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Meet Katya Apekina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katya Apekina.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m a novelist, translator and screenwriter. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer. When I was in college, I was taking photo classes and setting up these complicated, very elaborate scenes–making my friends climb out of suitcases I found in the trash or covering their faces in pencil shavings. My friends were really patient! But then I took a writing workshop and discovered that I could achieve the same thing I was going for in my photos (to tell a story and create a certain mood), by just describing what was in my mind. Less equipment, less time in the darkroom. It seemed more immediate, from my mind to the page, and that was really appealing to me.

Please tell us about your art.
I wrote the novel The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish (Two Dollar Radio, 2018), which was a finalist for an LA Times book prize and named a Best Book of 2018 by Buzzfeed, Kirkus, Lithub and elsewhere. In that book, two sisters are sent away to live with their narcissistic father, a famous writer, after their mother is committed to a mental hospital. Told from multiple points of view, the book looks at how people experience the same events very differently.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success can often feel like a horizon line—you keep moving towards it, but it doesn’t feel any closer. The more accomplishment I accumulate, the more I realize that success is a state of mind and not really linked to achieving specific outcomes. There is so much rejection in the life of a writer (or any kind of artist). You need to really persevere and not get too discouraged. People announce the things they win, but they don’t usually announce the things they applied for and didn’t get. It blew my mind a little to hear that writers I admire most are still dealing with rejection, bad writing days, all the same stuff as everybody else.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can buy the novel wherever you get your books. I love Vroman’s and Skylight. It’s also available at the library.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: katyaapekina
  • Twitter: @katyaapekina

Image Credit:
The Ingalls (first one), Andrew Wonder (b+w one).

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