Interview with Nik Krasno
What genre do you write and why?
I write in action/adventure and thriller genres with slight flavors of contemporary, hist. fiction and satire. That's what I like to read and especially watch in movies and that's where I can implement some of my knowledge and experience as an international commercial lawyer. As a lawyer you are frequently exposed to a problematic, less glorious side of an international business, which serves for me as unending source of ideas, plot-lines, and characters. And besides, somebody has to challenge Tarantino and Ritchie in literature, no? -:)
Tell us about your latest book.
Released in June 2015, 'Mortal Showdown' is a gritty (political, spy) action thriller; snappy, fast with lots of twists. It should appeal to Robert Ludlum's or Tom Clancy's fans. If I look for a proper allegory, it would be something like James Bond done by Guy Ritchie -:). On the other hand, those having head ache from Russian names or exotic locations like Kazakhstan or Mongolia probably shouldn't bother.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Make money elsewhere and come enjoy being an author -:). It's really very nice to write books, to interact with readers, bloggers and fellow authors. 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.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I haunt Goodreads and interact with people there. I check regularly my Facebook page. I'm doing interviews pretty frequently, so just by googling my name, you'd have plenty of additional info.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Definitely Michael - the protagonist. He's more of an anti-hero really - a complex, realistic, multi-dimensional figure. Michael, the Oligarch, is a cruel, ambitious, street-smart, cunning, sarcastic son-of-a-bitch, who have purposes in life he wants to achieve and little to nothing can stop him. On the other hand, he's also a true friend, a patriot, a man with certain principles, who subordinates to no authority, humorous at times, who takes everything with a grain of salt.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I think it's different in few aspects. I'll elaborate on some of its distinctive features. Location - you don't have that many books realistically set in former USSR, unveiling real and real-like events, scams, and shenanigans. Snappiness, grittiness and to-the-point style - for those who appreciate this. It's not for Leo Tolstoy's fans, which enjoy descriptions, spread on 3-4 pages. Depth - it's not vague in intricate business matters; it's much more detailed and challenging and touches philosophic aspects of enrichment, modern economy, competing social theories and global political architecture. I'm well aware that some of the above features may pose a disadvantage for those, looking for a 'light'- read, but I hope there is still a sufficiently large audience for Oligarch series.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
That I can write a book maybe? -:) I never ever thought I could, but with the help of my friend and co-author on the first book, I've gained enough confidence to continue now on my own. Also, I've discovered that writing is addictive-:).
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
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 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... Still extreme, radical, uncompromising, action-packed, philosophical.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
With viable self-publishing venues, SP put publishing a book within anyone's reach. There are good things and bad things about it. The accessibility is good, although the market is simply flooded with stuff and the literature because of that lost some of its glory. The costs now being borne by the author is a negative. Indies spend their own money on editing, cover design, etc, so they actually start with a minus, which may never be balanced by the income. Trad. pub still offers advances sometimes, so whoever gets one, start with a plus. Absurdly as it may sound, self-publishing would probably be better for established authors, whose name is known and 'sells', so they don't have to share with anyone their proceeds, while for less established authors TP gives economical peace of mind, financing all expenditure, marketing and promotion.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Many and in different aspects. My passion to travel to exotic locations may well be thanks to Jules Verne books, read in childhood, interest in intrigues and adventure from Alex Dumas, Harry Harrison, Roger Zelazny and many others. If I take literary work, I like Grisham's attention to details, or Mario Puzo's epic saga, whose Godfather served as a kind of inspiration for Oligarch series. I should also mention Irvine Welsh for his literary mischief, showing to everyone that even some Scottish 'shite' can be fun and have cross-national appeal.