Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
New Jersey, USA
Cossack Russian at heart. Canadian by citizenship. Now living the American Dream with her beloved partner in life.
Nadia’s two greatest passions are writing and photography. Her getaways from outer problems, resurrectors from inner turmoil, and muses for creativity and self-expansion.
On her spare time, she enjoys reading poetry and novels; getting her groove on to new wave music; getting terrified from playing survival horror games; and calming down with her darling family.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
“Let us immerse into five imaginary and yet quite believable and relatable mythologies narrated by very mesmerizing Muses. The first to get you plunging are vocal melodies about strength, wonderment, and hope. The second is a struggle between love and its mirrored-self – an inevitable discovery of what true love is and how imitation fails to grasp its pure essence. The third are tales chanted forlornly by Sirens about love and loss and the unattainable, all lost in the abysmal sea. The fourth, less melancholy but profound nonetheless, are words of wisdom to live by from our Mother Nature. And lastly, you come to meet the Moonchild…a part of her inner world and dreams she dared to share.”
Or in brief, Moonchild Dreams is a chapbook that explores the themes of hope, love, loss, and enlightenment in a quasi-mythological nature. It is a collection of some of my best poems from 2004 to 2015.
Kev: Who or what is the inspiration behind your book?
Who is for me to know and keep my lips sealed about. But let’s just say they are dear people that I keep close to my heart. As for what, many of the poems in Moonchild Dreams have been inspired by spring. It is my most favourite season that perpetually keeps bringing me strong feelings of rejuvenation, joy, hope, strength, love, and consequently, stimulation to write. When I started dating in my late teens and falling in and out of love, the many multifaceted experiences with love inspired me to write about seeing love as perfect, about realizing that it can be jerky, about learning the difference between trial-and-error love and unconditional and compassionate love. I have an entire chapter devoted to the subject in the book. There are also several literary works that have inspired me. For instance, All is for the best is a poetic summary of Voltaire’s Candide; The road that’s taken is my retelling of Robert Frost’s The road not taken with a personal twist; and Ignorance was inspired by Milan Kundera’s novel of the same title.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing your book?
Putting my book together was actually smooth sailing for the most part. Most of my poems were already written, I just needed to proofread them. The only challenge that I had was coming up with the title of the book and the last poem that I wanted for it to share the same title. I had an idea of the last poem in mind, but it just wouldn’t materialize as I was thinking too hard about it. The night before, however, I prayed for a poem to be written the next day that would help me to finalize my book. And written it was. Moonchild Dreams materialized into a poem about a muse who conforms to societal ways during the day, but has the night to break all the rules and just be herself. In a way, it also represents me as a person and a poetess.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Certainly. I would like to share my dearest poem from the book entitled Chaos unto harmony. Names or part of lyrics from some of my favourite songs have been italicized:
“Accepting chaos –
Instability, impermanence, ending.
Harmony is only existent
If the shattered pieces of yin and yang
Fit flawlessly together.
You love all forms of nature:
The death of autumn maple leaves,
The frost-bite of long and bitter winters,
The rebirth of verdant grass,
As the tender warmth of the moon
In the heat of summer nights.
You feel the sensuality of the deep sea,
The way it leaves an imprint on your feet.
You gather near the fiery flames
When coldness is unbearable.
And it’s wonderful to tip-toe
Even running on the ground without shoes.
And the chilly as the tepid wind
Fills your wholeness with affection.
Music is my love forever.
Each song echoes the story of my life
And the madness in my head
As pains and pleasures of my heart.
My visionary dream to share my history,
The running up that hill to swap places,
The anger and the jealousy in Wuthering Heights,
The praying for a miracle and not someone’s charity,
The kisses in the moments in love.
I slither like a snake to cold fire
And dance lezginka to wild dances.
My body seduces to the flesh for fantasy
As my soul dreams of a touch in the night.
May the wind deliver
The cold and sweet intense gentleness
As the rhythm of the melody may charm
Those who are the worthy ones.”
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I could write on impulse or I would give it some thought before I do. Just not too much thought or an idea will fly away like a butterfly would. I found the key for me to write has been in completely relaxing all my senses for imagination and creation to flow into me.
Kev: How do you deal with writer’s block?
As of late, I don’t have that problem. I also do not expect myself to write every single day. When you have no expectations, you don’t stress so much about writing or not writing. Also, I do not stress about everyday life as much as I used to, so that my focus is on things that are enjoyable and inspiring like reading, listening to music, watching films, musing over life. At least for me.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Night is very tempting for its tranquil and enigmatic feel. But only when I have insomnia, I may as well do something productive like writing. Nowadays, I write during the day. My husband is at work and I don’t need to do work around the house every day, so daytime is usually quiet and suitable for writing in my case.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
I proofread once. I proofread twice. Then I come back to it again and proofread thrice. I also ask for someone else to read through it and catch any error I could have overlooked.
Kev: How did you come up with your book cover?
My husband took a picture of me in the summer 2014. When I was done with my manuscript, I thought it would be a perfect picture for my book cover. I then edited it in Adobe Photoshop to make it look like a black and white oil painting of a muse-like lady laying on a boardwalk. She appears delicate yet strong in her appearance and completely open in her vulnerability. I wanted the book to be perceived as something ethereal yet down-to-earth with innards of both naivety and fragility as well as strength and wisdom.
Kev: Do you think a book cover is important?
Absolutely. They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Yet we still tend to do that consciously or not. Contents of the book may be rich, but if the cover is of poor quality and aesthetics, not many may open it to find out more. We cannot help it, but we are stimulated by visuals as well as imageries.
Kev: Which publishing platform did you choose and why?
I chose to self-publish with Createspace with my first book. I wanted to publish my poems for the longest time, but I was always afraid of being rejected by publishing companies. I also did not want to change anything about my poems in case a publishing company would want to reinforce any alterations that would seem more sellable to the market, but not truly reflecting my work and myself as a person. Luckily nowadays, we can choose to go for the self-publishing route and have as much control over our work as we want.
Kev: Did you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
Apart from having a few people look over my manuscript, I did everything else myself. It was simple in the sense that I did not have to depend on any intermediaries for the work to be done.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
I try to get the word out by getting my book reviewed by independent reviewers; by getting interviewed or having a guest post appear in a site; by getting my poems published in literary journals. All of this is a slow, but fun process.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do not measure your success by big leaps, but rather by baby steps. Celebrate every little achievement as if it’s a big victory. In this way, there are no let-downs – only accomplishments.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
• I recently got back on Facebook (back to enslavement again! 😉
• I have a LinkedIn page that I use frequently;
• I have an Instagram for silly things;
• I am a newbie on Goodreads.
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much Kevin for taking the time to interview me.
I have a personal website tepid autumn that currently showcases excerpt of my poems from Moonchild Dreams and some of my better photographs. It is more like a portfolio at the moment, but I may add a blog later on. I may also extend it to have a literary journal of its own or a review of other poetry books.