I'm Elvira Bary, an author, educator, and self-discovery coach.
I was born in Soviet Russia and grew up in an apartment with a stunning view of enormous factory chimneys. All the adults I knew worked at that factory. My teenage friends dreamed of securing jobs there, and the older generation indulged in a never-ending competition to recount the severity of their industrial injuries and the compensation they received for them.
But for me, they were a world away from the company of noble pirates, brave astronauts, and mysterious werewolves that populated the books I read.
With a law degree in hand after university, I chose to stay in the realm of awesome stories and decided to become a writer. Over the past two decades, I've written numerous novels and textbooks, journeyed across the globe, and settled in sunny Southern California. But I still wrote in my native Russian, as it felt more natural for me.
My books range from fantasy adventure stories to epic historical novels that required years of archive research and trips all around the world.
Over time, step by step, I developed a unique method for creating captivating plots and characters that readers fall in love with.
To do this, I had to study the art of writing, psychology, anthropology, and history. All of these make it possible to track our natural behavioral patterns and determine how we respond to challenges, failures, and hard-fought victories.
In 2006, I launched a website, "Writers' Guidebook," to archive my notes on the craft of literature. To my surprise, my work resonated with many, inadvertently transforming me into a mentor. Since then, I've taught creative writing, developed courses, conducted creative retreats, and consulted a diverse range of clients, from movie stars to Arctic explorers.
While all of these individuals shared a passion for writing, their core desire was self-realization. Above all, they were seeking guidance to organize their lives and find their essential selves.
For a long time, I contemplated how to consolidate my experiences and ideas into a significant project that could address this need. Yet, like many of us swept up in our busy lives, I kept pushing this ambitious project to the back burner, always saving it for “later.”
But everything I had built over 20 years came crashing down. It happened on February 24th, 2022, when Russia, my home country, invaded Ukraine, triggering a personal and professional fallout.
Amidst this turmoil, I distanced myself from anyone who supported the war, and due to the sanctions imposed on Russia, my business ground to a halt. Moreover, Moscow-based publishing houses severed ties with me, fearing that my political stance could attract unwanted police attention to their offices. The cumulative stress of these events took a devastating toll on my health, leading to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
I was confronted with a simple choice: either give up on life or find a way to fix my dire circumstances.
I created a plan that would breathe new life into my purpose and sense of self. At the forefront of my agenda was a goal I had long postponed: launching a project that integrated creativity and self-realization. This endeavor aimed to accompany individuals on their path of self-discovery, empowering them to reshape and improve their life narratives. And so, I created my blog, where the realms of evolutionary psychology and storytelling converged.
Through the lens of evolutionary psychology, we unravel the intricacies of how and why our subconscious guides our actions, adapting its instincts to modern life. Concurrently, storytelling equips us to weave narratives that harmoniously reflect our true selves.
Alongside, I discovered a new passion, restoring antique furniture. This hobby perfectly mirrors my mindset: I can identify potential in an unsightly piece longing for love and care, transforming it into a radiant beauty. I've discovered that enhancing the world one dresser at a time is incredibly rewarding and fun!