What's most difficult about writing about the Ukraine War?
The war in Ukraine is a shock. I grew up thinking such wars could no longer occur. No country had invaded any other country in so long. And to be so brutal. It didn't seem possible that Russians could be such monsters. In 1991 I was invited to a meeting of the Soviet Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in Moscow. I visited a high school. I spoke with teachers and professors. I walked the streets of Moscow. I was impressed. And now? I am completely shocked.
So, a novel? What do I have to say that can be of any use? Not sure. But I put my main character in Russia and looked at the place through her eyes. There is nothing attractive in what she sees. But maybe she can explore some of the reality of Russia. The Russia I didn't know was there in 1991. It's not a pretty novel. Some affection, some bravery, lots of fear and ugliness. A statement, I guess. Maybe my usual 75 readers will find some value in it.
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How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
What amazes me about Smashwords is the ease with which you can present your work to readers. The website does all the formatting and all the presentation. It even counts the downloads so you get a sense for whether people are reading your books. I really appreciate what the developers have done for authors.