You have a wonderful book series “Amazing Russia”. It is gaining popularity in the country and is suitable for a wide readership audience. How was the design for each book developed?

Yes, the “Amazing Russia” book series is a very organic project. Everything is elaborated to the smallest detail: the design of the cover, pages, paper quality. All of this is consistent with the text. It is about the unique Russian culture. So culture should be evident in everything about the book. I am very lucky that Phoenix Publishing House meets all my creative ideas.

Today many things are going digital, into computers, smartphones. Culture, too. How do people culturally evolve in an online environment? What to watch, visit, read?

I think that the transition to digital information is already irreversible. So there is only one way: taking it easy and using all digital opportunities for outreach activities. I think that the users’ choice of what they read is a purely personal thing. For my part, I see immense popularity of blogs about Russian culture and traditions. And it inspires me.


Your blog is gaining popularity. What would you recommend to novices? How do you come up with a cool idea for an online culture project?

A big blog like mine requires a lot of patience on the part of the author. I have to prepare a selection on a variety of topics and communicate in a calm way with the readers, even those who initially have negative attitude.

I advise novices to pursue the established goal, but aspire to do it in your own, authentic way, otherwise it’s a road to nowhere. If you devote your blog to the culture of Russia, do not stray, do not switch to something else —it can significantly affect the interest of the readership. Very often I notice that a sincere reader who leaves comments and feedback is also very demanding and strict. And it makes me very happy. I’ll tell you a secret: many of the topics of my essays and books were “gifted” to me by my readers. They are my true co-authors.

Finding your niche is greatly facilitated by a thorough analysis of what is already available online and what is in deficit. It’s hardly worth the effort to devote your blog to something that is already diverse and of high quality.


There are many traditions that have been there from the dawn of time; what traditions are emerging in Russia today? Have any traditions appeared over the past 10–20 years?

My blog is mostly about folk traditions. I enjoy learning something new and surprising about the old times, and then telling my readers about it. I think it’s too early to describe modern tradition. Remember the words of Yesenin, “When face to face, the features you can’t see, Big things obtain perspective at a distance”. In the meantime, I am often surprised to learn that many seemingly modern traditions come from the ancient times.


What are your plans for the future? Are you planning to release a new book? If yes, what will it be about?

The plans are actually enormous. I have a lot of creative ideas. There is an encyclopedia for children —it will go to desktop publishing and printing very soon. There are books about funeral and wedding traditions. There is a monograph about uniqueness of the Russian national spirit. Now there are 11 books, all in all. I plan to release at least 24, according to the original idea.