Not long ago I found Lua’s comment on one of my posts, followed her avatar, got to  BOWL OF ORANGES and discovered a very sensitive and talented blogger. A friendly suggestion, after reading her answers to my questions, go to her blog to discover more about her and her writing. You'll be surprised.

 First of all Lua,  many thanks for being here with us today. As usual, before I start with my questions, I’ll let you introduce yourself to our readers...
Of course. I’m a twenty-something aspiring writer from Istanbul. I graduated from law school and practiced for a week before I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to practice law and write as a hobby. The desire to tell stories and become a published writer was too strong to resist and the fact-based world of law was not something I wanted to be a part of. So I quit my job to become a full-time writer. I wrote my first novel, ‘Closed Eyes, Change of Heart’ shortly after that and I’m currently revising it. In less than two months I’m moving to UK to get my MA degree in creative writing at the University of Kent.

 Wow! Kent is a wonderful region in  England. Fingers crossed for your degree, then! Back to our chat. I’ve always written and read much since I was a child. I dreamt of becoming a writer but left that dream back in the world of my childhood . It was not my life. But I find writing still so challenging, intriguing, relieving . To scribble has become a necessity. What is it so fascinating in writing to you?
I think that would have to be the sense of freedom it provides. I love writing, telling stories and creating worlds but there is something else which makes writing so vital for me. We live in a world where we’re bombarded with information all the time, and we constantly have to make choices about what’s right & wrong, good & evil, acceptable & inadmissible. We’re expected to choose, pick a side and stick to it.

A story is not the truth nor the lie but the point where those two lines intersect. It gives you the best of two worlds, and the freedom to be able to get out of your comfort zone, take risks and experience different perspectives.
Have you got any favourite topic /subject you love to write about? Your favourite genre? Do you usually write in English
I read widely, as widely as I possibly can because I believe that is necessary if you wish to become a writer. I write literary fiction. The main reason for that is because I find human nature fascinating. ‘Why people do what they do and why two people act differently when they face the same situation?’ These are some of the questions that inspire me to write.
I mostly write in English, this is partly because I want to get published in UK but also because I’m attending school there. But I still write short stories in my native language (Turkish) from time to time.

What about routines? I’ve heard many writers talk about their writing routines. It makes the whole thing so less charming or poetic. But I imagine you writing in front of your window looking at the sea, early in the morning, with a huge hot cup of coffee. Did I figure out the right scene?
Yes, you did!  I do have a routine because I can get distracted too easily, I have a very short attention span so keeping a routine is important for me to get some work done. That said, I do agree with you, it does kill the charm a bit and make the whole process a little less poetic.
I usually wake up around 6 am and have my breakfast, make a nice cup of Turkish coffee and sit down to write around 6.30. My goal is 2000 words everyday and it takes me three, sometimes four hours to complete my daily goal.

What is the best and the worst thing which has happened to you since you’ve decided to become a writer?
The best thing? I’ve never been happier in my life. That is probably because I haven’t started to query yet so if you ask me in about 4 to 5 months, the answer might change.
The worst thing? Many of my close ones, relatives and friends, didn’t like the idea of me quitting my job as a lawyer to become a writer. I had to listen to a lot of advice and preachment which I never asked for. They told me that writing is best done as a hobby. I disagree; I believe writing is best done as how you wish to do it. If you like to do it as a hobby, if that’s what makes you happy, then that is what you should be doing. But if you want to have a career as a writer, then you need to make some sacrifices and serious commitments.

I mentioned the sea because I imagine Turkey as a white and blue country. Something like the image I have of Greece. What is it like, instead, where you live? Would you like to live somewhere else? I live in the mountains and would love to live by the sea, for instance!
Istanbul is my muse. I was born here and grew up listening to the old tales of the Byzantine times and Ottoman Emperor. It’s the bridge, literally, that connects Europe to Asia and you can see the influence of both cultures here, it also proves that they can live together in piece and harmony. It is a true mosaic; many different cultures, ethnic roots and religious beliefs under one roof… It’s quite impossible to live here and not be inspired .
I’ve lived abroad before; 2 years in Switzerland and I am excited about living in the UK this year. I love to travel, discover new lands, hear new stories so I’m hoping this will be an exciting adventure!

You are a wonderful versatile blogger. Your personal blog , BOWL OF ORANGES , has got lots of readers every day. Your blogposts are thought - provoking and so well written! What do you think of the blogosphere? In what way can blogging help a writer like you in search of a publisher and readers?
First of all, thank you so much!  To tell you the truth, Bowl of Oranges is a place where I write to express my thoughts & feelings all thorough this journey of becoming a published writer so most of the time, I don’t think about what I should be writing but I write about my experiences and how I feel about them.
I truly believe the blogosphere is a great opportunity to become a part of a community that is difficult to find elsewhere.
When I started blogging eight moths ago, I pretty much had no idea how to blog, I didn’t follow any blogs at that time and wasn’t sure what I was doing. Then I stated to meet with other aspiring and published writers, fellow bloggers and realized that we have something unique here. Where else would you have the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people who share the same interests as you do from so many different parts of the world? The feedback, the support and the motivation is what makes blogging so great.
That said, like everything else in life, it does have some down sides. It takes quiet bit of time and if you don’t watch it, it can become a distraction.

What kind of reader are you? Does writing leave any time to read?
I am, by all means, a slow reader!  First and foremost, I read for pleasure. When I pick up a book, I read it like a reader and then like a writer, I like to get lost inside the world and enjoy the story before I start analyzing it in means of art & craft.
I think ‘I can’t find the time to read because I write’ is not a valid excuse. Reading is not optional if you want to write, so I make sure to make time to read everyday. Not just because I have to but also because I LOVE books and reading.

