Posted on July 23, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Ronesa Aveela, a writer who is “the creative power of two” — two authors, that is.
Nelly Tonchev, the main force and creative genius behind the work, was born in Bulgaria and moved to the US in the 1990s.
She grew up with stories of wild Samodivi, Kikimora, the dragons Zmey and Lamia, Baba Yaga, and much more. She’s a freelance artist and writer. She likes writing mystery romance inspired by legends and tales.
In her free time, she paints. Her artistic interests include the female figure, Greek and Thracian mythology, folklore tales, and the natural world interpreted through her eyes. She is married and has two children.
Rebecca Carter, her writing partner, was born and raised in the New England area. She has a background in writing and editing, as well as having a love of all things from different cultures.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
REBECCA: Nelly and I worked in corporate America together.
She had written a story (in Bulgarian) after she had visited Emona, Bulgaria, a small village by the Black Sea. She knew I had a background in publishing, so she asked if I would help her make her story sound better in English.
I had always enjoyed writing both in high school and college, but work and life got in the way. I found this was a great opportunity for both of us.
We formed a team and became Ronesa Aveela.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?
NELLY: I would like to be Kalyna, the beautiful Samodiva, to meet the Great Goddess Bendis, to learn more about the mystical land of Zmeykovo (Dragon Village) and the Thracians.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to and why?
NELLY: If I could travel back in time. I would like to go back to the nineteenth century.
There are many inspiring artists, writers, scientists who changed the world. It’s hard to pick a name from the long list of famous people.
Since I’m a woman, an immigrant, a writer, and an artist, I would love to meet Edmonia Lewis. I would like to learn more about her life, the obstacles she faced during her remarkable career.
REBECCA: I’d like to go back to ancient Thracian times. I’ve done a lot of research on Thracian beliefs and history.
So much more is unknown because what little that has been written about them comes from other cultures and not their own.
I’d like to meet Orpheus, the famed Thracian musician. Behind the mythology must be a real person.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
NELLY: My work is inspired by the past, by the Bulgarian, Slavic, and Thracian legends and lore. I strongly believe that if we know more about our past, we can build a better future.
Traditions and rituals are a great way to teach children about the family’s cultural and religious history, giving them a personal identity.
Customs, traditions, and beliefs give people hope for a better life for themselves and their families and friends.
REBECCA: I’d like to get across to people that although we all come from different cultures, values, and beliefs, underneath we are all the same.
The stories we tell our children may be different, but we are the same because we DO tell our children stories.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
NELLY: I was in Bulgaria when a wall came down in 1989 and removed a curtain between the Eastern and Western worlds.
Today a new wall has been created, a wall of hate. This is why it’s even more important to learn about other cultures, countries, and faith and appreciate our differences.
Diversity is a fact; inclusion is a choice.
REBECCA: Being laid off in early 2018 (and unable to find suitable work due to many companies being unwilling to hire people over fifty) has allowed me to be a full-time author.
It’s still a struggle to make writing profitable, and the hours are longer than even a corporate position, but it’s much more fulfilling.
The stress of working at a job where people are only considered “resources” is not something I wish to return to.
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Categories: Author Interview