In Conversation with Lola Smirnova

We had the pleasure of speaking with Lola Smirnova, author of the books titled Twisted and Craved. Twisted is reviewed on our blog already. The review for Craved will be up soon. In the meantime, here is what Lola has to share:

  • What inspired you to start writing?

I had a story to tell that maybe could help to change peoples’ often ignorant attitude towards problems of the sex industry, victims of which usually are young inexperienced women. I wanted the reader to realize that those working girls are humans… They dream, love or suffer the same way as anyone’s girlfriend, sister or daughter.

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and bred in Ukraine. By the end of 90’s, due to the difficult economical situation there, I started travelling around the world in the search of a better life. For the last decade I’ve been living in South Africa, where four years ago I started writing full time.

  • Tell us about your books.

Twisted series is about three sisters from the post-Soviet Ukraine, who together with their family as well as the rest of the country, struggle in its corrupt and faulty economy and decide to go to Europe to work in the sex trade. In the second book the girls end up working in South Africa.

It took me 3 years to write and self-publish my debut novel Twisted, which was released in January 2014. A year and a half later in July 2015 I released the sequel to Twisted – Craved – which is the second book in the trilogy. Currently I’m working on the third book.

  • How easy/difficult was it to pen down your thoughts in your books?

       Most of the times not easy at all, considering that English is not my native language.

  • Which is the best part of writing a story?

The writing process is some kind of escape for me. I create a world where I can be anyone or experience anything… You know, my job is actually to dream or fantasize. For example, on Monday I can live a life of a modern day’s woman that can perfectly manage her kids, career and a twenty years old marriage, when by Thursday, I dive into a life of a vulnerable teenager who discovers all thrills and downs of her first love.

  • Describe a perfect writing day for you.

I wake up in the morning, make myself a cup of coffee and start writing. Words, thoughts, ideas are pouring out of me like there is no tomorrow.

There is no distraction, nothing around me – just my imagination and a laptop.

I have a quick bite in the noon time and carry on writing in the same flowing and effortless way…

Then late afternoon comes and I go for a run with my dog, come back, have a dinner and make myself comfortable on the couch with some riveting read for the evening.

  • What message would you like to share with your readers?

       As Richard Bach once said: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

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Book Review: Twisted by Lola Smirnova

About the Book:

 TWISTED_Cover_full_size

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia – dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of ‘quick’ money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever…

Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions?
Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions?
How far are they willing to go to make a buck?

My Thoughts:

I was contacted by Book Publicity Services to review this book. This is usually not the kind of book I read but I decided to take a chance. I must admit I was intrigued by the way the author has written this story and the issues brought out through this. At a few points in the story I did wonder at the relevance of some of the situations but on the whole the story comes together pretty well.

It is indeed a shocker to read about how the protagonists of the story enter into the sex trade with the notion that that is their way out. Through this they get to see several places and earn more money than they could at home over some months. The author brings out the allure that money has and how it draws people into it’s depths keeping them captive and wanting for more. The author also explores the power drugs have over the psych of people.

There is a message I found while reading a book which is along the lines of how we are a product of the choices we make. Most of the things that happen to us in life are a result of our decisions. It is up to us whether we take the easy way out or take the harder path but perhaps lead a better life. There are no guarantees in life but we can try.

There is a lot that the  reader is made aware of through this story and some revelations are quite shocking. All this will indeed set the reader thinking and reflecting on life and how theirs would compare to that of the protagonists. The author’s style of writing is a little different if not crude and it’s nice how she has not tried to sugar coat anything. She has described things as they are in a clear manner for us to understand. This story is informative in its own way and is worth the read.

Grab a free copy of Twisted by Amity Hope

Twisted KINDLEMaya Anderson has faced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she’s constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year.

A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the murder of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. He’s despised by some and feared by most.

Determined to become Ben’s friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. It isn’t long before they realize that they both have secrets in their pasts. As the line between dealing with grief and struggling with a desire for revenge begins to fade, the secrets that draw them together may be what will ultimately tear them apart. Because the closer Maya gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes.

**Listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012**

Twisted is free on Amazon November 14th, 15th and 16th!!

 

Grab your copy here

 

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