Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Exclusive Interview with Rinsai Rossetti, author of The Girl With Borrowed Wings

Me : What inspired you in writing The Girl with Borrowed Wings?

Rinsai : Lots of things! Each little piece of the story was inspired by something different. Once when I was walking in the mountains of Oman, a huge black cat jumped out of nowhere and ran up a palm tree. It was so beautiful that my friend and I just looked at each other and said, “Wow” Once when I was in Spain, I got lost inside a forest and somehow found my way out to a vast empty landscape of hills, and I felt like I’d stumbled into a different country. And many times in the UAE, I’d get restless at night, looking out my window at the hot, dusty sky. The book is all of those moments coming together.

Me : Would like to tell us a little bit about the story?

Rinsai : It’s about a trapped girl who meets a boy with wings. Secretly, at night, he helps to fly her away from the oasis she lives in, but she always has to return to her ordinary life in the morning. For the rest, people will have to read it!

Me : You have travelled many countries around the world, what is your favorite memory among them? How did it influence your writing?

Rinsai : Well, it’s hard to pick a favorite memory, because my whole life is traveling. But since Frenenqer travels a lot in this book, my own journeys did come in very useful as reference. A lot of the places Sangris (the boy with wings) flies her to are specific places I’ve actually been. For example, the suflower field in Spain. I have walked through there. The same goes for the wadi in the mountains, the night bazaar in Thailand, the gold-brown river in the rainforest... I challenge readers out there to go find these places for themselves, like a treasure hunt!

Me : Would you like to tell us about your journey as an author?

Rinsai : I still have a journal I kept when I was six, in which I listed the titles of all the books I was going to write when I was ‘grown-up’. But I never did wait to grow up first. In kindergarten, before I knew how to spell, I used to make picture books and smuggle those onto the shelves of the school library. (I thought that was how you got published.) I wrote my first book when I was eight—sixty pages long, but only because my handwriting was so messy. Then I typed up my first novel when I was twelve, and just kept going, at least a book a year. Finally The Girl With Borrowed Wings burst out of my head into my laptop when I was eighteen. But that was by no means the end of the road. I hope I’ll go on failing and trying and improving for many years to come!
My parents never pushed me to become a writer (as a matter of fact, they worried I would starve on the streets) so I’m not sure why it felt vital for me even at such a young age. I just knew I was born for it.

Me : The Girl with Borrowed Wings is a story of Frenenqer Paje, what was in your mind, when you created her character?

Rinsai : I never sat down and created her. I started the book with no idea of who she was. In a way, I just heard a voice in my head and wrote down what it said, and watched the result. That was something I learnt with this book: how to listen. Before, I think I was trying too hard to turn my stories and characters into what I wanted them to be. With The Girl With Borrowed Wings, I remember that at first I thought of Frenenqer as someone very flowery and theatrical, but then her voice sounded so flat and restrained on the page, I just let go of my first assumption and allowed her to show me. It sounds like I’m trying to be mysterious, but really, the story led me, not the other way around.

Me : Is there any project you are currently working on? Would like to share few words about it?

Rinsai : Yep! At the moment I’m working on a story about a girl whose little brother is born with an unusual defect: he has no heart. She pledges to take care of him, but imagine what that must feel like, devoting your life to someone who’ll never care about you back. It’s still changing a lot, but that’s the basic idea.

Me : Would you like to give any message to the readers?

Rinsai : If you read my book, I thank you for giving it a chance. Sharing a part of my world with strangers is a beautiful dream for me—it’s really the deepest reason why I love writing. I hope that I can make you feel something. That’s all I want.

A big thanks to author Rinsai Rossetti for such lovely interview on my blog.

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