It’s been a while since I had a author interview on my blog, and so I am really excited to have the opportunity to interview Lana Kortchik, writer of historical and romantic fiction.
Hi Lana, and welcome – thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Let’s get straight to it with Question 1: Tell us, what kind of books do you write?
I write historical fiction with a sprinkle of romance. My first novel, The Story of Us, was published in January by Endeavour Press. The Story of Us is a story of war and betrayal, of love and forgiveness. It is September 1941 and Hitler’s Army Group South has occupied Kiev. A young Soviet girl named Natasha falls in love with Mark, a Hungarian soldier of Russian descent. Trapped on opposing sides of a brutal conflict, they are forced to keep secrets from everyone they love. With everything stacked against them and nothing to hope for, the two characters are compelled to fight for their love and their very survival.
And for Question 2: what were your earliest influences? What did you read as a child?
There were two authors I loved as a child. One was Alexandre Dumas. I read the Three Musketeers when I was eight and the Count of Monte Cristo when I was nine. It was love at first page – I couldn’t get enough of the adventure, the intrigue, the camaraderie of Dumas’ novels. Since then I have read everything by Dumas I could get my hands on. One book that made a particular impression was the Companions of Jehu. It’s one of his lesser known novels and I think it’s been out of print for over a hundred years. The novel is set during the Consulate, and after reading it as a child, I became obsessed with Napoleonic history. This obsession has lasted my whole life and even resulted in a University degree.
Another author I loved as a child was Jules Verne. I adored his stories about scientists and explorers. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was my favourite. The mysterious Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus – it doesn’t get better than that.
Question 3: What are you working on at the moment?
I have two works in progress at the moment. A middle grade novel set in London during the Blitz and a suspense novel about a woman who has lost her memory due to an accident. She returns home from hospital to discover dark secrets about herself, her husband and her relationships with others.
Question 4: What can we look forward to in the future from you?
I am planning a sequel to The Story of Us, written from the point of view of the sister of the main character. After reading the book, a few people mentioned they would like to know what happens to her next. And it made me realise that there was a great story there, I just don’t know what it is yet. I can’t wait to start researching it!
Question 5: What are your favourite authors?
Alexandre Dumas still remains my favourite author. And my favourite novel is the Count of Monte Cristo. I think the character development in that book is astonishing. Monte Cristo is a happy, carefree sailor who loses everything only to reinvent himself as an evil genius in possession of immense power and fortune. He is hell bent on revenge and this desire takes over his whole existence until there’s nothing left. He thinks he can play with destinies of others just like his own destiny was once played with but he is wrong. Although the prevalent theme of the Count of Monte Cristo is revenge, ultimately the book is about forgiveness.
Question 6: What do you do when you’re not reading?
When I’m not reading, I’m writing. All my spare time is spent working on my books. I also run a blog called On This Day in Napoleonic History. When I’m not writing, I enjoy the beach – I live two minutes away from one of the most beautiful beaches on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. I also practice karate, something I have done for the last twenty years.
Caron: I can certainly identify with that, we lived in Brisbane for five years, and the beaches were truly wonderful!
Question 7: What is your writing process?
When I was writing The Story of Us, I wasn’t working and had all the time in the world to concentrate on my book. I knew that eventually I would have to go back to work, so I had to make the most of it. No procrastination, no waiting for inspiration, like I would do in the past when writing short stories. I approached my writing as a full-time job. I would start at 9 AM, write till 12.30, trying (unsuccessfully!) not to get distracted by Facebook and puppy videos on YouTube, break for lunch and then write again till 6.30. Now that I’m back at work, I try to write whenever I have free time – on the train, at lunch, on the weekends. It’s difficult and often real life interferes but if writing is a priority, you can always find time.
Caron: Thank you so much for telling me all about your writing life – it’s great to find out how other people work and what motivates them! Readers can find out more about Lana and her work by following these links:
Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28549090-savaged-lands