A Russian Ghost Story
Rusalka et al is a set of books once published under identical titles—but different. I wrote these books in a period when I was struggling with family illnesses, and I always wanted to revise them into something better. I’m excited to finally have that opportunity.
I began writing Rusalka, which is set in mythic Russia, a little north of Kiev, and discovered Russian myth was not highly available in my library. I tried to find books on the flora and fauna. Again—not available. The dictionaries I had didn’t contain older words, and certainly none regarding the tsars.
But—while I was writing this book, an amazing coincidence brought me a letter from Russian science fiction fans who were hoping I could send them some books. So I told them I’d be happy to send them books if they’d send me some books on Russian wildlife and myths…which of course would be in Russian, but I can muddle through captions: I asked that they be picture books, even children’s picture books.
So the books came. They were a great help. And in the middle of it all, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed, even while I was writing this series, and in correspondence with the group of Russian fans.
It was an adventure. I found later that Russian teachers were using this set of books to teach English in the new Russia. So they had a much wider life than ever I had thought.
Well, I lost my editor and the publisher reverted rights, and they’ve lain in my library urging me to notice them for a long time.
E-books have afforded me the chance to rewrite them. You won’t notice as many changes to Rusalka as to the following two, Chernevog and Yvgenie, but there are changes.
THE STORY involves a very young wizard who mistrusts his luck, a dead girl, and a young ne’er-do-well, the son of a gambler, who takes the wildest chance of his life.
I hope you enjoy this retelling. I did the cover sketch. Jane Fancher did the painting and cover design. Read volume one without fear that I will leave you at a bad place: it’s complete unto itself.