Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Journalist & Author, Eva Fejos on Writing & "Bangkok Transit" @FejosEva #Women #Writing

Q: What do you fear the most? 
A: Losing the people I love.
Q: What makes you the happiest? 
A: Luckily, many things: a tasty meal, a walk along the Danube shore with my dog, coffee with friends, reading (or writing) a good book, conversations with my partner in the evenings, watching films together, a good run, a café latte…
Q: What is your greatest weakness? 
A: There was a time when I was unable to say no. This was a great mistake, because I took on more tasks than I would have been able handle. I’m still learning the art of ‘saying no.’ In addition to this, one of my greatest weaknesses is cleaning house. I gave up experimenting with that, and so we just ask someone to come in and do it for us. I guess I’m not too great at cooking either. Sometimes we just end up having toast with mozzarella and salad for dinner…
Q: How about your strengths? 
A: I think one of my greatest strengths is my imagination, and my communication is pretty good too. I like talking to people. I view things as a journalist would, but I always see the person behind every situation. My strengths also include punctuality and reliability.
Q: Which of your works are you the most proud of? 
A: All of them. Or rather, always the one I happen to be working on at the moment. I have received awards as a journalist. I wrote a series of articles exploring the anomalies of human egg donations in Hungary for which I received the Outstanding Journalism Award, and not incidentally, managed to prompt a statutory amendment, which I am very proud of. I am also proud of my large fan base of readers who support me through everything, the nearly 25,000 members of my Facebook community who stood by my side even through hard times and who don’t just simply click ‘like,’ but are there to talk any time. And of course I am proud of all my thirteen published novels, most of all, perhaps, of my recent book, Vacation in Naples, because this is the first book published by my very own publishing house. The decisions were up to me, from start to finish, and this was a really awesome challenge.
Q: How do you try and develop your writing? 
A: I think the two things that play an important role in a novelist’s development are: reading as much as you can and writing as much as you can. Now that I have my own publishing house and it’s me who makes the choice of which foreign novels to print, I read 5-8 English language novel-manuscripts per week, in addition to reading Hungarian books. This helps me develop as a novelist as well, since a good novel can serve as incredible inspiration to a writer. The more contemporary novels I read, the braver I become as a writer. I discover innovative solutions and dare to use different tones. So reading is fundamental if someone wants to be a writer. And naturally, you have to write, regularly, in several genres. For me, writing is entertainment, just as reading is, but with writing, I am very conscious of applying myself daily, or at least regularly.
Q: Who are your favorite writers? 
A: Among others, I love: Murakami Haruki, Anna Gavalda, Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper, Marian Keyes, and Matthew Norman. My favorite Hungarian writers are Magda Szabó and István Fekete.
Q: So far, you’ve had thirteen novels published. Where do you get your ideas from? 
A: As a journalist, and of course as a person, I have come across several unusual situations, but strangely enough, I don’t use these as ideas for my novels. I don’t know where my ideas come from. They just find me. I have many more ideas than I could possibly write down, so I’m not afraid of ever running out of them…
Q: What is more difficult: writing a novel or finding a publisher? 
A: For me, writing is the easiest task. After all, I started writing my first book when I was fourteen. I wasn’t able to finish it yet back then, but at eighteen I wrote one that I did finish, and I placed second in a novel-writing competition with a book I wrote after that. And though these novels were never published – which I don’t mind at all, since they were just early attempts – and for years after that, I only wrote for myself, for my desk drawer, or for my friends, the feeling of writing always made me very happy. So for me, writing is easy. At the same time, for years, I never thought it important to find a publisher. I never took this too seriously either. I believe that I managed to find a publisher for the Hungarian version of Bangkok Transit when the time was right, and I was never impatient or dissatisfied. The subsequent national success of Bangkok Transit and my other novels showed that I had made the right decision: I was on the right path. I won’t say that it was hard to find a publisher; I just had to find the right time within myself. I enjoyed the journey leading up to it precisely because I had written several novels already, for myself… Now I am publishing them in my own publishing house. Obviously, finding a publisher abroad will be more difficult, but I’m not impatient now, either.
