I love to do interviews of my author friends. One of them sent me the answers to the interview questions and I had to share this interview now. I cried when I read about this woman’s life. It began so typically, but in a day, everything changed for her and her country.
Somehow, here in the United States, we feel insulated from this kind of thing. After reading this I realize that it could happen here or anywhere.
The thing that stood out to me is that she has a very joyful personality even after everything she has been through. You will not feel depressed after reading this interview. She is a very positive person. Please read the interview with my new acquaintance, Sanela Jurich.
My name is: Sanela Ramic Jurich
My genre: 1.Fiction / Historical 2.Fiction / War & Military (Although I wanted it to be Romance).
The title of my book is: Remember Me
My website: http://www.sanelajurich.tateauthor.com
1. How long have you been an author and when did the desire to write (the writing bug) bite?
I’ve been a published author since June 7th, 2011, but I knew I was going to be one ever since I can remember.
I heard someone say once that in order to become a writer, you don’t just learn the skill; you have to be born with it. It’s inside you all along. It’s your calling.
I strongly believe this to be true. I remember exactly the first set of books I’ve ever read. It was Greek Mythology given to me by an old neighbor. I was seven years old at the time.
I know, you might say that Greek Mythology is too complex for a seven-year-old, but to my-seven-year-old mind, this was fairy tales. I loved reading about those strong, smart, wise Gods and gorgeous Goddesses.
And as I was growing up, each time I’d feel lonely, or sad, I’d always go back and read those wonderful stories that never failed to inspire and make me feel better.
Soon after I read those, I had my library ticket and was spending most of my after-school time there. My parents didn’t mind, since they both worked. I was left alone a lot, so the fact that I’d actually enjoyed being in a library was kind of like a relief to them.
I absolutely loved reading and so, in my heart, I knew that some day I was going to write cool stories to make people laugh and feel good.
I wasn’t going to write sad stories; all of them were going to be happy and fun. Filled with love. I’d sometimes write short stories just to amuse myself. They were filled with child’s imagination, funny names, and, always, love…
At some point, I’d even started to think like I was reading a book. For example:
I’m having a normal conversation with a friend or someone, at the end of their sentence, I’d think to myself something like: She said, as she looked away. Or… she stated, but the icy look in her eyes said otherwise….
I learned to read people’s facial expressions at a very young age. It was all so amusing to me. I loved being in a crowd – like in a crowded bus. I’d hide in the back and just watch people, telling myself their stories, just by reading their facial expressions and body language…. I’d usually make them funny.
When I was fifteen, my whole life changed in a blink of an eye. The world I saw through my fifteen-year-old eyes was not innocent and pretty. It was filled with death, sadness, and hatred.
You see, I was born in this cute town of northern Bosnia, called Prijedor. Now days, this town is known for its horrible concentration camps that were run by the Serbs in 1992.
I know, when you hear the words “concentration camps” you think of the World War II and Nazis. But no, this was not our grandparents generation time, this was ourgeneration, 1992… on the threshold of the 21 century.
I remember my parents talking and thinking that war was going to end before it had even started… the world would not let another Nazi genocide go on.
But, to our surprise, the world did let it happen. It went on for four years: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Concentration Camps, raping and slaughtering women and children…
It all happened.
And so my writing had to be put on hold….
When I had finally moved to the United States in 1993, I was a completely changed person then. My dream of becoming a writer became just that… a dream; so distant and unreachable. I thought that even if, somehow, I managed to learn enough English, I could never write happy, fun stories any more. My mind was reset and it was filled with darkness, pain, and distrust.
But in time, little by little, my sense of humor returned. The writer in me was getting tired of being quiet. So I’d started thinking like I was in a book again.
For example; I’d go to the Six Flags with my husband, children, and our friends, but because I’m afraid of heights, I wouldn’t go on any of the rides… (I know… I bore myself sometimes too).
So, anyway, I’d sit on the bench and wait for them to get off their rides. It’s perfect because the place is always crowded which gives me a chance to just watch people undetected. For example, I’d see a guy talking to a girl. I’d watch their facial expressions and body language to determine whether they like each other, so my inner analogue would go something like: “I don’t care,” she said firmly. Turning around, she smiled, ever so slightly…. Etc.
One day in July of 2009 on my way to work, I’d dropped off my two boys over at my mom’s house. She had made some comment about my kids, which got me a little upset and I thought to myself, boy, if this was a book, that comment would be perfect…
And so, my mind had started building a web of events and before I knew it, I had about three chapters. The character of Sabina, the mother, was born…
2. Why did you choose the genre you write in? Are there plans to write in another genre?
Honestly, I didn’t chose this genre. It kind of chose me. When I first started writing this book, it was going to be a romantic tale between Johnny and Selma. However, as I was writing it, the story itself took me to a completely different direction then what I’d previously had in mind. I know it sounds kinda crazy, but it’s true.
What’s amazing about writing is the fact that you never really know where you’ll end up. Your characters take on a life of their own and you just go with it.
So anyway, Selma and Johnny fall in love when she is sixteen. They get separated by the war. The story is told from Selma’s point of you, so she tells you about her falling in love, then being taken away from home and thrown into a concentration camp where she gets raped and tortured repeatedly.
When she finally gets out, she’s broken beyond repair and doesn’t want Johnny to know of anything that she’d been through. On their way out of their home town, she witnesses Johnny getting killed by one of the soldiers…
However, as I said before, the romantic in me could not let my book have an unhappy ending, so I’d found a way to bring Johnny back into the picture and restore Selma’s faith in God.
At the end, love prevails and they live happily ever after.
So, I thought the genre was definitely going to be romance, but the experts at Tate said it was Historical… I guess it’s a little bit of everything.
3. Please tell about each title here:
So far I only published one book – Remember Me.
I did, however, sign another contract with Tate Publishing and am waiting for my second novel to be sent to production. It’s going to be a sequel to Remember Me. Not sure what the title is going to be yet.
4. Do you do speaking engagements? Tell about your subject matter.
Yes, I do.
The subject that people seem to be most interested in is my own story of how I became an author.
Others ask questions about my experience in Bosnia, and so I talk a little bit about both.
5. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?
Getting some things out into the open and having people read and comment about my work.
6. Where can your books be purchased?
My book can be purchased anywhere books are sold: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, etc. It can also be purchased directly from my websitewww.sanelajurich.tateauthor.comand Tate Publishing’s website as well. Also, autographed copies can be ordered from my website via PayPal.
7. How can readers reach you through twitter? through facebook? through your blog? through your website?
I can be reached through my website and Facebook:www.facebook.com/sanela.jurich
8. What was your biggest surprise at being an author?
I was really surprised at how much marketing I have to do myself. I was one of those people who thought that the hardest part was behind me once I signed that contract with the publisher. Boy, was I wrong, haha!
However, I try to look at it in a positive way and enjoy every single moment of it. I am loving every step and the experience I’m gaining. There is absolutely nothing in the world I’d rather be doing than writing and then sharing it with others.
9. We all know that writing can be a lonely occupation, what do your family and friends do to lift you up when you are down?
They buy me books and leave me alone, haha!
10. What is the last song you sang while you were all alone at the top of your voice and where were you?
It was an old song by Boys II Men – End of the Road.
I was in the kitchen loading up my dishwasher. I thought I was alone until I heard soft giggles coming from behind me. My nine year old son, Denny and my four year old son, Devin were cracking up. They find it hilarious that I have an accent even when I sing.