Debbie Iancu-Hadad is author of YA Fantasy and SciFi with strong romantic threads. Our debut trilogies publishing journeys have run parallel and we’ve been critical readers for each other during our editing journeys. My favourite things about her books are her well-developed characters, their flaws and the banter and relationships that exist or develop between them. I also enjoy the fast pace of her stories, which keep me turning pages through her fantasy and sci-fi worlds. Here, was discuss her characters and story worlds.
Tell us a bit about you. Where’s home and what’s your life like outside writing?
I live in Meitar in the south of Israel. I’m self employed and when I’m working I give laughter yoga workshops, chocolate workshops and teach people how to improve their humour.
I’m married and have two kids, my daughter is almost twenty and my son just turned 18. And my writing buddy Shugi is a five months old golden retriever mix.
What drew you to your genre/audience age?
I write the kind of books I’ve always read, which is fantasy and sci Fi for YA. Maybe one day I’ll write for adults but I’d probably need to grow up first. My first Nanowrimo project “The goodbye kids” was inspired by my daughter when she was 16, and I just stayed in the zone. My Achten Tan series has characters ranging between 16-22.
What are some big themes your writing explores?
I like to discuss what makes us belong to a place and how where we’re from shapes our perspective. All my locations are very immersive, whether it’s a space station or a town made of bones in the middle of the desert.
Another issue I want to promote is body positivity and the inclusion of people with disabilities.
What drives your point of view characters?
A profound desire to prove themselves. Mila in Achten Tan wants to release her magic and get her voice back. Kaii the chief’s son in The Bone Master doesn’t want responsibility but won’t turn his back on a friend. Haley in the Goodbye Kids just wants to avoid getting hurt again, but desperately needs a friend.
How much do your point of view characters resemble or differ from you?
There are probably pieces of me in all my characters, if not my current self then the way I was when I was younger.
I’d love to say I have magical powers but sadly I have yet to come into my powers (I’m hoping it’s an old lady thing that’s still in my future).
Joking aside, all my characters work through the sense of being an outsider. For me that reflects moving from England to Israel as a child and always feeling like a part of somewhere else.
What influenced the settings they inhabit?
Achten Tan is a place like no other, a town built inside the rib cage of an ancient leviathan.
The place is the brainchild of Chris Van Dyke, who initiated the original Achten Tan anthology. I just moved in there and refused to leave.
The space station and futuristic world of The Goodbye Kids are nothing I’ve ever experienced outside of my imagination. I was going for a sense of extreme isolation.
What do you gain from writing your books and what do you hope your readers will gain from them?
Millions and millions of dollars…ha ha, I wish.
No, but seriously, I love having people share my character’s journey and being able to leave daily life aside for a while. I write about magic and it might be a cliche, but books really do have the ability to transport us to another time and place.
Where can we find your books?
My fantasy debut, “Speechless in Achten Tan,” has a kick-ass tattooed witch who can’t speak, a city made of bones, giant ants, a heist by a cool ensemble cast, magic, romance, banter, innuendo, & cute boys kissing.
Prepared to be left… speechless!
Speechless in Achten Tan (Both books are on sale till Feb 14th)
The Bone Master follows Kaii Haku as he leaves the comfort of Achten Tan to save a friend kidnapped by pirates.
Connect with Debbie on:
My name is Debbie Iancu Haddad (46), I’m a mother of teenagers (it’s like being a mother of dragons except they burn you with sarcasm).
for my day job, I am a public speaker specializing in teaching people how to use humor and a laugh yoga instructor.
I was born in Israel to a British mother & Romanian father who met in the immigration center in Beer-Sheva. When I was 10 months old the family returned to England for six years and re-emigrated in 1981.
Growing up bilingual in Israel was a huge help and saw me through a BA, an MA, and a third of a PhD. Even though I take studying seriously (almost no one who knows me would say too seriously) – my research interests focused on humor.
My MA was an exploration of Diet humor and my doctorate research was about humor as a communication tool used by managers and headmasters.
You may ask “don’t I take anything seriously?”
The answer is: “No. But thank you for asking”.
You’ll find more talk of fantasy characters, setting and world-building inspirations in:
Fantasy Author Feature: Nikky Lee.