Katya before her parents’ deaths.
Ransomed interview one.
Character : Katya before kidnap.
At this point Katya works a lot but sings in a Christian band – Aqua Vitae when time permits. She also writes songs for the band. She is very close to her parents and attends Eagleswings Baptist Church. She is very close friends with the twins – Galen and Cayden – whom she met at Eagleswings when she was fifteen and they were eleven. It is important to note that though the twins are younger than Katya they have maturity beyond their years and act older than her. At this stage in the book the twins are eighteen and have just finished Matric, but they will have their own interviews!
As the interviews progress you will see how Katya’s personality changes drastically throughout the book. The questions will remain the same (although from the second interview certain questions will be dropped) but the answers will change radically. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!
Please note that this interview is for reader’s purposes only and is not featured in the book in any way, shape or form!
Interview with Katya Mudrov. June 2007.
What’s your name?
How old are you?
Where were you born?
England – London.
Do you speak with an accent?
Yes. A pretty distinctive English accent.
What is your family heritage?
My grandparents moved over to England from Russia, seeking a better life. They stayed there the rest of their lives but died when I was young, so I didn’t know them that well. My mother is proud of her Russian heritage so she gave me the name Katya. Incidentally my surname – Mudrov – means wise, sage, clever and I like to think it suits me!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in South Africa, right here in Joburg. My parents moved here when I was just a baby because they wanted me to grow up in the sun! I love it here!
Have you travelled?
I have been all over Europe, even Russia, and I’ve visited America a few times, but South Africa is home.
What colour are your eyes?
They’re a mix of blue, grey and green and they change colour according to my mood. If I’m relaxed they’re blue-grey, if I’m sad they’re almost completely blue, if I’m happy they’re a pretty blue-green and if I’m extremely angry they turn emerald-green – that’s when you need to avoid me, cause I can be pretty dangerous when I’m angry!
What colour is your hair?
Right now it’s auburn. I’ve dyed it pretty much every colour under the sun. It’s naturally brunette but I find brown so boring!
Do you belong to a religion?
That’s one way to put it! I’m a Christian, I was saved when I was 15, on a church camp.
Are you left or right-handed?
Do you have any pets?
Two adorable cats! Ghost is pure white and Midnight is pure black – she is very naughty, in fact they both are, but I love them to pieces! They make my life much more pleasant!
Do you remember any childhood pets?
We had a few dogs, cats and bunnies. None I was really attached to though, they were just my family’s pets.
Do you own your own house?
Not yet. I rent an apartment, but I’m so busy I’m barely there to enjoy it!
What do you do for a living?
I’m a midwife. I also write books and have had five of them published. A few are even best-sellers! I’d like to quit midwifery and write full-time, but my parents won’t hear of it! They say there’s no money in writing. They’re both doctors and they believe I should be like them.
What type of books do you write?
Crime dramas. Surprising I guess for a Christian, but my stories tend a little to the dark side. I write under a pseudonym though, and my friends who know my books tell me they enjoy them – I don’t know if that’s just them being polite though! (laughs) The twins have never read my stuff, which is sad cause they are my closest friends. Apparently Galen started reading one a while back but decided it was too violent for his liking. He tried to hold me accountable for that actually – said that as a Christian writing for God’s glory I shouldn’t write such morbid storylines. I told him that my writing is separate from my life as a Christian and it’s none of his business anyway! That’s the problem with friends – they feel the need to poke their noses into your affairs all the time! I mean what I choose to write and how I choose to live my life is between me and God, nobody else needs to get involved! Sorry, I think I’m still smarting from that conversation! Anyway, back to the question. I write crime-dramas and thrillers, good versus evil – that kind of thing. I’ve had all but one of my books published so far and three of them are featured on both the New York Times and Amazon best-seller lists, so they can’t be that bad!
I know it’s a bit personal, but do you earn well?
Well enough I guess. I earn from my job as a midwife and I get the royalties from the books and stuff, so I can live fairly comfortably which is nice!
What do your parents do?
They’re both doctors. Dad is the chief heart surgeon at Healing Hands Hospital and Mum is a GP in a private practice.
Do you have a favourite car? Or do you use other modes of transport regularly?
I have a nice little green Ford Fiesta and the band I sing with has a truck which I drive sometimes.
Do you enjoy driving?
Nope, hate it, but it’s a necessary evil.
Do you have any ongoing health problems?
Are you or have you ever been married? And if not, do you have a steady partner?
I’m happily single and intend to stay that way for a long time! For some reason all the guys in the band say they want to date me, but I can’t understand why! Sometimes I wish they’d just back off already, but they are sweethearts and I enjoy working with them.
Do you have any children?
Of course not! I’m not married!
You mentioned a band. Do you sing with them often?
