Interview with Author Larisa Biyuts

You can find out more information about Larisa at her website (here)
Larisa’s books can be found (here)
Bio from Amazon:
Novelist and poet, essayist and blogger, photographer and her own photo
model, digital artist and cat-lover: Lara Biyuts the Silver Thread
Spinner. Live & Learn. I learn what I need and share what I know for
certain. A voracious reader in the past, I am author of 4 gay-themed
novels at present, and my love for literature, like my gender, sexuality
and politics, is adamantine. Too selective to my native literature and
culture, I love books by some great and not so great writers: Chekhov,
Nabokov, Oscar Wilde, Ronald Firbank, Evelyn Waugh, W. Somerset Maugham,
Plato, Petronius, Martial, John Dickson Carr, Rex Stout, feeling oh so
thankful to two books “Memoirs of Hadrian” by Marguerite Yourcenar and
“Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous” by Royston Lambert.
My blog Revue Blanche is dedicated to the joy of creativity, beauty of
originality, power of curiosity, wonder of diversity, and the delight of
imagination, limited by the small circle of my interests.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1.What drives you to write your books?

A: Like many, at first, I was
a voracious reader. In March 2003, I read 2 books: The Counterfeiters
by André Gide (loving the novel only partly, with the exception of the
sad mood of the ending) and The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde by Peter
Ackroyd (which I love dearly and completely). 23 April is Birthday of
Vladimir Nabokov (whose works I adore, almost all of them, with the
exception of his two last), and in 2003 I celebrated the day by opening
his novel Look at the Harlequins, his last complete work and the last
book which I had not read. A year earlier, I read his novel Pale Fire,
with the main character purely homosexual professor of English
literature and king exile Charles Kinbote, and I fell in love with the
novel. Now, when reading the novel Look at the Harlequins, I got to the
passage, which is worth being adduced and cited here, on the March
Madness Blog Interviews, as well as elsewhere:

= …An extraordinary
grand-aunt, Baroness Bredow, born Tolstoy, amply replaced closer blood.
As a child of seven or eight, already harboring the secrets of a
confirmed madman, I seemed even to her (who also was far from normal)
unduly sulky and indolent; actually, of course, I kept daydreaming in a
most outrageous fashion.

“Stop moping!” she would cry: “Look at the harlequins!

“What harlequins? Where?”


“Oh, everywhere. All around you. Trees are harlequins, words are
harlequins. So are situations and sums. Put two things together–jokes,
images–and you get a triple harlequin. Come on! Play! Invent the world!
Invent reality!”

I did. By Jove, I did. =

and I took it as a
message, realizing that it was not a message to me, unless it may be the
author’s message to many persons like me, at most, but I felt like
taking it as a message, that day, being ready for something of the kind.
I regard the novel Look at the Harlequins as his poorest, but I love
two or three passages. Before the day when I “received” the “message”, I
never was about to become a writer, regarding the business as arduous
toil, and I never was a graphomaniac, but after reading the novel I
began writing my own, knowing that I’ll never leave the business,
regardless of its quality or success. It was my first novel, and now I
realize that having read oh so many books, I got disappointed in
literature, as a reader, because I never found what I wanted, unless the
novel Pail Fire and several books more, but I wanted more, and I felt
like creating my dream book. To write about what I wanted to read; to
read about what I want. I stopped reading somebody else’s fiction, even
detective stories. All I wanted was creating my own.

2.How did you come up with you story plots?

A: All I can say that I don’t look for plots or images/personages for
my stories on the Net or social networking, and I am far from looking
for all the mentioned above in the modern day pop-culture or the real
life.

3.How did you come up with your characters?

A: My
dear main adult character Anthony Blanche is a namesake of the charming
character from Evelyn Waugh’s novel which is not a mere coincidence.
Reading and rereading the novel Brideshead Revisited I got obsessed with
this name. It gave me a creative impulse, one day–it was great
actuation–and I still feel thankful to it. On a website, dedicated to
the novel Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh’s Anthony Blanche was
called “nasty” (which is odd). Anthony Blanche in my book is yet
“nastier”, but I love my dear main character, because he is nice to me,
his poet, nice by permitting me to care about his enjoyments and
writings in the cozy world of my novel. No, he is not my second self. I
am not cruel like he; I dislike hurting. If I hurt somebody’s feelings,
then it’s my clumsiness and not my intention. And he is never clumsy. I
am a lifelong water-drinker, and he loves fine wines. But both of us are
non-smokers, loving rainy weather, eroto-maniacs in a way, bourgeois,
sober-minded, loving beautiful boys, youths and men, having much against
narcotics, and devoted to the beautiful pagan religion. In the first
volume of my novel as well as in the following volumes, there are
novelettes and several imaginative poems written by Anthony Blanche.
Those suggestive novelettes are about male love too. I’d love the book
to be published and read, because it’s my firm belief that the stories
written by my dear main character are not bad at all.

