Agnieszka makes a deal with a devil in this companion story to Absolute Sunset.
"... But at the same time, this something wants Agnieszka to see, so eventually it lets her push her way through the thick grass, the leaves so sharp that they cut the skin on her calves. She runs, ignoring the pain. And she finally arrives at her destination, at the thing she’s supposed to see.
She’s in an open space. She could swear that it wasn’t here before, that it’s just opened now. It’s just been created or come into being somehow.
“Well, it’s a dream,” says a raven, who appears as suddenly as the clearing did. He sits on a tree that’s fallen over, walking a few steps to the left, then a few to the right.
“Help me, help!” says the familiar voice. Agnieszka looks, knowing exactly who she’ll see.
Her mother stands at the edge of the cliff. She wears a peony print dress, white with red flowers. And red bloodstains, blood blossoms amongst the peonies, weeping from her mother’s body. The blood runs down her naked arms, drips onto the ground..."
I was born and raised in the south of Poland, but a big part of my family lives in the US and Canada. As a child, I always assumed that my English-speaking uncles and aunts must feel terribly lost in Poland, since speaking Polish is something of a superpower. So, I resolved early on to master English—the first word I learned was “teddy bear”.
I began my writing career in 2012, after leaving the IT industry. Several of my books were published in Polish, and were all successful and well-received. In 2015, I made the decision to switch to self-publishing and start my international career. This was a tough decision, but I assumed that since I can say much more now in English than just “teddy bear”, I might succeed. My first book published in English was Absolute Sunset. I still wonder how I managed to complete this project—I think it was a matter of meeting the right people at the right time. I have always been lucky to meet people who are really committed to their work. When I saw my book on Amazon for the first time, I took a selfie with my computer screen in the background. I look at it almost every day. Working on Absolute Sunset was a lot of fun, so I decided to go ahead with translating and publishing all of my books in English. And, of course, I continue to write. I am seriously considering switching to writing directly in English. I’ll probably give it a try, and my editor will likely go crazy. But I have a strong need to keep moving forward, to learn, to develop, to try things that at first glance seem impossible to accomplish. This is probably why I love CrossFit and distance running. I’m short and thin, but I can lift heavy weights and finish a marathon with a pretty good time. I’m training to run a 100-miler next year, and I’ll probably also try a triathlon, and maybe something more extreme, like skydiving—I love to push the limits. Even better, all of my family members are willing to join me. Our motto is “Cool—let’s give it a try!”.
When I write I like to push the limits too. I don’t stick to one genre—I like to mix them to achieve the effect I want. I dare to do that because I have my lucky sweater that I always wear when I work, even in summer. It is blue and very thick. Whenever I leave the lucky sweater on a sofa or chair, my dog Rafa uses it as a blanket. He is a small pinscher and loves warmth, so most of the year he suffers and shakes—Poland is really cold. His favorite place at home is the floor in front of the fireplace. He also likes to step on my notes and sometimes drinks tea from my cup. And eats my chocolates. He is not a good assistant. On the whole, I am a professional dreamer. What I want is to be able to write till the end of my life. And to win a few awards, of course. I think one should always dream big, it does no harm, and maybe one day the dream can be achieved. I am steadfast—I will keep on doing my job and keep on dreaming.