Voicing Their Protests

Luminita LaFlash Author Interview

The House of Spark follows a young woman who is living in communist Romania, who undergoes tragedy and finds romance, only to have him disappear; she must find out what happened to her love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The House of Spark though a work of fiction, is inspired by people and events from my family background. In 1997 when I moved from Romania to the United States, it became important to me to tell my family story in an effort for young readers to learn about my country. Mainly about the blackest chapter in Romania’s history—the Communist regime. My story follows a group of university students and young adults, part of a larger segment who fought for their people by voicing their protests and sharing anti-communist ideas, often to their personal detriment, harm, and even death. Under the Russian occupation, which started after the fall of the Romanian monarch, the Romanian students were not silenced.

Virginia is a resilient and resourceful woman who will stop at nothing to find her love. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Most of the characters in my story are inspired by real people who were part of my life growing up. My mother influenced my main character Virginia. She was an intelligent and powerful woman. Despite everything she endured in her life, she never gave up. Her friend Viorica portrayed in my story by the character Doina was a long-time friend of my mother. Like my characters in the story, they were very different but very close and supportive throughout their lives. Maria and Ionita, other significant characters in my story, were inspired by my natural grandparents. Their actual story is very similar to the one that I portrayed in my story. While Maria is the type of caring, compassionate, and kind mother, Ionita is the opposite, selfish, uncompassionate, and indifferent about the way other people feel. A broken man who turned to alcohol for comfort. One of the controversial characters in my story Luca was also inspired by a real character. He represents the corrupt and lazy guy who tried to make a name for himself using lies and manipulation. A Securitate snitch. An individual who was interested in personal gain and nothing more. A shame to society. On the other side, Jenica is the symbol of courage, the student who fought, among others, against the soviet occupation and the Securitate.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

While telling my family story, I wanted young adults to learn about Romania’s cuisine, literature, architecture, and history. I wanted to highlight Romania’s important historical and cultural inheritance. I describe Bucharest’s most beautiful recreational places, the Cismigiu Garden and Herastrau Park. Places that played an important part in my life growing up.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a different version of the book dedicated to adults and also on the second book, The House of Spark II. I dedicated this first version of The House of Spark mainly to young adults. It highlights the bravery of the Romanian students who fought against the Soviet Communist occupation and regime. The adult version shows more of the dark side of the period. I want it to be released sometime next year.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

It’s the 1950s in Romania, after the fall of the Romanian monarch, a time of terror for its citizens. Stalin’s communist regime influenced the creation of the Securitate, a police agency used as an instrument of manipulation and control over the country and its economics, education, and even its very culture.
Young Virginia is a university student whose life of tragedy–including her father’s death and her brother succumbing to polio prevaccine days–has given her a strength beyond her years. For the first time since their deaths, she had started feeling a sense of fulfillment and inner peace much due to her chance meeting of Jenica, a young “bright and full of energy and passion” who has captivated her heart. But now, Jenica has vanished, and Virginia has enlisted their friends to gather information taking serious risks in doing so, causing them to jeopardize their safety with the Securitate and others through exposure and asking questions. When there is a report of a homicide, Virginia fears the worst, but attempts at surreptitiously getting identification or a police report are met with suspicious dead ends. It’s too dangerous to get the officials involved, and it’s difficult to know whom to trust–identifying who are members of the communist party or who would be sympathetic to her efforts. She is desperate to find out where Jenica is or what happened to him. And they will do whatever it takes to find out. An unexpected phone call reveals information that once again turns Virginia’s world upside down. But will it help her find Jenica?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 15, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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