I was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. I won my first writing prize during a school-wide competition that spanned several grades. My entry was a magical realism story but that's all I remember. I was 7 years old, and I haven't stopped writing since, although I've only been writing in English for a few years.
I love the progression of writing, starting out with a fuzzy, vaporous idea and zooming in, refining detail, discovering traits in my characters I didn't know existed. Working as a Project Manager, I'm very structured and organized - writing allows me to throw away my checklist and my project plan and just be creative.
My parents had complete works of Guy De Maupassant, and I started reading his stories (and fell in love with every one of his male protags!) when I was ten. For humor, I turn to O. Henry or Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat), and if I'm in a reflective mood, I pick up early Chekhov or Paustovsky.
Hi Michelle, thank you for your comment on "For Carol".
Wow, you sure like your heavy-duty writers, but then you've also got O. Henry. Early Chekhov. So very interesting. I'm curious to see what you'll write.