Interview with Miruna Cornescu

  • Hello Miruna, welcome to BrandEducation! Tell us more about yourself.

Hello! I’m Miruna Cornescu, I’m 19 years old and I am a first year law student at the University of Bucharest and at the Collège Juridique Franco-Roumain. Although law may seem a little dry for someone with artistic inclinations, I convinced myself that the two can merge. The creative side is a deep trait of mine, as is writing. I can’t imagine giving up on this.

I published ‘A Chase for Glory’, the first book of my historical fiction trilogy, in 2020, finished the second book in 2021 and I am currently working on the third and final book, hoping to publish them soon as well.

  • What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read climbed quickly to second place in my top favourites: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, by Erich M. Remarque. I picked it up when I started my first solo trip with the European interrail because it was small enough to carry around, and I like historical books. However, I was not prepared to be fascinated so quickly by the characters, their stories, the difficulties they faced and how they encouraged each other through them, the moving events and the writing style that portrayed in incredible detail the hardships of a group of young students through the development of the First World War. What made me bond with the main characters the most was that we were the same age, 19 years old, at the threshold of maturity and adulthood. Hence, this also impacted how I related to them and understood their feelings, growing attached to them and the book in a way that was a little more personal to me than if I had read it at a different age. I definitely recommend this book for the emotion that the characters manage to transmit from the simplest yet most meaningful of interactions. 

  • What inspired you to start writing?

I have been writing ever since I was little, always changing the endings of my favourite stories or movies if my favourite character would end tragically. Before working on my current trilogy, I had many ideas but only developed them a little. Growing more mature, I started viewing writing as a way of sharing my ideas and thoughts with the world and experimenting with my works in progress to see where they lead. I grew attached to this one particular idea that was more prominent than the others, which eventually contoured into my first book, ‘A Chase for Glory’. I developed this story at 14 years old, at first more for fun, yet I never would have thought it would grow to become a whole trilogy, with a world and characters that I built that are very dear to me. 

The first book of my historical fiction trilogy, ‘A Chase for Glory,’ is about fighting for survival in an uncertain world, having the courage to be yourself and to build connections with others, and daring to fight for what you love and believe in. 

  • What’s your favourite thing about being a writer? 

Writing is one of my dearest passions, and choosing just one favourite thing about it is hard. Although there are many, I’d say getting to know yourself while getting to know your characters, evolving along with them, because, besides plotting the book you’re writing, you’re plotting the ‘book’ of your life. I take great inspiration from my experiences, so each character in my books is based on a specific part of myself, the main characters, more than the others. It’s always heartwarming to go back and read something I wrote a year ago and remember the experiences I was going through at that time or the event that inspired me to write a particular scene.

Despite contrary views, I don’t consider writing a solitary passion. Sure, it involves working with yourself, dedication and moments of reflection, deciding what to do next and how to transmit your message in writing best, but I like it when I ask my friends or fellow readers what they think of my books after they read them. I’m an extroverted person; I like to discuss and debate ideas, and I love it when I see that my readers are as passionate about my characters as I am and that they love them as much as I do. Another thing I like about being a writer is meeting your readers and witnessing their impressions and excitement upon reading the work you are so passionate about. Furthermore, getting to know other writers and sharing views on writing routines, lifestyles, and ideas while bonding through a common passion is a lovely thing. I’m very grateful to have experienced this as well.  

  • Anything you would like to say to those just starting out in the craft?

When starting, I think the most challenging things we battle are our insecurities, high expectations of ourselves, and hesitation to share our work with our friends or family out of fear of being judged.

From my own experience, I was more of an exigent critic of my writing than any relative, friend, or acquaintance. I wanted to perfect my writing style and master this skill even though I was just at the beginning. You have to give yourself space to mess up. Your first drafts and first sketches will be a mess. But you know what is growing, despite not being too visible? Your idea. The roots of your book, regardless of the genre. 

My advice to you is to plan, but don’t overthink it. Have a structure, know what you want to transmit, and have an idea of each character, but it’s alright if you still need to figure out the ending or how to get there! You just have to write! And I promise, the book will catch contour quicker when you stress less about it. You will find your writing style, but you can’t do so unless you try! So, I encourage you to keep writing and believe in your idea until you see it catch the form you want!

If you have something to share, do it! The world needs unique, brilliant ideas, even if, at the beginning, you might not think it’s such a great thing.  

  • As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I always used to tell people I wanted to become a musketeer! I know it is not the most ‘usual’ of careers. Still, it’s funny now as I look back at it because, in a way, I did become a musketeer: I’m a law student, I like to fight for justice and integrity, I’m true to my values, I took fencing classes for a short while, and I ride horses as a passion. I don’t go around in a feather hat (although I like hats with large brims) or a velvet cape, yet I will see about that when I take on the lawyer’s robe. 🙂

  • What is the first step to becoming more self-aware?