Yes. Our name is Aqua Vitae – Living Water and we’re a Christian band. We generally play in churches and the like. Sometimes we’re asked to play at weddings. I sing with them as often as I can, but I’m getting busier at the hospital now so I’ll probably have to quit soon. I’m not looking forward to that day – I love singing for the Lord! It’s my dream to sing in a proper concert one day with thousands of people and give God all the glory – but that’s in His hands!
What’s your favourite food?
Pizza! Everyone’s favourite! I don’t indulge in it very often though as I need to watch my weight. As the lead female singer in the band, I can’t allow myself to get chubby!
And your least favourite?
Hmmm. Curry? No, tripe! Yuck –that stuff is truly vile!
Are you Halal/Kosher/Vegetarian/Vegan?
None of the above. I love my meat, I’m a carnivore through and through! I do try to eat healthy though.
What do you like to drink?
Ice tea, milkshakes, juice. My favourite drink is vanilla latte, closely followed by café latte.
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, unfortunately. I really need to use my self-control when the guys in the band give me chocolates to try to woo me – I like chocolate way too much for my own good!
Do you smoke?
Euuw, of course not!
Do you have siblings? If so, how many and what gender?
Nope, I’m an only child. I have brothers and sisters in Christ though and I’m particularly close to the twins – Galen and Cayden. We’ve known each other for years and they’re the perfect brothers to have! So kind and caring and supportive and forgiving! They’re really special to me!
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes. I spent a lot of it reading!
Are you close to your parents?
Extremely! I don’t know what I’d do without them! They’ve always supported me and been there for me. They’ve always provided for all my needs and I love spending time with them. We always have a laugh together and I can tell my Mum anything! They’re the best parents a girl could ask for! Unfortunately we don’t attend the same church, but I’m working on that – I’m trying to persuade them to come to Eagleswings Baptist. The camp’s happening soon though and they’re coming with me to that, so hopefully that will change their minds! I do wish they wouldn’t insist I have a career in midwifery, but they’re only looking out for my best interests – they want me to earn a good living.
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Riding on the dog’s back around the house while Daddy led him on a leash! That was fun, I was three.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one. Probably Switzerland, it is so beautiful and clean there!
Do you go out much? Or do you prefer to stay at home?
I’m out most of the time. I love to hang out with my friends and I often visit my parents. Of course all the things going on at church keep me pretty busy, not to mention the time spent writing songs and recording with the band!
Describe your perfect date?
Do I have to? Um, probably a picnic somewhere. Boring I know, but that’s me.
In partners what is your ‘type’
Well he’d have to be Christian obviously. Somebody who could lead well and who knows the Bible. I’d love him to have a sense of humour and he needs to be friendly. Looks aren’t very important to me – it’s what’s inside that counts!
Do you have any particular feelings towards the environment?
Not really. I hate seeing litter around everywhere, but that’s about it.
Do you do any charity work?
A little. I help out at an orphanage once a week and play with the kids. And sometimes my friends and I will give blankets and food to the homeless.
How do you see yourself?
As in character? Hmm, I’d say I’m kind, generous, sunny. I’m thrifty too – I like to save my money and bargain-hunt. Um, I think I’m forgiving, and I’m a hard-worker, I know that! I’m intelligent and imaginative too. I dunno what else to say, really.
Be honest. How do you think others perceive you?
I think (and hope) they’d say I’m kind and fun to be around.
How much do you exercise?
A lot! I swim every morning at the gym before work and I enjoy cycling in some of the parks around here – only with friends though. I dance a lot too.
Have you a favourite clothes designer?
Nope, I have my own style, I don’t need fashion telling me what to wear! I do dress trendily though, I need to as a singer!
What type of clothes do you wear in everyday life?
Well at work I wear scrubs obviously, but otherwise I’m most comfortable in jeans and a pretty shirt, or a long skirt with a nice top. I dress very modestly.
Do you have a favourite perfume/scent?
Nope, can’t say that I do! I do love the smell of mint leaves though!
What’s your favourite TV programme?
That’s a hard one. Perhaps The Paradise or Lark Rise to Candleford? I love period pieces!
What type of music do you listen to?
Only Christian stuff but mostly soft Christian rock or worship music. My favourite band is Fidelis, they’re amazing! Their drummer is incredible! I love, love, love the drums!
What type of books do you read?
Christian novels mostly, usually ones set in the past. I sometimes read application books too, to help with my walk with God. The twins are always giving me really deep theological books that I need to read sometime, but a novel has so much more pull!
Do you spend much time on the internet?
Yup, way too much! Especially on Facebook!
What do you like to do in your leisure time?
Read, dance, write, sing, spend time with friends and my parents. Chill at home with my cats. I just live life to the fullest, after all – we only live twice! Once now and once in eternity!
Do you play any sport?
Does dancing count?
Are you a sport fan?
Nope, don’t see the point of it!
