Featured Interview With Ivan Obolensky
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in New York. I summered occasionally in my early years in Rhinebeck, NY, at our family estate Marienruh, which is the model for the “Rhinebeck” in my “Eye of the Moon” series novels. I now live in Uruguay with my wife, Mary Jo.
I have had pets, from dogs to horses. I do not have any now. Their lifespans are shorter than our own, and there is always a loss when a pet passes. Robert the Bruce was modeled after my bull terrier, Lisa.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was fascinated early with books, and I still am. I read all the time. If someone asked what I would like to do all day, reading would be my answer. Of course, there is never enough time. I carry a Kindle wherever I go that is waterproof and almost bulletproof. I open it whenever I have to wait for something. My Goodreads Currently Reading list is constantly updated with books such as “Dead Man’s Debt” and “The Body: A Guide for Occupants”. The latest Book I finished was The Usefulness of the Useless by Nuccio Oedine.
I wrote in school but, even with the occasional praise and publication, I did not consider it something to pursue. Mary Jo inspired me to start writing as an adult when she asked me to write nonfiction articles she could translate into Spanish for her full-service translations boutique website.
Around the same time, I had also started writing fiction through a Long Ridge Writers Course, “Breaking into Print”, which resulted in the short stories about Johnny and Percy, who got into all sorts of hijinks. These characters became the heart of my “Eye of the Moon” series and the third novel, which I am writing now. It is even tentatively titled “Stories, Johnny and Percy”. People who sign up for my newsletter can read the first two chapters of the third novel, but they would need to have read the previous novels in the series to get the full effect.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have many genres I enjoy reading, but if I had to pick four it would be literary fiction, classics, mystery, and science fiction.
There are several books and authors who inspire me, but a sample of six books that changed my world are on my blog: “Great Expectations”, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “The Tao Te Ching”, “Ethan Frome”, and “Emma”.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
“Shadow of the Son” is Book Two in the “Eye of the Moon” series. It starts shortly after the end of the first book, “Eye of the Moon”. “Shadow of the Son” would be difficult to describe without describing the first in the series. It wasn’t supposed to be a series at all, but there was a clamor for more, and I decided to write a follow-up to “Eye of the Moon”. The sequel was an interesting exercise. I took all the points that I had left somewhat hanging (not many), or which could use more detail, from “Eye of the Moon” and fashioned a story out of them that is wonderfully complex.
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