Interview with novelist Irina Shapiro

Today’s guest author is Irina Shapiro. She’s talking a bit about her favorite novel to date, The Hands of Time.

Welcome, Irina. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Moscow, Russia in 1970
and lived the life of a model communist child until my family immigrated to the
United States in 1982. Like most
teenagers, I eagerly embraced the new culture and did my best to shed the old,
restrictive ways, frustrating my parents to no end. Despite my love of history and literature, I
majored in International Business at Bernard M. Baruch College and pursued a
career in Import/Export until I left the work force in 2007. I currently reside in New Jersey with my
family. Since then I have written five
novels and explored some other interests that I didn’t have time for while
working full-time.

As long as there are books to read,
movies to see, and exotic places to visit I will never be bored.      
Please tell us a bit about your favorite novel.

The
Hands of Time
is a time travel romance. It’s the story of Valerie Crane who travels to England with her sister in
order to escape her painful divorce and her ex-husband’s upcoming wedding.  While shopping for souvenirs, Valerie wanders
into an antique shop and picks up an ormolu clock, which is set to the wrong
time.  As Valerie turns the hands of the
clock she is instantly transported to the year 1605 where she becomes entangled
in a passionate love triangle with the Whitfield brothers, who take her in, and
must learn to navigate the volatile political climate of 17
th
Century England.


Meanwhile,
Valerie’s sister, Luisa, is desperately searching for her missing sibling. Through unexpected clues Luisa finally begins to piece together what happened to her sister and come to terms with losing her forever.
What
inspired you to write this book?
I have always been fascinated with
the idea of time travel. What would any
of us do if suddenly transported to a different time? How would we survive? Would we be able to adapt if faced with the
prospect of spending our life trapped in another century, much more dangerous
than our own? Might we possibly find
some things in the past that were missing from our lives in the present?

I also like to explore the
difference between the relationships of today and the courtships of the
past. Men and women had such different
expectations of each other, yet their relationships were not as transient as
the “hit and run” encounters of today, or were they?
What
exciting story are you working on next?
I have just finished The
Folly
. It’s a romance/murder mystery
set in 19th Century England. The story explores how far people are willing to go for love and
revenge. Although this book does not
have the supernatural element of my other books, it has a few twists and turns
of its own.
When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t consider myself to be
a writer. I feel a little self-conscious
about using that title.
Do
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
I don’t have any specific regimen. I write when I have an idea. Some days I write for hours, while other days
I can’t manage a single sentence.

I left my job as an Import Manager
five years ago to stay at home with my autistic son, so I write while the
children are at school. Once they come
home, I devote my time to them.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I begin a story I have
absolutely no idea what’s going to happen or how it’s going to end. The characters start taking on a life of
their own and eventually reveal to me what they want to do. I know that sounds a little strange, but that’s
how I roll.
As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. The idea of uncovering
fragments of the past and piecing them together seemed like a very exciting way
to spend my time. If that didn’t work
out, I was planning to join the circus. 
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I began writing as a form of therapy
and I never intended for anyone to see my work. It was just for me. I’ve come a
long way since then and it has been an amazing journey, mostly into my own
psyche.  

I stay in touch with readers through my website and Facebook page

And readers can learn more about my novels through Amazon:

Thanks for being here today, Irina. It’s nice to get to know a bit about you and your writing.

4 thoughts on “Interview with novelist Irina Shapiro

  1. Ella says:

    Great interview. I really enjoyed finding out personal facts about this author. I am a huge fan of her works. I have read all of Ms. Shapiro's books. Hands of Time is definitely my favorite one so far. I didn't want the story to end, I just fell in love with the characters. I really would love to see a sequel to that one, so please Ms. Shapiro dont disappoint.

  2. Irina Shapiro says:

    Actually, I have started writing a sequel to "The Hands of Time". I wasn't planning on it, but those characters refuse to go away.

  3. Avid Reader says:

    This was wonderful to read! I have enjoyed each book written by Irina Shapiro, and The Hands of Time was certainly a favorite. It was great to gain some insight into this author's personal life and read about her thought process behind the wonderful writing that she does. Thank you so much Ms. Haselton for allowing us the opportunity to learna bit more about the lives of the authors whose work we so enjoy. I found the bit about the circus performer quite intriguing. So glad to find out here that there will be a sequel to this book! Definitely something I can't wait to get my hands on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the warm words. I might still run away to the circus if the writing doesn't pan out. I hear it's never too late.

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