Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I use to dabble in fanfiction back in High School but stopped writing after I had kids since they sucked up my time when they were younger.
What makes writing your passion?
It's just something I enjoy. I find it a creative outlet where I can be myself and nothing else matters.
How long have you been writing?
I've been actively writing for five years now.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Excited and terrified. I've got more confident with each new book release, but I still worry about the inevitable criticism.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Some are figments of my imagination, some are my RPG characters, and some are based on real people.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Trying to market my books to the right reader. Unfortunately, there is no manual on how to have a successful book so it's just going through trial and error while rolling with the punches.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I push through it. I force myself to write, usually by using my notes and eventually I get through it.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I don't know, I guess at this point I'm just too stubborn to give up. There are days I feel like a five-year-old who was told "you can't do that" so now I'm sitting here with my arms crossed saying "watch me."
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't give up writing, no matter what, and don't listen to the haters.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do. I find a lot of them helpful in showing me what I need to change and what I need to improve. The bad ones happen to everyone, so I don't take it personally. Some are helpful, but most are just nitpicky. You have readers who will spot the typos the proofreader and beta-reader missed. You have those that will hate your characters no matter what. Some will hate your story. I get it, I've read books I've hated too, so I know it's usually not an attack against me personally. Then you have those reviews where the reader clearly skimmed through the book because their review makes no sense if you actually took time to read the material. Those bother me a little, but there is nothing one can do about them, so I shrug them off and move on.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I won't lie, it makes me really happy. As a writer I want people to enjoy my story, I want to make someone happy, so when I achieve that it, in turn, makes me happy.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
There is a lot of that in my novels, you just have to dig to find it since a lot of it is not happy and I try not to make it obvious.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
A lot of my characters have something from me in them, but the one that is based the most on me is Alexandra from Dark World: Genesis/Oblivion/Revelations.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, and it always frustrates me to get the cover right, so normally they undergo a lot of changes. I finally switched to a new cover artist who seemed to ask all the right questions to update my horror cover so I hop it works out in the end.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Depends. Generally, I prefer to keep to myself and express myself through writing, but if a reader wants to connect, then by all means I am more than happy to do so.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Hasn't happened yet, but I will let you know if it does.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and Dan Brown. I love the way they write and I can only hope to be half as good as them.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
My dream is to own a large sanctuary for pigs, so I guess I'll have to make it as big as one of my favorite authors, or sell my soul to a Netflix Original.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I have plans to rewrite my first book. I'm not happy with it, it can be a lot better and I expect more from myself these days. My rule of thumb is, if I can still read my own work month/years after it's published, I leave it be, if not I need to rework it.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
No one. I actually never want to trade places with anyone in general, I like my life, even if it's not perfect.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. Or, if you think you could do better, go ahead and write your own book and put it to for other people to tear apart and see how you feel.
What would you say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy what you read, and that you understand the hardships indie authors go through. We are expected to have the same polished product as the big publishing houses, but you don't want to pay more than $5 for our book. So please, give indie authors a break, they do their best with what they go and they have to make a profit too. If you find a mistake in an Indie book, don't trash it, email the author so they can fix it, and just be nice to them, they do their best.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I'm originally from Moscow, Russia, but grew up in New England. I live in Colorado Springs Colorado. I'm married with two kids and two pet pigs who I love dearly.
What is your day job if you have one?
Currently, I am a stay-at-home mom, but I use to work in the mental health field until my husband's job took priority.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Photography. Knitting. Graphic Design. Reading. Hicking. Camping.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Nope. I had abusive, absent parents. Until we moved to the states, I was mainly raised by my aunt, and then I was on my own. I was bullied throughout my childhood after moving to the states, and that coupled with my home life, led me to do some terrible things when I was younger. But I grew up and got stronger because of it, and now the past just bleeds through in y writing which I guess makes it inherently dark.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Not really. Back in high school it just gave me something to do to stay in my room and away from my parents. By the time I started writing again it was simply because I had stories to tell and I wanted to share them with other people again.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Only the ones I am currently working on.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I think we focus too much on passing state tests these days and not enough on actually teaching our children. Let them learn by beating creative. Let them write books, paint pictures, bake cakes, play music. Let kids be kids and the technical stuff will follow.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
1. No one eats pork anymore.
2. Everyone gets along because people are actually nice to one another for a change.
3. No more hungry and abused children in this world.
What is your favorite music?
I prefer rock. Mostly heavy metal. My favorite band is Metallica. But I also love Elvis Presley and I have other music in my mix. For me to love a song, it has to connect to some part of me on a personal level, so aside from my usual preferences, I have a lot of odd songs in the mix.
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