Black Star is my first book co-written in collaboration with a wonderful writer, but, unfortunately, I did not have the chance to ask him any questions. All of my questions had to be asked to his novels and stories alone, through which I discovered an intelligent and profound writer. Bakhytzhan Momyshuly passed away in 2012, leaving behind the beginnings of a great plan – the fairy tale novel Black Star, the typed manuscript of which I received in 2016, when Momyshuly’s family approached me about finishing the story. The reason was my Kazakhstani Fairy Tales, and Yerzhan Momyshuly, the writer’s son, said then that he felt the need to give Black Star to me precisely after reading the tales.
To understand the ideas of another writer, his style, language and rhythm, seemed to me a very difficult task. The freedom granted to me by the family, the publisher, and, in a way, the author himself, as well as the connection I felt with him (up to the moments of split-consciousness) during two years of working on the text, were all inspiring and overwhelming at the same time. There were times when, after writing a page of text, I would fall asleep for several hours, and this was in the daytime, when I don’t have the habit of resting at all. I had strange dreams, undoubtedly the result of complete concentration, in an attempt to merge with another individual from a different culture.
When I start to read a novel or a short story, I am able to sense how long it will be until the conclusion, even without knowing the actual length of the text beforehand. It is completely clear to me that, given the rhythm of the text already set in place by the author, it would not be fitting to divulge all of the details about not only the main character, Price Karl Zholdos, but other characters as well, in the conclusion of Black Star. I am ready to work with the heroes further, to continue the development of the multilayered, deeply developed world, created by Bakhytzhan Momyshuly.
I’m proud of the illustrations created by the incredible artist Assol Sas, which undoubtedly add another layer to the story.
Special thanks to the author of the literary translation of the text into the Kazakh language — the simultaneous publication of my books in Russian and Kazakh is deeply meaningful to me as a Kazakhstani writer, and I always mention the importance of this to my publishers.
The novel “Black Star” is the result of the work of a team of professionals. I want to thank the publishing house, which believed in the idea before the commencement of this work, the wonderful writer Adolf Alfonsovich Artsishevsky, who wrote an inspirational introduction to the novel, and Artem Kalyuzhny — the artist with whom I constantly collaborate, who created the layout and book cover. Many thanks to everyone who will further work with the book.