An Exclusive Interview with Tatiana Vedenska
With the releases of both the Sinister Romance trilogy and the novel Why: From Heartbreak to Happiness, Tatiana Vedenska had a great year. With projects ahead that are equally good, we were lucky enough to catch Tatiana for an end of year interview.
An engaged and committed writer that never stops learning, Tatiana’s NYE resolutions for 2019 are the following: to win a badminton amateur tournament, to finally write that noir mystery thriller she’s been dreaming of for years, to lose weight (sigh!), to take online courses in Creativity, Brainstorming and Productive Teamwork and to finish a movie script.
Hooked readers already know that in the Sinister Romance trilogy, a young veterinary assistant meets an experienced and dominant photographer who introduces her to new heights of passion. A spirited romance story mixed with elements of a mystery thriller, Sinister Romance is one of the top erotic releases that will keep you warm this winter.
While the Sinister Romance trilogy will have you reading on the edge of your seat, Why: From Heartbreak to Happiness will make you stop and reflect on the valuable things in life. The latter book is about the journey of a woman that does her best combining work and her family when one day she is faced with the fact that her husband is cheating on her. Now, she has to take stock of what is important.
Hereafter follows an overview of bookish talk with the author Tatiana Vedenksa on love, relationships and the writer’s aspirations.
You had a very interesting and adventurous life before starting your writer’s career. To what extent does this project itself onto your characters?
Sometimes my husband calls me a ‘restless wanderer’ because I never stop looking for new experiences. This is a very good characteristic for a writer. Most of us are wanderers of inner worlds. However, my decision to leave my parent’s home at the age of 16 was of a different nature. I wasn’t looking for something; I was running from someone.
My parents were going through a divorce, and I guess I got caught between their fight. Unfortunately, in this very period of time my own ‘little tragedy’ took place. So, inevitably, I lost myself. All I wanted was to disappear, which I almost did. Living on my own, wandering around my home country of Russia and its cities made me understand life better than anything else. I was playing the guitar and singing for a little bit of money, food or just an interesting conversation. Overall this was quite a happy time even when from time to time I had to spend a night or two on the roof or in the basement of a building. On those streets I met my first husband, who was a musician too. I learned how love can be cruel and dangerous sometimes.
However, if you would ask me to change anything in my past, I wouldn’t. Every experience turned me into the woman I am today and taught me how precious life is. It taught me how to be happy no matter what. That’s probably why my books are so positive and optimistic. I don’t need to believe in happy endings. I feel I have one.
What brought you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote was a crime story related to the real estate business in Moscow. It was the hardest to finish because I had to overcome all of my fears and complexes. And I would not have gotten through this if it wasn’t for one of my best friends’ encouragement. She said: “You know what? No one can tell stories like you do. You have to give it a try. Write a story, just for me!” ‘Write a story’ – so I did. And I haven’t stopped writing ever since.
You have 4 books published (1 series and 1 standalone) in English. How does it feel to be released and published in English?
I am very happy and thrilled to be introduced to English-speaking readers, especially given the fact that I moved to North Carolina recently. This feels like a challenge to me as I am trying to forge my path in this part of the world. I am so thrilled that both my trilogy and my novel are well received here, and hope that more of my creative work will be translated and published. I’ve been working as a Romance writer for more than twelve years now, and I feel like I want to offer something to this new audience. I also think that as a Russian woman and a writer based in the US, I can enhance and contribute to international cultural exchange.
The set of female characters in the Sinister Romance series is quite interesting. Can you tell us more about how you feel towards both women?
The contradiction between Arina (Snow White) and Nelly is part of the entire message I attempted to present in the Sinister Romance series. Being a victim of violence myself, I cannot stand the idea of idealizing violence. Unfortunately, nowadays people tend to confuse spiced up passionate lovemaking with pure evil brutality. This is why I decided to give it a go and to present two remarkably different lines of events. Both girls are trying to find their path in this world. Arina is looking for truth and happiness, and considers everything by those categories. Nelly, on the other hand, is focused on her so-called success. Hence, she is willing to go to great lengths for money or the acquisition of other benefits. This is some sort of a close call for everyone that chooses to play with fire to be aware of possible consequences. As a writer everything I had to do was to follow those two trails. It’s a rough journey but a very engaging one.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Why: From Heartbreak to Happiness?
This story is dear to me because of its familiarity and its universal scope. It is based on a real life experience. But the most challenging thing was to write this book in the way that the reader would discover new clues regarding the relationship of Elena and Andrey. What happened to this “perfect” couple, and why are they on the brink of losing their family? It’s not the kind of story where you’re just assigning blame. It is a psychological and introspective investigation that helps the characters find a way to reach their happiness. And this is why I became a writer in the first place. I’m all about happiness, true love, and smiles. Every of my characters always smiles at least at the end of his or her journey.
Two of your books have been adapted for film. As a reader, one can actually visualize your books and have a movie-like experience. Do you get this comment a lot?
I’ve been hearing this for many years now. Yes, I guess I write my books this way on purpose. I like my readers to have this movie-like experience. This is the main reason why I went to study screenwriting at the New York Film Academy in LA. I must say, one of the best decisions in my life. This study changed my view on plot constructing, inner story dynamics and much more. I used to make my stories sharp and catchy by following my intuition only, but now I know how to get it done by applying all the knowledge and skills I developed over those years. So I think it’s just a natural course of events that some of my books are adapted for movies. My dream is to one day be part of a movie not only as an author but also as a screenwriter.
Any tips and tricks for aspiring authors?
One of the coolest perks of being a writer is that you get to be a very active member of society. You meet people, talk to them, give lectures, and share your life with every soul you encounter. It is a huge responsibility too. You can never stop learning and developing yourself, or be satisfied with the results of your work. There is always room for improvement. You should become your worst critique as long as it does not stop you from working. For instance, I remember the year in which I was hosting a radio broadcast show called The School of The Bestselling Book. I introduced some ideas and discussed them on air, and involved people in creating something cool together. I don’t know about the audience, but I learned a lot during that year. And that is the best way to do it: sharing and listening. The most rewarding part of the job is in my opinion the fact of being attentive and invested in people and the surrounding world.
And last but not least, your fans must be dying to know: are you working on a project at the moment?
It’s my first year in the US as a member of the Romance Writers of America, so I intend to work hard in order to forge my path and create a sense of purpose here. I hope to develop interesting connections and increase awareness about Russian culture in the US. Currently, I am working on a book series about the romantic life and adventures of a character named Faina Romashina. This funny name means a chamomile flower in Russian. So, I am having quite fun!
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