To spend time with yourself, get to know who you are, and become your observer and first cheerleader. To discover myself better and try it as an experience, I wanted to do a trip alone through Europe last year. It was the best thing to do at this age: to be on your own for a whole week, to learn responsibility and manage all by yourself. This journey brought me closer to myself and allowed me to observe myself better and get to know what sparked my attention and inspired me from a deeper perspective. Usually, when visiting a museum with a travel partner, the first impressions and thoughts evoked by a painting or exhibit would immediately pop up to be shared, at least in my case. Yet now, having no one to share those thoughts with, I got to witness their echo and to understand why and how the things that I saw impacted me. This is why travelling alone can help you know yourself better and is a step to becoming more self-aware.

  • Where do you dream traveling to and why?

I like travelling to places with a rich history, exciting culture and beautiful architecture. Also, I’m thrilled to be able to speak the local language and practise my skills. Usually, when picking my holiday destinations, I also like breathtaking landscapes and wandering into the beauty of nature, so, depending on what I feel like trying, I choose my trip. However, I believe that travelling can bring us so much wisdom because, not only through the things we see, but also through what we feel and experience, we change by the end of a journey. Somehow, we are still the same, yet slightly different, and we come back home with our hearts a little heavier, too, because they are full of every place or moment we cherish. It’s interesting to see how something so insignificant, like a ticket to a museum or a plane ticket, can become a souvenir, carrying memories that make us smile when we look back at them. Hence, I love collecting things like that in my travel journal and sticking them on its pages. 

  • What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I like participating in many activities and keeping an active lifestyle. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, whether vocal or playing my guitar or piano. I love sports, but horse riding is a soul sport for me. As a child, I was passionate about horses and spent my childhood holidays learning to ride. It is a wonderful feeling to have a connection with such a noble animal, from which you can learn empathy, respect, courage, and trust. Horses can hear human heartbeats from a distance; they mirror our emotions and personality. It is said that to master your horse, one must first master oneself. This is why riding has meant for me also self-discovery, an opportunity to overcome my limits and face my insecurities through training with the horse, a partner who demands authenticity and emotion from you. 

  • Who are your cheerleaders?

My family. I am very grateful to my parents and grandparents for believing in me from the beginning, for being my first readers, and encouraging me to develop the messy idea that soon became ‘A Chase for Glory’.

  • What’s the single most important reason for your success?

The core of any success must be passion. If you put your whole heart into what you do, it won’t go unnoticed because things crafted with passion are the most unique and genuine. I love my trilogy, and now that I am coming to its end, working on the third and last book, I realise how attached I have become to my characters and to the world itself. Looking back, I feel like I have grown alongside them, which is heartwarming.

Of course, for a process to work, there should be a lot of planning, structuring, and realistic talks with yourself about building the strategy you want to pursue. So, another two key points of my success are perseverance and courage. 

  • How do you generate new ideas?

I draw inspiration from all of my experiences, from travels to interactions and conversations with different people and music. Music plays a significant role in inspiring me because sometimes I find myself replaying a particular lyric in my head, only later to find the inspiration for a dialogue or description. Other times, I hear a song for the first time, and its vibe sticks with me for a while before I can transfer the feeling to a scene I’m writing, serving as inspiration and soundtrack. Anyone can find inspiration anywhere if they are attentive enough to their surroundings.

  • What made you want to become an author?

I haven’t really thought about this before. I started writing mainly because I have something to say and share with the world. As I previously mentioned, I like experimenting with characters and plot ideas, and I did that quite a lot when I was little. I still have many ideas for future works and am very excited to get started with them once I finish this trilogy. 

An author is a writer who decides to share their ideas with the world, to launch them on the shelves, assuming every good or bad outcome. I mentioned earlier that it also takes courage to take this leap. I want to publish my books and become an author because I believe in my idea. I have grown to love it, and I believe it can inspire those who read it, too. I like the idea of being able to help people through writing and making them feel understood and empowered by my characters’ stories because they are based on genuine feelings, on a particular emotion that others can relate to.

  • What’s the key lesson you want everyone to take away from your work?

When I write, I let myself be guided by emotion, and this is the foundation of a successful scene: to convey an emotion to the reader, to make them feel something. I want my readers to find themselves in my characters, be inspired to follow their goals with boldness and courage, and not give up when the road gets hard. Honestly, I’m not a fan of viewing writing or reading as an ‘escape’. On the contrary, I’d rather see it as a journey to a literary world or a warm acquaintance if it’s a meeting with a new favourite character. This is why I wish my readers to relate to my characters’ stories and feel understood upon witnessing their hardships. I hope that, when they close the book and return to their lives, and a challenge arises ahead of them, they won’t feel like they’ve escaped it for a short while in the time spent inside my book, but instead, they feel inspired to be daring in the pursuit of their dreams. Perseverance is something I learned in my journey, and I would love to pass that on through my writing. 

Thank you for the opportunity, it’s both an honour and a pleasure to share my story with you and your readers!

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