Tell us a bit about your family. My father and mother are typical Soviet Union folks: very well educated, with strong moral principles. “Never take bribes, never steal, never betray your friends,” is what I learned from my childhood. Then, when I moved to the US, those things were combined with the American principles, “never explain, never complain,” which completed my list of values. I must add that my parents are both 75 now, and they are still really full of energy!
I’m living with my third wife, Asha, and we are very much in love. My latest book, SEMMANT, is dedicated to her.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I have a very short temper.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I have always done only what I wanted.
What is your favorite food? Asian, of every kind.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Outer Banks, NC, USA
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I received an excellent education – for which I’m very grateful to the Soviet Union, a country that no longer exists. And I grew up reading great Russian literature, which significantly shaped my literary tastes.
Perhaps the most important thing I got from my childhood and my youth is a habit of not being frightened by problems that appear unsolvable, or goals that look unachievable. And that’s important for a writer: when you start a book it often seems impossible to take all those diverse thoughts that scurry through your head and put them into words on a page.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I read a lot as a child, from the age of four. I considered books to be the most fascinating things in the world, and I always knew I would write fiction myself. I just knew it; no one told me about it or encouraged me in any way. I even had “writer dreams” – line after line of a written text running before my eyes and resounding in my head. I didn’t understand the meaning of the words, but I felt their rhythm.
When and why did you begin writing? At the age of 22, my head suddenly became full of rhymed lines. I had to get rid of them, so I started to write poetry. It was very bad poetry.
How long have you been writing? 30 years.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I’ve known it since childhood.
A brilliant scientist creates a brilliant robot. Working together, they beat the stock market. But which one will survive the battle for love?
When Bogdan Bogdanov, a troubled cybernetics genius, creates Semmant, a robot living inside a computer, he feels on top of the world. Semmant takes on the capital markets and makes money with the ruthless efficiency of a machine. Bogdan grows richer by the day, but when he falls deeply for the irresistible Lidia, Semmant’s artificial mind faces a new challenge. The robot becomes involved in a genuine human drama and is forced to confront the cruelty of real life. He discovers the eternal joy of what it means to have free will, but it takes him to a destination no one could have predicted.
This is a tale of lust and affection, an erotically charged story of betrayal and murder. It explores the scope of human feelings from a truly unique point of view. Universal chaos and the strict laws of society; precise mathematical rules and the elusive nature of love: all interact and clash, working together and against one another. Tragedy looms, but free will fights back – bringing hope that lasts forever.
Genre – Literary Fiction
Rating – NC17
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