Questions & Answers
What is your book about?
About a journey through the history of Europe.
The hero is a wandering spirit. The subjects of interest, however, are our ancestors.
It is a fictional eyewitness report of factual history (70,000 words).
How would you describe the voice of your book?
Bright and cheerful. I have a happy disposition; I don’t take things more seriously than necessary, but I avoid airy cynicism, violence and vulgarity.
Who do you think your book will appeal to?
I’d like to think it appeals to anyone who is interested in an unconventional approach to our historical roots and doesn’t mind having a few laughs along the way.
I can’t be everybody’s darling, but the book has the potential for a global audience: the stakes are high; the settings are exotic; the style is clear, concise and short . . .
When are you planning to have it published?
As soon as I get my second book done.
It will be a non-fiction book on the history of Europe.
Writing is great fun, but it is very challenging. I don’t want to publish and promote my first book yet. This will be a full-time job. First, I want to get my desk work done - calmly.
What did the writing demand of you?
When I came up with the idea of of my first book, I was 25 and soon came to realise that this was going to be a very difficult project. As a matter of fact, I had to read hundreds of books on history, philosophy and religion. I had to write, tear up and rewrite. I had to translate the text into English and then have it proofread by five Englishmen and five Americans reading the text out loud beside me.
Why so many assistants?
Seeking perfection, I simply needed them. I never forget Mark Twain’s admonition: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”
The advantage was that I learned to write English at this high level - without the hope, of course, that I’d ever forgo the proofreading by native speakers.
Another benefit was that I had some editing along the way, done by intelligent readers sitting right beside me. The book became better and better. And the English and the American editions appear as if originally written in the respective language.
What are your expectations?
I expect miracles . . .
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