Wednesday, August 18, 2010

my interview with Lena Meydan

Lena Meydan is a bestselling author in her native Russia and won the Silver Kaduzei, the highest literary award at the Star Bridge International Festival of Fantasy, for her first novel. Her second novel, Twilight Forever Rising (translated by Andrew Bromfield), won Best Urban Fantasy for 2000-2005 by the 13th International Congress of Fantasy Writers in St. Petersburg.

- Lena, your novel, which is scheduled for September 2010, is about vampires. Do vampires in Russia differ from Western ones?
- Twilight Forever Rising will be released by Tor on September 28, 2010. This is a very multi-faceted novel and, I would say, multinational as well. Vampires have been living for centuries and, like people, change their place of residence, moving to different cities and countries. Little by little their community becomes very international. For example, the head of one family is a Greek woman who lived in the days of ancient Greece, the head of another family is a Marcomanni (Marcomanni lived on the territory of modern Germany), the head of the third one is a Gaul (Gauls were the ancestors of modern French). There are Italians, Irish, British, Arabs, and Bavarians, Czechs, Japanese, Swedes in the book... I travel a lot. I try to observe people in different countries, their behavior, temperament, read books about their history and culture. All of this is reflected in the novel as far as I could understand different people, different nations and their history. And, of course, I did not forget the Slavs. One of the vampire families in the book have Slavic roots and live an ancient Slavic way of life. I based them on the symbolism of an ancient Russian folktale "Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf". Even the head of the family is called Ivan.

- Can you define what kind of fantasy it is?
- I think it is vampire urban fantasy; maybe romantic urban fantasy. I think critics might be better at answering this question. Especially as I have heard repeatedly that with all the romance and lyricism inside the book, it has the features of a mystical thriller. It is an epic saga.

- Vampire fiction has flooded the fiction market. Are you afraid that your novel might get lost among the abundance of "bloodsucking" literature?
- There is a proverb "nothing ventured, nothing gained." No, I'm not afraid. I wrote about what I'm interested in and tried to make the book enjoyable enough so that it can be read many times. I, myself continue to be interested in the world of my novel and, of course, it’s my hope that readers will feel the same way.

- The fourth novel in series will be coming out soon in Russia. Will the whole series be published and translated into English?
- The fourth book is coming out in Russia on August 30, 2010. I hope the whole series will be translated. Of course, this depends on the audience’s reaction. So far, critics’ reviews have been positive. Remarkable authors Nancy Kilpatrick, Sherrilyn Kenyon and P.N. Elrod provided blurbs, which will be on the cover of the book. And now the translator is working on the translation of the second book in the series.

Twilight Forever Rising will be released on September 28, 2010 by Tor.