Author Interview: Nicholas Kotar


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!

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Author Interviews Alcove

March 1st    Story Quest Academy - Why Clean Fiction Is Important + Top 10 Clean Indie Books

March 2nd    Ellie Naomi - Why I Write and Love Clean Fiction + Hannah Anderson Mysteries

March 3rd    Julie C. Gilbert - Many Flavors of Kid-Friendly Clean Reads

March 4th    Jasmine Natasha - Author Interview with Laurie Lucking

March 5th    Liz Delton - The Alchemyst's Mirror

March 6th    Mark Hansen - Why We Love Fantasy

March 7th    Ian Vroon - Ayphae • A World Beyond Your Imagination

March 8th    Story Quest Academy - Author Interview: Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

March 9th    Nicholas Kotar - Two Excellent Pirate Books Set in Gorgeous Fantasy Worlds

March 10th    J.M. Hackman - Spark: Firestarting & Neurodiversity

March 11th    Mark Hansen - Excerpt from A Tale Of Heroes

March 12th    Courtenay Kasper - Why I Write Clean Fiction + West & Windy Book

March 13th    Debbie Schreffler - Excerpt from A Farmer's Wife: A Biblical Retelling of Ruth

March 14th    Story Quest Academy - Author Interview: Mollie E. Reeder

March 15th    Steven Guglich - Why I Write Clean Fiction

March 16th    Laurie Lucking - A Story Snippet from Traitor!

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 21st    Story Quest Academy - Author Interview with Jasmine Natasha

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 28th    Story Quest Academy - Interview with Heather Love Fitzgerald

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.