A Part Of The Clean Fiction Blog Tour
This week, I am interviewing indie author, Nicholas Kotar. He writes fantasy inspired by Russian fairy tales, by medieval Russian history, and by the experience of growing up in a family of two cultures—Russian and American.
Q: Who are you? What genres do you like to write?
A: Can I tell you about my family instead? What would I be without them? I come from a family of Russian low-ranking nobility that had to escape their lands and their country after the revolution of 1917. They took a wealth of history and stories with them, both of which have been intensely influential on me as a person and a storyteller. Quick fun fact: I’m directly descended both from a Russian Tsar (Ivan III) and Genghis Khan. As for what I write, it’s mostly epic fantasy inspired by Russian fairy tales and history.
Q: Tell us about your book/s! What was the inspiration for your book?
A: My fantasy series is inspired by Russian fairy tales, by medieval Russian history, and by the experience of growing up in a family of two cultures—Russian and American. Basically, the world of my novels is similar to 9-10th century Russia, but all of the mythical creatures from folklore are actually real in the world of the novels. I’m fascinated by seeing what happens when I take flawed, realistic characters, apply terrible pressures to them, give them a choice between redemption and annihilation, and see what they do. Some of them make the right choice, but some of them don’t. I’m never entirely sure what they’ll do, which I hope keeps my readers guessing!
Q: What is your biggest tip for teen writers?
A: That’s easy. Read. Read. READ some more! Read widely. Read the classics of Western civilization. Read classics from other cultures. Then read some more. After you’ve read A LOT, that’s when you need to start working on your technique. I recommend reading Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict as a start.
Q: Why is clean fiction important for youth and young adults?
A: I’m a firm believer that storytellers, in an age where no one wants to believe in objective truth anymore, where everyone prefers his own comfortable ignorance to difficult realities, are more indispensable than ever before. And there are certain kinds of stories that we must try to tell especially well. Stories of heroism amid great labors and trials. Stories that don’t give the high ground to moral relativism and nihilism. Stories that don’t erase the hardships of real life, but allow for the possibility of redemption, of eucatastrophe (as Tolkien would have put it), at the end of the long night. So I wouldn’t necessary put the stress so much on clean fiction, myself. I think it’s more important that the stories we tell inspire our readers to live better lives. Good, transformative stories can do that.
Are you a writer or parent of an aspiring author? COMMENT BELOW!
Be sure to comment and share each post to be entered to win our prize pack filled with ebooks and a scholarship to Story Quest Academy! Tag us at @StoryQuesters so we can see each of your entries.
March 5th Liz Delton - The Alchemyst's Mirror
March 6th Mark Hansen - Why We Love Fantasy
March 11th Mark Hansen - Excerpt from A Tale Of Heroes
March 15th Steven Guglich - Why I Write Clean Fiction
March 17th Julie Gilbert - Clean Fiction Audiobooks
March 18th Meg Dendler - Middle Grade and YA Clean Fiction
March 19th Nicholas Kotar
March 20th Courtenay Kasper - Clean Fiction Books I Love
March 22nd Molly Casperson
March 23rd D.J. Edwardson - The Last Motley
March 24th Marty C Lee - YA fantasy with dragons, princesses, or magic
March 25th Molly Casperson
March 26th Mark Hansen
March 29th Debbie Schreffler - Clean Fiction Books I Love
March 30th Nicholas Kotar
March 31st Molly Casperson
What Is Story Quest Academy?
Story Quest Academy is a virtual writing and reading academy for homeschooling teens! Each course has a book club focusing on wholesome, clean, classic and indie fiction. Packed with fun activities and easy-to-understand education, we’re teaching the next generation of writers! Learn more about our courses here.