I was born in Rostov, Russia a few years before one of the biggest changes in world history - the fall of the Soviet Union. There is little I can say about my childhood, other than that I was very happy with my family. I was a bookish kid growing up, not very well accepted at school. I could only call a few people my friends. I commonly let my imagination run wild, which - as I now understand - convinced everyone I was silly. As a result, imagined stories, and later writing became an important way in which I understood the world around me. I wrote stories since I was quite young, re-telling and re-imagining the books I loved. I can't underestimate the importance of these early "pen games" to the writing of my first book ... or any story I may ever publish.
When I was just over fifteen, my family got a chance to move to America. We did not think twice, and the decision to leave was made within a few weeks. We saw immigration as a gift of opportunity, and it didn't disappoint. I went on to graduate a college, then Temple University Pharmacy school and become a Pharmacist - something I would likely have never had a chance to achieve in Russia. Also, coming to America shaped my experiences and writing style as much as my early writing attempts. In fact, most of my characters' faults and aspirations are in fact drawn from experience.