Interview with Shian Serei, Author of The Bee Keeper’s Daughter
Aurous Publishing is delighted to introduce and familiarize fictional romance fans with author Shian Serei. Shian has agreed to a brief introductory interview as the launch of his first book, The Bee Keeper’s Daughter, goes out this week on Amazon.
AP: You grew up in Great Britain but the story begins in Medieval Russia, how did you prepare for writing an epic tale that was beyond anything familiar to you?
SS: Well, the great part about fiction is you can fill in the blanks with whatever you like, as long as it’s reasonable. I wove the story from what I knew of the Russian language, culture, and my experiences while on trips in Moscow and other cities.
AP: What was your intention for the reader, when you decided to use of anglicized Russian phrases, within the dialogue of characters? Do you think it will alienate them if they don’t speak Russian?
SS: I think readers enjoy the pleasure of learning, even if it’s within a fictional world. When I put the Russian phrases in the dialogue, I added an index at the back of the book so they can look them up and get a translation for any of the non English words, including Russian, French, Finnish, Latin and Polish. My intention was to subtly wrap the dialogue so that the reader is reminded that these characters were speaking in their own language, not in English, and we’re sort of eavesdropping in on them.
AP: Do you think Russians will enjoy the book?
SS: So far the response has been very positive. The Russian readers have shared that they liked the idea of reading a ‘Russian’ story in English, because it helps them improve their language skills without feeling like they are studying. This was totally by accident of course, but a welcome discovery.
AP: Do you think Russians will appreciate the geography and history in the story.
SS: It’s a two edged sword really, on one hand they know the Volga river and the cities along it’s track. They may even be familiar with the folklore and legends about those cities. But, if there was a point where the river didn’t connect as described, then I worried that the reader would instantly eject from the story in protest. At that point they are no longer in the world of Meridian, they’re just frustrated by the absurdity of my fictional license. I asked forgiveness of this in the preface of the book just in case .
AP: The characters are very detailed and developed, did you base them on real people?
SS: Not really, they are 90% fictitious and 10% impressions of a mix of people. A name from one person, a personality from another, appearance from still another, and so on.
AP: How long did it take to write the first draft?
SS: Three years, but I would set it aside for months at a time, in fact I think there was an entire year where I didn’t touch the story.
AP: Was the three year time frame due to struggles with writer’s block?
SS: Not at all, I had the whole chain of events already drawn out, I just couldn’t’ spend time writing due to other projects that were more immediate.
AP: We’ve heard the readers are in love with Captain Tanner, can you tell us anything about him in the second book?
SS: He survived the poison and will return in the second book, but there will be complications. That’s all I can share for now .
AP: OK, last question and by far the most popular. You dedicated the first book to Masha, is she a real person and is the lead character based on her?
SS: The lead character of Maria (Masha is her short name in Russian) is based on a real woman. Her appearance and some other details were changed but that inquisitive personality is totally her.
AP: Thanks Shian, anything else you’d like to share with your readers in closing?
SS: I definitely want to say thank you for so many kind comments and encouraging moments from the fans. When someone says, “I had a room mate just like Sveta.” or “Vladimir reminds me of my father.” it is extremely touching and humbling. I’m very honored to connect with real people through a fictional story.
Shian is hard at work on the second volume in the Kingdom of Meridian saga, The King’s Bodyguard, set for release on December 25, 2016. Look for it on Amazon.com or follow The Kingdom of Meridian on Facebook, for alerts and promotional giveaways.