A Magical Realism Novel
This Author Interview on Magical Realism was conducted by Arteby Publishing (AP) on 17th January, 2016, based on a series of 10 questions. Here’s question 2 – we recommend you listen to the author’s response and thoughts on the video, and, if you wish, you may follow along on the transcript below. If you missed it, here is Author Interview 1.
AP: Bianca Gubalke, let’s move to question two: Did you specifically focus on writing a Magical Realism novel? I’m aware that this is a multifaceted novel that falls into various categories, but if we keep it as close as possible to our main topic here, who is it for?
BG: Whether I wrote it with a specific genre in mind? No! Not at all. It was actually my copy editor who suggested this genre as the ideal classification for my story.
I only knew what this story was all about, and who I was writing it for. I had a lovely girl in mind, a spiritually very aware young lady – first at a young adult age – when she was still aware of who she really was – and then, much later – when she had become part of the conditioned, stressed and often anxious babyboomer generation we find in today’s world. These are all busy people like us . . . and we suddenly realize that life just flies faster and faster. . . and we know very well that there are things that matter and that you want to get down to . . . because these are things that worry you, some even traumatize you . . . but then life just happens and you never do?
All those of us who give our time to others instead of investing at least part of it in ourselves? That’s who I address and I explain this clearly in my ‘Note to the Reader’ -because the very special person who was to write the Preface, the Introduction, tragically left this earthly plane before she could.
So, no, I didn’t think about genre. Perhaps I should have? But most of the story just streamed through me at a time when I was almost blind for a while after a major eye operation, hence forced to get away from the screen and everything else. Later, I structured it, rewrote parts again and again – the normal process – then it was edited – and eventually, after a good year or so, when it was ready for publication, that’s when the question about the genre came up.
As the message of the story is so clear, I knew it would have to go under Fiction, Spirituality, Metaphysical, even Visionary. That’s where books with a kindred spirit can be found. Books like Richard Bach’s ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ . . . that two beta-readers interestingly mentioned independently, possibly because it also has elements of a fable where animals talk. I’ve seen the movie long ago and I love Neil Diamond’s velvet voice anyway, but I haven’t read the book yet. But yes, there certainly is a kindred spirit that I really like.
But when Lexi came up with ‘Magical Realism’ it immediately made sense to everyone. And I’ve got to tell you . . . in the mid-80s, I absorbed real magic when I spent some time in Nepal, in Bhaktapur, where I made a short documentary. Nowhere else have I seen the real and the magical world merge as seamlessly as there! It often kept me wondering in which one I actually was? Without that little movie, I’d hardly believe I’d ever been there . . . it was that different to everything else I knew. It was a totally different dimension in every way. I brought paper. . . beautifully hand-crafted sheets of vegetal paper with me from there. At the time I did a lot of Artwork and thought I’d use it as a support. But I couldn’t. It felt just so precious and perfect as it was. I can close my eyes and just feel it carrying me back into that mystical world below the Himalayas. I still have this bunch of papers . . . and as you will see when you read the story, it inspired a very specific moment in the book.
So – to get back to your question – I did not think of genre when I decided to write ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’. But, as you said, it’s a multifaceted story – and perfect for any pet or animal lover as well. I’m sure we’ll talk about that soon.
AP: We sure will! We’ve still got a lot of interesting material to cover – if that’s fine with you! Thank you, Bianca, let’s get to question 3 – where does the story take place and why did you choose it?
Please stay tuned; the transcript of the third part of our Interview with Bianca Gubalke on the literary genre called ‘Magical or Magic Realism’ will follow soon!
Meanwhile, you may want to read the latest PRESS RELEASE.