Today is my stop on the blog tour for Monogamy Book One: Love by Victoria Sobolev. I have an author interview to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order the book! Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.
Here's what it's all about...
Nothing is as it seems at first sight. Feelings are laid bare. There is no black and white. There is no right. And the wrong feels too good to be trusted.
People think that Alex was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, not only rich, but blessed by luck. Men respect him, women dream of him, and Alex alone knows the strength it takes to conceal his tortured soul and devastating secrets.
But despite those powerful life lessons, he has always believed in his father’s words, ‘When you fall in love, you love forever - it’s in our family blood. Look for HER and you’ll find your happiness beyond thought…’
Valeria has never experienced actual romance (an early pregnancy, a hasty marriage, a life filled with work and study) and considers herself a pragmatist. She was taught to live by the rules: if you get married, then you love your husband; if you dream of a new home, then you work hard. But when, against all logic, she finds a beautiful stranger in her bed, her world turns upside down. After all, falling for the forbidden can be too sweet not to try… at least once.
They come from the opposite ends of the globe, but the collision of two soulmates is destined. Fate will send them on a lifelong journey from Eastern Europe to Spain, France, the United States, and back.
Their story is a mix of a beautiful fairy tale and a painful nightmare. It`s not something you`ve heard before: everything is too vivid, too honest, too emotional and too profound.
An attraction at first sight;
A passion that breaks all rules;
A hypnotic melody – it conquers all.
This is one love for life and beyond time,
This is MONOGAMY...
Are you ready for that interview?
First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I`ve never been into books. I mean I used to enjoy classics when I was young but having work and family on my plate I stopped reading at all as I thought for good. I used to tell everyone that in our days reading is luxury – it takes too much precious time. Back then I couldn`t imagine myself as a writer.
But…as they say “ If you want to make God laugh, let him know about your plans”.
Many years later, at the age of 36, I realized that I`m going to explode with the emotions and the heaviness of images I had been carrying in my head for years if I don`t let them out. It was a story of a man tortured by his beauty and human desire to consume it. Somehow, I was able to feel not only his suffering and loneliness but his great, almost endless ability to love. To love monogamously, unconditionally, investing every cell of his being into happiness of only one person on Earth – his soul mate. Well, I never created him, you see, he was born in my brain all by himself. Or maybe it was (and still is) some kind of mystiques.
My urge to get rid of those images, write them down and let them live their own separate life was so strong that I made myself learn how to draw with words. It took me two month to write the very first version (which was half as long as the final hundred times rewritten one) and when I was finished I called it “something”. And I sent my “something” to my sister with a message: «Kira, I wrote something, can you please read it?».
A couple hours later, at 3 a.m. to be precise, I heard from her back. “You MUST show THIS to people… ” she wrote.
And then “I`ve never cried so hard and I`ve never felt such profound happiness with every corner of my soul. I can`t believe it, my sister wrote a BOOK!”
That`s when I realized that what I was dealing with was an actual book. But having 13 of them now I still don`t consider myself I writer. I have a feeling that I can and must do better to earn that.
Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
Yes, I have been writing full time since I wrote my first book – Monogamy - which happened almost 4 years ago.
Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?
My readers assert that I do. They also say that my style changes from book to book and they don`t like it since they consider “Monogamy” my “best writing style version”. A reviewer on Amazon called it poetic, but I can only say that of course the way I wrote a story about most beautiful love I could imagine was different from the way a told a story about unnatural immoral love.
How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
Sometimes I do use my life experience and real stories that happened to me or my friends, but I never take characters from real life. I can borrow certain traits at most but never a real personality.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
I would say that “Monogamy” wasn`t inspired but rather urged by my strong feelings of regret, sorrow, love for the man who lived in my imagination for years. It only happened this way with the “Monogamy”.
My other books were inspired quite traditionally. For example, I have another popular book “Opium” – a story about forbidden love, based on a letter from my reader. Of course, it wasn’t something new, I`d heard plenty about brother-sister stories, I neither jugged nor supported, but in that huge reader`s letter there was one sentence that described what she (my reader) and her brother were both feeling about their lives being for years married to other people. It was the “emptiness” that finally led the woman to a deep depression. I wrote absolutely different story with different characters, but still connected to that letter through “emptiness”. It`s like one sentence, or even one word had opened a portal of inspiration and imagination.
I can`t live without music, unable to exist. It smoothes my vibrations, heals me, makes me whole. Not only does it inspire me, but helps my writing by coloring my thoughts in right emotional shades and nuances. I have, for example, a track where I unfailingly cry at 1:45, but the energy it gives me is unimaginable. I try not to listen to it too often, I save its power over me to write the key, most complicated emotionally scenes. It`s Wait For Now/Leave The World (feat. Tawiah) by The Cinematic Orchestra.
What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?
Well, the plan, if it exists, is only in my head. But I doubt it`s even there. I just listen to my thoughts, and when I get from those thoughts strong emotions – that`s when I know that the book is going to be good. People are going to love it.
How much of you is reflected in your writing?
All of me. Every single piece of me, my soul, my most intimate and desperate thoughts.
What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?
I almost didn`t have to do researches for my first books – there was enough of my life experience. But then I ran out of it. And that`s when the book writing became even more interesting. I have recently done a research on female Asperser Syndrome manifestations and features to write a book about the power of love. I really love that book and hope that one day it will get a chance to be translated in English.
How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
I read all of them, I respect them, I learn from them, I try not to get broken sometimes, but I always look and wait for the voice of those who are on the same wave as I am. You know, if you wrote a book, it`s like a scream, a request to the Universe in order to find “your people”. And it works. It really does work. They keep coming.
Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
My husband has never read any of my books, though it was him who crafted my first cover. He kept mocking me for years, making fun of my “writing”, but one day he stopped doing it. It happened when my fan club “Monofamily” created a gift for my birthday - 10 videos, each of them containing an excerpt from my books. There were 10 different voices reading 10 different pieces of text accompanied by respective tracks from my book`s playlists. I offered my husband to watch one of them called “The letter”. After the video ended he was silent for a moment and then asked “Is this YOU? Are those YOUR words?”
And I said “Yeah…”
Well, I could see on his face not a surprise but rather shock. He watched all 10 of them and since then stopped mocking.
My friends are the best friends ever and of course they are supportive especially that we met each other through my books, mostly the very first one – “Monogamy”. I can even say that “Mono” would have been my only book if not for the endless support of “Monofamily”. It all started with their plea to write HIS book, his version of events, thoughts, feelings. It was too boring for me to write the same story, so I tried to keep the main thread of the plot but to fill it with absolutely new events (that were presumably not that important for her and it was the reason why she had never mentioned them in her book). Those new episodes were not only giving deeper insight in his soul but somehow ended in an new independent book where the idea was the same but the structure and the lace of events completely different. Some “Monogamy” lovers even consider his book more powerful, emotional, deep etc.
Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
It had already been a full year since I released “Monogamy”, I finished his book “Monogamist” and went with my husband for a three marvelous weeks of vacation to Italy. That`s when I actually restarted reading myself. I got a TBR list from my readers with the “best books ever” and among them I found one that really touched me – “The Opportunist” by Tarryn Fisher. I read it in Rome (listened to the audio book, actually), and it was interesting since the last scene in the book was happening exactly there – in Rome.
My memory still keeps the moment where exhausted we crushed on a bench somewhere close to Forum, my husband happily fell asleep on my knees and even his snoring wasn`t bothering me as I was listening how Olivia entered Caleb`s office to see him with another woman. Well, to me with all I read before it was filigree – not too much, not too shallow. That`s why I love Tarryn, she is on the same wave as I am. She impressed me. And “The Opportunist” led me to my favorite of all times – MUD VEIN. That`s where I was crushed. That`s where I found my personal apocalypses, the deepness I needed so desperately and couldn`t find in other books.
Not only did Tarryn tell me “what love is”, but she found a way to show it in the most powerful and exquisite episode I had ever met. I am talking about the scene where freezing and dying Isaac covers Senna with his body to keep her warm and alive as long as he can. My fingertips went numb when I saw that image in my head.
I have a series of two books called “15 minutes” and “Strip games”. It`s a story about a couple struggling to live a normal life after their 3 year old girl drowned in the pool. Six years of ineffective therapy pushed the husband to take a dissonant attempt of bringing his “gost-like” wife back to life. The story begins where she gets a message giving her time and place where her husband is cheating on her. She founds that hotel, that room and sees them. And we can see the whole scene of betrayal through her eyes but the trick is the reader has a feeling that something is wrong, some pieces of the puzzle are not at their right places. The woman decides to pay her husband back by having an affair with her young and handsome art-teacher. While we oversee her becoming alive again in the hands of her young lover, we can feel how deeply and desperately her husband is suffering. Months after the divorce, she founds her husband`s letters revealing that he had never cheated on her but had betrayed her in the most cruel way possible – he had bought her a lover. She can`t even think strait through the words and confessions of the most important man in her life, but she finely discovers how badly he was destroyed and hurt not so much from jealousy as from seeing the woman he loved falling in love with another man – the man whom he paid. Here I can see Tarryn`s influence – the idea of manifestations of love through sacrifice, ability to “give” despite self-preservation instincts.
I have read tons of books now and “Mud vein” still remains at the top along with The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons.
Do they inspire me? I think so.
Finally...what are you working on right now?
I am completely consumed by the translation process of “Monogamy Book 2 Husband”, to the point that I keep trying to begin my 14th book, but just can`t focus because Valeria and Alex take hold of all of my thoughts.
There are three of us – three people working hard on the quality of translation: professional translator Nicky Brown, my agent Katherine and me. Sometimes we work on and discuss a handful of versions of expression, sentence or even only one word, trying to reflect all the nuances and shades of a character, an episode or a dialog. It`s a very interesting, full of pleasure and learning job. Anyway, I am endlessly excited and proud that my favorite first-born book-child will be available for English language readers!
ABOUT VICTORIA SOBOLEV
Victoria Sobolev is the author of four bestselling series and one standalone novel that have gained her thousands of followers on Russian indie platforms and a Monogamy fan club.
She was born in Ukraine but spent most of her life living in Moldova until immigrating to Canada with her husband and two children. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Victoria believes in true love and soulmates just as much as she does in working hard at marriage. Travelling is her passion, but she thinks there is no safer or calmer place for a woman than her man’s shoulder.
She is fascinated by watching people and studying human relationships, but, even more, she loves writing novels about them.
Victoria Sobolev loves all her characters and never abandons them in the tragedy of separation and hopelessness forever, but always leads them to happiness. She takes her reader’s breath away only to make them feel even more alive when they start breathing again, so that everyday things become appreciated even more and their true value recognised.
Please, visit Victoria’s web site: http://sobolevvictoria.com/
Follow her Fb: https://www.facebook.com/ViktoriaSobolev
Thanks so much to Victoria for stopping by the blog today!