Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

I am More Than My History


I was answering a comment to last week’s blog post, when a totally revolutionary thought hit me. Specifically, my awesome writer friend Joyce  and I were talking about how maybe I should write more Soviet novels one day, and I was telling her that maybe I will — but not soon — not yet. Writers are advised to stick to the truth of who they are in their writing.

For better or worse, the USSR defined who I am, who I always will be. Its history will always be a part of me. I will always blog about it. Read about it. And I am betting, in all kinds of strange ways, bits of the Soviet Union will continue creeping into my fiction.

At the same time, though, the Soviet Union does not add up to who I am. Not all the way, anyhow.

  I came to the United States in 1993, just a few weeks before turning 16.

It’s been 18 years.

The simple math led me to the realization that I had spent more of my life in this country than in the one where I was born.

Just like I am more than my religion (something else I have been thinking a lot about, lately), I am more than my yesterday.

Here is what this epic realization means for my blog.


I care passionately about history, and I will continue paying close attention to the lessons it has to teach us, both here on this blog, through the books I read, and through the reflections I share with my friends and readers. But, just look at my bookshelf here on this blog. If as a writer, you are what you read, then I am such a genre hopper.

Growing up, my favorite books ranged from Ray Bradbury to Alexandre Dumas, to Hans Christian Andersen. Now, I love everything from sci fi, to magical realism, to YA dystopian. I like funny and romantic, with a touch of dark, and lots of tension. The when and the where of the story doesn’t really matter to me, as long as the setting feels real, the story snaps with suspense and the characters are people I enjoy spending my time with.

So I figure it is high time for the Magic Mirror blog to reflect the variety of authors and books I admire. I am definitely A YA writer and reader at heart, though I’ll sometimes pick up an occasional grownup title. So a YA book blogger I will stay. But beyond that, I will expand my reach beyond just the one genre, both as a reader, and as a writer. I have been dying to interview some cool writers and bring you some exciting new reviews, some of which are not related to history. This blog continues to evolve, and this is simply part of the journey, which I hope my old friends and followers will continue making with me.

Won’t you? 🙂


September 25, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Mirror, Writing Mirror


  1. Well, you know that I am all about history but I do admire well-rounded people like you who refuse to be boxed in! Please do review some of those other books you love to read. I want to hear your take on them.

    And of course, I want to read the ones you write -no matter when or where they take place.

    Very cool about the math equation. I just realized I could be your mother. Except I’m nowhere near as gutsy as she is!

    Thanks for the link, Katia!

    Comment by Joyce Moyer Hostetter | September 25, 2011 | Reply

    • Ha-ha, Joyce. I am sure you’re plenty gutsy. In order to write like you do, you have to be.

      Comment by Katia Raina | September 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. I will continue reading whatever you want to write about. I read your posts because of how you write, I like your voice. As long as you’re enthused about your subject, whatever that is, then I’ll be there with you 🙂

    Comment by Sarah Pearson | September 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Sarah — that’s so awesome to hear. And that is why I am doing this — cause I want to keep being enthused! 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | September 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. I also don’t like to stick to one way of writing or reading.

    One of my older manuscripts was partially historical and reflected what I am, but I knew there was more to write about, more parts of me to explore.

    I look forward to reading your future posts, historical and non-historical ones.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | September 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, M. You do seem to be the the type of writer who won’t be pegged with just one genre — I think I get that from the incredibly varied reading list on your blog. Can’t wait to find out what your next book will be about, btw. 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | September 26, 2011 | Reply

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