Interview with Dmitry Berger

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a rather bizarre universe called the Soviet Union, where written words on any, however frivolous subject were taken exceedingly seriously, while the life on the individual who wrote them was remarkably expendable.
As a result, it is sometimes difficult to write just for fun, without stuffing it with something unnecessary meaningful. Like I did with this answer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Three Little Pigs. It stressed the importance of building codes and suggested that a supposedly good guy still can indulge in animal cruelty with moral impunity. Lesson learned.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Frustration. Finding a publisher is a full time job and a skill in itself that I simply don't have. I would rather directly "rely on the kindness of strangers" and let them decide if my work deserves their attention.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I don't think it can be described as joy, at least not for me. It could be quite opposite to elation, particularly when you immerse yourself into your characters and their pain becomes yours. As Tolstoy once said, you don't know why you write, you just do it.
What is your writing process?
I stumble on an idea interesting enough for me to solicit it to everyone I know until someone expresses a wish to read it. Then I overcome my laziness and write it down.
How do you approach cover design?
The same way an opera composer approaches an overture - try to express the very essence of the piece, the visual synopsis, if you will. Less details, more symbolism.
What are your favorite books, and why?
I am always under the influence of the last book I read. Right now it is The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.
A book is its language, regardless of its plot or subject. I look for the author's language, although it could be challenging to get into it at times. But once you are in, the writer can take you some places.
What do you read for pleasure?
It may seem weird, but I truly enjoy reading historical, anthropological, linguistic research articles, reports on advancement in physics and medicine, political and economic news.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Ballad of Liberty, simultaneously released in English and Russian-Ukrainian languages, is the history of Russian Revolution and Civil War, reflected through the life story of Nestor Makhno. This self identified anarchist and the leader of a wide spread peasant movement that today would be identified as libertarian, still exerts strange charisma and ignites the imagination of many Ukrainians and Russians.
I grew up in the area of Ukraine, where the Makhnovist movement was prominent, and his memory is still alive. I felt that I was in a position to understand not just the political and social motivations of Makhno, but a man forced by the circumstances of his time to resort to most brutal violence in order to achieve his vision of a better world of peace and brotherhood of men.
I lived in the villages that barely changed in a hundred years, walked along the Ukrainian steppe marked by ancient burial mounds, met those who met him. I thought that I could tell the story of Russian Revolution story from inside, because I am sure it will surprise those who think they know Russian and Ukrainian history.
What are you working on next?
I am trying to write my answer to the Bond movie Skyfall, which I disliked immensely. I want the modern Bond to remain the cool Bond of old, and the villains who are cartoonish and pleasantly weird.
Another one is a futuristic story where the entangled particles of quantum physics play the main role.
Published 2014-01-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Семантические войны
You set the price! Words: 183,430. Language: Russian. Published: April 14, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Social psychology, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Political
Чтобы по-настоящему оценить картину, на нее требуется смотреть с некоторого расстояния, знать и понимать все историческое развитие человечества. Тогда проблемы и вызовы страны увидятся в глобальном, общечеловеческом контексте. В этом и состоит задача статей Дмитрия Бергера - создать энциклопедию, чтобы дать возможность читателям увидеть большую картину, найти пути в изменяющемся мире.
СИСТЕМА: Упрощённая теория всего на свете
Price: Free! Words: 17,480. Language: Russian. Published: January 28, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Ethics & moral philosophy, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Metaphysics
Всё гениальное просто. Одной элегантной теории, одной простой формулы, одной всеобъемлющей фразы достаточно, чтобы изменить мир. То, что Сократ сотворил с философией, Эйнштейн с физикой, Моцарт с музыкой или Монти Пайтон с психическим здоровьем, автор творит с ними всеми и даже более того. Его удивительно простая и, тем не менее, глубокая теория покрывает всё: от истинного происхождения Вселенной
Религия Нестора Махно/ Махно без тачанки
Price: Free! Words: 21,870. Language: Russian. Published: January 8, 2017. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » History » Social history
Серия очерков об известном украинском анархисте Несторе Махно, его личности и истории либертарного движения, которое он возглавил во время революции и гражданской войны 1917 - 1921 годов. Series of essays about a famous Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Makhno, his personal traits and the history of the libertarian movement he lead during the Russian Revolution and Civil War in 1917 - 1921.
Дума про Волю
You set the price! Words: 99,100. Language: Russian. Published: October 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Russian, Fiction » Historical » General
Книга, основанная на исторических событиях, связанных с жизнью анархиста Нестора Махно, возглавившего в годы Русской революции и Гражданской войны массовое либертарное движение, которое создало действенную политическую и военную альтернативу как левыми, так и правым сторонникам централизованного государства: либералам, националистам, белым и большевикам, тем самым изменив ход истории.
Ballad of Liberty
You set the price! Words: 111,390. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Russian
Based on historical events related to the life of anarchist Nestor Makhno, who, during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, headed a widespread libertarian movement, providing an effective political and military alternative to the left and right-wing supporters of centralized state: liberals, nationalists, the Whites, and the Bolsheviks, changing the course of history.
There are no Fools in Early April
Price: Free! Words: 4,200. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
An April Fool’s Day prank that has gone horribly… right?
Abnormal Goings-on
Price: Free! Words: 2,570. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2013. Categories: Screenplays » Comedy
A parody on the very concept of paranormal as imagined in the movies always unfairly biased against the paranormal side.
Trivial Revelations for Everyday
You set the price! Words: 108,450. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A provocative journey through the suburban North American social landscape in the late 1990-s and yearly 2000-s, to discover new diverse mores and new diverse faces of the post-high-tech-boom cosmopolitan society. Or maybe it is just an age-old search for love and understanding.
Four Stories About Death: A Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant
You set the price! Words: 30,090. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Screenplays » History
This artistic meditation on death is derived from the factual historic material. It shows death as a reflection of one’s life.
To Kill The Void
You set the price! Words: 9,850. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2012. Categories: Screenplays » Drama, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Does the rat-race lifestyle make you feel drained and long for peaceful solitude to get away from it all? Do you think that in peace and quiet you can finally find that inner voice lost long time ago? You may get just what you wish for! Except your inner voice may have a different tone and what it says may be not the truth you are ready to face. This is a story of a man who took this plunge.
The Awakened Beauty or Penelope’s Odyssey
You set the price! Words: 28,230. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2012. Categories: Plays » Shakespeare, Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
(4.00)
After she is awakened by a true love’s kiss, Sleeping Beauty finds out that being married to her “charming” Prince is a far cry from a fairy tale ending. Rejected by her man, she seeks love by embarking on a turbulent journey of self-discovery in this distinctive combination of high drama, comedy and utter lewdness, as the Great Bard would probably do in a play for a cultured audience of 18+.