What is your favourite team?
I don’t have one. I don’t like sport! I sometimes watch figure-skating though. Alexei Yagudin’s my favourite skater.
How do you take your coffee?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes black, sometimes white and always with three sugars – that’s my one little indulgence. Tea I drink with one sugar and milk. I hate Rooibos though, yuck!
What take-away do you like?
Pizza obviously, but I also like Chinese.
Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Do you have exotic tastes in foods?
I’ve tried pretty much everything, but I don’t like spicy stuff.
Do you have any phobias?
Yes. This is confidential right? When I was seventeen I was home alone (my parents were away) and robbers came to the house. They tied me up and gagged me and stripped the house of everything valuable. Then they took me to a forest and tied me to a tree, gagged and blindfolded. An elderly couple who’d been camping found me and took me home. My parents arrived just then and seeing the state of the house and how distraught I was, they took me to the twins’ house and asked their parents if we could stay with them for the next two weeks.
Shame, I don’t think the twins had ever seen me like that – withdrawn and prone to tears! They weren’t sure how to deal with it, but they were still a big support! They would just sit and let me talk out my emotions – most boys wouldn’t dream of doing that! They also gave me advice from the Bible and prayed with me, which I appreciated a lot. They’re the best brothers a girl could ask for! They may not have been born to the same parents, but they’re brothers in Christ and they really look out for me! They’re so sweet! Anyway, after that experience I went to counselling, but ever since then I’ve had such a phobia of being tied up or trapped! It’s not something I share often though, so keep it to yourself please!
Do you or have you ever done drugs?
Never. I’ve seen them ruin too many lives, plus as a Christian I wouldn’t want to desecrate my body that way! It is the temple of God after all!
Do you have any tattoos/ piercings?
Only my ears are pierced. I love my dangly earrings!
Do you have any hidden distinguishing features?
Not that I know of!
Would you say you have a short temper or an even temperament?
It depends who I’m with. I’m usually fairly even-tempered though.
What sort of game do you prefer – board game, trivia, computer game, Playstation?
Board games, cards and Poker – I love Poker! We don’t play for money though.
Are you a morning person?
No. I’m definitely a night owl!
Do you do your best work early or are you a night owl?
I tend to work through the night, especially if I’m writing a book at the time.
Do you do much housework?
Nope, I ask a lady to come in three times a week to clean the apartment. I loathe housework!
Are you hospitable?
Very! I tend to have people over for dinner once or twice a week!
Right now – what is in your fridge?
Chocolate (I know, naughty right, but our manager John bought them for me!) salad, ice tea, milk, ham for myself and the cats, salami bites, and some melon. That’s a weird question!
And in your pockets?
I don’t have pockets usually. I keep stuff in my handbag.
What is in your handbag?
Wow, you do like to pry! I have makeup, keys, money, a pashmina and scarf, a notebook and pen for ideas …. I can’t remember what else.
What is on your bedside table?
My study Bible, notes on scrap paper that I need to type up to use for the book I’m currently writing, a lamp and a fan.
Do you own a gun?
I probably should, as I live alone, but I don’t.
Are you proficient in a variety of firearms?
Nope, never touched a gun! The closest I’ve ever come to a weapon is pepper spray!
Have you ever killed anyone?
What kind of a question is that? Of course not!
What is your happiest memory?
When the twins and I were on camp together and we sang in the worship team for the first time, that was cool!
One of my closest friends moved to Switzerland, I miss her so much!
That time I told you about when robbers came to the house.
Do you have any skeletons in your closet that no-one knows about?
If I do, even I don’t know about them!
Have you ever lost anyone you care about?
Not yet, at least not to death – thankfully!
Have you ever had any run-ins with the police?
Do you have a favourite ‘holiday’?
I love Easter!
Do you like dressing up for fancy dress parties or holidays?
Yes, that’s always fun!
Where did you go to school? Did you do further education?
I went to Allaria College. After that I studied midwifery.
Do you have a favourite artist?
Paintings – um, not really. Singer: Galen Hunter, one of the twins – he has an incredible voice! And Mark Hill, the lead singer of Fidelis is great too. Band – Fidelis and Aqua Vitae of course (considering I sing in Aqua Vitae!) Drummer: Cayden Hunter and Kyron Botha from church. Writer: Sarah Sundin.
Can you think of a smell that evokes any powerful emotion for you? Nostalgia, disgust etc.?
Nope, not off-hand.
What is your favourite thing to do?
Write, read, pray, sing, dance, spend time with friends – especially the twins. That’s a bunch of stuff, but they’re all my favourite things!
If you had all the money you could want what would you do with it?
Open a children’s home. There are too many unloved orphans out there! And I’d quit midwifery and be a full-time author!
Do you like children?
I love them! I’m a Sunday school teacher, and I have a really good relationship with my little ones!