Delia C. Zorzoliu
Lives in Southampton, Great Britain
Romelia: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I started with poetry when I was 10 years old. I didn’t have anything to inspire me. It came naturally. I put a pencil on paper, and I started writing. After that, I couldn’t stop writing.
It was different from the novels. I started reading children’s books when I was 8 years old. It was my father who gave me this spirit of reading. He bought me a book and made me read. I didn’t like reading at first, but after reading the first book I liked it and I asked my father to buy me more books. I think I’ve read over 300 children’s books so far. I don’t know if it’s more or less, but I know that it was enough to create a basis for my path in this direction as a writer.
Reading inspired me to create my own story, so I wrote my first storybook when I was 11 years old. At the age of 11, I wrote 4 stories for children. My first children’s book that I published, „The Brave Squirrel and The Enchanted Hazelnut Tree” is one of them.
Romelia: CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING SPACE?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I am writing anywhere. When I have an idea, it doesn’t matter where I am. I write on the phone, on the computer, on a piece of paper (this is just for poetry), but I usually write my books on the phone, sitting in bed, that’s more convenient (I advise you not to do as I do).
I have an wattpad account and I have access to writing from anywhere, being an online platform.
I prefer to write late at night and early in the morning, because then is more silence around.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU HANDLE LITERARY CRITICISM?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: Maybe that sounds a little weird, but I like my work to be criticized. From every criticism or appreciation that comes from others, I have something to learn, and all these opinions push me to persevere in what I do or see what I do well.
I think that if you receive criticism, it means that your work has not gone unnoticed and this is good.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED WHILE WRITING YOUR BOOK(S)?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: The most surprising thing that I discovered while writing my books was my imagination and creativity, which never stops. I can create story after story and wonderful magical worlds.
I often wonder if one day all this imagination will disappear and what it will be like without it, but I don’t want it to leave me.
Now, the book’s (especially the children’s book) ar more than a book, they are part of me.
Romelia: DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHARACTER THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN? IF SO, WHO? AND WHAT MAKES THEM SO SPECIAL?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: My favorite character that I have written was a girl (Mey Campbell), for my novel „The secrets of the Campbell family”. I haven’t finished writing this book yet. I hope to finish it in time for publication next year.
Mey Campbell is special (to me), because she is a girl who has to learn to be strong in the face of life’s blows. She is a rebellious girl, who is in constant contradiction with the people around her, she is strong, but at the same time sensitive…
My Mey, as I like to call her, matures throughout the novel. I like it because she never gives up.
Romelia: how many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I don’t like to brag. I’d rather let the facts speak for me, but if you asked me, I’ll have to answer. I finished writing 19 books (14 children’s books, 2 novels, and 3 volumes of poetry).
I’m working on other books, but I will not give a number, because this will change over time. I will probably never publish some of them because it is normal to write also stories that are not so good (by the standards I have set them myself) and I have thrown some of them in the trash.
I like all my books because every book is different and every book I’ve written has something different, but if I had to choose three books, they would be: my adventure fiction novel „Magic Magnifier”, my novel of mystery „Emerald Earrings”. ”One love two lives ” (which will be released this spring) and the children’s book inspired by Romanian folklore” The Shepherd with the Golden Wool Sheep and Princess Sanziana „.
Romelia: IS IT EASIER TO WRITE A BOOK FOR CHILDREN OR AN ADULT BOOK?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: This is a good question.
A children’s book and an adult book are two different things, in my opinion. When you write a children’s book, you have to think like a child and write like an adult, but when you write an adult book, you have to think and write like an adult.
I think it’s easier to write a book for adults, but for me it’s easier to write books for children, because I like to create different worlds that I want to share with children and give them beautiful dreams, just like other writers gave me, as a child, through their books.
Romelia: DOES ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HEART? IF SO, WHY?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: The main character, The Brave Squirrel of my book „The Brave Squirrel and the Enchanted Hazelnut Tree” had a special place in my heart, because it was my first published book. And squirrels are also very cute animals.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE KEY THEME AND/OR MESSAGE IN THE BOOK?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: Here I will talk about the messages in my books in general. I will not refer to a single book. Each book of mine is different and has a different theme and message.
