We are proud to introduce our latest Hall of Famer, where we put the spotlight on authors who have inspired us at International Writers Inspiring Change. The criteria we use for determining a Hall of Famer has nothing to do with the quality of their writing, nor even the status of their sales. The Hall of Fame is where we place writers, of any genre, who have clearly demonstrated through their work that they are helping to bring about positive change in the world, which aligns to our platform, as our name implies.
Over the course of several years, we, at International Writers Inspiring Change, have spotlighted and reviewed a number of Marina Osipova’s books, books which take the reader behind the curtain and reveal another world, the historical theater of Russia, largely centered around WW II and what they refer to as the Great Patriotic War. This theater is rarely spoken about, and yet, the role that the Russian people played in bringing Hitler’s army to a stop, has been given but slight attention from the world, whereas, had the Russians not come to the rescue, WW II would have continued, and certainly, many millions more would have died. We interviewed Marina and here is what she had to say.
1. Given that a number of your books reveal another world to us, not one often spoken about, what is it that drives you in this regard?
This is exactly one of the reasons why I have turned to writing about Russia’s part in WWII (it is called the Great Patriotic War in Russia and the former Soviet republics). For many people this was and still is another incomprehensible world. Besides, the fact that the Soviet Union’s part was a major one in destroying the most vicious enemy of that time is not often spoken about is disconcerting. As a Russian, I’d like to cry out to the entire world: “Twenty-seven million of my people—both military personnel and civilians—perished, and they deserve the recognition of their heroism and perseverance.”
2. Clearly, in your books, you reveal a depth of research about Russia and the Russian landscape during the War years and after – how much of this is based on your own experience or observations?
Despite the fact that I’m Russian and the subject is familiar and close to my heart, every new story requires extensive research. Some places I use as the backdrop for my stories are the cities I lived in or visited, so I could partly identify them from my own experience. Otherwise, to present a picture based on facts, I read a significant number of non-fiction materials and memoirs of contemporaries. My parents, though too young at the time of the war, were a great help to me in providing information they received from their parents, and as it was the case of my father, his older brothers who fought on the front. There are so many details in a life you didn’t live yourself that can’t be invented, so I’m very careful about it.
3. Is there any personal experience you have had that compels you to write in this genre?
I don’t think I can count assembling and disassembling a rifle and throwing grenades, putting on a gas mask, or shooting at a shooting range, which I did in the military skills lessons in school, as a factor that compelled me to write in this genre.
Perhaps there is a special gene in me and my people (see it as my contribution to genetic science and see me smile) that carries the reminiscence of that tragic yet heroic time in the history of my country. Besides, in the Soviet Union, preservation of the memory about the valor of its people was a part of the broad propaganda. I probably would have called it nurturing patriotism and am thankful that the official policy of the state was to instill in the youth the feeling of respect and appreciation for what the prior generation sacrificed to preserve our life as an independent nation. I can’t say what exactly induces me to write in this genre. There could be many reasons. Perhaps one is that as children, we visited the frontline heroes or their family members, listening to the tales about their fight for the Motherland. And yes, subconsciously those stories may have made a deep impression on me.
4. Is there a message, a thread, you want to get across to readers through your books?
Since the fate of Russian (Soviet) women is in the center of all my novels, I consider it my mission to deliver their stories. I believe their endurance and sacrifice in the four years of Nazi invasion deserves recognition and memory.
People learn about history and the lessons it carries mostly from books and films, so future generations can discover and hopefully understand the horrors and senselessness of war. I want to add my voice to the voices of thousands of writers, cinematographers, and artists who dedicate their talent to spreading information about WWII. Any war.
See all her books HERE