Sunday, October 1, 2017

Q&A with Polina Dashkova

Russian crime novelist, Polina Dashkova, is answering our questions about writing and her book, Madness Treads Lightly, which has been translated into English. 

First, here's a little about the book:

Only three people can connect a present-day murderer to a serial killer who, fourteen years ago, terrorized a small Siberian town. And one of them is already dead.

As a working mother, Lena Polyanskaya has her hands full. She’s busy caring for her two-year-old daughter, editing a successful magazine, and supporting her husband, a high-ranking colonel in counterintelligence. She doesn’t have time to play amateur detective. But when a close friend’s suspicious death is labeled a suicide, she’s determined to prove he wouldn’t have taken his own life.

As Lena digs in to her investigation, all clues point to murder—and its connection to a string of grisly cold-case homicides that stretches back to the Soviet era. When another person in her circle falls victim, Lena fears she and her family may be next. She’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect them. But will learning the truth unmask a killer…or put her and her family in even more danger?

And now Polina answers our questions:

Q: The German press call you the Russian Crime Queen. What do they call you in Russia and what made you want to write mystery novels?

 A: The Russian journalists were the first who called me "Crime Queen,"and the German press repeated the name.  In real life I'm not a "Queen",  I'm a slogger.  However, I must admit I admire this awesome cliche. I love suspense. It's exciting to invent a story about unusual people in unusual situations. 

 Q; In many of your novels your protagonists are strong women. Do you model them after people you know or combine inspiration from multiple sources?
A:  I have written many novels, and they are all very different. Not all of my characters are strong, nor are they all women.  And only some of my characters are modeled after people I know.

Q: What do you find most challenging about writing crime fiction?

A: Real life is not very logical.  Real events and the motivations for people’s actions are often absurd and chaotic.  In a novel, especially in crime fiction,  the sequence and interdependence of events must be logical and peoples’  motivations must be reasonable and absolutely believable. To keep the balance between fiction and reality it sometimes feels like I am walking a tightrope blindfolded!
Q: What writing projects are you working on now?
A: I'm writing my new novel – a historical thriller. The plot is based on real events which happened in Moscow in 1977.

Q: Which of your novels do you like best and why?

A: For me this is a very tricky question, as I love each of my novels-- otherwise why would I write them? : )

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