‘Time to fill the glasses (… and then empty them)’
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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?
I think almost everyone wishes to write a book. Usually, it’s just a momentary thought and they don’t follow through with it. Same thing with me. I thought I’d been witnessing incredible events unfolding in front of my eyes that deserved a story. I had an outline and a few scenes. I doubt I would’ve actually written an entire book were it not for my good friend and published non-fiction author, who took a look at what I had and got enthusiastic about the idea.. So we’ve done the first book together. After that I just contracted this writing disease -:)
Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?
Not so much consciously, however to a certain degree, I guess Oligarch has similarities with The Godfather, but – Russian style. Irvine Welsh inspired not to stay away from grit, filth and literary mischief (and I like mischief), while Tarantino and Guy Richie evoked the desire to compete in action and grotesque.
Tell me about your series.
Big money – big risks. In order to survive Michael needs to prevail. How? Magnates would rather you never read it… Tweet This
Michael (Misha) is just a little boy, when his father is prosecuted and sent away to Siberia. From a luxurious living, Misha’s reduced to survival and poverty, but he vows it’s not for long.
Mikhail climbs the ladder, caring less about the means, his eyes on the target – to become rich. Very rich. The richest. Achievable? Unlikely, allowing for the opposition he confronts when reaching each next level of affluence. But money already becomes his life..
Is the Big Bang of the USSR a hurdle? More an advantage for a shady businessman like him, who never follows the rules and who soon gets into the position to impose his own.
His wealth grows, but the higher he goes, the more resistance he encounters and the farther the extent his enemies are willing to go against him.
Blood? It comes pretty soon.
Corruption? Plenty. And lots of debauchery to overcome the stress of every day struggle.
That’s his story: snappy, gritty, uncomfortable, compelling. Big money, big trouble, big balls.
Tell me about a principal character in your books. What makes them memorable?
Michael is a complex personage. On the one hand – a natural born swindler, a ruthless thug, a cunning businessman, cynical politician, living according to his own gangster-like code. On the other hand – a loving son and father, true friend, an idealist of a sort consumed by the constant internal struggle between greed and purpose. Long way, high toll – he becomes a billionaire. But was it really a worthy purpose?
Indie, or traditionally published – and why?
Me? I’m indie, but not by choice. Seeing little interest from agents and having a ready-made book crying to be released, we let it go. With the following I didn’t bother to pitch the agents. Of course, indie route offers fewer constraints from any side, but it equally demands a lot of investment in marketing to give your books some exposure and that’s something I neither know nor want to deal with. Thus, I’d rather outsource the ‘biz’ part, which trad publishers still know how to do.
Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.
The worst – you have to deal with rejection of your creation in the form of negative reviews or disinterest. That’s on emotional level. On the practical, if you are an indie – marketing and stuff is really time-consuming and there is no promise that it’ll ever bear fruit. The best – ‘writing’ provides a plausibly-sounding excuse for skipping house chores-:)
Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?
I usually have a general outline where I want the story to go, but I let the scenes flow…Whatever works is fine, in my opinion.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Secrets – not so much, but ideas – sure. You don’t expect much from implanting them into fiction books, but I do hope some of them will trigger extra-curricular thinking effort -:)
Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.
I hang out a lot at ‘Wealth, Writing, World’ group on Goodreads, which I’m honored to co-moderate, and that’s probably a fave pastime. It encompasses authors, readers, bloggers, but first of all – lots of cool people from various locations, with diverse backgrounds, from teenagers to 80+ years old. I enjoy and learn a lot, being its part. And there are always drinking companions online -:)
If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?
I depict our world, but with the purpose and hope to make it better!
If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
‘Don’t do it, mate’, maybe? -:)
Nik, thank you for taking part in Galaxy of Authors!