Thursday, July 14, 2016

Young, Free, and in love with a Spy--A real life Romance!

In 1972, author Kolleen Kidd found herself involved with a Soviet defector, Sergei Nikolayevich Kourdakov, a former KGB agent and naval officer. I met Kolleen on, and wanted to bring her on the blog for my readers to experience the intrigue she lived.   
A Rose for Sergei.

1. Kolleen, please take us to that world of excitement. You were young and flirting with a defector, a former enemy. Was it exciting?

Yes, it was very exciting. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love mystery and intrigue. I was sixteen when I found summer clerical employment with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC. I couldn’t tell anyone what I did or even the location of the building where I worked. It was one of many secrets I would have to keep.

The Soviet Union was our enemy. I still remember the practice air raid drills—hiding under my desk in elementary school in preparation for the unimaginable. When Sergei and I met, at my Federal Government office, we were both twenty-one. He shook my hand and would not release it. The heated attraction between us was immediate, in spite of the fact that our countries were adversaries. We were young, single, and on our own in a beautiful and powerful city. It was both exciting and frightening…we were watched and followed. Each thought the other was a spy.

2. Why did you write A Rose for Sergei?

I wrote this book to speak up for someone who is no longer here to defend himself. I had never planned to write a book about our story, which was personal and private. I kept our relationship secret for all these years. Not even my best friends knew about Sergei. All that changed after I discovered an independent documentary film that discredited Sergei’s life and his book, The Persecutor. I knew Sergei personally; I knew his background had been investigated by our Federal Government.

3. If you could convey in one sentence what you learned from the relationship, what would that be?

I learned to be open and honest about my feelings, to say the words that need to be said.

4. I found A Rose for Sergei warm and touching. I am happy to see it climbing the sales charts on Amazon. Are there plans for other books in the works?

I do have a Fiction book in the works that’s geared towards the romance genre.

On a side note, it’s great to have a male perspective, and hear that you found my book “warm and touching.” Thank you for your kind words, Kevin. As a writer, you know that book sales on Amazon fluctuate daily. My book has seen both sides of that climb, although I prefer when it’s going up.

5. What advice would you pass along to other Indie authors about their writing, and about the publishing process?

My most important advice would be to not confuse “Indie” with “Unedited.” Every writer needs an editor. My editor asked for more clarification on certain items because of the time period. I laughed when I saw, “What’s a princess telephone?  What are S&H green stamps?” scrawled in red on the margin of my manuscript. Publishing requirements vary, my manuscript needed to be cleared by the Department of Defense prior to professional editing and publishing.

Self-publishing also means self-promoting your book. As an Indie Author, promoting your story is a huge part of the writing journey. I’ve found Goodreads to be a great place to connect with readers and authors. Blogging also allows me to have a personal, direct connection with everyone.

'Each thought the other was a spy.' Let me play with that quote a bit: Would that not be a great starting point for a suspense or spy novel? We know A Rose for Sergei is non-fiction, but I hope it serves as a platform from which you launch a fiction career. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I look forward to reading more from Kolleen Kidd. Readers will enjoy Kolleen's blog:

Thank you.