Author Interview: Andrew Orange

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and help me extend a warm welcome to Andrew Orange — author of The Game of VORs. 

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! My pen name is Andrew Orange. I was born – and presently live – in Moscow, Russia. Before starting to write, I read a lot. 🙂 The Game of VORs is my first novel. This book is difficult to assign to a specific genre. (SF-parody? Adventure story? Satire? Dystopia? Social fiction?)

I’m a college graduate and I hold a Ph.D. I studied the history of the United States and other countries. This is reflected in my book.

2. When did you start writing?
I started writing during my childhood. In the beginning it went wrong, but then it got better. 🙂 My first fiction book was published in Russian in 2014. I worked on it for several years.

3. Why did you start writing?
For many reasons. The main reason…I am better at writing than at anything else.

4. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for your novel?
Yes, I can recall. At the time, I had read almost all of the books written by well-known American author Lois Bujold. (By the way, she is popular in Russia.) Hers are good books, but I did not like their principal ideas. The romanticizing of imperialism and feudalism…I know what real contemporary feudalism and imperialism are. As a result, I decided to write a sharp social fiction novel disguised as a SF-parody.

5. Tell us a little bit about your book’s title. Were there other titles which you were considering?
I chose the book’s title once and did not change it. There were some problems with the translation into English. The above-mentioned Lois Bujold wrote a novel called The Vor Game. The main characters in most of her books have the prefix “vor” in their surnames (Vorkosigan, Vorob’yev, etc). By the way “vor” means “thief” in Russian. I decided to play with it, and my novel was subsequently named The Game of VORs.

6. Does your story have a moral?
Different people understand the moral in different ways. The principal thought (moral?) of my book is that the world is ruled by ideas and emotions. The materialism and nihilism are also the ideas, connected with the emotions. Power and money are only tools.

7. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
My favorite is Kier, the main character of The Game of VORs. Usually, the author creates the hero from himself (so-called “the rule of the mirror”). But not everyone avows it.

8. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in The Game of VORs.
He’s a reflective, shy idealist.

9. What is your favorite book genre?
Science Fiction and Fantasy. History and Philosophy in non-fiction.

10. What is currently on your to-be-read shelf?
I want to read the book But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman.

11. What is your favorite book?
I have read many good books. It’s difficult to select one.

12. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
A year or more.

13. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
In the first place, the talent and work of the author.

14. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read good books. This is the best way to write your own good books. 🙂

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books.

2. Dogs or cats?
Cats.

3. Summer or winter?
Summer. Russia is a cold, northern country. Here, there are the polar night and polar day in the northern regions. This is also reflected in my book.

4. Cake or ice-cream?
Cake.

5. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book.

6. Living in the city or living in the country?
In the city.

7. Making a phone call or sending a text?
Sending a text.

8. Working in a group or working alone?
Working alone.

9. To find true love or to win the lottery?
To find true love.

10. Reading or writing?
Both. 🙂

11. To speak using ONLY rap lyrics (from songs released in the 21st century) or to speak using ONLY quotes from Austen’s books?
To speak using ONLY quotes from Austen’s books.

12. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind.

13. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
Going without watching any movies/television shows for a week. As a rule, I don’t watch TV. I can, but I don’t.

14. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
Never watch another film.

Thank you for joining us, Andrew!
Readers: want to connect with Andrew? You can find him on Goodreads and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out his website and Publishers Weekly’s review of The Game of VORs.

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