“Doesn’t every life has it’s hidden treasures?” Lucy smiles as a writer tries out a new way. “Aren’t all human lives the stuff of stories untold? Why not become that avatar, take on that persona and let it be its life you narrate, while keeping both egos in balance with each other. Can the persona be the interesting layer over the human one? Isn’t that why she chose that one for well founded reasons?” Lucy looks aside to peek into the kitchen where a creature is busy in the kitchen preparing a meal from whatever bits remain in the fridge and cupboards. She shakes her head and smiles decidedly happy. Getting up from that comfy couch she does a small hop skip. “Yes, very satisfying and not odd at all. Dialogue is a part of life and narration too, should this then not be livewriting instead of musing?” Sat again she sips her wine and smells the delicious scents of cooking and relaxes for she knows life is good now. “Any tense will do, but we live in the here and now, while the past must never be forgotten and is entwined with the present as is the future. For who knows what tomorrow will bring.”
This lovely lady with her wonderful smile isn’t just that. She’s the Feature of today. Let me introduce to you Janna Yeshanova, author of Love is Never Past Tense. A gripping life story about struggle and overcome, happiness and the ability to take life in your hands and do what is best for you.
Welcome Janna, thank you for dropping in on my blog and allowing me to ask you a few questions. Make yourself comfortable because we will be here for a while. Have a coffee and some delish chocolate brownies.
Comfy? Okay, let’s get this interview moving then, because there’s a lot I want to know.
I know a little about you Janna. You are a refugee from Russia, or I should say the Soviet Union, who fled to the US. Can you tell us something to make us understand why you chose to flee from your home country? A very brave thing to do by the way.
Brave … It may be so. I am sure it is, but at that time there was not a way to approach this action like “brave” or “not brave”. At that time, when the Soviet Union was about to crumble, when the persecution became violent, suddenly, I noticed an opportunity … An opportunity to get to freedom. Now, looking back, I can call this opportunity “life”. So, this what I chose … Yes, life can be in different shape and form. It all depends on how you view it and accept it, but when I realized that my child would not have the opportunity to live in a peaceful society, when I realized that my family would experience hunger and deprivation of all necessities that people have like roof, no violence, security …
Leaving your own country, culture, language, understanding of events that would follow, having $126.00 in your pocket, not knowing anyone in the world … At the time I left, the USSR government allowed only this amount of money to be taken out of the country. So: you go, or you stay. And you need to make a choice! So, you make it! Isn’t it simple?
Did you struggle at first or did you know right away you wanted to study and become a professional speaker/coach?
Did I struggle? I think so … but that was my life at that moment, and I did not view it as struggle, I viewed it as a road to my goals. All this is in my book Love Is Never Past Tense … My daughter even doesn’t want to read this piece for the sake of not being dragged in what we had to go through again …
Many people are concentrating on obstacles. Many are looking for opportunities. I decided to get back to school and I added another Master’s Degree, but at this time, I chose a different profession. It was Applied Behavioral Science. Was it hard? I guess. I had to study in a foreign language subjects like statistics for prerequisites and later in grad school. I hated my life at that time! Then, I was invited to teach and train at Antioch University in Yellow Springs in Ohio. Statistics was behind, but in front of me there were my favorite students. I also specialized in mediations and conflict resolution and was fascinated to realize how all we can communicate and live in peace… This is what I chose to teach. Then, I was invited to speak at a state conference, then, at International for Bosnia and Herzegovina … This stream took me to my presentations, and later to clients … Can I say that it was a struggle? If it was, I enjoyed it! Once again: if you know what you want, you’ll get there no matter what.
Another answer to this question is found in this excerpt coming from my novel:
“In my memory, shimmers my last evening of swimming laps in the open air pool. It is dark outside. Piles of snow are all over. My trainer, Nina, is shivering in her winter coat. She looks down at the swimmers. Suddenly, I feel like sharing with her my decision. “Nina, I am leaving tomorrow. Today is my last day.”
“Where are you going? You like this swimming pool so much. You won’t find a better one. This one is so close to your home.”
“Nina, I am not changing pools. I am changing countries.”
“What will you do there? Where will you go? You don’t know anyone in the world.”
“Nina, I will train and teach, same as I do here.”
I knew I would not betray my hope!
Can you explain to us what Life-Spark, LLC is?
Considering my experience and knowledge, I decided to organize a company with a shiny and promising name, Life-Spark, LLC, to help people spark positive changes in their personal and professional lives. We offer corporate training classes, small, goal-oriented, weekly or bi-weekly workshops, and 1-on-1 professional / personal life coaching.
