The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged by two writers, Sylvia Peter. the author of Back Burning and the future host of the 13th International Conference on the Short Story, and Sybil Baker, the author of Into This World, for The Next Big Thing interview series. Thanks so much, Sylvia and Sybil! Here are responses regarding my collection of stories How to fare Well and Stay Fair, which came out in November 2012 with Salt Publishing.

Mahmutovic1 Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote several short stories before-during-after writing my first novel and I thought that together these stories were not only connected enough for a nice collection, but also disconnected and different enough to give the reader a sense of my development as a writer. After I put together a manuscript and decided on a title, How to fare Well and Stay Fair, I felt like I needed one last piece, something autobiographical, to open the book.
2 What genre is the book?

It’s literary fiction mixed with autobiography.
3 What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in
a film?

For the main character in several stories I’d love to see Aida Gordon, only she is somewhat too old now, but the kind of strength mixed with vulnerability and cynicism is something I know Aida can pull off. I’d like the character of Adnan Mahmutovic to be played by Brad Pitt, of course, or young DeNiro.
4 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Funny stories about sad refugees and sad stories about funny refugees.
5 How long did it take to write the first draft of your book?

Well, a few years, but mostly because I was working on other longer projects.
6 Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Bosnian women. Bless them and their weird imaginations.

7 What else about your book might pique the writer’s interest?

The fact that is pretends to be a how-to book but teaches you to distrust people who will tell you how and what you should think and feel.
8 Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s published by British Salt Publishing, but I don’t have an agent.

Final note: a part of the Next Big Thing was to tag other people, but unfortunately most of the people I contacted had already done it. I will repost some of their own Q&A.

Thanks again Sybil and Sylvia for the invite.



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