Paradigm Shift










Tell us more about what you do for work.
I am a writer, and I write novels and teach writing in a university, which is where I met my partner, Marta. It’s been about 12 or 15 years since I’ve started teaching. But as for writing, I’ve been doing it all my life. When I was a child, I used to write tales for my sister. What I like most about writing is that it’s my world that I’m creating. I’m engulfed in this world, and everything is up to me.

Each novel I write is different. I don’t like to repeat stories. The way that I write each story is different as well. I’ve published about eight novels so far, but they’re all totally different. For example, one is science fiction, another is about my childhood, and yet another is about love.

Where do you get inspiration for your novels?
It depends. In my daily life, I am looking at people all the time, and I like to notice the small things. I think this is because every day in my mind is a novel, or sometimes a film or a theatre act. So I get inspiration from everywhere.

The way I see it, there’s a window in each of our minds that is always open. I think this is the same for any occupation—you have a window in your mind that you view things and gather inspiration through, whether you’re a painter looking for the next scene to paint, or a photographer looking to frame and capture your next shot.

Do you have any tips for new writers?
Yeah, I have a lot of tips, because that’s what I teach! But I think the most general one is that you have to read a lot. You have to write a lot too, and sometimes, the things that you write might be shit in hindsight, but it doesn’t matter. Continue to write, and always carry on writing. Write, write, write, and read a lot, consistently.

Maybe it’s different for poetry—if you get inspiration, you can pen a poem down in five minutes. But for a novel, you really need a lot of time, maybe more than a year, and you have to write everyday. And sometimes it’s not good, but it doesn’t matter! Just start again.

What kinds of books do you personally enjoy reading?
For me, I love reading fiction books with philosophy mixed in. In the endings of these books, there’s often a philosophical concept that inspires readers to think about the universe, life, or about God. Sometimes, these are short tales, just 10 pages long, yet they’re still able to discuss the philosophy of how we live our lives. To me, this is really interesting.

We see that you have some tattoos as well. Can you tell us more about them?
The one on my wrist says “Maya” in Sanskrit. In Hinduism, the concept of Maya is like magic, almost like a fantasy world, meaning “that which is not” or an illusion. It’s like the film, The Matrix, where everything is both real and unreal. It’s more or less the same in Hindu philosophy.

I think that if nothing is real, everything is real. You can choose your destiny, because your destiny is not based on worldly concepts and influences. Destiny is in your mind.

The tattoo on my ankle is Amun, an Egyptian God. I like to think of it as a form of protection. I don’t believe in any religion, but I think symbols are meaningful, because a lot of people believe in symbols. For example, the cross—I’m not a Christian, but I like the cross because I think it’s a powerful sign.

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