*This interview appeared on JB’s Bookworms in March 2018.
Q: Thank you for joining us today, Maksim Volk. Tell us a little bit about your story, Blooddrinker’s Prophecy. Is there anything you would change if Anna Abner offered to?
Maksim Volk: To be honest, I’d rather Ms. Abner left me the hell out of her stories. I’m not a character in a book. This is my actual life. By sharing this so-called novel, she’s screwed my anonymity all to hell.
Q: How would you describe Anna Abner?
MV: Not cool. She took my private life and splashed it all over the internet.
Q: Do you feel like she portrayed you correctly?
MV: Hell, no. I’m not nearly as kind as she thinks I am. I have very little sympathy or loyalty to humans. My daughter, excepted.
Q: How about others in the story. Do you feel she did well with them?
MV: ::huffs a disgusted snort:: She made Connor Beckett out to be some kind of hero, though he’s a giant twat. She didn’t describe Oleksander the Destroyer half as diabolical as he really was. The only thing she sort of got right is what a decent young woman Ali Rusenko is. Though, if you ask me, Ali’s even sweeter than Abner portrayed her.
Q: You might be wondering why I’m wearing a scarf on a hot sunny day. It’s not that I don’t trust you ::tightens the scarf:: or anything. I’m just deathly allergic to vampire venom. You know like some people are with bees? So, please don’t bite me.
MV: I’ve considered it, believe me, but your questions amuse me. Continue, and I won’t drain you. Despite what Ms. Abner writes, I have some self-control.
Q: Okay, now that that’s settled. Who created you in the story?
MV: I was turned at seventeen by none other than Oleksander the Destroyer.
Q: Was there a reason for your creation?
MV: He was building an army, and he incorrectly assumed I was a murderer without conscience. Luckily, I’m a world-class liar or I never would have survived this long.
Q: Were you happy or angry about the transition from human to bloodsuc–, I mean vampire?
MV: I wasn’t given a choice, but I took to it like a fish to water, like I was born to carry the infection.
Q: What’s your favorite blood type?
MV: Moppet, the infection is too overpowering for niceties like tastes or preferences. Blood is blood, and I drink it all with equal pleasure.
Q: Where is your favorite place to dine? Some of us might want to avoid any late-night forays there in the future.
MV: Since being forcibly relocated to Las Vegas, I have learned to appreciate American cuisine. Bazaar Meats is one of my new favorite haunts.
Q: Have you seen any more stories in the recesses of Anna Abner’s mind?
MV: From what I gather, she has volumes and volumes of ideas, more’s the pity.
Q: Do you get to play a part in any of those stories?
MV: I can only hope she leaves my daughter and me out of any future novels.
Q: You’re no stranger to darkness. What is your author’s darkest secret?
MV: She reads ::shudders:: superhero comic books.
Q: If Abner makes you mad, you could just bite her when she’s sleeping, you know.
MV: Don’t think I haven’t fantasized about just such a night, moppet.
*This character interview appeared at Author’s Secrets in March 2018.
Q: What do you most value?
CB: I don’t really have anything that belongs to me anymore. I live in a hotel. Everything I have was bought by our investors. But if you’re asking what means the most to me, then it’s the memories I have growing up with my grandpa. He was a great man who taught me about respect, hard work, and honor, and I can never repay him.
Q: What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?
CB: I’m a little distracted right now with the end of the human race, though I will say I’m partial to blonde cheerleader types.
Q: What do you consider most important in life?
CB: There’s nothing more important than family, and sometimes the family you create is even more important than the family you were born into.
Q: What is your biggest secret?
CB: Well, it wouldn’t be much of a secret if I told everyone who asked. But most people wouldn’t know by looking at me that my bank account is bulging at the seams. That’s all I’m going to say.
Q: Alina Rusenko, who are you really?
AR: Why? What have you heard?
Q: Who were the biggest role models in your life?
AR: My father taught me a lot. Everything I am came from him. I think my mom could have been a big role model for me, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have her growing up.
Q: What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? (or if you don’t want romance – Why not?)
AR: Romance just isn’t in my future. I’m happy being single, really. It’s safer that way, for everyone.
Q: What kind of man would you never choose?
AR: I’ve had bad experiences with popular jocks. I definitely will never waste time on one of those beefy jerks.
Q: What is most important to you in life?
AR: I value my privacy, as well as peace and quiet.
Q: What is your biggest fear?
AR: There are things I must keep secret, for everyone’s safety. It’s why I live such a secluded life in London.
Q: Anna, tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult? Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?
AA: Shopgirl’s Prophecy is the beginning of a paranormal series I’ve been obsessed with for over ten years. I’ve always loved this story, and I’m so excited to share it with you. Writing it wasn’t difficult at all! It was a joy to create each character, each setting, and each turning point. That’s not to say the novel didn’t go through several iterations. In one, Oleksander had a mother more vicious than he is. In another, the entire novel takes place in the Ukrainian countryside. But I’m very happy with the final version, and I love the way it turned out.
When I started Shopgirl’s Prophecy, I was a pantser, writing in whichever direction the wind blew. Over time, though, I learned to embrace organization and planning. Currently, before I write a novel, I complete a pre-writing packet and use it as a blueprint for plot and characters. It helps me feel more in control of my work.
It was a long month, and there were several days I didn’t write a single word, but despite all that (and catching a cold the last week of the month), I finished National Novel Writing Month. I’m so relieved and feeling amazing.
The novel isn’t finished, of course. In a lot of ways, it’s hardly begun. But I now have a solid foundation for the fifth book in my Beasts of Vegas series, and that excites me.
I loved spending an entire month eating/drinking/breathing vampires, witches, and shapeshifters. In this new novel, the oracle Caitlyn is all grown up and falling for her own tall, dark, and supernatural stranger.
Did you participate this year? Do you have an idea for a novel you’ve always wanted to write? Tell me about it!