Some Frequently Asked Questions


Neslihan Stamboli



How Did It All Start, The Storytelling?

I won't start by the famous refrain, "I always wanted to be a writer." But I can say that I always looked for a way to express myself.

Sandor Marai - a renowned Hungarian writer - once said that "an artist is merely the personal embodiment of the creative genius that drives him. He has no will of his own, for his genius will press a pen, a chisel, a brush, or even, occasionally, a sword into his hand, whether he will or no."


How Do You Go About Writing Your Novels?

Writing a novel is not like you grab your pen or sit in front of your computer and start filling one page after another. Or at least, it is not only that.

For one thing, you desperately need inspiration – a fairy coming out of nowhere and touching you with her magical wand, an idea nicely popping up, that sort of thing. However, to make a novel out of what that fairy invokes in you may not be so simple.


You Said Planning. Could You Tell Us A Little Bit About It?

Planning is about drawing up the plot, preparing the braid, developing your characters and all that stuff. The transformation of each character, for instance, is a must. A character who does not change – be it for the better or for the worse – is not interesting in a novel. So you need to decide the way and the speed with which your characters will change.


What About Research?

Writers should be, among other things, intellectually curious, curious to dig into things, to learn what is below the surface. Whatever the subject matter (even those you think you know perfectly well), there will be a myriad of details to probe into. And this process might be a rather long one if you intend to write about a time you haven’t lived in, about the people of a culture you’re not familiar with.


When Do You Write? How Many Hours A Day? Is It Difficult To Discipline Yourself?

Writers, in general, have this dilemma: you need to be creative, emotional, sensitive ... On the other hand, you need to be self-disciplined. Being creative and emotional are not great helpers of self-discipline, is it not? What is more is that you don't have to be in an office nine-to-five; you neither have an angry boss who asks you if you’re working part-time when you leave at six p.m. You must truly enjoy writing. I guess I do. I work from nine in the morning till midnight, and sometimes even later.



What Inspires You? Do You Ever Get Stuck? What do You Do Then?

A word, a scent, a taste wakes that fairy in me, who touches her magical wand on my shoulder, and stories start coming alive in my mind’s eye. A sentence I read, a piece of news I hear, a flicker of joy imperceptible to the undiscerning eye turn into a plot.

What do I do when I’m stuck? I paint. Painting has this magical effect on me in that it denudes my subconscious. And once that happens, I cannot not write.



What Is It Like Being A Writer?

Writing is a lonely business. To some people, it might sound as the most difficult aspect of being a writer. Well, it is not so for me. There are times when I willingly imprison myself in a world I create, a world of wonder, you might say, another realm where things happen as I want them to happen. This voluntary isolation might go on for months. Yes, you do need to enjoy being on your own.


Do You Feel You Have A Duty, A Responsibility As A Writer?

I feel that my primary duty as a writer is to tell the human condition, dwelling into the condition of the individual and digging into his or her relationship with the society.

It is the duty of every writer, in fact, to give voice to the voiceless, to those whose rights are taken from them, to those who do not have those rights in the first place, and more tragically, to those who remain silent against such abuse.