Svetlana Repina [svetlanarepina]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I grew up in Russia. We used to study Russian classics since 6th grade in our literature class, there were required to write an inspirational composition piece which was based on a book. Kind of like an exam. I remember writing one about poems of Alexander Block.
My work was noted in class by my literature teacher who was proud of me and my mother was very impressed.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre, of course, is a non-fiction. Non-fiction is a honest, sincere material that is based on real truth, raw facts, that pictures real people.
We can learn a lot about life from non-fiction books, we can recapture wisdom of life from someone's experiences, we can learn to appreciate our lives more from the standpoint of observers who can thank God that certain things did not happen to us as it did to people in books we read.
Sample chapter of my book can be found here:
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I like to create a few highlights before writing out a piece, then I add some more details. Sometimes, an idea or inspiration comes to me and I try to write it down as soon as possible, recapturing the feelings and the state as close as possible.
Writing my first book was much like riding a sale boat. The words took me there, and until I run out of words, there was no stopping and no rest and that happened with every chapter till I was done with the book and then it felt much better.
I do not know if with my next book I will feel the same, for my first one felt as a work of invisible spirit, that prompted me for a way out. It felt much better when I let my feelings and thoughts out.
Many times inspiration comes in the process of writing: I write a word or two and the rest spills out. Writers block? Yes, I have it too. We, writers, simply need to stop and rest.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Real life stories about people who face challenges, with that said it could be non-fiction or some great fiction. I love reading biographies of great people, books about achievements and the like.
My admiration is to all who face life difficulties, injustice and the like and fight till the end no matter what circumstances.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
The main ingredient of a story is a character. A writer has to make the characters believable, true. Without fully developed characters, lovely or not, there is no book.
Every book, of course, must have a plot, a thought out idea on how to start and end the book. Sometimes the end can come in the process of writing, I think that the end is the hardest part of a book.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I probably will not write another book in first person unless it is my own experience. First voice is a tough call. It must be true.
Third person can allow an author to be more creative and it offers more options during writing process, so I must tell:third .person
What well known writers do you admire most?
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Loving your characters is a key to make them believable. It is natural that not all of the characters we can love but a writer will have to get down to the very bone and every little detail of his character's lives to make them real. They are his babies.
Characters must become real. Only then they will be real for reader and if they do not seem to be real enough, no one will like the book.
A writer has to feel, think, and pose for that character, pretend to be "it" during writing process, ask himself questions on how this character would behave in this or that situation.
The best way to start creating a character is to fill out a character questionnaire with as many details possible and then, breathe some life into it by describing feelings and thoughts.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
On occasion - yes, but I must admit that writing it out makes my brain work somewhat differently, perhaps, more creative, more active. I am not that great at speaking, may be that is why I write.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Creative outlet and self - expression. It makes me happy, active, it wakes me up and it excites me.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Absolutely yes. Writing things out almost always clears my head and calms me down when in conflict. It helps to sort things out, it helps to make decisions. Writing can be used for so many ways like planning, brainstorming, researching, organizing. Writing is a great tool in life.
Internal conflict could be a great creative force, start writing it down and your thoughts will flow.. they will inspire you and give you new ideas, feelings and solutions.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes, greatly. I love to know what reader liked or disliked in my book, it helps me to understand reader and make my writing better. I encourage reader to give me feedback on my books and invite them for communications on networks.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I have not pursued competitions and not planning on doing so at this time.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
With my first book I had not. With my next project I definitely will use support of my friends writers whom I also provide support and feedback. The sooner the author can get support from fellow writers the better his progress will be.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I am sort of a versatile person when it comes to writing. I have not stopped on my style or voice. I am open to write in different genres, whichever I feel can inspire me and the reader and direct my "sail".
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
The discipline and schedules always been a hard part for me.
Right now that I am primarily busy with marketing, my plan is to work a few hours a day doing activities that are important for my book marketing. Along with that I am doing a bit of writing. That way my creative process keeps flowing.
After I have establish my book marketing routine, then I can stick to my regular writing schedule and set another goal.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
For the most part I just need peace and quiet which is hard to get around my house. A quiet place for the most part is all I need.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I may jolt down a few ideas on paper if computer is inaccessible, but I am very used to use computer for almost all my writing needs. It is easy to correct, add and edit - I love it. It was a little bit of a tough transition for me to start using computer for my writing needs but I got it down.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
About writing and sharing experiences I find Yahoo Groups to be the most helpful. A writer, even a novice one, can find great support and learn a great deal on those groups, create friendships and thrive as an author.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I decided to stop on self-publishing for my first book. With self publishing, an author has a complete control over the process and many legal issues, self-publishing seems less complicating.
But I recommend that any author, even a new one should try to find a traditional publisher for his book first, before perusing self - publishing option.
What are you working on now?
Learning book marketing. I also write articles for websites and primarily my blogs. After I will establish my book marketing routine in place, I will have time to start researching about my next project which I am very excited about.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Sign up for a writing course at your community college or online for a basic writing course. Read books and practice grammar if you need that too. I would say, first find writing groups for they can give you much support and inspiration. Continue to review your writing pieces after you get feedback.
You can join writing groups on Yahoo and post your request there, see if you can swap similar projects with other novice writers.
Good luck in all your endeavors!