4.Would you recommend self-publishing a novel?

A: Yes, I highly recommend self-publishing on websites like
Smashwords.com, Lulu.com, Feed-A-Read.com, since there is not a better
way for new authors, in my view.


5.If you could spend one day with someone who would it be? (dead or alive)

A: You are naughty asking the question! My answer is Oscar Wilde.

6.Do you read often?

A: At present, my own fiction, mostly, then dictionaries and Wikipedia, every day.


7.What is your favorite type of books and Authors to read?

A: Literature which I enjoy reading: 1)British cozy murder mysteries.
2)Detective stories. 3)Thrillers. 4)Gay erotic stories. 5)M/m
romances and historical fiction. 6)Classic literature. Thank you for
the question. Answering it, I have a chance to mention the authors, who I
love, once again: Chekhov, Nabokov, Oscar Wilde, Ronald Firbank, Evelyn
Waugh, W. Somerset Maugham, Plato, Petronius, Martial, John Dickson
Carr, Rex Stout, Nina Berberova and Agatha Christie, feeling thankful to
two books “Memoirs of Hadrian” by Marguerite Yourcenar and “Beloved and
God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous” by Royston Lambert.

8.You love history, what is your favorite time period?

A: The reign of the Emperor Hadrian (76-138) and Chekhov’s time (1860-1904).

9.Do you have any hobbies?

A: My main hobbies are my cat, English language and cooking.

10.What is your favorite food?

A: Salads made by my own hand.

11.If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: There are several sites in Europe which I must visit before I die,
and afterwards (after I visit all the sites or maybe after my death) I’d
love to settle on a northern seashore, for ever.

12.Are there any big differences you could tell us about living in Russia vs the United States?

A: After I visit the United States, I shall answer the question,
meanwhile, judging by our pop-cultures, which could be watched on TV,
there is only a little difference if any. At any rate, personally I’d
not recommend watching Quentin Tarantino movies to those who want to
learn more about life in the USA and American history, because his
movies look and sound like a wrong source for us.

13.How do you like living in Russia?

A: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write
fiction,” as Virginia Woolf said. Moving to another country, I shall
leave my room, losing a lot of money, having nothing in return, unless
some sightseeing and a huge time wasting. This being so, I stay where I
am.

14.Have you ever thought of or ever been to the United States?

A: I’ve never been there. Some people are at ease in their mind
thinking of their travel overseas, but for me it seems a long way, too
long and taxing, as long as it used to be for a 19th century person.
Having not time for a taxing matter like thinking over the long travel,
for the next two years.

15.What advice would you give others that are thinking about self-publishing their books?

A: Nothing consoling or encouraging I can say on the subject. We are
new authors therefore we have no choice. Personally I’d not pay money
for my books’ publishing. I heard one story which sounded true and maybe
helpful. One new author, a young Poet self-published his first book of
poetry (not on the Web) paying some money to a reputed publishing house
in the metropolis nearby his home town. It was his happiest day when he
saw the copies of his book, printed, several hundred. Reassured, he
returned home and began waiting for the marketing result and doing
something for his book promotion. But time passed, and no result. In a
month or two, or three, no matter, his publishers invited him for a
talk. He came; the publisher asked him to sit down and began a talk.
Firstly, the publisher said that the young Poet was an excellent author
and the book of poetry was an excellent work worth reading and
distributing but the modern day readers were not so good, the readers
had a long way to go before they began to understand this writer, that’s
why, at present, no one copy of the book was sold. The Poet knew of
that and he could only sigh in reply. And then the publisher asked if
the Poet was about to redeem the copies or all the copies would be used
as paper for recycling. However shocked, the poet said that he would buy
all the copies of his book. Thus, he paid twice: when he self-published
his book and when he redeemed the copies. Obviously, it was the second,
additional business of the reputed publishing house. The story happened
in the pre-Internet/networking era and it looks like this publishing
racket is an old dodge.

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