Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lada Ray - Gold Train - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
GOLD TRAIN is a mystery thriller based on true historic events and it boasts a truly magical setting of historic Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

When I first heard the story of the disappearance of the Russian Empire’s Gold Reserve during the 1918 Russian Civil War, I immediately knew it was my story to write. I carefully watched a very informative documentary shown on a Russian TV network and imagined what would happen if…

The dramatic beginning, depicting the great Gold Train robbery, takes place in 1918. Then the story fast forwards to October, 2011, when Jade Snow prepares to leave to Russia. The actual story of the conspiracy and the race to find the gold takes place practically in real time: in November – December, 2011.

The protagonist, Jade Snow, resides on the Upper West Side in New York City. But most of the action in the book takes place in Russia, namely among the historic monuments, streets and oligarch’s mansions of Moscow and St. Petersburg, at the FSB Headquarters (former KGB), the old monastery, as well as on Russian trains and the beautiful Russian Metro.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
When I started writing GOLD TRAIN, I already created the character of Jade Snow, a brilliant, intuitive, sexy and adventurous international journalist, who had perfected the art of being at the wrong place at the right time. I published my debut novel, STEPFORD, USA, Jade Snow International Adventures Prequel, set in a sleepy American town hiding a terrible secret. It was logical that Jade would want to visit Russia next, the country of her ancestors. Of course, as with Jade’s other adventures, she got much more than she bargained for. But that’s what makes for a great story…

I was born in Russia. What’s more, throughout my life, I have traveled to over 26 countries and every time it was an exciting adventure. I want my readers to see some of the marvels and beautiful locations I was lucky enough to experience. The Jade Snow International Adventure Series is all about exotic countries, amazing one-of-a-kind settings… and unforgettable adventures.

3. How challenging was it to write about? And how did you develop your setting as you wrote the book?
As mentioned before, I am originally from Russia and just like in Jade’s case, it is the country of my ancestors, the country I love. Of course, every setting in every book is challenging to create. However in this case, I felt inspired. It took me only a few months to write the entire book and once I sat down, the story materialized on my screen as if by magic. I wrote about places I grew up in, except from a different angle. When Jade visited the Kremlin, FSB Headquarters and the oligarch’s mansion, the Red Square and gorgeous Russian Metro, rode Russian trains and walked the beautiful streets of historic St. Petersburg, I saw all these places anew, through the eyes of my heroine. It was a fascinatingly fresh perspective, and I just love it!

4. How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
I call creating the right setting: anchoring the story in the here and now. As such, I am a big believer in creating a beautiful, vibrant setting, which comes alive for the reader. It is extremely important to anchor the story in both the time and space, so that the reader can be actively present every moment inside the story and participate directly in everything that happens. A beautiful, stand out setting can sometimes make or break the story.

I certainly put a lot of effort into creating a setting that speaks to the reader, one that fascinates, entertains – and absolutely does not let you go.

I usually visualize the place, as well as what is happening in the scene, as if in a movie. I play the movie in my head, until it translates into words. Sometimes I need to feel the texture, touch the scene, so to speak. Since GOLD TRAIN is action adventure thriller, it has lots of action scenes. To make such action scenes come alive within the particular setting, I would usually re-enact them. Besides making the scene crisp and believable, this game is also lots of fun!

And so, the Jade Snow adventures continue! There are many more mysteries to solve, conspiracies to uncover and wrongs to right. There is also much happiness to find.

Dear reader, I hope you’ll join me for the future Jade Snow adventures!

The next Jade Snow adventure, DRAGON GATE, will take her to the mystical lands of Asia. I am also working on THE EARTH SHIFTER, a new YA fantasy/thriller, set in Russia, USA and China. Both books are to be released in 2012.

Thank you very much ….. for a wonderful interview. I enjoyed exploring the GOLD TRAIN magical setting with you!
About the Book

This story is based on true historic events.

1918, Russian Civil War. The entire Gold Reserve of the Russian Empire vanishes without a trace. But what if it's about to resurface? And what if it's about to be used to shift the global balance of power?

Today: The world's largest treasure; dangerous adventure; forbidden passion, defying time and space; conspiracy that threatens to plunge the country into darkness.

International journalist, wife and mom, Jade Snow, travels to Russia to reconnect with the country of her ancestors and investigate tantalizing mystery of the Gold Train. What she doesn’t know is that she is about to land in the midst of a deadly conspiracy threatening to change the fate of one of the world’s most powerful nations, and that she is destined to meet a mysterious stranger who will change her life forever.

