Interview with Olga Toprover

Who are your favorite authors?
In women’s fiction genre, I love a French novelist, Francoise Sagan. I love her mix of happiness and sadness, I love her open endings.
I like Agatha Chrisite’s almost mathematical logic. I read most of her writing, including her autobiography and her books under the penname of Mary Westmacott.
I also admire Ursula LeGuin and her endless fantasy. At the same time I love the classic hard science fiction by Isaac Asimov.
Talking of the literature which forces us to think and cry I would choose a French writer, Romain Gary.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A though about having a cap of coffee may inspire me to get out of bed. Or may not. I am a night person!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend some time thinking of what I will be writing about. It is impossible to calculate, because thinking is happening everywhere. Some ideas come to me when I am driving.
Then I do some planning by chapters. The planning is happening just to get going, because the ideas may change and the plan will become obsolete. But I am planning anyway.
When I start writing it is not perfect at all. I may come back to the chapter I just wrote right away and try to edit it, but sometimes I just leave the text as is. So when I have a draft of the book I will read it again, rethink it it again, edit the text. This happens a few times till the moment when I try to improve the text, but my changes are minor.
I would say the editing takes the same amount of time as writing a draft.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was 10 years I was writing a science fiction novel in my yellow notebook, which I kept hidden from everyone. The main character was an alien, who was supposed to come to Earth and find a beautiful planet she was never though existed. So she wanted to stay and live here. I never finished the book. I guess the alien girl’s planet turned out to be not so bad after all, so I felt like the girl would feel homesick anyway.
Next time I felt the urge to write in my thirties. I was working in Information Technology and felt like computers, software, hardware, and all that stuff is not enough for me to be happy. I needed a break, I needed an imaginary word where I can escape, so I did. One of the first short stories I wrote was "The Little Eagle", which is a part of "Seventeen Shades of Love", a collection of short stories.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the very first story I ever read. I think I was reading as long as I remember myself. But short stories by O. Henry were definitely my favorite for a long time.
How do you approach cover design?
I haven't made my mind on cover design yet. Sometimes I ask professionals, sometimes I do it myself. The cover for "The President is No More" is one of those.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Russia, lived in Canada for a few years, but currently reside in Los Angeles area. Of course living in different cities and countries formed me as an author. I believe that true literature is about people. I am still trying to understand how different people are and how they are similar at the same time.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I was writing a science fiction novella "The President is No More" I was under the influence of the transhumanistic ideas of endless life. And at the same time I was reading about robotics and all the news coming from technology. So I combined them all in one book. And I still want to live forever, so fa so good.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the moment when a story appears in my mind out of nowhere, because of my thoughts, of my smiles, of my tears. I like to think that because of the story I write I live more than one life.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is not linear. I may start writing and put the book aside for a few months, thinking that I don't have time at the moment. Surprisingly when I continue to write the work happens much faster than I expected. Knowing this I always allow myself to stop writing if I am not sure what to do next.
Published 2015-07-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Любовь и пустота
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 68,980. Language: Russian. Published: January 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Literary collections » Russian & Former Soviet Union
Мистический любовный роман. «И будут они жить с этой неразделенной любовью, как с пыткой. Будет она их мучить и изводить, как болезнь. Время лечить их не будет. Минуты и годы растянутся, чтобы удлинить их печаль. И не будет спасения от любви. Истощенные любовью, сами они будут искать иной выход. Один выход. Один...»
Капля любви в осеннем дожде
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 63,620. Language: Russian. Published: January 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Literary collections » Russian & Former Soviet Union
Биолог Светлана, состоящая в счастливом браке, хочет воплотить в жизнь идею, которая позволит изменить мир к лучшему. Однако она не знает, что за ее спиной из проекта собираются скроить совершенно иное. Ей неизвестно, какую роль играет в этом ее муж Кирилл. Переживет ли это испытание их любовь? Как приходит и уходит любовь? Бывает ли в жизни много счастья или его всегда лишь капля?
The President is No More
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,750. Language: American English. Published: April 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
Is anybody really who they say they are in this cyber-enhanced, nano-technological, unnatural world? Mia doesn’t know if she can answer those questions. She is not influential. She is not powerful. She is just an ordinary woman…
Президента больше нет
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,740. Language: Russian. Published: March 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Literary collections » Russian & Former Soviet Union
Научно-фантастическая повесть
Pro robotov, presidenta i apelsiny (In Russian)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,650. Language: Russian. Published: November 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Literary collections » Russian & Former Soviet Union
About Robots, a President and Oranges. Sci-fi short stories.