I’m thrilled to have Nik Krasno with us today. He has lived a colorful life through travels and historical experiences such as the ousting of the Ukraine’s president and an aggressive Russia. The beauty of writing is that we get to take our knowledge and relive it through a story we weave together with fact and fiction. These events were an imagination trigger for Nik. Please give him a Ukrainian Вітаємо, or a simple hello will do.
After long turbulent years of extensive traveling for business and work and after some more spent working in the law firm, nowadays I’m on my own and I have some downtime to dedicate to the things that matter. This extra time I use inter alia to write Oligarch series about rapid enrichment and its heavy toll, the Big Bang of the USSR, the Russian – Ukrainian showdown and many more in high-voltage thriller genre. Two books are out – ‘Rise of an Oligarch’ and ‘Mortal Showdown’ and the third one is in its final stages.
Which came first the pencil or the paper? Explain.
It’s one of those unanswerable questions, which luckily or not, lost its actuality, as both pen and paper are being superseded by laptops and similar gadgets. Everyone goes ‘paperless’. I only hope this tendency skips the toilets 😀
In regards to writing, what are you working on now?
I’m at the pre-publication stage with the third installment, which should conclude the trilogy, at least for the time being, and it has a little surprise in it.
Michael, the oligarch, tops Forbes billionaire’s list only to find out that those, who really dominate the global economy, rule illicitly and stay away from public eye. It so happens that he needs to confront the “Old” money conspiracy in order to survive and to save his country… For good or bad, it’s extreme, radical, uncompromising, grotesque, action-packed and philosophical.
If you could meet any character you’ve written, who would it be?
I’d rather not 😀 They are all anti-heroes really. But seriously, I’d probably choose Michael, because he’s the mastermind, a very complex personality, whose virtues and vices all the time struggle with each other. Yet he’s an intelligent person with some sense of humor, so meeting him or someone like him would definitely be an interesting experience.
Tell us about your published works.
‘Rise of an Oligarch’ is the first book in the series, written together with my friend and co-author – His Brilliancy Carlito Sofer. It’s serious thriller with elements of historical fiction in it, a sort of Ukrainian Godfather or Soprano. It follows Michael’s rise to power and wealth, while his associates try to figure out who was behind an assassination attempt, which left Michael in a coma.
‘Mortal Showdown’ – is a sequel written all by myself in a snappy, action-packed style. It’s a more ‘mischievous’ project. It has a grain of intrigue, politics, and satire in it. Something like James Bond meeting Guy Ritchie :D.
Which superpowers would you want?
I’d take the US and leave Russia and China to others 😀 Ah, that’s not what you meant? Then, I’d go with …. teleporting maybe. Despite flying hundreds of time and even taking a piloting lesson, I’m kinda afraid of flying, so this power could come handy.
Where in the virtual world can people find you and/or meet for a chat?
I haunt Goodreads and check regularly my Facebook and LinkedIn pages. I’m always glad to meet/e-meet readers, fellow authors, bloggers and those interested in enrichment, social justice, USSR and post-USSR, boxing, football (soccer), traveling, booze and many other topics.
What specific moment or situation made you want to become a writer?
The main driver was probably the feeling of uniqueness about what was going on in Ukraine in its post-apocalyptic independence. I felt compelled to expose this phenomenon to the world. The transition from pre-communist Soviet republic to an independent, Wild West capitalistic, corrupted pseudo-democracy was ruthless and tragic to those who didn’t know how to adapt. On the other hand, these stormy times benefited some modest Soviet citizens, who were apt to grasp what was going on and use the new rules, or more precisely – total collapse thereof, to their personal favor and to amass billions of dollars in a relatively short spell. I thought these circumstances formed an excellent plot-line for a thriller series.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I’m not Leo Tolstoy or big authority to give writing advices, but I have one regarding the attitude. I say, make money elsewhere and come enjoy being an author :D. It’s really very nice to write books, to interact with people interested in your work or colleagues. On the other hand, for me at least, marketing and promotion are much less exciting. If one is anxious about sales, expecting to sell lots of books, this rarely happens. The faster disillusionment comes the better. There are instances when a book/series gains traction, but these are very rare and usually it takes considerable time, numerous books before it happens.
I asked Nik to send a picture of someone he’d like to interview or defend in court with an explanation. Here’s what he had to say:
I’d interview El Chapo Guzman, but Sean Penn has beaten me to it -:), so I guess I’d defend him in court. Although I strongly oppose drug dealing and any other ancillary crimes, he’s a controversial enough figure to invoke public interest.
Writing, War and Imagination,