The message of my books is, in general, about how children should learn to be better, more generous, more obedient, about how to love nature and everything around them, but also about love or how to dream beautifully.
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR READERS TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: In my adult books each of the readers will find themselves in one way or another.
I want my adult readers to find in my books my messages about love, hope, suffering, happiness, dedication, power, but most importantly, I want my readers to learn how to be strong in the face of the blows of life, because, in every book of mine, the dramas of life leave a strong imprint in the lives of my characters, changing their destinies.
My little readers, the children, I want to find in my books the spirit of old stories, stories that will never die and take from my books and keep forever the dream of their childhood and the hope that in this world it is never too late to dream and to enter into a world full of love and happiness, through books.
Romelia: TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS FOR COMING UP WITH THE COVER.
Delia C. Zorzoliu: For my first book „The Brave Squirrel and The Enchanted Hazelnut Tree” the cover was made by my editor, and for my second book „The Crystal Frog and The Water Lily Fairy”, (this book it’s just in Romanian language for the moment, but the book will be released in other languages soon), was made by a very talented illustrator. I’m very proud of both covers and I want to thank them for that.
Romelia: what do you love most about writing stories for children?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: When I write stories for children, I like to create new worlds in which I’m free to be who I want to be. The stories give me the strength to travel to fairytale realms from where to bring magical things with me and to share them with my readers, through my books.
Romelia: why do you think it is important for children to develop a love of reading?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: As you said, love for reading must develop from childhood. The best example is me. If my father hadn’t opened the way for me to read, I probably wouldn’t have become a writer. This does not mean that all children who read books need to become writers, at some point, but by reading books, the children will build a solid foundation to use in the life and career they choose to pursue.
Reading develops you as a human being, develops your mind, making you stronger intellectually.
Parents are the ones who give their children options, they are the ones who can guide them to certain activities, so I advise parents to open the way for their children to read, to go with them to bookstores, to choose books together or even online, and then to read them with their children on a weekend afternoon, or even tin he night before bed.
Over the years, children will thank their parents for spending time reading a book together, or maybe even for making them love books, as I thank to my father today.
Romelia: do you have any ’’top tips’’ for parents and carers who want to help children develop a love of reading?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I think the first thing, but also the most important thing, is to buy books for your children and read them with them at the beginning, and in time, they will love to read on their own.
And the second thing is to see which is your children’s favorite character, or what style of story they prefer to read. For example, some children love heroes, others princesses, others animals, others mermaids…
You have to capture your children’s attention by drawing them, at first, to their favorite characters. In time they will learn to love other characters or styles.
I think that children should also include reading in their daily program of activities and read a few pages of books, at least 15 minutes. Over time, the benefits of reading in their intellectual development will be felt.
Romelia: what are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: My biggest dream is to have a film or a television adaptation based on a book of mine. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was only 10 years old. It’s a big dream but „never say never”…
To get closer to reality, I would say that another dream of mine is to be able to publish all the books I have written and the books I am going to write.
I never make plans, I let life open up my opportunities and I will make the right decisions (or not) at the right time, whether we make mistakes or not through the decisions we make, each of us is forced by life, at different times, in life, to choose a path.
Romelia: who is your favorite children’s author and why?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: This is a difficult question. I love many children’s author, but I will give you just two.
From Romanian literature I love Ion Creangă. He is a contemporary author and I grew up in Romania with his stories. It’s said that first love is never forgotten. After reading Ion Creangă’s first story, I fell in love and fell in love forever with this author’s books.
From international literature I love Roald Dahl, because this author manages to combine the comic and the fantastic in his stories in a way that fascinated me.
Romelia: what advice do you have for children who dream of becoming an author or illustrator?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: When you are a child, you dream, and you want something, but as you mature and grow, your preferences may change. But even so, no matter what dream a child has (regardless of whether they want to become writers, illustrators, doctors … etc.), I would tell them not to give up that dream. Most importantly, it’s to follow their heart because what you do with your soul and what comes from your heart gives you spiritual (and professional) fulfillment.
Romelia: if you could spend a day with one of the prenderpals who would it be and why?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I haven’t thought about it before, but I like raccoons, so in that case it would be a raccoon.
