Recently, I was highlighted on Mr. Georgiev’s blog, and I love to have other authors come on and involve us in their work, so I asked him to be a guest. Here is his interview:
Interview with Ognian Georgiev
– Can you share a little of your current work with us?
– Hi Kim, thanks for having me. I am working right now on my second non-fiction novel. It will be a story about the last man who beat the best earning athlete on the planet Floyd Mayweather. He is the famous Bulgarian amateur boxer Serafim Todorov. I am currently on research phase, but hope to start the writing before the end of the year.
– What inspired you to write your first book The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski?
– The main character of my first book The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski has very interesting life story. He was a hero in our country because of his medals and titles in the weightlifting. As you know, the fate sometimes has very strange plans for some people. One of them was Galabin Boevksi. He was sentenced for cocaine traffic in Brazil for 9 years and 4 months. Surprisingly for everyone Boevski returned just two years after been arrested in Sao Paolo. It was huge mystery how he was able to get out of prison. It was strange how most part of my country-mates forgot very fast his sporting glory and started to hate him.
– Do you have a specific writing style?
– I am using mainly my journalistic experience, but it was totally different story to write a full novel. It’s just like a huge project with a lot of planning and changing during the process. It was my first book so I was learning myself in the process. As a non-fiction I tried to be very exact with facts, but at the same time my idea was to put some color on the characters, so a non-sport readers to enjoy the novel as well.
– How did you come up with the title?
– Part of the book is taking place in the prison. It’s logic to have the word Prisoner inside. White came by three different ways. The first one was that in the Brazilian jail almost all other prisoners were afro-Americans or Latinos. Galabin was one of the few with white skin. Secondary, he was caught with cocaine and the color of the drug is white. During entire process and after it Boevski was claiming that he is innocent.
– What book are you reading now?
– I just finished The Summons by John Grisham. Love his books since my school years.
– Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
– I am very impressed by Robert Dugoni, who showed that is a class act. His book My Syster’s Grave was number one in Amazon for October beating Grisham’s Gray Mountain, Gone Girl and many other top titles. I’ve got a pleasure to make interview with him for my blog, so you may check it here (https://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/tag/robert-dugoni/)
– As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
– Nice question. I would like to be a cowboy, a space-man, a football player. My last dream before entering the real world of adults was to become an archaeologist like Indiana Jones. This is why I went to study in the University of Sofia for it. But at the end I ended as a sports journalist.
– Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
– Time, time, time. My working schedule is very busy. I’ve got a small daughter. She is my favorite free time spending sunshine so I am trying to be as more as I can with her. When I sit to write, I may do it for a long period. During The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s secret story production I was staying until late at the night at my office to focus into the story and to add new chapters.
– Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
– Yeah, I do. The book is based on many interviews with closest persons to the main character. So I’ve been around the country to find them and to convince to speak with me. Thanks to modern phone lines I was able to reach other people, who were not in my country. I spoke with his colleagues, who are now living in Azerbaijan, USA and Ireland. I found the lawyers of Boevski in Brazil and also the only Brazilian journalist who interviewed Galabin in the jail. I’ve got many hours of interviews to work with.
– Who designed the covers?
– It’s a Bulgarian art designer, named Velizar Stefanov. He did a pretty good job and I am very grateful to him.
About the author
Ognian Georgiev is a sport journalist, who is currently working as sports editor at the “Bulgaria Today” daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012.
The author of the book “The white prisoner – Galabin Boevski’s secret story” specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events.
Ognian Georgiev works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA.
In December 2012 Nova TV and Diema TV premiered the biographical movie “Sons”, dedicated to heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev. Ognian Georgiev was author and script writer of the film.
The author was born in the capital city of Bulgaria – Sofia. He started work as a sports reporter in 2000. In the following years Ognian Georgiev covered different sports events in USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK, France, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Spain, and Italy.
The author lives in Sofia with his partner Ralitza and their one year old daughter Valeria.
About the book
This wasn’t the first time Galabin Boevski felt oppressed. He had suffered the atrocious legacy of communism and the lack of support that a talented athlete like him should otherwise expect from his motherland. It had been a week since his arrest. He’d spent a night in the jail of Sao Paulo’s airport, then transferred to another Brazilian prison for temporary detention. Now he was in Itai, a prison for foreigners, full of people from all over the world. His memories kept rushing in and he kept going over the unfortunate events over and over. What went wrong? He spent his first night in jail with 1500 prisoners who were serving their sentences there – murderers, rapists, fraudsters and thieves, but the majority of them people like him – accused of drug trafficking. “I’m not a mule,” he thought, “I am Galabin Boevski. Legendary weightlifter and Olympic champion, not a criminal!”
…based on a true story…
Galabin Boevski is a complicated figure and weightlifting is a complex sport, filled with intrigue and drama. On the stage, the bar does not lie. You either lift it or not. Behind the scenes, however, as The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story makes plain, it can be an enormous struggle not just to become Olympic champion but to stay on top.
Alan Abrahamson, bestselling author
I read the entire volume in two days. I could not put it down. The plot lines leading up to what would hopefully reveal the final athletic and legal outcomes of Boevski were compelling. Mr. Georgiev has done a master job of story telling. One that will provide a much need insight into the psyches, personalities and foibles of star weightlifters and their coaches.
Bob Takano, coach and author of Olympic weightlifting
It’s quite a fascinating story, with quite a bit of drama, as well as elements of tragedy. I found it to be a very gripping and compelling read.
Daniel Rosen, author of Dope: A History of Performance Enhancement in Sports from the Nineteenth Century to Today
The White Prisoner provides a rare glimpse into the world of Bulgarian weightlifting—chronicling the development of Olympic gold medalist, world champion and world record holder Galabin Boevski, and how things went awry: first in weightlifting and then in Brazil. If you are a weightlifting fan, this is a must-read book, and if you want to be introduced to a gritty world and a universal sport you might never have known existed, you will also want to dive into The White Prisoner.
Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. , Founder & President, IronMind Enterprises, Inc.