Interview with Janna Yeshanova

What is a one line synopsis for Love Is Never Past Tense?
A hot summer romance leads to a hasty marriage, a quick divorce, and years of struggling to survive the fall of the Soviet Union until the lovers find each other again from opposite sides of the ocean.
How do you compare LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE to other romance novels?
I liked the comparison one reader offered in a review:

Love Is Never Past Tense is a true story written as a classic Russian Romance. It is part biography, part romantic adventure, and part behind-the-scenes look at how real people were impacted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is a real life second chance romance and a testimonial on how hope, focus and persistence overcome obstacles.

Like The Master and Margarita it has its origins in Soviet culture and connects to events in Soviet times, though these are later rather than earlier Soviet era. Both stories are heavily influenced by the bureaucracy of the government. Both books tell their story through several connected threads, which makes classifying them by genre a challenge.

Like In The Time of Cholera, it is a story of frustrated love that spans the adult life of the couple involved. Unlike it, this is not a love triangle story. Both are essentially second chance romances. Both books use the characters as a lens to examine their respective cultures.

Like Gone With The Wind we see a society collapse through the eyes of a generation growing up in privilege before tragedy struck, working to adapt and survive when the world changed around them. Both books rely on a strong female leading character.

Like Same Time Next Year it is an intimate love story which focuses on the primary couple. All other characters are given minor roles. Both stories stretch over decades.

Like The Notebook, this is a story which stretches over a lifetime. Both books start with the couple having a summer romance, and both couples are torn apart by interfering parents who disapprove of their child's selected partner.

Unlike any of them, it is a true story set in recent and current times. It shows the Soviet Union when generation of young adults lived happy, cultured, educated lives until the country collapsed around them. Even then, their goal was to find happiness somewhere else. This book gives voice to a group, a time, and a perspective not previously revealed in film or literature, a society living in comfort on the other side of the iron curtain that America hasn't heard about.

As a contemporary romance, this book will appeal to the broad range of women romance readers.
Who are your favorite authors?
Russian classics like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev and later Michael Bulgakov contributed to my development. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salinger, Hemmingway shared with me so much through their pages that they became my life friends. Haruki Murakami has space for his books on my shelves… Once in a while, I am going back to my bookshelves and every time I am discovering something new that I did not notice before… Plus much more...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Russia. My native language is... Russian. My native culture is Russian. I love it! I miss it!

Someone approached me recently with a question in what language I think. My answer was "When I think in English I do not understand myself :)"

I am sure that Russian classics and many foreign as well were a great influence on me. I am sure they left their handwriting :) on my wall.
What is your formal education?
I have an MA in Russian Language and Literature from the Soviet Union and an MA in Applied Behavioral Science from the US where I specialized in Conflict Resolution. I taught this subject for years at Antioch University (Yellow Springs, OH) and I am a life coach and a leadership trainer. I wrote LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE partly to share my story as an inspirational example.
What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?
Love Is Never Past Tense… was as much of a cultural experience for me as it was an enjoyable read. The novel did an excellent job of immersing me (an American reader) in Russian culture, through the eyes of a character experiencing extremely turbulent times for that region. It is a sensual love story set across contemporary Russian culture. It is inspiring as a reminder of passionate love beyond early youth.”
What are you working on next?
I just recently published two sequels to LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE... They are IN THE LAND OF SCARABS and ZEBRA FISH. They can be found here, on Smashwords as independent ebooks or in a BOX SET LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE...
Describe your desk
Picture super storm Sandy, but dry! :)
Published 2014-11-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Love Is Never Past Tense... Box Set - Book 1-3
Series: Love Is Never Past Tense. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 95,900. Language: American English. Published: July 31, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Inspirational
An unexpected passionate romantic beach encounter leads to a hasty marriage, divorce, and the inevitable “if only…” The Soviet Union fades around them, sending their once comfortable lives into chaos. World changing events put their lives in peril, creating memories of what might have been and hopes for what might yet be... A modern epic Russian second-chance romance with unforgettable characters!
Zebra Fish
Series: Love Is Never Past Tense, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,030. Language: American English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
Newly reunited lovers Janna & Serge thought the world had given them another chance at happiness. After years of separation following a heartbreaking divorce & harrowing escape from post-cold-war Russia, they had reconnected through emails, & finally met again in person. From the desert sands to the Egyptian Sea these globe-trotting lovers discover life still has lessons to teach.
In The Land Of Scarabs
Series: Love Is Never Past Tense, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,700. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
(5.00)
Newly reunited lovers Janna & Serge thought the world had given them another chance at happiness. After years of separation following a heartbreaking divorce & harrowing escape from post-cold-war Russia, they had reconnected through emails, & finally met again in person. From the beaches of North Carolina to the sands of Egypt, these globe-trotting lovers discover life still has lessons to teach.