I live in Vancouver, Canada. I became a writer pretty late in life. By education, I’m a computer programmer. I worked with computers for two decades. I’m also a daydreamer, always have been. Since I remember myself, I’ve made up stories and played them in my head but I never told anyone about my daydreams. They were my dirty little secret.
Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed. I was a professional woman, a single mom with two kids. I couldn’t admit to my coworkers or even to my family that I dreamed about fantasy worlds, magic, swords, and talking squirrels. I rarely dreamed reality stories.
I never thought of myself as a writer, never wrote anything down, but I couldn’t get rid of my daydreams. I loved my dream-world’s heroes and heroines. Sometimes, they felt more alive and precious to me than the living people around me.
In 2002, I got seriously ill. During my long recovery, my daydreams became more persistent. They swarmed me, they wanted to be told. I decided to be brave, stop resisting, and let my daydreams out. In February 2003, I bought a dedicated laptop for my writing, off limit to my kids, and started writing a story, the first writing I did since high school. I didn’t know if it was a short story or a novel. I didn’t know anything about writing or publishing. I just wanted to write.
Of course, I needed to learn a great deal to get from that naive, ignorant beginning to now, but the journey has been fascinating. I use a pen name for fiction – Olga Godim. In my real life, I don’t work with computers anymore and happy about it. I’m a freelance journalist, and my newspaper articles have a different byline. So why Olga Godim? When I submitted my first fantasy story to a magazine, I was still working at my computer job and I didn’t want anyone to connect me with my fantasy. Silly me. I wouldn’t have made such a decision now, but at that time, I decided to use a pseudonym. Olga is my first name, and Godim was my father’s first name. He died before I published my first piece, before I even started thinking about writing. I wanted him to be a part of my writing life, so I chose his name as my nom de plume. Now, he’s always with me, a witness to my successes and failures as a writer.
I continued writing about him afterwards, wrote EAGLE EN GARDE about the same guy, and later ALMOST ADEPT about a different protagonist but set in the same world. Both novels were published in 2014 by Champagne/Burst. I have other ideas for stories set in this imaginary world of mine, with the same protagonists or with different ones. I rather like this world. It’s a world of magic, swords, dragons (maybe later, in some other stories) and good kings. Bad sorcerers too. Lots of adventure potential.
There are elves in this world as well but they’re not like Tolkien’s elves. They are more down to earth guys. They live in villages and have enclaves in the cities. They do laundry and make jams. Only their ears are different from humans, and their life span is longer, but as a consequence, they have trouble conceiving children. I think one of my future stories will have a protagonist who is an elf woman. She will want a baby.
ALMOST ADEPT is a novel about a seventeen-year-old girl with powerful magic. Eriale is almost a magical Adept, very well trained, supremely talented in magic, but with no experience of real life whatsoever.
For her, magic is a source of joy, and she often uses magic to solve problems. Unfortunately, such solutions sometimes get out of hand. Her latest magical caper was a disaster. She has to leave home in a hurry to escape retribution but she turns her fleeing into a magical quest.
She expects a glittering foreign escapade but ends up in Grumesh, the land rife with treachery and violence. There, she survives an explosion, a treacherous incarceration, and a daring escape from captivity. She also meets a guy, a local courier Kealan. Sparks of interest ignite between them, but before Eriale could explore her attraction to Kealan, she discovers the abomination of blood magic ruining amok in the city. It’s her duty as an aspiring Adept to deal with the evil blood mage.
EAGLE EN GARDE is a novel set in Talaria, a kingdom surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. Neither magic not magicians can cross the border into Talaria. While some people wish to break the spell and invite magic back into the country, the fanatical sect of Cleaners is determined to prevent the return of magic.
The protagonist Darin is a mercenary officer. He doesn’t agree with the Cleaners’ doctrine but he doesn’t dispute it either. He is a soldier, not a philosopher. Then he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers, including witches and elves, and his orderly life is turned upside down. His sweetheart is a witch, his daughter is a half-elf, and he has many elven friends. He can’t allow the Cleaners’ murderous scheme to succeed, but what can a lone mercenary do against a horde of extremists? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies. Magic has never had a smarter protector.
LOST AND FOUND IN RUSSIA is a mainstream novel. There is no magic in it. It’s the only story I ever wrote with no magic of any kind.
Strangely, it was my first published novel. It was released by Eternal Press in 2013.
After the shocking revelation that her daughter was switched at birth 34 years ago, Canadian scholar Amanda embarks on a trip to Russia to find her biological daughter. Intertwined with Amanda’s story is a story of Sonya, a 34-year-old Russian immigrant and a former dancer, currently living in Canada. While Amanda wades through the mires of foreign bureaucracy, Sonya struggles with her daughter’s teenage rebellion. While Amanda rediscovers her femininity, Sonya dreams of dancing. Both mothers are searching: for their daughters and for themselves.
SQUIRREL OF MAGIC is a collection of short stories in the genre of urban fantasy. I self published this collection. All the stories are united by the same protagonists – a young witch Darya and her familiar, squirrel Beatrice.
After smuggling Beatrice from Holland to Canada (Canadian Customs doesn’t allow squirrels), Darya embarks on a series of adventures. Whenever she needs a supportive ear or a sharp set-down, Beatrice is there for her, loving and grumbling. Together they disarm a bomb, eliminate a rogue warlock, and liberate a sylph from a garbage bin. And always help friends in trouble.
This book has lots of inherent humor. I couldn’t write about a telepathic squirrel who talks in Darya’s head without a giggle or two.
I also have other short stories published over the years in various internet and print magazines. Recently, I decided to re-edit them all and put them on Wattpad, so they could be available to my readers. I’m still in the process, but ten stories are already on Wattpad, and their readership is growing. My Wattpad account is below, among the other links.
I collect monkeys. Not living ones, of course, but figurines and toys.
I was born in a year of Monkey by the Chinese zodiac.
They repeat every 12 years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016… One of those years, when I was already an adult and a mother, I bought a couple of little plastic monkeys in a toy store for my daughter. I liked the tiny figurines and decided: why don’t I collect them? After that, I bought a monkey or three as souvenirs wherever I traveled. Sometimes, my friends bring them as gifts. I have monkeys from Mexico, USA, Russia, Israel, Canada, China, England. I even have a monkey from Alaska. There are over 200 monkeys in my collection.
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