Kata Mlek

The Priest Who Refused to Bow Before the Wind

The Priest Who Refused to Bow Before the Wind by Kata Mlek
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fiction Fiction, Suspense
For readers of:thriller, horror, sci-fi, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Jodi Picoult
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About the Book

When a foul wind harasses the village, somebody must stand against it. Will it be priest Buba? Read this companion story to Laliki and find out.

"... What’s Laliki? Well, it’s a very small village located right at the bottom of Mount Pochodzita. In the Beskidy range, in the southern part of Poland, not far from Katowice—about sixty kilometers away. That’s about all there is to say as far as geography’s concerned. Let’s dig a little deeper—let’s analyze its associations. The name sounds cheerful, like a children’s ditty, and it sounds a lot like the word for “lilac,” whose flowers smell honey-sweet. So the name suggests a happy place, full of smiling blonde girls and tall, strong highlanders. Meadows with black and white cows, wooden houses, a clear blue sky, and sparrows chasing clouds. Or clouds chasing sparrows—it’s hard to be sure.

But that isn’t Laliki at all—the name is entirely misleading. The village consists of a few old houses, inhabited by geriatric—not to say ancient, or even prehistoric—residents. The younger ones left, took off along the recently-built black highway, jumping from one mountain to the next and disappearing into tunnels the way a tongue disappears into a mouth. From time to time they come back, but only to flee again as soon as possible. To escape boredom and a species of sorrow, a longing you could say. Longing for something undefined—that’s so typical of Laliki. Sometimes tourists, attracted by the funny name—it sounds funny in Polish and probably in English as well—come here unbidden, on impulse, just like that. Let’s go to Laliki—like Waikiki. They come, and then immediately see how wrong they were to think it would be fun. Apart from those rare visits, nothing goes on here..."

About the Author

I was born and raised in the south of Poland, but a big part of my family lives in the US and Canada. As a child, I always assumed that my English-speaking uncles and aunts must feel terribly lost in Poland, since speaking Polish is something of a superpower. So, I resolved early on to master English—the first word I learned was “teddy bear”.

I began my writing career in 2012, after leaving the IT industry. Several of my books were published in Polish, and were all successful and well-received. In 2015, I made the decision to switch to self-publishing and start my international career. This was a tough decision, but I assumed that since I can say much more now in English than just “teddy bear”, I might succeed. My first book published in English was Absolute Sunset. I still wonder how I managed to complete this project—I think it was a matter of meeting the right people at the right time. I have always been lucky to meet people who are really committed to their work. When I saw my book on Amazon for the first time, I took a selfie with my computer screen in the background. I look at it almost every day. Working on Absolute Sunset was a lot of fun, so I decided to go ahead with translating and publishing all of my books in English. And, of course, I continue to write. I am seriously considering switching to writing directly in English. I’ll probably give it a try, and my editor will likely go crazy. But I have a strong need to keep moving forward, to learn, to develop, to try things that at first glance seem impossible to accomplish. This is probably why I love CrossFit and distance running. I’m short and thin, but I can lift heavy weights and finish a marathon with a pretty good time. I’m training to run a 100-miler next year, and I’ll probably also try a triathlon, and maybe something more extreme, like skydiving—I love to push the limits. Even better, all of my family members are willing to join me. Our motto is “Cool—let’s give it a try!”.

When I write I like to push the limits too. I don’t stick to one genre—I like to mix them to achieve the effect I want. I dare to do that because I have my lucky sweater that I always wear when I work, even in summer. It is blue and very thick. Whenever I leave the lucky sweater on a sofa or chair, my dog Rafa uses it as a blanket. He is a small pinscher and loves warmth, so most of the year he suffers and shakes—Poland is really cold. His favorite place at home is the floor in front of the fireplace. He also likes to step on my notes and sometimes drinks tea from my cup. And eats my chocolates. He is not a good assistant. On the whole, I am a professional dreamer. What I want is to be able to write till the end of my life. And to win a few awards, of course. I think one should always dream big, it does no harm, and maybe one day the dream can be achieved. I am steadfast—I will keep on doing my job and keep on dreaming.

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