Interview with Emil Ostrovski Author of THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT

THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT sounds pretty unique – with a cover that’s sure to be an eye-catcher. I’m excited to be on the blog tour for Emil Ostrovski’s debut with an interview! Read on.

The Paradox of Vertical FlightIceyBooks: Many novels are inspired by one sentence or question, was there one that sparked THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT?

Emil Ostrovski:
The one question I had in the back of my mind as I worked on The Paradox of Vertical Flight was “How do you say goodbye to the people most important to you?” In the novel, Jack is approaching a crossroads, a parting of ways. His grandmother is sickly, and probably won’t be around for much longer. His newborn son is about to be given up for adoption. His best-friend has enlisted in the army, and his ex-girlfriend has moved on from her relationship with him. Jack himself will be in college next year. And yet, he can’t find it in himself to move on. He’s stuck. His road trip is his attempt to say goodbye to all of them, to do by deed what he cannot do by word. His philosophizing is his (perhaps futile) attempt to make sense of a world in which we grow apart from the very people that feel most important to us, the very people that make life worth living.

IceyBooks:  Do you have a favorite line that was removed from the original draft of THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT?

Emil Ostrovski: I made sure to keep all the good ones!

IceyBooks: Tell us a little bit about your journey to signing with your agent.

Emil OstrovskiWhen I was seventeen, I wrote my first book. I queried just about every English-speaking agent out there, and probably a few non-English speaking ones too. Their answer was unanimous: “Please learn to write better.” Several years later, I finished my fourth novel. Over winter break, junior year, I made some revisions. Shortly after the New Year, on January 2nd or 3rd, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning on a go-big-or-go-home query offensive. I must’ve queried 100+ agents that night. Within a day or two, responses started to trickle in. Within a month, I had two revise-and-resubmit requests. I opted to work with the agent that had invested the most time into my manuscript. Revisions dominated the next month of my life, but since I was studying abroad in Prague, and since study abroad programs are by and large a joke, it all worked out okay. Mid-march of that year, we went on submission.

IceyBooks: What’s your one must-have as a writer?

Emil Ostrovski: I need a voice that sings to me.

No, but really.

I need a voice that I can spend 200+ pages and many, many months with. That’s the most important thing. Otherwise, I’ll get bored, and the story will be left unfinished.

IceyBooks: Give us the one:
-Movie you can’t wait to see:

Emil Ostrovski: Gravity. I love sci fi flicks.  

IceyBooks: Snack you’re craving right now:

Emil Ostrovski: Guacamole. Or sushi. Or sushi dipped in guacamole.

IceyBooks: Book you can’t wait to read:

Emil Ostrovski: Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron.

About the Author

Emil Ostrovski

I’m twenty-three.

Rather than give you a witty, self-deprecating account of the trials and tribulations of my twenty-three year old, suburban, upper-middle class, went-to-a-girl’s-liberal-artscollege life, I’ll admit that I haven’t really done anything much worth reading about.

So in lieu of providing you with my biography, I will recommend that you read Desmond Tutu’s. Here.

Why Desmond Tutu?

Well, I’ve always liked his name.

Find Emil on: Goodreads | Website

The Paradox of Vertical Flight 

What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma’s house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn’t spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma’s house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    September 17, 2013

    This one sounds really good. I love the title, too.

  2. Reply

    Hillary R.

    September 18, 2013

    I really liked that we got to learn more about Emil Ostrovski. I remember hearing a lot about The Paradox of Vertical Flight about a month ago and at first I wasn’t so sure about the book. Now I can say with the interviews and blurbs this sounds like a TBR book for sure :)