My guest this week is a prolific writer with a wide range of interests and hails from Bulgaria. She has included lots of facts about her country, so I have included a map to show you where it is. (I wasn’t exactly sure myself). Let me hand over to my guest.
Ronesa Aveela is a Bulgarian-born freelance artist and writer, who now resides in the U.S. 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. Ronesa is married and has two children.
Her debut novel, Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, was inspired by a visit to this out-of-the-way village located on the Black Sea. The wild beauty of this mystical place, a land and its people and history hidden from the world, left a deep impression on her. It inspired her to use her pen and brushes to unveil a story of love and mystery and to depict the wonders of Mystical Emona through her characters, born from the imagination of her personal experience.
Emona opened a new world for her—time turned back thousands of years. She imagined the era when the great Thracians ruled the land when King Rez defended his people and the cape. She imagined the time when the old lighthouse, now so lonely and forgotten, was once alive, and its light illuminated the way for sailors on the stormy Black Sea. She imagined the time when the now-ruined church was alive with generations of people marrying, baptizing their children, and praying to God for good health and luck. She was amazed by the power, independent freedom, and strength of the wild horses galloping like a hurricane along the foothills of the Stara Planina.
This was only the beginning of the rich tales about Bulgaria, a country many only know as the place Dracula sailed from (Varna) if they even know that. Samodivi, woodland nymphs, are fascinating creatures that are prominent in all the novels. You may better know them as Veelas from Harry Potter. Ronesa, however, portrays them with the heart and soul of the reverence and fear Bulgarians have for these wondrous creatures. Even today, many people in remote villages still believe in their existence; and many others believe in them in their heart.
On a lighter side, here are some fun facts about Bulgaria you may not have known:
The Cyrillic alphabet was invented by two Bulgarian monks. Bulgarians are proud of this fact and get quite annoyed with the rest of the world for attributing the alphabet to Russians.
The first electronic digital computer was invented by a Bulgarian-American. Yup. Those devices we can’t live without today started with John Atanasoff in the 1930s. Although Atanasoff was American-born, his father emigrated to America from Bulgaria.
Bulgarians created yogurt. Truly, they did. Way back in the time of the Thracians. I kid you not. You can find more than three hundred varieties in the country, and many popular dishes are made with yogurt.
Shaking one’s head in Bulgaria means “yes,” while nodding signifies “no.” Think of the nightmares that can cause. I read an article recently by someone traveling in Bulgaria who was approached by a gypsy. When the boy held out his hand for money, the man shook his head. This only encouraged the boy, who smiled eagerly. Believe me. It’s best not to tell a Bulgarian they have this backwards.
Bulgarians are more likely to celebrate their “name day” than their birthday. “Name day? What’s that?” you might ask. Originally, it was a feast day for a particular saint. So, anyone who had the same name, for example, “Maria” or “Mary,” would celebrate on August 15, the Assumption of Mary. Bulgarians have a lot of saints, so there is no shortage of days to celebrate name days. From what I could gather, way, way back, when people didn’t know what day they were born on (yup, I’m talking a long time ago), they took up this custom of celebrating the feast of the saints since they DID know their own names. So why not have a little fun to mark each passing year?
Bagpipes are played by Bulgarians. Nope, it’s not only done in the United Kingdom. The Bulgarian version is called a gaida.
Famous people with Bulgarian association: Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook – his grandfather emigrated from Bulgaria in 1940. Tom Hanks, well-known actor – is married to a Bulgarian. Nina Dobrev, actress on “The Vampire Diaries” (well, maybe you don’t know her, but I like that TV series) – is a Bulgarian.
Those are a few of the things about a country most Americans aren’t really even sure where it can be found. Here’s to hoping you find all this interesting.
Ronesa Aveela Books:
Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey
Light Love Rituals: Bulgarian Myths, Legends, and Folklore
The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village
Baba Treasure Chest series
The Christmas Thief
The Miracle Stork
Born From the Ashes
Adult Coloring Books
Mermaids Around the World
More Mermaids Around the World
Mediterranean & Bulgarian Cuisine: 12 Easy Traditional Favorites
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Ronesa-Aveela/e/B00N02ZS20/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Ronesa%20Aveela%22
Social Media Sites:
Ronesa Aveela author page: https://www.facebook.com/RonesaAveela/
Ronesa’s Writing Tips: https://www.facebook.com/ronesaswritingtips/
Mystical Emona Bulgarian Myths, Legends, Folklore, and Mythology:
Dragon Village Book Series: https://www.facebook.com/dragonvillagebook/
Baba Treasure Chest: https://www.facebook.com/BabaTreasureChest/
All Things Mermaid: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsmermaid2/
Wow! I can only say how impressed I am with Ronesa’s versatility. And it’s great to learn something new. I’ll remember now where Bulgaria is and that the capital is called Sophia.
Thank you Ronesa for being my guest, that was a lot of fun 🙂
Till next week, take care