CHARACTER PROFILE: ZORY KORCHAGIN
Like most writers, I have a very clear idea in my head about who my characters are. Zory Korchagin, one the characters in my novel THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS, is no exception. I could see him—
“Are you here alone?” he asked. “If you are, may I sit with you? I hate to eat by myself.” His words held the rich vowels and guttural syllables of a heavy Eastern European accent, similar to the owner and wait staff but different in a way I couldn’t quite name.
[…]“I am Zory,” he said, his back erect in the unnaturally perfect posture of an electric chair.
“Lela,” I muttered. Something nagged at the back of my mind, like a word balancing precariously on my tongue.
“Thank you, Lela.”
I nodded again. The broadness of his chest was intimidating in that way that only strong men can be, bringing to mind the warnings Dad had always drilled into my head as a teenager.
[…] The man cleared his throat. My head jerked up, eyes now focused on his angular chin. Light brown goatee and mustache, neatly trimmed.
I memorized the shape of his razor-edged nose and elfin ears. The gray eyes—just the color of the barrel of a gun—peered beneath bushy eyebrows.
That should give you a taste of Zory. He’s a Russian cosmonaut on loan to NASA, and he has a strange fascination with Lela White, the narrator of THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS. He’s a sweet man, loves his family, is fairly superstitious. I should confess that I had a slight crush on Zory as I was writing him. It’s hard not to fall for him…just a little bit. Part of it is that accent, but part of it is that he’s just, I don’t know, open and honest.
As much as I had a picture of him in my mind, though, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the perfect actor to play him in the imaginary movie version of the novel. I was watching an episode of CSI: New York, and there he was: Johann Urb.
Seriously. Throw a goatee on the guy, give him some gray contact lenses, and he’s Zory. Better yet, he’s Estonian, which means he wouldn’t even have to fake the accent that much.
I won’t say much about what happens in THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS between Zory and Lela—there are too many opportunity for spoilers. Rather, keep Johann Urb in your mind when you read the novel and let me know if he’s your Zory, too!
Publishers Weekly calls THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS (Bitingduck Press, ISBN 9781938463440) a "skillful mainstream examination of a psychotic woman’s final descent into insanity." The novel exposes the chaotic inner life of Lela White, a sleep lab technician and mentally ill insomniac who believes she has been tasked with protecting the safety of the revitalized U.S. space shuttle program. She breaks into the homes of astronauts to watch them sleep, and she is prepared to kill to keep those with sleep problems from the shuttle launch. Her delicate grasp on reality becomes more tenuous when annoying co-worker Trina Shook insists on moving into her house and visiting Russian cosmonaut Zory Korchagin inserts himself into Lela's life. Korchagin's increasing interest puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch. Lela's tragic childhood unfolds throughout the novel, revealing the beginnings of her illness and long-buried secrets, and as Lela’s universe unravels, no one is safe. Buy a copy of THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS at your local independent bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or anywhere books are sold.
THE AUTHOR: Nicole Wolverton fears many things, chief amongst them that something lurks in the dark. From ghosts to stalkers, her adult and young adult fiction plays on the mundane and not-so-mundane things that frighten us all. THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS is her debut novel. She is a freelance writer and editor and lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, dog, and two cats.
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