I'm so excited to share this first look at Valentin with you guys! He's from my debut novel, SEKRET, a YA historical thriller set in 1960s Soviet Russia where psychic teenagers are forced to spy for the KGB. SEKRET won't be out till early 2014 from Roaring Brook/Macmillan Kids, but I hope Valentin will pique your interest!
Valentin Borisovich Sorokhin. Uh… sorry, it’s Russian. You can call me Valya.
If you were a dish at a Mexican restaurant, what would you be and why?
I’ve never had this “Mexican” food. Given the nature of my psychic abilities, though, I’d be whatever dish scrubs your insides out. Oh—that’s most of them? There you go.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Intense, musical, passionate, determined, silent.
Name one thing you cannot live without.
The out-of-tune baby grand piano in our prison. Well, it’s not technically a prison, but it might as well be. Playing piano keeps me grounded; it orders my thoughts so I don’t hurt anyone unintentionally. I’d gladly give up that piano to escape, though. Preferably to somewhere that also has pianos.
Okay… boxers or briefs?
Whatever the KGB brings for us that given week. Trust me, there’s nothing sexy about Soviet underwear, regardless of the style.
What’s your favorite smell?
The salty air coming off the Black Sea, back when I lived on the coast. In the evenings, my mother would throw open every window in the house and we’d play piano duets while waiting for Papa to come home.
What is the grandest romantic gesture you’ve ever made?
I’d have to let Yulia tell you all the details—it’s not mine to share—but I took all the wonderful thoughts in her head and turned them into her own song. I, ah… [Furious blushing.] I wanted her to hear the beauty that I heard whenever I looked at her.
What’s one trait you have that the MC finds annoying?
Perhaps “annoying” isn’t the right word, but she is not much of a fan of the way I warp the thoughts of those around me. The first time she got caught in that crossfire and realized what I’d done, she nearly pushed me out a window.
What is the one thing you’d never admit your significant other does better than you?
She’s much better under pressure than I am. I wouldn’t be afraid to admit this to her, though I think sometimes if I act more confident than I feel, that gives her the courage to do what she needs to do.
If you could change anything about the girl MC, what would it be?
I would take away her anger and hurt. She’s right to be furious about our situation, but I’m afraid it will make her do something dangerous.
If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
I do have a superpower, and believe me, I’d be rid of it in an instant if I could. I don’t like causing such pain. I suppose if I have to choose another one, I’d choose invisibility, so I could slip away from everything.