Romelia: TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK. WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: Until last year, in 2020, I wrote: „just for me”. I was planning to publish something someday. Ever since I was only 10 years old, I saw myself as a writer in the future. I imagined myself at 45 sitting at a desk, in front of a computer, with glasses on my nose and writing books, but I didn’t take this seriously until I felt ready. There comes a time in life when you have to give something back to the world from what you have learned. I felt like my time had come last spring.
I do things spontaneously, so everything happened in a few minutes. I woke up in the morning and while sitting at work in front of the laptop, in my mind flashed the idea of sending the book to a publisher for publication. I was looking for one, that would bend to what I wanted and that’s was.
Romelia: CAN YOU SHARE WITH US SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOOK THAT ISN’T IN THE BLURB?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: In the blurb, it’s not past that the story has a lesson. Children must learn to share what they have with other children, and here I do not only mean material things; I also mean kindness, love, and friendship.
The Brave Squirrel was greedy and reckless and only wanted to eat the fruits of the enchanted hazelnut, ignoring the words of Princess Luna, and the other squirrels were cursed for their greed. The Brave Squirrel will have to sacrifice herself to get rid squirrels of the curse, but in the end she will also be rewarded for her sacrifices.
Romelia: DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT BOOK HERO OR HEROINE.
Delia C. Zorzoliu: In the vision of each of us, perfection has a certain standard. Our standard of perfection may not match other people’s standards of perfection. That is why I believe that there is no perfect hero or heroine, there is only a favorite hero or heroine.
Romelia: HOW MANY PLOT IDEAS ARE JUST WAITING TO BE WRITTEN? CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ONE?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I can say that I have new ideas all the time, but the ideas that I like the most are materialized in a book. I’m making a virtual selection.
Romelia: do you believe the new generation of children will love to read or spend more time on their phones?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: With this question, I think that a sensitive point has been reached and I will be subjective. Here it depends on the parents if their children will love the book,s or will spend more time on the phone.
I’m not saying that technology is bad, or that books are good. I think there should be a balance between technology and books and parents should try to find solutions in their right combination and education, so that their children can take the best of both.
Romelia: WHAT BOOKS OR AUTHORS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOUR OWN WRITING?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: Here I can answer that no book or author has influenced my own writing. I have my own writing. I have read a lot of contemporary literature, especially for children. I could say that my style is one that goes in the direction of contemporary literature.
Romelia: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK WHEN YOU WERE A KID?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: My favorite book when I was a kid was „Treasure Tree – by John Trent”. It’s still my favorite.
Romelia: IF YOU COULD ASK ONE SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR THREE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR WRITING, WRITING PROCESS, OR BOOKS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: If I could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books they would be:
- How long did it take to write the manuscript and how many corrections did the book go through before it was published?
- How long did it take to correct the manuscript, and here I am not referring to the grammar part, but to the construction and placement of the ideas, so that the result will be a better final product (if necessary, but I consider it always necessary)?
- If they wrote books that they never published because they were weak in terms of ideas and content and how many?
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WRITING?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I like to do many things because I don’t like to sit in vain.
I have many passions. My second passion is to do fitness. I like to read, to knit, to paint, I like to make homemade machete from matchsticks.
Romelia: WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I just want to be who I am and to stay the same child. I like to say that I’m an adult with a child’s soul.
Romelia: SHARE SOMETHING YOUR READERS WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU.
Delia C. Zorzoliu: It will sound funny, but I don’t have the patience to write long stories. In fact, I have no patience for anything in general. But this is an advantage because it helps me to write fast.
Romelia: Please describe yourself in a few words and tell us what you hate most about the world.
Delia C. Zorzoliu: I don’t like to describe myself because that would just mean bringing me words of praise. I’m kidding… I prefer to let people discover my qualities and flaws.
I love the world because it’s so beautiful, but I hate three things in this world: the wind, the dust and the stupidity.
The wind because it throws my hair over my face, but also because it can shatter everything in its path, just as disappointments can ruin our progress in life, if we are not strong in their beating.
Dust because I am allergic to it, but also because it can spread over our dreams, making us forget our desires.
And stupidity because it can prevent humanity (people) from evolving.
Therefore, I will end by quoting one of our great Romanian writers Camil Petrescu:
„Nothing is paid more safely than stupidity.”