Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m crazy. Seriously. I talk to my characters a lot more than to real people. One day they’ll put me in a madhouse.
I’ve written 14 novels in sum, and 3 of them are in English. Seven of my novel and 1 short story are published in a traditional way (in Russia). I’ve self-published three novels written in English through Kindle: CRIMSON HILLS, DOUBLE LIGHTNING, and SHAME ON ME.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is SHAME ON ME. The previous version of the book was published in 2013 in Russia by Eksmo Publishing House and was written 10 years prior to that. The novel is translated by me, the author, improved, and gained a new story line.
‘Shame on Me’ is the first novel in the series.
The series revolves around two young friends from Russia, Julia and Kate, who love to take on the role of amateur sleuths. The novels are written in the form of email letters to their mutual American friend. Each book is written in first person, each from the point of view of one of the girls. The first book in the series is written from Julia’s point of view, the second from Kate’s, and so on. In addition to the mysteries and love stories, the series highlights interesting cultural differences between Russians and Americans and describes the life of a girl from a poor Russian family.
Annotation: Everything in 17-year-old Julia’s life was boring and monotonous until she came across a real corpse. Since it happened near her best friend Kate’s cabin, Julia and Kate feel the urge to find the killer, as does the dead man’s best friend Nick, for whom Julia falls as soon as they meet. At first glance, the murder seems to be connected to the victim’s business, but what if it has to do with a serial killer on the loose in the same area?
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m boring here)) I just drink a lot of hot green tea while writing. No tea – no inspiration!))
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Being Russian, I’ll name Mikhail Lermontov as the most favorite author, who has been a huge influence on me. I adore his poetry, and I adore his novel A Hero of Our Time. It’s deep, it has so many levels, you can reread it twelve times and never get bored. Despite dying young, Lermontov had learned people well (especially women), that’s why his works contain so much psychology. He was a great writer with such a horrible fate.
As regards non-Russian writers, I choose Oscar Wilde and John Fowles. I love the way they drew their characters.
What are you working on now?
I’m simultaneously working on the second book in the Russian mystery series (Shame on Me is the 1st one) and on the second book in the Lightning series (the first book in this series, Double Lightning, was published in 2017).
Do you have any advice for new authors?
NEVER EVER GIVE UP. I know it’s a banal thing to say, but it’s true. If you failed seventy three times, give it a seventy fourth try. It’s my credo.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
I’m simultaneously reading several books: Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy, Heptameron by Marguerite de Navarre, Une Vie by Maupassant. Yes, I love reading and writing not just one book at the same time. That’s just one of a lot of things characterizing my strangeness.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ll just keep on writing and coming up with new ideas.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Akhmatova’s collection of poems, Lermontov’s ‘Hero of Our Time,’ and Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’: I enjoyed reading it for the first time, so I guess I’d like to reread it. As to the first two choices, I’m never bored with Lermontov and Akhmatova.
Author Websites and Profiles
Margaret Mal Amazon Profile