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About the author:
L. Salt is a multi-genre author from the United Kingdom. She studied History of World Culture and earned her Master’s Degree in Art Expertise at the St. Petersburg University of Culture and Arts. Born in Belarus, she lived for many years in Ukraine and Russia and, eventually, settled in the North of England, where she currently lives with her husband. Salt’s interest in writing dates back to her teenage years. Apart from creative writing, she has a passion for traveling, arts, history, and foreign languages.
Her debut novella, His Personal Reich was released in April 2018 by Crazy Ink Publishing. It will also be featured in the boxed set Chills and Thrills in May 2019. Her second novella, a thriller/mystery story Legacy of the Iron Eagle, released in February 2019. She is the author of the Off the Ways Series including The Ways We Follow (Book One) and Angels of Zion (Book Two). Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Crazy Ink Publishing anthologies Royal Scoundrels and Beyond Wonderland, as well as magazines, both online, and in print.
What inspired you to write your book?
The Ways We Follow is a romantic suspense/urban drama with the plot set in the near future in St. Petersburg (Russia). It is inspired by my life in Russian second largest city. Although the story is 100% fictional and its plot set in the future, I want to show how real Russia looks like, destroying all cliches some people associate with this country. The Ways We Follow (Book 1) is a story of Laura Danco, a young talented designer, and her best friends who are searching for their ways of life, love, and freedom in the hash reality of the totalitarian society.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter XVIII (excerpt)
‘This is my man cave.’ Daniel smiled, gesturing to the room.
The sculptures and their fragments of different shapes and sizes stood everywhere,
on the floor, on the window sills, on special shelves, and open units. Mostly abstract,
they were made from metal, wood, different kinds of plastic. Wires, sockets, and
cords covered the floor like snakes, and it took Laura a moment to realize that they
were parts of the installations. She had also noticed some graphic in frames on the
walls and dozens of sketches on the working desk, chairs, and floor. She felt like
Alice in Wonderland.
She slowly wandered around these objects. They lived here and waited to be born
for the exhibition, to be introduced to the public. She was the chosen one who can see
these “babies” long before their birthday. She was intrigued and mesmerized.
Daniel connected some cords and plugged in the sockets and suddenly, the
installations came to life. He definitely was the king of lights. The flat objects got the
volume. The light moved, changed shades, glimmered and sparkled quietly like the
grey ropy waters of Neva River.
Laura stood staring around the room in awe, ‘It’s magic. You’re a magician, Daniel.
I’ve never seen anything like that. The light, the shapes…I feel like I’m in the magic
He only smiled. ‘Do you think people may like it?’
‘Of course, they will! Only fools can’t see how fantastic it is.’
The small sculpture in the corner attracted her attention. It was only a model, but
Laura recognized familiar features. ‘Oh, my God!’ she sighed. ‘This is…Is this
Daniel nodded, coming to stand beside her. ‘It’s a model. I haven’t decided yet what
material to use, but the idea came to me the night Eugene killed himself. I couldn’t
sleep at all. I worked all night, changing and changing it, and in the morning he was
Laura continued to study the sculpture, holding her breath, as she was afraid that it
could disappear like a mirage in a desert.
The sculpture was only about fifty, sixty centimetres high, coloured in black which
made the effect even more powerful. It was a naked torso all twisted by giant snakes
or the octopus’s tentacles, the head reclined, all muscles puffed with tension, trying to
break free. The right hand was trying to pull off the mask which covered the face. The
mask smiled happily and even selfishly—typical of Eugene’s face expression. The
real face under the mask, already half-released, was crying. The mouth was opened in
suffocation; the eyes were full of madness, fear, anger, and pain. The whole figure
expressed nothing, but agony and desperation. This was a new Laocoon of the twenty
‘We’re all like him—smiling outside, agonising inside.’
‘What is it name?’ she whispered.
‘I haven’t named it yet.’ Daniel shrugged. ‘Something like “A New Victim” I
‘The Department will never approve it. They may close your gallery just for this one
work.’ She said sadly.
