There is always an amazing story behind an intriguing book. So, when I read My Cursed Heart by Steve Zimcosky, I knew I must know “behind the scenes” details. Trust me, you are in for a treat. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or wine, depending on what time you’re reading it), and enjoy the magical conversation.
Me: Before we start our conversation, I would like to commend you on writing an intriguing book. It kept me on the edge of the seat for a long time. And the mention of an intriguing plot brings me to my first question: what inspired you to write a book about witches?
Steve Zimcosky (SZ): The inspiration actually came from a family history of members having heart attacks. I have had two brothers and many uncles on my dad’s side of the family who have had heart attacks and some fatal. I thought how that sounded like our family was cursed as most of them seemed to happen around the same age. An idea popped into my head about how perhaps one of my ancestors in Poland had been cursed by a witch and the story just developed from there.
Me: Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by witches: good witches. I watched Bewitched (both the tv series and the movie), Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the likes of such shows. In fact, I wanted to befriend a witch myself. Well, at that time, I did not know I needed to add a “good” word to that wish. This is just my way of asking where did you get the concept of a good witch and an evil one? Any particular movie/tv series/ web series introduced you to the idea or just something that came to you?
SZ: When I was doing my research on witches in Poland there was some information about good witches who actually did good for the community and of course growing up we would always watch The Wizard of OZ on tv, and who could forget Glinda the good witch. Bewitched was also on in our house growing up.
Me: The leading character overhears his grandmother talking to his aunt about a curse on his family. Is this a real-life inspiration or it’s purely fictional? Do you have any real-life chronicle that you wish to share with the readers of Mojito with a Twist?
SZ: The inspiration is fictional and as far as I know, there are no curses on our family. As I mentioned earlier with so many family members having the same condition I just wondered if it could be possible. So I just weaved a story with that in mind.
Me: How did you come about writing a book? Was this something you planned for a long time or simply stumbled into the idea of writing by chance?
SZ: My Cursed Heart was my eighth book/novella that I have written. My first book The Old Man From the Hill (Lessons in Qigong and Tai Chi) was my first and it came about by some of my students telling me I should write a book about those subjects. So the idea came to me to write a short story based on how Qigong and Tai Chi would have helped me as a child. I formulated the story around my family and extended family and how a young boy meets an old Chinese teacher in a small rural town in Pennsylvania. The town where my parents actually came from. It turned out to be a series and then I just kept writing about other things that interested me such as hypnosis and Reiki.
Me: Writing a book is a long and sometimes tiresome journey, which takes the author into several known/unknown territories. Do you have any such incident to share that left you doubt your writing process?
SZ: There are times when I feel that perhaps my short stories are not good enough and that I have not had any formal writing courses to show me how to write and formulate a story. But what keeps me going is the reviews that I get from people and it makes me feel that I am doing something right. Not all reviews are good but I learn from what people say and I think that makes me a better writer.
Me: They say it takes a lot of time to research the topic you wish to write about, irrespective of the genre. How much time would you say you had to spend researching witches, spells, curses, and the likes of these?
SZ: I spent several days doing research on places in Poland where my ancestors supposedly came from and if there were witches and such. At the time of the storyline there were witch trials and such going on in Poland and mostly women were put death because of it. Then I spend some time looking at websites about spells and amulets and how to protect yourself from curses. It was very interesting some of the information I found.
Me: If you were to send a message to the people, who are thinking of writing a book, what would that be?
SZ: I would give the same advice I was given “write what you know”! Never give up and use negative criticism to help you become a better writer. Ask for help when you feel you need it and research how famous authors got their starts. J. K. Rowling is a good example. She was rejected many times before a publisher agreed to publish the Harry Potter books.
Me: Did your academic degree match with your aspiration of writing the book? If not, how did you come around the obstacles?
SZ: My academic degrees were not any way matched to my writing aspirations. I have always wanted to write a book and I can remember when I was young I wanted to write a book on poetry. When my students asked me to write the book I just sat down and started writing. I sent it off to a publisher who rejected the book and the person editing the book for me suggest I self publish it through Amazon. I did and never looked back. All of my books are self-published through Amazon.
Me: If you were to describe Steve Zimcosky in three words, what would those be?
SZ: Patient, Calm and Peaceful!
Me: How soon would we get the honor of reading another one of your books? Do you already have a plot in mind? If yes, would you give us a hint?
I have started on another book and it involves the concept of movies, a Japanese overtone, love
Me: It has been a real pleasure talking with you and reading My Cursed Heart. Wishing you all the luck and hoping that My Cursed Heart would turn out to be one of the bestsellers. Thanks a lot for your time and patience. Looking forward to a long and beautiful relationship!
Thank You, I have enjoyed doing this and I will let you know when the next book is done so you can be the first to review it.
Me: Oh, I know I can’t wait 🙂
So, here it was! I know I didn’t want this conversation to end, but we need to end one conversation to start another. I am sure we’ll get a chance to sit down with the incredible author once again.Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest – Enter Today!