Interview with S. B. Goncarova, Author of Harnessing Light

Hi everyone! I recently read Harnessing Light by S.B. Goncarova. You can read my review of it here. The author also did an amazing guest post here- When Was The Last Time You Wrote A Letter? Today, I had the fortune of interviewing her here.

Blurb from Goodreads

“I SAID GOODNIGHT knowing full well it was goodbye, and then in the dark, you were there, on the bed next to me, only three thousand something miles away, and the quiet sounds of you muddling on your guitar seep into my veins and lull me into that cloudy space between awake and asleep, and in the end I am brought back to the beginning—”

Can one create a love so bright, that it crosses distance and time? In this enduring love story, Harnessing Light is the journey of one woman trekking across the world in a search to find home, peace, purpose and love. In a quest that transcends physical limitations, Harnessing Light beckons us to our own, to discover what the true search really is.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m writer and visual artist; I studied architecture and permaculture in school and am now (in many ways because of what I learned while writing the book) enrolling in classes in humanitarian aid. 

What are your interests besides writing? Anything you would suggest people to take up?

I am actively trying to become a better listener and a better friend to my friends. I try to make other people’s lives better in some way, even if it is just checking in with a friend I haven’t heard from in months or buying my roommate some chocolate when I know she’s had a hard week. You never know the ripple effect an act of kindness can create.   

Are there any artworks – books, movies, music, etc that have inspired your writing? 

“The Faraway Nearby” by Rebecca Solnitt; “All The Light We cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, are both some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever come across. I hope someday to be able to write something as beautiful as Solnitt or Doerr. 

Some movies that have stuck with me over the years are “The Red Violin” and “What Dreams May Come” just because they are so breathtaking. 

For music I love the work of Max Richter. His piece “On the Nature of Daylight” brings tears to my eyes. But I also love soundtracks to movies, especially ones that combine sounds you wouldn’t normally think of as music. I find Hans Zimmer very inspirational.  

Have you faced any difficulties in your writing journey?

The hardest part I have found in my writing journey is figuring out how to share it with the world. In many ways it seems like feeling my way in the dark, an uphill battle.

Can you give any advice as to how a writer can develop their own voice/style? 

Find a mentor who can lead you to books, authors, artists, the work of whom you might not have ever picked up. Allow yourself time to absorb and ferment.  

What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the future?

I am currently working on a screenplay for a feature-length film about a pair of sisters during the El Salvadoran Civil War, who at extremely young ages choose to become a medic and a covert messenger for the FMLN. Their stories and the stories of the people whom they meet are all based on true stories.  

Which has been the most important lesson that you have learned in your writing journey?

Resilience; to not let yourself to be discouraged by rejection, whether it be by people not believing in you or who don’t share or understand your vision. Rejection is so painful it is only natural that we are afraid of it and do what we can to avoid it. But you must remember that pain fades away, and we must not allow fear to guide our actions or lead us into inaction.

What are you currently reading?

“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.   

If you had to give one reason to readers for reading Harnessing Light, what would it be?

In Harnessing Light, I sought to create the most authentic work I could make, and I realized that to do so I would also have to be at my most vulnerable. So for any other reason I would hope that this book would show that it is completely okay to allow yourself to become vulnerable in your writing and in your daily life. That it’s okay to love without any expectations of being loved in return; that just to be able to love is a blessing in of itself.

Huge thanks to the author for telling us a bit about her writing journey and sharing some precious tips for aspiring writers!

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