As her only Russian friend gets murdered, Jade finds herself embroiled in a net of intrigue, glamour and alien ideals on these strange and unfamiliar shores. On top of that, she becomes more popular than she’d ever bargained for. So popular, in fact, that it could be hazardous to her health. And she deals with this dangerous and unwanted popularity in a way that is guaranteed to surprise even the most seasoned reader.

Refusing to be a pawn in a struggle of forces beyond her control, Jade must choose between her worst friends and best enemies… and the future of the world just might depend on her choice!

Spy thriller, historic mystery, action/ adventure, suspense with an element of otherworldly romance.
Pages: 232 – print version. Size: 9x6 in.
Release: eBook – 12/18/11. Paperback – 4/22/12

For a limited time on Amazon (starting on 4/21):
Buy GOLD TRAIN paperback for $9.99 (reg. $14.95)
Buy Gold Train ebook for just $0.99 (reg. $3.99)
Own all three Jade Snow ebooks for just $1.98. Gold Train and Stepford USA - $0.99 each, Green Desert – FREE!
More information about these Promotions, as well as Giveaways and the Gold Train Blog Tour:

Check out other cool stops along the Gold Train Paperback Launch Blog Tour – not your usual tour! It includes lots of interesting interviews, reviews, as well as special features, including: JADE SNOW: Savior or Seductress; Fact and Fiction in Gold Train; and a rare, candid conversation with Jason Sullivan of Different Outcomes Blog about the Russian royalty and 1918 Civil War, my childhood memories riding Russian trains, and what it was like growing up in the Soviet Union. There will also be some rare and exclusive pictures. Don’t miss these very special events!

Buy Links:
Amazon US  (Paperback and eBook)
Amazon UK   DE   FR   ES   IT  (Paperback and eBook)
Barnes & Noble  (eBook)
Smashwords   (eBook)
Kobo  (eBook)
Sony  (eBook)

I am inviting you to check out the entertaining posts on Lada Ray Blog with lots of beautiful and rare photos. It’s Russia, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Russian trains and gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Russian Metro, like you’ve never seen them before! It’s also about Jade Snow and Gold Train:

GOLD TRAIN: Meet Jade Snow, heroine of the Jade Snow International Adventure Series

GOLD TRAIN: Who is this mysterious Alexei?

Tsars, Oligarchs and Imperial Treasure: St. Petersburg, Russia

About the Author

I've loved all the varied and exotic things I've done in life, but writing is by far my biggest love affair and most exciting adventure. Can't wait to share it... See you on pages of my books!

Lada Ray is a writer, internationally certified feng shui master practitioner, world traveler, linguist, financial consultant & investor, nature/animal lover and spirituality & metaphysics researcher.

Born in Russia, Lada always wanted to write cool stories, which she'd been imagining in her head ever since she can remember. Instead, she listened to her well-meaning parents and started her life in a more traditional way (for her, that is.)

Lada holds a Master's Degree in comparative linguistics (graduated summa cum laude,) is fluent in several languages and has traveled to over twenty six countries (she stopped counting after 26) in Europe, Asia, North and South America, as well as Africa. She had worked in Havana, Cuba as an interpreter for the Russian educational exchange delegations, including a couple of interviews with the man himself - Fidel Castro.

In the USA, she published articles in the Hartford Courant & taught Russian on cable TV. Then, something inexplicable possessed her to work as a financial consultant for AIG and Smith Barney/Citigroup.

But later, she came back to her senses and quit the corporate world to pursue her dreams. She traveled to Asia to study with the revered Hong Kong Masters of Feng Shui and obtained her International Master's Certification (graduated first in class) with Lillian Too, world-renowned feng shui author and teacher. For years, Lada operated an extensive feng shui website and blog – a hit with fans, both locally and worldwide - and authored over thirty articles on feng shui and spirituality for her own website, as well as for the World of Feng Shui and other international publications. At the same time, she taught her proprietary feng shui courses and did public speaking.

Lada imagines her stories in bustling New York City and beautifully serene Catskill Mountains, where she lives with her family and gorgeous calico cat Lily. 

Lada Ray is the author of:
~GOLD TRAIN, gripping mystery/thriller set in Russia and based on true historic events (Jade Snow Russia Adventure)   
~STEPFORD USA, a small town psychological mystery/thriller (Jade Snow Prequel) 
~Green Desert, a riveting story set in Iraq (A Jade Snow Novella) 
Coming in 2012:   
~The Earth Shifter, new YA fantasy/thriller, set in Russia (Moscow & Siberia,) US, China and other mythical locales of this surreal Blue Planet   
~Dragon Gate, next Jade Snow Adventure, set in Asia

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, City Girl, for a wonderful interview! Have a terrific day!


    Lada Ray