American fantasy writer: Belarus is a new European Transylvania!
Anton Strout describes the sales of his novel where Alyaksandra Belarus saves New York. Is the successful writer connected with our country?
Anton Strout was born in MA and cannot say a word in Belarusian. However, the writer made the girl named Alyaksandra Belarus the protagonist of his fantasy novel "Alchemystic". It has worked - the novel is commercially successful.
"I do not remember the exact number of copies printed but you can buy the book all over the United States and read it on an e-book too", – Anton Strout told Euroradio . – "Alchemystic" was out in September 2012. The sequel "Stonecast" will be out this September. Alyaksandra Belarus is a modern young woman who lives in New York City. Her family and the magic they can control date back to many centuries ago. Her great grandfather Alyaksandr lived in Belarus and practiced magic there. He learnt how to turn stones into gargoyle serpents."
Euroradio: Why did you chose Belarus? We did not expect that the name of our country could be used as some brand in America.
Anton Strout: I chose Belarus because I was looking for some territory in Europe that could be connected with my family and had good folklore. People are used to Transylvania too much. My ancestors were from Poland but I have always felt that people made too many jokes about Poland so I chose Belarus. I do not know much about the country but I hope that the image I created in my books is good.
Euroradio: Anton, so you only have a Polish background? Many western Belarusian called themselves Polish. The borders kept changing...
Anton Strout: My family fled from the Nazis in Poland. Unfortunately, we do not know the exact story and the place they came from. So, there is a possibility that they were Belarusians
Euroradio: Do you know anything about famous expatriate Belarusians like Meyer Lansky, an American mafia boss, or Tadeusz Kościuszko, a national hero of the USA?
Anton Strout: It is a pity, but I do not know much about Belarus as a country. I do not know about your literary men. But the part of Belarus that I have studied seems wonderful.
Euroradio: Looking at our country from overseas, do you think that our own Alyaksandra Belarus could appear here and save all that is good and pure for future changes? It is possible?
Anton Strout: I think that there are heroes everywhere. In my opinion, the young woman and her gargoyle Stanis can do a lot to promote changes in your country.
Euroradio: In how many novels of The Spellmason Chronicles may Alyaksandra Belarus appear?
Anton Strout: It is a continuous series, I am not sure about the number of books in The Chronicles but I am hoping to write many in the future.
Photo by Kerin Hearne and from Anton Strout's archives