Archive for the ‘Islomania’ Category

A Conversation with Yumatzuga, Author of Somewhere on The Other Side

January 1, 2013
A transcript of the interview with the author at the end of 2012
in Lanzarote, Spain.

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Somewhere on the other side revised edition was published on 2012. There might be some rare pre-release versions and the official first release available but this interview is based on the final version.

I meet the author, actually for the first time, on the island of Lanzarote, Spain. He is enjoying the mild climate and modest accommodation of rented villa during the most severe winter months. We are served some Gambas al Ajillo with Tinto de verano that is obviously boosted with white rum. It’s mild sunny afternoon.

Interviewer: Is the Somewhere on the other side you first published book?

Yumatzuga: Yes it is. The first published out in public. I’ve been writing different stories for my own amusement for some time already. This is a collection of those I gathered while blogging actively during four years in between 2007 and 2011. Actually I did publish most of the material in the blog itself. Then later I did the first full collection, published that in one online portal but was not too satisfied with the outcome. So finally I decided to make it look like a proper book. Only then one can really feel the publication as one ensemble, from cover to cover. I would say that the final revision was due to too many deficiencies and eventually lacking the proper outlook of a book I expected to have. Now it is complete writing that anyone is able to download and enjoy.

I: You have not revealed the real identity of Yumatzuga, have you? Why is that?

Y: Well, that is true. A good question that I sometimes ponder myself as well. Maybe it’s some strange mortification due to the inabilities of representing the intended subject and stories with correct grammar and language. As you may know English is by far my mother tongue but I still persisted in writing in English for having the practice. As I have occasionally stated it has really helped me in developing the personal vocabulary as well as enhanced the ability in forming proper sentences. By no means do I feel myself anything but novice in this field, though. I also have enjoyed the ability to communicate with my co-workers in more relaxed manner after gaining more self-study experience in English. For these reasons I did select foreign language in the first place. For fun and benefit. But eventually, what comes to the identity, I prefer to hide it. At least for the moment since it’s pretty irrelevant factor if we focus purely to these short stories. These tales are for pleasure, mostly for my own but now willingly being shared. They may not be masterpieces of literature but still have their tiny but suitable slot in human representation.

I: In the book, you indirectly express your passionate love for islands, am I right?

Y: I have to be honest, I’m an islomaniac. I’m obsessed with islands and have an insatiable attraction to islands. It drives me when selecting any domestic or foreign locations for staying. I cannot say I would dislike any other arrangements but as funny as it may sound I only feel home on an island. Well, look at us now. Lanza in one of the seven Canary Islands. From October until early May the weather conditions are usually harsh from where I come from. It’s something I’ve learned to avoid and purely hate. Little more each year, I would say. I love firm toehold and open waters. The weather here at the moment is pretty similar when compared to the summer in my native country. I realize I could have travelled to somewhere in Asia or to the ends of the earth for seeking islands. I am, however, pretty much comfort-loving individual. This I’ve learned even more true during the latest years. Naturally traveling has the economic factors as well. It’s always more or less of a compromise but I would not wish to compromise being on an island.

I: The stories in the book are all fiction. Do you feel writing that way most fascinating?

Y: Writing fiction is easy and amusing for me. I often like to put in some, maybe even detailed facts and descriptions. Fiction gives me truly free wings since I can invent and modify the plot as much as needed. It really frees up the imagination and preserves an ideal world for the imaginary life. This I consider the other life I’ve been so graciously allowed. When the strong inspiration floats you to the deep seas of writing there simply cannot be anything better. As they say some of us live twice; One life for yourself and one for your dreams. I seldom read any fiction, though. I preferably read autobiographies, travel literature, technical, historical and natural science based work. I would say the personal library includes only 10 to 15 percent fictional publications.

I: How important you find the researching while writing?

Y: It must be one of the most important things for me to write like the way I’m doing it. Usually I start collecting bits and pieces from here and there. I may do that for longer period of time before actually writing a single line of the story. I often keep some interesting fact items in the idea locker for further use. I would compare the process to a puzzle that you create simultaneously while trying to solve it. I find it extremely enjoyable. I’m also very amused while digging deep in the details of some technical invention or mystery of some natural phenomenon. Even that will make my day if not being in the mood for creating anything. Of course, today a lot of the information is available in the public Internet. We must, however, remember that not all is there. We may find millions of facts and figures from it but a lot written material lies in thousands and thousands publications all over in human history. I’d say if you read thousand times the amount you ever write then you should be safe. What ever that means… Also the life itself, as you think of it. That is something you can’t fully learn by reading. You need to live it, right?

I: How often you write?

Y: Unfortunately it varies a lot. If I would take this seriously, I mean even in semi-professional manner, then I’d probably would be forced to write every day. Just for collecting the material and putting down ideas along the way. Human life is just too short to miss even single day, especially when writing. I must confess that during the past year I have not practically written anything notable. Just few lines for the next expected book but that’s all. Even if it’s been said to have unwelcome impact on writing I have kept at least one year vacation. At some point I just felt that I need to experience more and dream a little less. I’m a doomed prisoner of inspiration. The best catalyst is music without hesitation, especially piano music. I cannot say anything more but that has been my weakest point since early childhood. We used to have a piano at my parents house but I somehow missed a chance to learn it. Other inspirational sources listed are solitude, some seclusion but not too extreme, sunny days and warm pitch black nights. I would say that for me lying under sunshade for a bright full day would never go wasted. Either I’m awake writing notes or drowsing light and dreaming deep. You know, when people say they are dreaming? Do they really think of something they could actually reach if lucky or something explicitly unreachable but still worth dreaming? I believe belonging to the latter category with one tiny exception. While I write about things never possible for me I will still reach them in my own writings. That said, I can truly live my dreams, no matter how impossible they may be. I just need to invent and write. Easy as that but I certainly realize I would need to write a lot more in order to be able to finally satisfy anyone among buying public with the produced material. That is not, however, essential for the moment.

I: Will the next book follow same footsteps?

Y: I truly cannot say. I think only time will tell. I have an idea making the second book in a pretty similar way. By blogging the stories at first, then collecting the most suitable stories and finalizing it all in one book. At the moment it is still all open and way too early to point out the final direction. I would hope the second book is more about traveling and has more philosophical aspects of life. I would expect something mature and maybe more in detail with historical background as well. It will be lighten up with same kind of interest to facts and reality at least in some extent. I have written that the work has been started but as you already know this is not my _work_ in the true sense. Therefore it has no real schedule but is driven purely by the inspiration. Eventually I would not suggest to hold your breath.

I: I was lucky to contact you along with my contacts. I read your book and found that it might be something to quote occasionally. Only one problem I found there. The book includes following clause: “This work is owned by its author with all rights reserved. End user may not redistribute without the permission of the copyright holder.” My last question is how is anyone expected to contact the copyright holder then? Especially as you wish to stay anonymous?

Y: Well, the copyright is there no matter if the author is not publicly identified with own legal name but only thru pseudonym. I would be happy and surprised should any contact needs happen to rise. Practically any person can just comment on this blog. I’d be then glad to assist further.

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Somewhere on the other side — Short stories written under the Aegean sun — Get your FREE COPY!

June 9, 2012
Somewhere on the other side — Short stories written under the Aegean sun — Get your FREE COPY!

Somewhere on the other side — Short stories written under the Aegean sun — Get your FREE COPY!