This interview was originally published in The Observator, in Romanian:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your Romanian connection. Why do you write under a pseudonym?
I was born in Romania in 1992. When I was only 11, my parents moved to Canada. We lived for a bit in Montreal, then moved to Toronto, and I ended up in Ottawa for University and stayed here. Though I never lived under Communism in Romania, my parents did, and growing up I still remember my father telling me not to speak “too loud” for fear of neighbours hearing my political opinions. This approach of his would continue even in Canada, and I think seeing him, specifically, with the wounds of that time period, I learned to grow up wary. Writing under a pseudonym protects me and my family, and gives me the freedom to be two people at once. In private, I can be Iulia, daughter, mom to two dogs, wife, hard worker. And in public, I get to be Alexa, the intrepid author who’s not afraid to speak her mind, jump into controversial conversations and lend a helping hand to fellow authors.
What would you say sparked your writing? Why do you love writing?
Moving to Canada was hard for my young self. In Romania, I learned English but had only started to learn French. Since we landed in Montreal, this meant I was at a disadvantage. So while I poured over books to learn the language, and fed my thirst of knowledge, I also started envisioning worlds of my own. It was really the move to Toronto that sparked my writing. On top of my strong European accent when speaking, coming from a French province into an English one means you’re stuck in the middle. You’re either too French for someone, or too English. Faced with this new type of discrimination, I retreated into myself and aside from the good friends I grew up with in high school, my focus went to my books. That’s when I started my first series for young adults…. (Read more).