton was testament to its brief existence. I found the story heartbreaking and fascinating in equal measure and thought it would be interesting to weave a story around a similar situation and make sense of what happened to the poor woman and her child. 

Who is your favorite character in your book? How much of yourself is in that character? 

As any writer, I’m in every character, but Quinn Allenby is my girl. I’d dreamed of becoming an archeologist when I was a kid, and the idea of discovering a part of history and being able to see the story not as we perceive it but as it actually happened would be a dream come true for any historian. 

They say write what you know. How much of your life, your experiences, your career or hobbies, come out in your writing?

Actually, none. I’m not British, I’m not an archeologist, nor do I possess any extra-sensory gifts. Would be fun though. I am also not adopted, although sometimes I really wish I were, given the lunacy of my family. 

We can’t write only what we know. What research have you done and how do you research? 

Most of my research is done through reading and watching historically appropriate documentaries and films. A picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes seeing the costumes, make-up and hair of the period, the sets, and hearing the dialogue can be very helpful in putting my mind in the right frame. 
Look for Part THREE coming soon

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