Sci-fi author Alina Leonova self-published her debut novel in October. Here’s a synopsis:
In a world where the distinction between the virtual and the real has faded, and an inexplicable plague is changing the nature, a man is running away from home, as he feels that something strange has happened to his loved one. He will have to change his life, slowly uncovering the truth as he grapples with his doubts about the nature of reality. Can what is happening to him be real, or is he stuck in a simulation?
At the same time, a woman begins to realize that the restrictive community she’s spent her entire life with and the rules she’s been following all along make no sense. She’s had enough of the Master’s cruelty and the mysterious purpose that he’s constantly talking about never explaining it.
This character-focused book explores the relationship between humans and nature and the effects advanced technology has on people’s lives. It dives into the characters’ experiences and follows their adventures as they look for answers, offering several plot twists.
Do you consider yourself (1) an introvert OR (2) an extrovert?
I am actually an ambivert, which means I’m somewhere in the middle on the spectrum between an extrovert and an introvert, probably leaning a bit more towards being an extrovert. When I spend too much time among people, I get tired and need some time alone. When I’m alone for too long, I miss people and need contact with them. I sometimes feel completely confident among strangers, starting conversations and telling jokes, and sometimes I feel really shy among people and want to stand somewhere in the corner, unnoticed.
Nice contrasting balance!
Science has advanced and we can now colonize other planets. Do you (1) sign up to be a colonist OR (2) remain on Earth?
I’ve always been fascinated with space travel, and my interest in sci-fi is fueled by it. I used to think I’d be a colonist if I had a chance, but coronavirus lockdown has shifted my perspective. Being locked inside an apartment (which, by definition, is way more comfortable and cozy than a spaceship or a habitat somewhere on Mars), unable to see and hug my loved ones and be in contact with the nature turned out to be extremely hard. When I had a chance to go out, I was so drawn to trees and birds, I needed to smell every flower, touch every leave and feel every raindrop on my face. I missed my friends and family and just being in the same room with people so much! So, I realized how incredibly hard being a colonist would be psychologically (and physically, of course, but that doesn’t scare me as much). I would have to leave behind everyone and everything I care about. I would never be able to hike in the mountains or swim in a lake or just be outside unrestrained. And I really love Earth, so I think I’ll stay here. But if it’s ever possible to travel to another planet or space and return, I’ll definitely do it!
Dorothy’s ruby red slippers would help!
Your significant other or child asked you to do something you don’t like to do. Do you (1) grin and bear it OR (2) mumble to yourself while doing the task?
I think it’s extremely important to set boundaries and make sure I don’t do things I don’t like for others. But if I decided to do this thing because it’s important for me to help them, I would rather be calm about it and grin: no need to complain and feel bad about something I will be doing anyway, since it will only make it harder for me.
Do you write (1) when the mood takes you OR (2) at a set time?
I try to be systematic about writing and do it every day because it’s a skill that has to be honed and nurtured. It doesn’t matter to me at what time I do it as long as I do it at all, but I don’t leave it to the mood either. I allow myself some time to slack, but then I tell myself, ‘It’s time to write,’ and I do it whether I’m in the mood or not.
The write time!
(1) Can you name just one favorite novel OR (2) you love too many to just pick one?
I definitely love too many! I start a new book the moment I put down the previous one. I’ve read too many good books to choose only one among them. There are books of different genres, there is great fiction as well as non-fiction, there are books suitable for a certain mood, age period in life, etc. No, it’s just impossible to have one favorite book for me!
Thanks for being interviewed, Alina!