Our weekly workshops are called “Sparkshops.” These are small group classes on specific topics such as relationships, listening skills, goal setting, dealing with change, and other important subjects. Our activities are possibility-oriented, interactive and authentic. They support interactive instruction to provide a cost-effective alternative to 1-on-1 life/executive coaching.
Life coaching services are provided in person, via the phone or online, making them available globally. Life coaching helps you understand the behavior patterns in your life that prevent you from reaching your goals, and assists you in making the necessary changes.
And how do you give your own life that spark on a day to day basis? i.e. what makes you get up every day?
What makes me get up every day… Hey! A cup of coffee! Or two!
I knew it! Being an author you just have to be a coffee lover 🙂 Excuse the interruption, please do continue.
My dog is coming to announce to me that the new day is here. By the way, she understands commands both in Russian and in English. Do you know how I guessed it? She doesn’t obey them in either language!
On a more serious note: I love what I do. Somehow, I approached to the moment when I can enjoy what I do. Sometimes the success of my clients gives me strength, believe in myself and do more things that help others. And just a day … a new day … Isn’t it a gift? You can enjoy it … It doesn’t matter what happens this day. It does matter how you take it and what you make of it! And if you tell yourself that it’s a good day, trust me: you’ll have a good day!
How do you celebrate when you’ve just written ‘The End’?
How do I celebrate? I get on the phone and call my friends from around the world. It’s a big pleasure for me to hear their voices. When I write “the end” to anything, I enjoy a light breeze and then, write: “the beginning” If we are talking about the book, I never planned to write. It just happened. Everybody has a story to tell. I became one of them, when the story came my way.
If you have a muse does he/she speak in Russian. or Ukrainian to you? What I really want to know, do you dream in English or still your native tongue?
Interesting … A while ago someone approached me with the same question. Here is what I said, and what I can say again. This is what I noticed: if I speak in my dreams with a Russian speaker, I speak in Russian, when I speak with and English speaker, I talk with him/her in English, but when I have dreams without any other participants I think in Russian. If I’d thought in English, I would not be able to understand myself. Just kidding…
Hahaha, that’s just … Confusing, I’m amazed you do so well and don’t suffer from multiple language disorder. 🙂
What will spark a new story for you?
Emotions, strong reaction to one or another event in my life, something that you can share and people can learn from it, and I can learn from it as well. I have another book ready to go too.
When you write do you sit and type until you’re all empty or do you need breaks?
I need breaks … not only because I need breaks, but because I am involved in life outside of the keyboard: family, friends, clients, professional organizations, presentations, trips, sports + everything else that a human being needs to do.
Can you tell me if there’s a beverage or particular food item from your past you miss and if so plays it a role in your stories?
Nothing particular, besides wine and cigarettes that people of my age at that time where using, maybe to prove to themselves that they are adults or trying to look like westerners. There are some foods, mentioned in the book, just to reflect the reality of life being described in Love Is Never Past Tense.
And what snack or drink is the one you cannot do without when writing?
Trust me: not Vodka! Drinking a lot of water. Have a lot of empty bottles in my car every day. If someone opens the door and sees these bottles, I have a short explanation:”Drinking problems”!
The one thing I always am most curious about is, do you have a scoop for me? A secret? Something no one knows about you but you are willing to share with me and my readers? It can be a fun fact or something to make us think. It’s up to you, amaze us. 🙂
All my secrets are in the book. Just do not tell this to anybody! Maybe, the secret is that I am lazy, but I am overcoming it every day. It works!
Janna, you are a real author, coffee lover and procrastinator. All the signs are there for you to become a best-selling author. Not to mention you have that wonderful book published which is free on Amazon at the moment and will be through June 6th.
That kind of wraps it up. The only thing I want from you now is an excuse. Not just any run of the mill, “My dog ate my pen” excuse. No, a reason why you haven’t written a word today. Make sure I believe it though. 🙂
Excuse? I was writing my answers to your questions for this interview. Is it a good excuse? My dog ate my computer! Now, she is digesting it, and I have to take her to the vet for a reboot! Do you believe that?
I certainly do believe every word of it, plus it made me laugh–which is always good. 🙂
Again thank you very much for granting me this interview and I’ll be happy to post about your book the day after tomorrow.
So folks, don’t forget to come back June 5th for a more elaborate post about Janna’s book which you can pick up for free at Amazon from today through June 6th.
The only thing left for me to share with the public is where Janna can be found online.
The site of her life coaching service www.Life- Spark.com
Life-spark, LLC on facebook
Love is Never Past Tense on Facebook
She is on Facebook
Of course we can find her on Goodreads
And on Google+
And why not follow her on Twitter too? @NeverPastTense and @JannaYeshanova
The book has its own site and even a gorgeous, gripping trailer you absolutely must see on Youtube.