Today, I'm going to tell you the story about why I'm writing the novel that I'm working on. This story is very near to my heart, even more so than I initially thought. This story was one of the first stories that I wrote for Virago, and Morana (the heroine of the story) never really left my mind.
I relate to every heroine that I write, in one way or the other. But I put a little bit more of myself in Morana than I did in most of my other main characters. The longer she lived inside me, the more she became alive to me. So you know, there was no other choice for me than to give her her own novel.
Those who are familiar with Slavic paganism know that Morana is the goddess of death. She has always fascinated me, ever since I was a little girl. When I was writing a shortened version of her story for Virago, I solely used her name as a reference to something not many people know about (but I see you, fellow Slavs!). I never really intended to put any more of Morana The Goddess in my Morana. Until a terrible thing happened.
My beloved grandmother became an ancestor in the middle of October of last year. The woman in whose womb my first little cells originated, no longer breathed. I was shattered. But alongside that heartbreak, I acquired a feeling that I never felt that strongly before. It started on the morning of her last day on Earth. I felt as if I knew what was coming and that I wasn't alone. She was with me. Really with me, you know. That was the moment that I understood: my Baka has become an ancestor. She will never leave my side.
Ever since I came back home from saying goodbye to her earthly body, I felt more connected to my ancestors than ever. Suddenly, everything made sense (and nothing did anymore, regarding what I wrote until then). I felt as if the Morana in my story didn't resemble me as much as she once did. So I changed the entire thing.
I am now not writing about Morana, the woman who shares a name with the Goddess of Death. I am now writing about Morana, the Goddess of Death. I love her. Every dark, twisted and magical thing about her. And I cannot wait until you get to meet her as well.
- Pia Sophia