- Guest Writer & Film Director -
Welcome to an interview with my first guest from Bulgaria.
Welcome, Aleksandar ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
My name is Alexandar Tomov - junior and I'm freelance writer and filmmaker, who is looking for realization, worldwide. I was born on June 3, 1982 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. I studied a long time two disciplines – social anthropology and cinema. And I have very good literary education from child. My parents are writers too. As author I write very short stories in genres Absurd, dystopia, fantasy, fiction, post – apocalyptic, grotesque and drama. In my work there is strange viewpoint about human existence, imagination and mind. I try to describe absurdity of the world and life and also to find some deep, invisible connections in the flow of time, between many different states of human consciousness. As filmmaker I create short and existential movies in the same area and viewpoint. I have also a little book trailers creating business. With couple words, my dream as writer is to show to the Western world my strange visions from future, ideas, different and absurd realities, hypothesis and grotesque about societies, politic and human nature.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I started writing poetry when I was 15 or 16. My first published book was a collection of poems. It would be fair to say that my parents pointed me in the direction of literature, as they are also writers. I wrote my first short story collection, Future Gone, when I was 21 or 22. It’s a strange book, in terms of its ideas and its point of view. After I wrote it, I decided to search for ways to take my writing abroad, outside of my home country. My dream and my ambition is to be able to present my philosophical insights globally and have them reach as many people as possible. I dare say that in some respects, I’ve developed a unique and one-of-a-kind perspective on the world, on existence, and on human consciousness as a whole.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
In regards to my writing process, it is based on intuition and it’s quite scattered in terms of time. It can’t really fit into any frames or be planned out. It's very different and strange. Sometimes I can’t write for a month and sometimes I write 3 – 4 stories for 1 – 2 days. I could say, that in some very special moments, my mind start working in some other frequency. This is my moment of inspiration. I can’t control this. There is deep connection with subconscious.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
To express my mind. To make unthinkable connections. To think globally. To find some deep sense in different realities. To explore strange viewpoints. For me being a writer is a journey through everything. In this journey, there is no past, present and future. Only the flow of time.
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Personally for me and in my ambition In this aspect everything is big challenge and very difficult for me. I'm from small country, most - already self - published author, work alone via internet and my realization in English-speaking world, without recommendation is really, really hard. Often I feel alone against the world and huge and commercial systems in this my dream. But with years persistence and hard work, I already build some connections in internet and in the best site for literature - goodreads.com. I don’t give up and don’t stop trying to realise my dreams and to show the world my ideas. Many authors from Bulgaria have told me, that this is a lost cause and that the things don't happens so, but I can't escape from my dreams and this is my way.
6. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I think maybe a scientist with poetic mind.
7. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I think will be my future book "Beyond the Absurd". The book is in english translation process. I could say, that this is the best from my work at this time. With "Beyond the Absurd" also I found the best genre in the literature, who become my second nature in writing - Absurd.
8. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
As I already say, my last book is "Beyond the Absurd". But I always write very short stories.
9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I would say that some modern and classic authors inspire my writing – writers like Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Stephen King also, Jorge Luis Borges, and Chekhov. However, someone who always amazes me is Antoine de Saint – Exupéry with “The Little Prince”. Simply written book in which is the whole world.
About personal inspiration process, It’s very difficult for me to answer it, but I’ll try to do it in the simplest possible way. My mind is filled with countless pieces of different realities, crazy ideas, absurd points of view, visions from the future, impulses, and perceptions . . . My main goal is to somehow connect them in a short story; to find the impossible link between them, where at first glance no such link exists. This is at the heart of my creative process—finding the invisible thread and then coming up with a way to show all that to the reader. Regarding my inspiration, what I could say is that there are certain, very special moments, when my consciousness starts to function at very strange frequencies. The state itself is incomprehensible. My creative process is based on intuition.
10. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
At this time, I write very short stories in genres Absurd, dystopia, fantasy, fiction, post – apocalyptic, grotesque and drama.
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
My most important piece of advice to new writers is to always believe in their work, and in literature as a whole. For a freelance writer, a writer like me, being successful in today’s commercial world can sometimes prove to be extremely difficult. Generally speaking, the system as a whole brings you down, oppresses you, and gives you no chances when you are on your own. This is simply how the world works. This is a given. But if you persevere and never stop believing in your dream, you’ll always find a way. In that respect, a young writer has to keep fighting and trying to develop an inventive mind. There’s one other thing I’d like to say to young authors. Each and every person in the world is unique. Each person’s character, their imagination, and their past are one-of-a-kind. In that respect, I believe that each and every person is capable of creating literature, as long as he/she is able to make the right connections and to represent even his/her whole life and imagination in a way that is original, interesting, and accessible to others. And something very important for new writers - To stand against their fears and try to transform everything in their minds into literature.
12. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Yes sometimes. But this is the risk to be a writer. Every writer must take this risk. There is no other way.
13. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
No. I write always, when I have ideas and inspiration.
14. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Yes. At home, front of my computer. But my absurd ideas come everywhere
15. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
The best part is when I manage to finish some short story. And when I feel intuitively that the whole story and the end of it are ready. In this way all visions, chaotic thoughts, madness and strange viewpoints are connected in some Absurd. And I feel this.
16. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I already mentioned for some modern and classic authors, which are influenced to me as writer. Also there are too many short pieces from books, stories, and movies in my mind, which I use for some of my stories. I would add that the writers, which are closer to my writing models are Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges and Stephen King in some area, maybe on unconscious level.
17. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
A couple readers are comparing my stories with the stories of Franz Kafka. This is big compliment for me.
18. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I have receive some bad and offensive comments and reviews for some of my books. The writer must accept any kind of opinions. Of course, when we talk about literary reviews and dialogue, must have some intellectual and spiritual level. I received some very rude and vulgar words, about one of my books, but I accept all this.
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Basically I write fiction and fantasy and almost everything is imagination, but in some parts of my short stories there are described real moments, memories and even dialogue from my life and past. Also in other aspect, my stories are connected in strange way with everyday reality. Some of they are picture of my escape from boring life and everything. One very strange character in many of my stories is the child. I could say this character is symbolical in my creativity. Connection between human side and dark mind and visions. Wandering between the bright and dark side. Often asking simple, but truth questions, and reminiscent of other my characters, for their lost souls. Maybe unconscious reflection of me.
20. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Other than writing and cinema in my personal life, I like a couple things. I like to going outside with friends sometimes. I like sports - Bodybuilding and jogging. I’m sport nature. I like science as hobby. I'm very curious in some science areas. I like also tourism in bulgarian mountain and Black sea.
21. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
No. I'm self - published author and at this time I don't have editor.
22. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
There is no perfect day in life. Every person must accept the everyday challenges and difficulties. But I could say, that the perfect day is the one, which I made perfect. Also every day with faith, can be perfect.
23. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
Maybe one of my favorite poetess - Emily Dickinson. Man cannot be lonely, even in desert island with person and poetry, like this.
24. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Every person is mortal. The life of every human is unique. Everyone has fears. The political power not defeated fear of death. This is illusion of the present moment. Live beautifully.
25. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My future is literature. I don't have strict plans after my book "Beyond the Absurd". This is the important to me now. But I always write short stories. I need only to not lose my sense and intuition for writing.
26. WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
"Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, of course “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint – Exupéry, "1984" by George Orwell and "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson.
27. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Sometimes it's really hard and injustice. But always have chance. The writer must adapting to the system and to find way.
28. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
No, because I don't smoke.
29. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
Again, my last book "Beyond the Absurd". I think that this is the essence of me at this time. It was precisely my journey as a writer through the world of literature that brought me to what I think is the most perfect genre—that of the absurd. After I started thinking in this way, I wrote my book Beyond the Absurd.
