Alina Rubin – welcome to Paper Lantern Writers! What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m an IT professional and a mom, who, during the pandemic, used the time and energy saved on the commute to write my first novel. I was born in Ukraine and now live near Chicago with my husband and daughter. When not working or writing, I enjoy yoga, hiking, and traveling.
Tell us more about what you’ve written.
A Girl with a Knife by Alina Rubin, book 1 of the Hearts and Sails series. A historical adventure of a woman who disguises herself as a man to study in medical school. Book 2, No Job for a Woman, coming April 2, 2023.
Did you choose historical fiction or did it choose you?
It chose me. I had an anxiety attack thinking of the historical, medical, and naval research my series would require. I’d never considered writing before the story came to me!
What are three books on your night table right now?
Nelson’s Navy – The Ships, Men and Organization 1793-1815 by Brian Lavery (research)
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody (my favorite book on craft)
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (for fun. It’s my holiday present to me to read other genres for fun)
Is there a consistent message in your works?
In A Girl with A Knife, we meet Ella, an intelligent young woman who often lies. After escaping her father, she takes on a great deception: to disguise herself as a man to study in medical school. Falseness, even for a good reason, leads to failure. Ella learns that staying true to yourself is better, even if such a path is much harder.
Do you have a favorite writing quote?
“Don’t compare your work-in-progress to someone else’s masterpiece.” It’s so important to turn off the inner critic and keep writing. A great book is a result of numerous hours of editing and help from other people. But it starts with the writer in the chair, writing.
What brings you great joy as a writer?
Hearing back from readers. The thought that people far away from Chicago are enjoying my book is incredibly exciting. One woman wrote that she read my book during her husband’s surgery, and it helped her get through those anxious hours. I was emotional all day.
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C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.