Kings Langley-based author Lana Kortchik has recently had her first novel published.
Savaged Lands is a romance novel, published by Endeavour Press on January 8.
It is set in Kiev and begins on the day the Nazis march into the city for the first time during World War II and finishes with the liberation of the city by the Red Army, two-and-a-half years later.
“It’s about a Soviet girl who falls in love with a Hungarian officer,” Kortchik said.
“Of course Hungary was allied to Hitler, so they had to hide their relationship from everyone.
“I tried to write it so the city itself was one of the characters in the book and of course the two characters faced a lot of challenges because of where they were based at the time.”
Kortchik was born in Siberia and spent part of her childhood in Kiev before moving to Australia as a teenager.
Writing historical fiction is something she has wanted to do since falling in love with the genre as a child.
“When I was nine-years old I read The Three Musketeers for the first time, it just blew my mind,” she said.
“I chose this subject because I think the topic of war is close to every Russian’s heart.
“I still have grandparents who lived through that period, so I grew up listening to war stories.”
Kortchik started out by writing short stories and had more than 20 published before moving on to her first novel.
Savaged Lands is actually very similar to an earlier short story she had published, which was met with a positive reception.
Her research for the book began with three months of reading memoirs and diaries of people who had survived the era.
The writing of the book took about 18 months and then it took a year to go through the process of editing and finding a publisher.
After the better part of three years, Kortchik said she was very happy to have the book completed.
“It’s nice to see it out there and to have people actually read it.
“The time I spent working on it was probably the best time of my life.”
The book is available here: