Folk Tales and Legends Inspire Author Zrinka Jelic

I was fortunate to visit the Adriatic Sea when our cruise ship sailed to Croatia, so I understand author Zrinka Jelic’s love of her beautiful homeland. What a treat to visit the setting for her book, Bonded by Crimson, just after I’d read it. And what a treat to have her on my blog today.

Welcome, Zrinka. Talk about the books you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?

My ideas come from everyday life. It can be a dream or a segment of a dream, or from a movie or even a book I’ve read. I love to resurrect old folk tales and legends and bring the characters back to life, as I did in both Rose of Crimson and its sequel, Bonded by Crimson.

How did you celebrate the publication of your first book?

From the time the book was accepted for publication until it actually got published more than six months had passed and the thrill kind of worn off, but I think I might’ve gone shopping.


A worthy celebration! How would you describe your writing process? Do you outline? Let the muse lead you? Or something else?

I let my muse lead me. I used to outline then never referred back to it and in every case my muse took me in the other direction. So now I just let her and [more] often than not, she surprises me too.

Yes, my muse leads me in unsuspected ways, too LOL. How has writing this book changed you?

In many ways. I don’t accept something for the fact without checking it first. I’ve learned that we never stop learning and that we should never think we know everything and close our mind on learning process. We might’ve graduated from school, but in the school of life, there’s no graduation day. Keep learning something new all the time. 

I love that philosophy. Was there a scene that was more difficult than others? One that you pondered whether or not to include it? Talk about that.

There are always such scenes, and in some books I’ve completely deleted them out and in some I’ve tweaked them so that they could work. Usually the conflict scenes that give me grief, maybe because I don’t like conflict in general and try to avoid it.

How do your characters influence your writing? Do you have disagreements with them?

I can’t say we ever disagree but they do run the show and sometimes they give me alternate ending to a chapter or a book, one I didn’t originally see. They are funny that way.

Indeed, they are! What is your research process like? Do you enjoy it?

I enjoy it, however, sometimes it takes me places I never intended to and I end up wasting time while I could be writing, but it’s all in the name of learning.

Yes, I started out researching the American Revolution and ended up studying materials used in colonial era shoes. Has writing changed how you read books now? How so?

Absolutely, my internal editor just won’t sit back and let me enjoy the book. I notice things I never used to. When I first started writing, I asked my husband and his sisters to read it, they are all avid readers, but they were either polite or simply didn’t know how to critique. Then as I got more into writing world, I realized that readers, who aren’t writers, probably don’t know anything about critiquing, editing and such. They are not familiar with concepts such as info dumping, POV’s, telling vs. showing, HEA, author’s intrusion, run-on sentences and so on. I’ve learned all this in writing workshops.

Yes, we do struggle with those issues as writers, don’t we? And we’re constantly learning, as you said. It’s so nice to visit with you, Zrinka. Thanks for visiting today.


Zrinka’s book is available at:



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