‘I would open my gallery only for this one work.’ Daniel said with determination.
‘Have you decided it to be the key work of the exhibition?’
‘Oh, no, but it definitely will be one of the most scandalous.’ He finished his drink
with a smile. ‘Now, I’ll show you my main project.’
He came to the table in the far dark corner of the room. Something big was hiding
under a white cloth. Laura though it was another sculpture, but Daniel pulled off the
cloth and a fantastic, magical creation appeared in the dark room. It was a complete
model of a church, the church of his God who talked to him in his dreams and visions,
who was with him between life and death, who told him to follow his way and only to
whom he obeyed.
The building was magnificent, innovative, brave, and daring. It was a kingdom of
lights, built of waved and curved lines, glass, metal, and all kind of modern materials.
Endless curved spires rushed to the sky, carrying the soul far, far away, to the Creator.
There were no statues, icons, paintings, nothing that could distract from the dialog
with God. Only pure lines and the light. Hundreds of special mini solar panels were
installed in the spires to attract sunrays and, reflecting in a complicated system of the
glasses and mirrors, created a breathtaking game of light and darkness on the floor,
and fragile, lacy walls.
‘I’m going to cry,’ Laura couldn’t hold her emotions anymore.
‘It means that my project is successful.’ Daniel nodded, embracing her shoulders.
‘That is the reaction I want to see.’
‘Your church will never be built. Do you understand that? You’ll be banned from any
church in this country. You’re crazy, an absolutely crazy man!’
‘I know.’ He smiled bitterly. ‘But I obliged to do it, to show it to people. God talks to
me. God said it is my way to follow, it is my destiny.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I saw God when I was in a coma after the car crash. God talked to me. I was there. I
saw God and the angels, and the palace. It gave me inspiration for my church. I know
now how the real home of God looks like.’
‘Wait a minute.’ Laura tried to digest a new portion of Daniel’s revelations. ‘Do you
want to say that God is talking to you? Do you want to say you saw him?’
‘Yes, I did. And I saw this church in my dreams and visions and.’ He took her hand,
his eyes shone, and hands were shaking.
‘Okay.’ Laura nodded slowly.
‘By the way, who told you that God is he?’
‘I don’t know. It came from literature, the Bible and…’
‘I’ve seen it and heard it. It has no body, no face.’
‘I didn’t know you’re so religious.’ Laura stepped away.
‘I’m not. I’m a sinner like everyone else, but I obeyed its orders. I follow my way and
my way is to build this church in its honour.’
‘Oh, good.’ Laura smiled again, realising that Daniel was definitely out of his mind.
He couldn’t be drunk after having one glass of wine. It was something else.
‘What about you, Laura? What is the way you follow?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I asked myself millions of times why am I attracted to you? What’s in you I can’t
Laura stepped back, being taken unawares by this new, unpredictable revelation.
Daniel’s words scared her.
He came closer again. He looked into her eyes, his eyes turned into two deep lakes,
where the dark waters came up from the bottom. These dark poisonous waters were
hiding in the far corners of his soul.
‘Who are you, Laura? Who are you?’ his voice deep and soft like velvet whispered in
She pushed him softly. He stepped back, but continued to stare at her.
‘I am a woman who’s looking for love,’ she whispered faintly, more for herself than
for him. ‘But first of all, I need to decide what is the way is my way, which one to
follow. Which one is the way of love?’ He tried to take her hand, tried to say
something, but she pulled back. ‘I’d better go. It’s late. The snowstorm may start
‘Do you want me to call a taxi?’
‘No. I’m fine. I’ll catch a car.’
He accompanied her back to the apartment and waited, while she had been putting
on her coat and shoes.
‘Bye, Daniel. Thank you for the evening.’
He didn’t answer, just continued to stare at her. His eyes were warm and kind. She
hesitated a second, then kissed his warm smooth cheek and disappeared behind the