Rocsanne Shield was born in Romania many years ago, when communism was still the way of life in her country. She desired to escape the communism and find more about a freer way of life in the West. For this, she left Romania as a tourist, and never looked back. Her education includes Geological Engineering and Construction Estimating, thus being able to find work wherever she went. During all these years she wrote short stories, mostly about the people she met, finding them extremely interesting. But always she was sure she will write a novel someday.
Can you tell a little bit about yourself and about your book?
I was born in Romania and I always loved fairy tales. When I started school and I could write, I even wrote a play for my dolls, that started in the home, but then moved into the forest, where my fantasy took flight. I got criticized for too much imagination! As you can imagine, this cooled my desire to be read by others. Now I am retired and have lots of time and nobody to criticize me, so I let my fantasy do its worst...or best.
What inspired you to write Save Magic City and what influences and experiences did you bring into the book?
In 2001, the company for which I've been working decided to reduce the number of people they employed all over the world. In my case, the whole section in which I was working got closed. You may say that none of us were happy, but the general situation was not so bad. I started writing. After a while, I happened to watch the movie "The Corporation" and was very impressed. In so many cases, we, the employees had put all our enthusiasm and work force into the company that employed us, only to be let go -- and I do not talk only about my personal experience -- already the phenomenon was becoming general and more and more people were finding themselves out of a job. A whole town/city in distress was not such an imagination stretch.
How did the character of Edmund originate?
I started writing my novels in the Historical Romance genre, I have some 5 or six such stories of different lengths, finished and not quite... Edmund started appearing as my negative character, my villain, but his half-sister, Blanche, begged his enemies to give him a second chance. I was just going through the process of writing the last chapters of the previous book when I saw an animation movie for children, about a boy finding a giant robot in the woods, and it was like an Eureka explosion -- I saw him banished and cursed to do only good deeds or he would have to pay... The rest is history!
For me, the children were the most important and the most rewarding part. Little Leo brought about the other two, and continuing with the animal names was inevitable. I could see Squirrel climbing trees and jumping over obstacles, while Raccoon became the peacekeeper.
What are your favourite authors, and which authors have inspired you the most?
Most fairy tales are part of a country's folklore, so let me take a break and think ... The Grimm Brothers, the Romanian folk-tales gatherers, Terry Pratchett, and a less known author -- Herbie Brennan, who used UFO's and devils as part of his fantasy world in very creative ways.
If you were stranded on an island and were able to bring five books with you (not including your own) which ones would you chose?
I'd cheat and say Harry Potter, though there are more than one book involved, The Three Musqueteers, poetry by the Romanian writer Mihail Eminescu, Nora Robert's fantasy stories -- historical and otherwise -- and Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan.
Look here for my review of Save Magic City