Soho Teen author extraordinaire Elizabeth Kiem was interviewed by Literative about her wonderful Bolshoi series, which combines the infinite beauty of ballet with the infinite cruelty of the Soviet communism in the 1950s.

Here’s a snippet:

You are a world traveler, having lived in Moscow, New York, Alaska, and now London. Do you find that having lived in different parts of the world and having experienced different cultures has helped inspire your stories?

I feel like everyone is a world traveller these days – I know teenagers who have seen a good deal more of the world than I have. To a certain extent, being so exposed to diversity is fantastic for readers and writers alike, who have to really rise to the reality of the world we live in. On the other hand, I wonder if the sense of the exotic, the foreign, that so captivated me as a young person outside of my homecourt is as strong today, particularly among really sophisticated multi-cultural readers. I wrote my first book about a place and time that struck me as impenetrable and therefore exotic; the particular culture of Russians of my generation growing up in the late stages of a communist, authoritarian regime – that culture was my heroine as much as Marina, a dancer fleeing that society.

Read the full interview on Literative.