The absurd is a literary genre I discovered relatively late, but it has already become a kind of second nature. The absurd is closest to my way of thinking. What is actually the absurd? It is the unthinkable, which could nevertheless happen at any moment. Generally speaking, almost everything—when it comes to people and the universe—could be labeled as absurd, from the point of view of human consciousness. People try to subject the world and their lives to some logic, but no matter how close they get to accomplishing this, it could all fall apart and become absurd at any moment. I’m sure that all of us experience at least a few absurd instances in our own lives. This has been proven by human history as well. Great scientists, such as Einstein and come contemporary physicists, have proven that even mathematics itself is absurd and that numbers and strict logic are sometimes contradictory. The absurd, I believe, can unite all the other genres within itself. It is precisely the absurd that allows for otherwise impossible connections between everything to be made, by letting you completely open your consciousness to the existential. Also the absurd is the embodiment of chaos and a counterpoint to the human desire to control everything.
30. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
Author who can express original ideas in a very accessible way for the reader. And personally for me - World famous writer.
31. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
The reader can see in my work many different realities and strange and absurd viewpoints about human nature, mind and imagination, strange visions from future and deep journey into the subconscious. Also in some of my stories, there are grotesque themes about society and politic. So in my work there is no strict logic. I believe, that I presented my philosophical insights in accessible way for the reader.
32. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
Depends. The cover is very important sometimes. It is like symbol or can be very short book synopsis in images. I have made at self, almost all my book covers. And also my last cover of "Beyond the Absurd". There is some landmark moments from the history and art, connected in Absurd way, as the book spirit.
33. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
I'm always alone against the world and It's really hard, but someday I will be world famous writer.
34. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
There is no formula about this. Every way is different. I search my own from long time. The truth is that I am constantly in search of ways to promote my work myself, and I am still and always in the process of learning. To young authors who are just starting out, I’d recommend the use of the main social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. It’s very important to have all of their profiles linked to one another and there’s an option to do that, as well as to use all the instruments for sharing, as well as hashtags. Most of all, I would like to recommend goodreads.com, which is my favorite site. I think this is the best literary site on the Internet, and it gives countless options and enormous opportunities to freelance writers.
35. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
I'm most - already self - published author in Amazon. But I'm also included in one anthology with short stories, published by www.mardibooks.com, with title "Unexpected Tales from the Ends of the Earth". We are 5 authors there and I participate with some Absurd, post - apocalyptic and dystopia stories.
36. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Strange, lonely, deep, strong, different.
37. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
The human greed and materialism sometimes angers and despairs me.
38. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
Outside literature. I love science and most astrophysics, cosmology and modern and strange hypotheses, about human brain and our reality. There is no one title, but in last time I read more about The Holographic Universe. I'm a little obsessed from this theory. Even I think that in some of my absurd short stories, there is some insights, about Holographic Universe.
39. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
“THERE IS SOMETHING INHERENTLY DECEPTIVE ABOUT REALITY".”
40. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
Only one thing. To become World famous writer.
41. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I would like to share to all writers, readers and everyone, who is interested in 2 things. The first are my book trailers creating services. You can see all you need in links below:
All my book trailers online in youtube.com:
The second is my suggestion for read and review. At this time I give for free unlimited numbers of e-book copies of 12 translated short stories from my future book "Beyond the Absurd" for read and reviews. I need opinions and I'll be appreciated to everyone, who leave some comment in www.goodreads.com. You can see more details in links below:
12 short stories from "Beyond the Absurd" - free e-book link for read and reviews:
Beyond the Absurd - link for reviews:
MARDIBOOKS.COM - profile page (some more information about me and quotes from my books):
Best regards: A. Tomov - junior
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Aleksandar. I liked your answer to number 28. Very sharp.
Good luck. Keep writing.