What are your favourite authors and books?
Oh boy- I don’t think I can answer this one! I have so many but let’s see…
I’m a big fan of John Fowles, Milan Kundera, Orhan Pamuk, Borges, Poe and Doris Lessing…
When it comes to Jane Austen, I think the word ‘obsessed’ is more accurate, I don’t know the number of the times I’ve read the ‘Persuasion’.

Oh! Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel, too! I also love its adaptations, both. As you know, I love period drama very much, but also movies in general. What about you? Have you got any favourite ones?
Yes, I know that and since I started to follow your blog a couple of months ago, I think my knowledge of period movies relatively increased, I have to thank you for that!
I love all forms of story telling and of course movies are a big part of that. I’m a huge fan of Tim Burton ever since I saw the ‘Beetlejuice’ when I was 12. One of his movies, ‘Big Fish’ is one of the best movies ever made about the art of storytelling.

Beside reading and writing which are “profession”, are there any hobbies you spend your free time doing?
I have two dogs; Chuck and Apple, so in my free time, I like to take long walks with them. I also love photography but I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m really not that good at it…

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m revising and editing my novel, hopefully in four or five moths I’ll start querying (fingers crossed). I’m also writing short stories meanwhile I’m revising my novel to keep the creative energy flowing…

Well, Lua this is all for now. You are a very talented and sensitive young woman and it's been such a pleasure to read your answers! I wish the best for your future. Keep up the good work on your blog. Good luck with your degree and your writing. I hope to have you back as my guest to present your first published novel! Very soon!

The best of Sundays to you all!


Anonymous said...

Lua is a very sensitive and talented girl and she is lucky enough to live in such a wonderful city. I hope she'll find success and happiness in England. Good luck, Lua, and thank you Maria Grazia!
Sarah C.

Lua said...

Thank you for your lovely comment Sarah, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the interview.
And thank you again Maria, for this wonderful opportunity :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Lua and Maria Grazia! :) I've been following Lua's lovely blog for a few months now and it's a pleasure to read more about her! Thank you both for taking the time to do the interview!

Anonymous said...

Lua, you and I started to blog at almost the same time and I really count myself fortunate to have found such an erudite blogger and one who has such a professional and strong grasp on the harsh realities of the industry in which we're endeavouring to survive.

Add to that the poetic versatility of your content and the detail we get of Istanbul and Turkish life and I say check her out everyone . . . its a wonderful blog!

Walter Knight said...

I would have thought that working as a lawyer would have given you a lot of material and life experience to write about. But instead, you stay at home, blog, take long walks with your dogs, stay in school, and travel about on vacation?

Well, if that works for you, good luck with your writing. I am a bit jealous. Sounds like a wonderful life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria, your interview is great. Lua and I always talk about writing/writers/readers and etc. but now I have a chance to see my friend's professional answers. Thank you both for the interview :)

Lua said...

Thank you so much :) I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the interview!
It’s been a great ride, hasn’t it? :) One of the best things about blogging is the chance to get know people like you! Thank you so much for your lovely comment.
Thank you! I know other writers who need their day jobs, who enjoy working on different things, then come back home and write at night. But I feel like I’m most efficient when I just concentrate on one thing and between law and writing… there was no competition really :)
I think this is the first time you read my ‘professional’ answers :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Lua, nice to see you here! We'll meet in England sometime when you get there!
M.G. sometimes we should meet too... if you happen to come to Rome don't forget to let me know! :-)

fallen monkey said...

Hello, ladies!

I am a huge fan of Lua, her blog, and, of course, her writing. Her creative energy is such an inspiration, and the time she will dedicate to reading and thoughtfully responding to others' blogs is an indication of her warm spirit and value of community.

I enjoyed this interview and am glad that Lua's link to it has brought me to your blog, Maria Grazia! I look forward to following yours as well now.

Linda said...

Hi Lua! What a great interview, I’m so glad you and Maria did this and we got the chance to know you better. I am a big fan of your writing and of course your blog and can’t wait for the day we’ll get to read your novel. (I know it won’t be long!)
And thanks to you, whenever I see Istanbul on TV or in a magazine, I pay special attention! It’s such a magical city…

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Lua is brilliant. Her blog is one of my faves. How nice you'll be coming over here to study as well :-)

Lua said...

When are you going? Or are you already there? :) Can’t wait to meet you, I think I’ll be in UK at the end of September.
Aww thank you so much! I love your ‘room to write’ exercises, they’re a great way to get creative and you’re doing a great job!
Thank you so much! I hope (I really, really do) that you’ll get to read my novel soon :)
Thank you! I love your blog too and I can’t wait to come to UK :)

Becky said...

Best wishes Lua as you continue your writing! I can't imagine a more amazing place to be inspired by than Istanbul. It bewitched me several years ago, and I find myself wanting to return. In fact, I've posted on my book blog about Istanbul and about the books that I've read set there, or written by authors from there. So intoxicating.

I loved your responses, and your seeming dedication to writing. Following your passion can be such a difficult, but rewarding journey. Best wishes!

Lua said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words Becky!
You’ve been to Istanbul? How wonderful… You must come back, Istanbul definitely deserves a second visit… :)

Brownpaperbaggirl said...

Lovely interview, Lua! I enjoyed reading it :)

Unknown said...

hey lua; where have you gone missing in uk? where do you post these days? i had to google search you. Thanks Maria for this interview = Rajeev (Peacemaker on wordpress)