Q: Is it difficult for an author to take part in marketing? 
A: Part of marketing is a question of finance, and an author clearly cannot take part in that, as they are usually lacking the funds demanded by a ‘proper’ marketing campaign. But an author is in possession of something else, a device that is very important which, unfortunately, many people do not utilize. This device is the power of a personal voice. In my opinion, a personal tone is becoming more and more important in all fields. Therefore, a novelist can only make the best of having talent with words and situations. In social media and meetings with readers this provides great power, and we have to look at aspects of media which focus on our strengths and not our weaknesses.
Q: Who are the people that support you? 
A: My partner, my friends, and of course, my readers. I think I receive the most reassuring messages from my readers when I am stuck in my mid-novel crisis. They ask me to keep going, tell me they are with me and will be patient till the new novel is completed. Some of my first readers include my cousin and a good friend. They read my novels chapter by chapter, but don’t tell me their opinion, but are drawn into the story and can hardly wait for what comes next. Naturally, I have a professional editor who offers advice. His opinion is important to me with regards to content as well.
Bangkok: a sizzling, all-embracing, exotic city where the past and the present intertwine. It’s a place where anything can happen… and anything really does happen. The paths of seven people cross in this metropolis. Seven seekers, for whom this city might be a final destination. Or perhaps it is only the start of a new journey? A successful businessman; a celebrated supermodel; a man who is forever the outsider; a young mother who suddenly loses everything; a talented surgeon, who could not give the woman he loved all that she desired; a brothel’s madam; and a charming young woman adopted at birth. Why these seven? Why did they come to Bangkok now, at the same time? Do chance encounters truly exist?
Bangkok Transit is a Central European best-seller. The author, Eva Fejos, a Hungarian writer and journalist, is a regular contributor to women’s magazines and is often herself a featured personality. Bangkok Transit was her first best-seller, which sold more than 100,000 copies and is still selling. Following the initial publication of this novel in 2008, she went on to write twelve other best-sellers, thus becoming a publishing phenomena in Hungary According to accounts given by her readers, the author’s books are “therapeutic journeys,” full of flesh and blood characters who never give up on their dreams. Many readers have been inspired to change the course of their own lives after reading her books. “Take your life into your own hands,” is one of the important messages the author wishes to convey.
Try it for yourself, and let Eva Fejos whisk you off on one of her whirlwind journeys… that might lead deep into your own heart.
About Eva Fejos, the author of Bangkok Transit
- Eva Fejos is a Hungarian writer and journalist.
- has had 13 best-selling novels published in Hungary so far.
Bangkok Transit is her first best-seller, published in 2008.
- has won several awards as a journalist, and thanks to one of her articles, the legislation pertaining to human egg donation was modified, allowing couples in need to acquire donor eggs more easily.  
- spends her winters in Bangkok.
- likes novels that have several storylines running parallel.
- visited all the places she’s written about. 
- spent a few days at an elephant orphanage in Thailand; and has investigated the process of how Thai children are put up for adoption while visiting several orphanages. 
- founded her own publishing company in Hungary last year, where she not only publishes her own books, but foreign books too, hand-picked by her. 
- Her books published in Hungary thus far are:
Till Death Do Us Part (Holtodiglan) | Bangkok Transit | Hotel Bali | Chicks (Csajok) | Strawberries for Breakfast (Eper reggelire) | The Mexican (A mexikói) | Cuba Libre | Dalma | Hello, London | Christmas in New York (Karácsony New Yorkban) | Caribbean Summer (Karibi nyár) | Bangkok, I Love You (Szeretlek, Bangkok) | Starting Now – the new edition ofTill Death Do Us Part (Most kezdődik) | Vacation in Naples – the English version will be published in summer, 2014 (Nápolyi vakáció)
To be published in spring of 2014: I Waited One Hundred Nights (Száz éjjel vártam)
Bangkok Transit (English version):
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Eva Fejos on Facebook & Twitter