Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine living in South Africa, who for many years worked in the sex industry. She recently released her debut novel Twisted, a true life shaped into fiction story of vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade. Smirnova is currently working on her second book Crave – a sequel to Twisted.
What inspires you to write?
The writing process is some kind of escape for me. I create a world where I can be anyone or experience anything… You know, my job is actually to dream or fantasize. For example, on Monday I can live a life of a modern day’s woman that can perfectly manage her kids, career and a twenty years old marriage, when by Thursday, I dive into a life of a vulnerable teenager who discovers all thrills and downs of her first love.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am both: an outliner and a seat of the pants writer. I guess my perfect formula is what ever works as long as I pin my ass to that chair every day and write!
I plot the story to stay focused but as the writing goes I change it all the time. To be spontaneous, that what makes me savor and truly enjoy my affair with my computer, turning every day of boring routine into an exciting date.
Most of my work is on my computer. I don’t do handwriting, and prefer to draw the mind maps and planning on my iPad. But I have a board at my working desk which is pinned with inspirational quotes, some articles and images of my books’ heroes. For example, for Lena I have this sensual image of Drew Barrymore on the beach or the image of the bad boy looking young man I found on the internet and used for Ali.
What advice would you give other writers?
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Self- publishing was the way for me. I consider it an investment, the idea of not being able to have a word on creation of the cover was terrifying. I simply couldn’t stand the idea, that some smart ass, I-know-everything editor, would decide to put a typical fifty-shades or some cheesy red corset image on the cover, because this is what is “right for the market now”. It would kill me…
I wanted to take risks! I wanted to be different! This is something I wasn’t sure traditional publisher could offer me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As any writer I am flattered to see a hard copy of Twisted on the shelves of the book stores. However, I think technological advances and demand to reduce the carbon print force the ebook publishing to take over eventually. Obviously, there is always a place for paper copies but in a much less scale as it is right now.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print