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Author Interview - Irina Lopatina

Friday, August 17, 2012
Today, I am interviewing with Irina Lopatina, author of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors.

Book Synopsis
A young hero who must protect the land of his people from evil monsters trying to take over.

In the kingdom of Areya, humans, animals, and the magical creatures that inhabit the Eternal Forest have long coexisted peacefully, but now something is horribly wrong. A terrifying stream of monstrous creatures has begun to emerge from the secret depths of the earth, terrorizing all of Areya’s native inhabitants. From the tiny, wise drevalyankas to the bellicose cave-dwelling gnomes to the devious kikimoras who gather roots and herbs in the marsh, everyone is in danger.

With the aid of Urart, the magical sword that has been passed down from the time of the ancient northern ancestors, Grand Duke Vlady can offer temporary protection to his people. But Prince Vraigo, Vlady’s nephew, who is endowed with magical power himself, understands that the source of the evil monsters must be found if there’s any hope of survival. Along with a motley crew of his forest-dwelling friends, Vraigo sets off on a perilous quest in search of the koschei, the powerful, corrupt Archmagus whose mission is the destruction not just of Areya, but of the entire world.

As if this weren’t bad enough, Urart disappears from the duke’s stronghold. Without it, Areya is doomed, and only Vraigo, the White Raven, can possibly get the sword back. This journey requires Vraigo to use all of his keen wits and magical abilities, as well as to ally himself to dangerous creatures like yagas and werewolves, natural enemies of man, and precipitates the young prince into the most bewildering, complex challenge he has faced yet: life in the twenty-first century.

Author Bio
Irina Lopatina lives and works in Siberia, Russia, but her homeland has an even more wonderful and exotic name: Altai. While studying at the Altai State University, Irina devoted much attention to the past of her native land. Irina needed take only a small leap from there to White Raven, his friends, and his enemies who were ready to begin a journey through the Eternal Forest of Areya. White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors is Irina’s debut novel.

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey as an author.
Many people in their childhood dream of the most exotic professions – from astronauts to top models. As for me, I always wanted to write a book. However, there were no signs that this dream would come true someday. I went to school, studied history at university, and worked as a teacher for several years. One day, fragments of Prince Vraigo’s story began to come together in my head. Apparently, certain life experience had been acquired, resulting in my first book.

In your author bio, it mentions that your experiences in Altai inspired your writing. Would you elaborate on this?
The world known as Areya is what I see around me when I leave the town. The Eternal Forest is seen in our magnificent pine forests, which surround many of the Siberian cities, and the Infinite Mountains are very similar to the Altai Mountains. When you are on a research expedition far from civilization, and wildlife, as it did millions of years ago, stretches out around you for many miles, it is not difficult at all to populate the territory with completely different living beings. With a world where there is a place for magic, where the most unusual creatures still roam, and where humans are much more closely connected with the nature than we can imagine it.

How has Vraigo grown since you first imagined him?
Well, during his adventures Vraigo really has grown and matured. From a stubborn and self-assured lad, he became a very reliable man. Even from his unexpected journey to the modern world he will return, becoming a different person who will be able to take a detached view of himself and recognize his strengths and weaknesses. In the third book of the series, he can be entrusted with the fortune of the whole nation and not just with the endless fighting with the evil magi.

How would you picture yourself today if the magic veil still existed in our present age?
I guess I would try to conjure a way to lift a book directly out of my head, without spending several months sitting at the computer. Such a method must exist, because, in comparison with the quill pen that our ancestors used, the computer already seems fairly magical. ;)

If you could take the readers on a tour of Areya, where would you take them and why?
Definitely to the forest. Who would not want to wander around the Eternal Forest and talk to the druids, drevalyankas, rusalkas and other magical creatures? For example, I know that some readers, after reading White Raven, want a drevalyanka as a pet. I can perfectly understand them.

What are you working on right now?
I don’t normally talk about projects that are not yet finished. But I can say that everything I have written after White Raven is also related to the genre of fantasy, although some books have a clear bias to mystery or thriller.

If you're interested in obtaining a copy of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors, we've added our copy of the book to the list of Books for Grab.

3 comments on "Author Interview - Irina Lopatina"
  1. Ah! I love her name and it's so cool that she is from Russia! I can't say that I have heard of her book before, but she seems like such an awesome person! I would totally try to lift a book right out of my head, too, or charm my way into having an endless supply of books or something. I like the way she thinks!

  2. Altai, i love this name :)

    is this pure fantasy genre? The one genre that i have not read yet is pure fantasy because i have not interest yet :(

  3. I love fantasy and adventure book. I would love to read White Raven series.


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