Check out my interview at Rita Lee Chapman’s web page
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
I was honored to be a guest at Rita Lee Chapman’s web page and to answer some interesting questions. Here are the Q&A, which may tell you more about me. Follow this link or read it below
– Hi Ognian and welcome to my website. Please introduce yourself and tell us something about your book.
– Hello Rita and thanks for the interview. My name is Ognian Georgiev. I am a sports journalist, working for one of the most popular daily newspapers in my country “Bulgaria Today”. Our capital Sofia is the city that I was born in 33 years ago and I am still living there with my girl Ralitza and our daughter Valeria.
I’ve written only one book “The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s secret story”. It was published in December 2013 in Bulgaria. The English language premiere was on 30 May 2014. The novel is about a legendary Olympic weightlifting champion, who is caught at Sao Paulo’s airport with 9 kg of cocaine. He is sentenced in Brazilian jail for 9 years and 4 months. During his stay in the prison he remembers back all his glory moments, all his championships dramas, doping scandals, betrayals and sports political issues.
– What genres do you write in?
– I prefer the non fiction. “The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s secret story” was based on real life events. It’s at the same time journalistic research and a story full of interesting micro moments, that will bring the reader into the hidden world of elite Olympic sport, transformation from Communism to so called Eastern European democracy, Mobs times, hunger etc…
– How did you come to write your first book and how long ago was it?
– The topic about Galabin Boevski was very popular in my country since his arrest. Many of my country-mates forgot very fast his sports success, the nice moments and his wins on the biggest stages.
When the news about his arrest came, there was so much hate and bad attitude toward him, that I couldn’t believe it. This was the reason that I started to write the book. My idea was to show that the main character is not the worst person on the planet. It took me around two months to complete the story.
– When you sit down to write a new story, do you know what the ending will be before you start or does it evolve as you write?
– Nope, as a non-fiction story, which has a lot of secrets inside, I didn’t know what will come up after my investigation. It took me hours of interviews with the closest people of Galabin Boevski just to have a real view of his character and actions. There were some moments that two persons told me different story about one event. So I must find a third one just to be as close as possible to the truth.
– Are you a self-published author?
– The Bulgarian version was issued by national publisher “Trud”, one of the biggest in the country. I decided to publish an English edition and check it out what were the possibilities. From what I read on the internet and with talks with my translator Ilko Germanov, who is fantasy author, I decided to use self-publishing options, rather than send manuscripts to publishers.
– Which is the hardest part about being an author – the writing, the editing or the marketing?
– I also like to ask this question in the interviews that I am doing in my blog (https://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/). To tell the truth, everything is kind of challenge. My profession is connected with writing and editing. But for the English edition I needed a translator and an editor. I spend many hours to correct some things on manuscript. The band of test readers, that helped me a lot, found many more mistakes. Huge gratitude to all the guys, who gave me also the first honest valuation of my work. Speaking of marketing, I am still learning a lot. I understand that this is the key of success for every writer, who produced a good story. If you can’t reach the readers, it’s impossible to present to them your book.
– Have you won any awards for your writing?
– Nope, if we don’t count some positive reviews and valuation on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s kind of award for me, because I understand that my work was a quality one. The negative reviews are also very useful, because I’ve got a chance to see what lacked in my novel and to what I must pay attention in future.
– What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
– Playing with my
18-month 20-month old daughter Valeria. This is the greatest joy for me. With my girlfriend Ralitza we love to watch movies or TV Series late in the evening after the kid is sleeping. I am kind of addicted to mountains and playing football every Tuesday with my friends.
– If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
Traveling is something very special and every person must do it as much as possible. I love Northern France and Belgium. Germany is also a great place to visit. Probably someday I would like to go to India and Africa. Two destinations that I put into my travel list for sure.
– How would you describe yourself? Are you athletic, competitive, studious, a homebody or an adventurer?
– Adventurer is closer to my nature. But now with a family man, I am more homeboy kind of character.
– What is the most adventurous experience you have undertaken?
– Here I could write a book! Just will tell you one story. I’ve been in Beijing Olympics in 2008 covering for my newspaper the events. One night with a colleague from Cuba we went to drink some beers after the end of the daily work. We were joined by a Botswana swimmer and two China volunteers, who were a couple. We decided to go at night to Tienanmen Square.
The China guys told us that every morning around 5.30 there is a ceremony with raising the national flag. When we went there it was kind of scary. Hundreds of China people were there for the ceremony. The order was kept with many army soldiers with automatic guns. The guy from Botswana was very tired and decided to lie down on the ground, probably because of the beers. We tried to convince him that he must stand up, because the soldiers started to look at him as well as other civilian persons with red tie on their hands.
Thankfully Botswana swimmer was left with some brain and he stood. With my Cuban colleague we were thinking that they are gonna arrest all of us, because of this behavior on their sacred land, but we were lucky enough and went back to our places at the morning.
– I guess, like most authors, you are an avid reader – who are your favourite authors? Do you read many books by indie authors?
– Sure, Currently I am reading Sergei Lukyanenko, very good sci fi/fantasy author. I love Michael Connelly crime series. History books are also very well welcomed. Probably the reason is that I was studding archaeology in the University.
I am trying to read as much as possible indie authors. There are some very good, who didn’t get enough exposure, but I am sure sooner or later they will be mentioned by big publishers.
– Where do you normally source your reading material – from your local library, a bookshop, Amazon or somewhere else?
– I am ordering via web pages of the Bulgarian publishers, if the novel is translated. It’s nice, because often they’ve got good discounts, if you buy 4-5 books. If I don’t have book, I am just going to browse on some old book seller in the street. For some very special books, I order them on Amazon.
– What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
– First the name of the author, because if I read a book and like it a lot, then the next book that I will start to read will be 90% from the same author. Second I’ve got some genres that I like, so I look around them. I often follow recommendation from my friends or well respected reviewers on Goodreads, ‘specially when we are speaking of unknown indie authors.
– Do you have your own website?
Just a blog (https://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/) and facebook page dedicated to my book (https://www.facebook.com/galabin.boevsky)
– Are you working on a new book at the moment?
– Yes, currently I am on the research phase for my second book. It will be once again non fiction, a real life story. It’s about the last man who beat the richest sportsman in Earth, Floyd Mayweather. His name is Serafim Todorov and he is Bulgarian. They met each other at Atlanta Olympics in 1996. I am hoping the Bulgarian edition will be ready by the end of the year. Follow my blog for more info.