Friday, March 17, 2017

Interview: Vasily Mahanenko

Magic Dome Books is celebrating birthday: two years we've been translating books in English and we're so happy to meet so many wonderful people. We prepared several interviews for the date and we're starting with Vasily Mahanenko.

Vasily Mahanenko is a fantasy author working in the new genre of LitRPG - the MMO-based fantasy and sci fi. His Way of the Shaman series took Russian literature by storm in 2012. Vasily dipped into his college-days insider knowledge as a hardcore gamer in order to create a believable world of the virtual-reality MMO game. His bestselling series combines fiction and video games, telling the story of Shaman and his friends stuck in the ruthless reality of Barliona. He used his more than ten years' experience as an ERP implementation project manager to approach his writing in a well-organized manner, working to a strict schedule, a set of deadlines and even a budget. 

Hi Vasily. It's been two years since you started working with Magic Dome Books. How is it going?

Two years is quite a lot in publishing. Still, I think I was luckier than most: I began working with MDB even before they officially opened. My literary agent Alex and I spent quite some time discussing potential projects and considering various translation options wondering whether the idea was viable. So in fact for me it's been more than two years.

So was it a viable idea, after all? Or did you expect more from your collaboration?

I suppose, like any sci fi writer I wanted it all and I wanted it now. Bestselling positions, critical acclaim, ecstatic crowds chanting my name, blah blah. Still, my work with MDB seems to be gradually steering me toward this seemingly impossible dream. I like the fact that I already have a rather large English-language readership, I like my books' rankings as well as all the promotional efforts on the part of Magic Dome Books who tirelessly keep searching for new markets. This is something that sets them apart from all the other agencies: MDB never put all their eggs in one basket.

Do you feel famous and proud of your work?

The fact that my every new release sells about 6.5 thousand copies in the first month is the kind of success MDB has helped me to achieve. I find this figure very motivating. It makes me want to push the envelope by writing new and better books.

What kind of reactions do you normally expect from your readers?

All reviews are welcome, whether they're in-depth critiques or one-liners. I need to know what my readers did or didn't like. This kind of feedback is highly important for a writer. And naturally, I want them to continue buying my books.

This might sound trite but what are your plans for the future? What new books or series should we expect?

I'm now working on Book Two of the Dark Paladin series which is being simultaneously translated into English. Once I finish Book Three, I want to go back to Galactogon which I've been neglecting all this time and round off the series with two or three more novels. Finally, I want to start working on a new series, Invasion, sometime next year, which is basically a sequel to The Way of theShaman told from a different POV.

What would you like to wish Magic Dome Books for their birthday?

I'd like them to grow and keep looking for new unexplored markets. It's very important they keep their outlook fresh.

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