Q&A with Sanja S Jungic

Today iI’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Stars Among Us. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Sanja S Jungic for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

I didn’t know it from the start, but the thing is, I started writing early on in my childhood. Recently, my mom found a diploma from my literary course back in 1997 (I was only 9 at the time)! My interests were changing through the years; first I wanted to be a lawyer, then a singer, but what was constant is that I was always writing, whether for school newspapers and competitions, whether for various news portals in my adulthood. 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

I was actually switching from job to job because it was hard to find a well-paid and secure job in Croatia at the time and I was still kind of (re)inventing myself, but what all my jobs had in common was communication. They were always somehow related to public relations and marketing, which helped me land my current job as a head of marketing and communications at a popular Croatian bookstore chain. And all of that certainly helped with my writing. 

What was your inspiration for The Stars Among Us?

It all started when I read one fairly popular romance novel which was adapted into an even more popular movie, but I really hated the book! I couldn’t figure out why so I challenged myself to write something better. And hopefully I did! The other aspect of the story reflects my love of Game of Thrones, which brought me to their set in Dubrovnik, where I was an extra for two seasons. Working with celebs, lurking behind the scenes, and just being a part of such an awesome show really inspired me to re-tell my experiences from set through Nora’s story. 

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of the people you know?

They do, actually. But I try to cover it up in a way that people are unrecognizable in the end because I add some traits that they don’t have in real life. Some of my friends and family said that Nora, the lead female protagonist, reminds them of me, mostly because of her snarky remarks, and that may be the case, but I also like to point out that Nora is much fiercer and braver than I ever was. 

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Both! I was a pantser with The Stars Among Us and even though the writing process was relatively quick, editing was really tough since I had many chapters that were all over the place and I had to write a lot of filler chapters to somehow connect them. For my second book, Ti si moje sve (You Are My Everything, which is yet to be translated into English), I became a plotter. I made a rough draft and this time I wrote the chapters one by one. This slowed down my writing process, but the editing went much quicker. Both processes have their pros and cons. 

How did you research for The Stars Among Us? Did you enjoy it?

I’m a nerd who had straight A’s in both high school and college, so I mostly like to write about the things I know. When it came to something I didn’t yet experience, such as living in the US or LA, I was really nervous about making it sound right, so I read about it and watched a lot of YouTube videos. I hope it paid off!

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

I don’t really have any favourites, but there are some authors I admire, such as Colleen Hoover, Sophie Kinsella, Taylor Jenkins Reid, V.E. Schwab… I often think about their stories and how I would love to write the way they do once I grow up. 

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

It might seem petty and it could get me into a lot of trouble with my husband, but I guess they would be Ian Somerhalder, Max Verstappen and Damiano David! Ian actually inspired me to write Lucas, my lead male protagonist, so that’s kinda obvious. I’d like to talk to Max since I became a huge Formula 1 fan after watching Drive to Survive on Netflix; I’d might even consider going with him for a test drive! And Damiano David… Well, do I even need to explain? 😊

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Lewis Hamilton fans (see the answer above). 

Who would you like to play the main character/s in a film version of The Stars Among Us?

I kind of spoiled the answer to this in one in the previous questions, but Ian Somerhalder is definitely favourite for the lead male character, Lucas Winter. I would also like to see Sam Claflin as Ivor and Emilia Clarke as Nora… Can you tell that I’m a Me Before You fan as well?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I don’t really have much spare time, but I enjoy hanging out with my husband and our pets; Maltese Toya and cats Cecilije and Egidije, or watching Netflix and chilling. I’m basically a couch potato.    

What is next for you?

Hopefully, a huge success with The Stars Among Us, maybe a Netflix movie or a TV show after this tour? On a more serious note, I hope I’ll get on with my writing and find my piece of sunshine under the international sky.

Favourites:

Book? Harry Potter series

Film? About Time

Band/Singer? Maneskin/Sia

TV show? Game of Thrones

Colour? None

Place? Dubrovnik

Biscuit? What is a biscuit? (I’m dieting)

***

The Stars Among Us is available from Amazon, free for a limited time.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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