Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Order Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Love is transformation. Ishtar finds a man who turns lead into gold, but he disappears mysteriously. She looks for him violating all rules, until she discovers that she herself is the key. Everything depends on whether and how she carries out a terrible assignment. Love, world peace, and her own conscience are at stake.
How would you act when Love conflicts with Truth? Which is the sexiest of all possible worlds? What is the future of journalism? 'The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time' is a captivating and emotionally charged novel. It can be read as a romance, a political thriller, or a dystopian adventure like those of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Anthony Burgess, and Philip K Dick. As you will discover, all these literary genres merge consistently in a surprising way. In the meantime, you will be assured of high doses of passion, eroticism, suspense, and mystery.
The novel has been given "The Kirkus Star" by Kirkus Reviews, a distinction that is "Awarded to Books of Exceptional Merit." It contains unconventional descriptions of explicit sex, and is recommended for ages 16+.
Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.
“The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time” was originated from a meeting among ideas, themes and obsessions. On the one hand, I had been pregnant with the character of a very special woman. Ishtar Benten is a warrior of Love. Love includes sex, too. Love and sex, for her, mean imagination, but they also become ways to apprehend, digest, and transform the reality itself.
On the other hand, I had been observing the behavior of the mass media since before the Iraq War. This suggested to me the idea of the dystopian world of the novel, in which the dualism between Imagination and Reality gets connected with the conflict between Lie and Truth. This extreme universe is a difficult, yet privileged place to test the conscience of the individuals. What a great battlefield for a warrior of love like Ishtar Benten!
Q. How did writing this book affect you?
Writing is like making love. When I write I love everybody and everything around. I feel more alive than ever. Of course, there are moments and periods of struggle and pain, as in many love stories. But there are also enormous surprises. From the very beginning, I felt this story was a great idea, and thought I could write something really special. Yet, now I feel the result goes beyond my expectations. It looks so beautiful, so perfect... Of course, I know any mother would say the same about her little monster.
After finishing the first complete version of a book, I’m not able to write anything else for quite a long period. It’s like after giving birth, there’s a time when you can’t get pregnant again, you can only breastfeed your newly born novel, correct it again and again, then promote it, and finally let it go just like you do with your kids when they grow up and become adult.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The beginning. I usually spend a long time researching, thinking about the ideas, elaborating on the themes and the plot, filling hundreds of pages with notes. But I’m not able to start the actual writing until I find the special voice of the novel inside me. The period that precedes the appearance of this voice is the hardest time. I may have accumulated a huge amount of material, but I still have to wait for the kick off.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
Yes, I have a lot of ideas burning inside me. But in principle I’m not planning any sequel for “The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time.”
Q. What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished reading “What the Day Owes the Night,” by Yasmina Khadra, a great book.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
Love is transformation. Which is the first sentence of my novel, by the way.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You can check out a free excerpt from my novel at my website. I hope you enjoy the journey in the world of Ishtar Benten!