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August 25, 2023

Called “a smartly plotted thriller of seeing and betting on the future” by BookLife Reviews, Chirashnya’s first work of fiction follows Mike, “an underpaid tech genius,” who discovers a website that reports on news that hasn’t happened yet and must face the moral and ethical implications of such knowledge.   

Your first book was a work of nonfiction. Why did you pivot to fiction for your second book?

Actually, I’ve always had a burning desire to write fiction. Even as a kid, while my pals fantasized about becoming pilots, astronauts, or, at worst, KGB agents, I harbored dreams of becoming a writer. Admitting this aloud was quite the challenge. In my circle of childhood friends, being a writer didn’t fit traditional masculinity’s mold. But I finally mustered the courage to say, “Screw it, this is what I truly want to do, whether it’s considered manly or not.” So now, I proudly claim the title of writer, aspiring to become a darn good one at that.

What was the writing process like for Breaking News of Tomorrow?

It was quite a whirlwind. Amid the pandemic, I managed to complete the first draft within three months. Picture this: everyone, including the dog, was confined to the house. It was a scene of constant chaos. Four school Zoom sessions played simultaneously at full volume. At times, one of my kids would be energetically performing hundreds of jumping jacks in the living room for their PE class while my wife, Irina, tirelessly juggled pots and pans in the kitchen, attempting to satisfy insatiable teenage appetites. And there I was, tucked away in the farthest corner of our bedroom, huddled behind a minuscule desk, fervently writing the next chapter of the book and doing my best to drown out the cacophony surrounding me. Because I seized every available free moment to write, I managed to irritate my family less than usual. We survived the pandemic together, relatively unscathed, and I had a book to publish.  

Why or how do you think this book is particularly relevant now? 

The relevance of this book in the present time is multifaceted. First, the central element of the story involves a website called Breaking News of Tomorrow, which provides glimpses into future events as if they have already occurred. The protagonist, Mike, acts upon this information, and the book explores the potential consequences for both individuals and humanity as a whole when advanced technology intersects with our lives. I wrote this book three years ago, but the timing of its release aligns with the sudden surge of awareness surrounding artificial intelligence. AI’s ethical and moral implications are currently at the forefront of public consciousness, and the book’s exploration of these themes resonates deeply in this context. Furthermore, in the third part of the book, I delve into the methods employed by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Recent Russian aggression toward Ukraine has shed light on the global implications of such methods and made these aspects more comprehensible to a wider audience.

Overall, the book invites readers to consider the profound implications of technological advancements and prompts contemplation of the complex interplay between individuals, societies, and global dynamics.

If you were in Mike’s position and found a website that told the future, what do you think you would do?

I appreciate your question! It’s one that I believe prompts readers to ponder what they would do if they possessed knowledge of the future. Personally, I find myself engaged in an internal struggle between two conflicting principles: my creative side and my entrepreneurial mindset. If I were in Mike’s position, I would likely follow a similar path but hopefully with a stronger moral foundation. However, as a creative individual, I would be inclined to write a book inspired by this experience.

Can readers expect another book from you soon?

Absolutely! I’m currently working tirelessly to have my second novel’s draft completed and ready for editors by the end of August. Furthermore, I have set a goal to finish my third novel by the end of this year. As I have decided to self-publish my future works, I won’t waste any more time querying agents, as I did with Breaking News of Tomorrow, which unfortunately resulted in a loss of almost two years. Stay tuned!