Sunday, June 8, 2008
Born by the Amber Sea, the Baltic, I still have a Latvian name, Ilmars Birznieks, although I am an American citizen and have lived in the States over sixty years. From early youth I was inspired by a Latvian writer, Alexanders Grins, whose long-sentenced, patriotic novels are imbued with elaborate fantasia.
I dabbled in art now and then, writing a poem or a short story or two in Latvian as a teenager. But since my ambition was to study medicine, I did not consider writing (particularly fiction) seriously. Only when my freshman English professor suggested that I should write stories, I considered it as a possibility.
Now after a long career in academia, not in medicine but languages (life has its surprises!), I finally turned to writing novels and short stories. I have published two novels, The Forgotten Promise and The Invisible Hand and have several novels and short stories lingering on the shelf. People who have read my work have found it interesting, "can't put it down" creations. But, alas, that is the opinion of common readers, not hundreds of agents and publishers.