Already Albert Einstein said: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Recently, I’ve been writing a fairy tale that I’ve told to the two children I have been babysitting They liked it a lot. We’ll see how the others like it. The story started as we finished reading the Grimm brothers’ stories and there was no other book left that I could read to the two 7 and one 8-years-old boys. Without any computer or mobile device, and therefore without internet connection to the world-wide sources of tales, I started telling my own story. We were busy for almost four weeks in a row, but not on a daily basis. The good thing about telling your own story is that you can involve the children into the story and you can speak about themes that really catch their attention. In fairy tales there is always something bad happening to your characters, but there is as well a good, happy ending.
As we developed the story, based on our ideas and wishes, we had two very important conversations. The first one was about THE kiss. I was even ready to maroon the kissing scene, but the little one insisted on having it. I wondered why and he answered with the wisdom of a seven years old:
-If there is no kiss, there is no love. They have to kiss, because they love each other. How can’t you know it?
Seriously, I often admired the the little one’s spirit of fight. A similar thought flew through my mind as the story was already finished. The little one asked for an alternative ending. He was horribly disappointed and totally surprised that there was no dragon and that we agreed on “The End” – line. Let me introduce the approximate exchange of opinions that we had then:
-A dragon? – I wondered, because we had never spoken about a dragon. – What dragon?
-Yes, every proper (the little one really used the word “proper”) fairy tale has a dragon in it. It means that you’re not the youngest child anymore, when you listen to the stories with dragons.
-But the story is finished. – I said. – We can rethink how to incorporate the dragon into the story, but it won’t be easy now. Why do you wish to have a dragon anyway?
-Dragons can fly. The wolves are just fast and brave. – the little one answered. (Of course dragons can fly! How could I just forget! – I thought.)
-Is it OK, when we think about another story, where we will have at least one dragon?
-No, we need a dragon here.
Therefore, we incorporated griffins, because we needed some kind of dragon for a proper fairy tale. It was a win-win-situation for both of us. A real, huge dragon will probably appear next time.
Amalia Angellinni: Lovefool
There were many great questions and compliments that you sent to me lately and I am deeply honoured by every notice, every sentence I got. Comparing me to such magnificent and successful writers of today like J.K. Rowling and from the past as Sylvia Plath is a great compliment. Thank you very much.
I have chosen these questions, because they inspired me a lot. I wrote my personal view about values, so it’s not a science or religious principle. It’s my opinion.
Anyone can be a fool of love, but is anyone lovable?
Amalia: Anyone could be lovable, but not everyone wants to be loved, more or less consciously. Some build walls and hence to prevent anyone to step into their hearts and it easier to build such walls than to tear them down. I am convinced that everyone is lovable, because every being can be important to another. You can find something beautiful in the smallest pieces of nature and you can love them with the same passion and power as bigger ones.
Do you agree with the statement: “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you; and in that you will be mastering change, rather than allowing it to master you.” – Sri Ram
Amalia: The question of control is not that easy. It depends on so many factors that we can control, that we can influence, that we can’t control and influence. The attitude is a concept combined with emotions and if there is any emotional aspect, then nothing is controllable completely. We can try to behave, to react the way we wish, but it’s harder the more emotions are involved. As a supporter of the free will, I try to avoid having any master, even if my emotions try to take over the control.
#315 Posted by MrBojangles
If the book is humanity and humanity has many different authors, are we all like torn pages of the same book? Or rather variations on a theme? Or rather separate books, some with dog eared pages, some just published, some unread, some in foreign languages, and yes, unfortunately, many with torn pages, but we’re all in the same library?
Amalia: I love the idea, it sounds so romantic, poetic, simply wonderful. I am not sure which option would be better: everyone is a separate book in one huge library or everyone is a page in one extremely big book… At the end, we are all a part of a continent, a part of something bigger, and we are all connected, the way or another.
#297 Posted by Mirek
In episodes of Doctor Who with Cybermen or Daleks there was the statement No emotion= no humanity. Think of the difficulties emotions bring. Hardship, the will to do and to become, love and it’s pathways in life, and also hate. If we didn’t have emotions, life would especially be easy. However, is the easy way always the justified and powerful path? Would life be easier if nobody felt any emotion?
Amalia: If there would be no emotion, there would be less complexity in our actions, for sure. However, even the most basic organisms or even cells show a kind of reflexes or intuition that are far more than simple. It’s a kind of emotional intelligence. The borders are not certain and many people have been discussing for years. I am for emotions, even if they are connected with much pain sometimes, because how we are dealing with the emotions makes us who we are.
#245 Posted by Renata
For whatever the reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your book and about life. The first is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as “brutally honest and relentlessly fair.” Meanwhile, Warner Bros or Sony Pictures has produced a big-budget movie based on your book, casting major Hollywood stars to play Mia, Sebastian, Govan, Julian and others. Critics are split on the artistic merits of this fictionalized account, but worldwide audiences love it.
Which film would you be most interested in seeing?
Amalia: That is a very seducing idea. I think, my own life would appear more boring than the story I described, but it’s a kind of tempting to see in which way the other looks at you. Sometimes, things you personally see as usual, others value as special or different. On the other hand, I would be very interested to see the movie about the Lovefool story, because it’s a kind of my baby and as a parent, you try to follow the important steps in the life of their babies. Therefore, I am not sure what would I chose.
#213 Posted by Leon
Most of your novels have many historical and cultural details. How does the (seemingly) extensive research involved not detract from the story writing process? What inspired you to choose Poland, Germany and Russia as the setting for the first book and New York for the second book?
Amalia: Choosing Poland was easy. My Grandpa was from Poland and he told me stories about his home country. After the World War 2, he never came back to Poland – due to political pressure and some complicated issues. I visited Poland already a couple of times and I’ve tried to find the places he described. Unfortunately, Warsaw was destroyed almost completely during the war, so everything was built after the war from the basics. I went through the places I thought interesting and I have chosen some of them for my book. Then, I wished to go to New York. I was there once and I was fascinated by places like Central Park or the whole museums. I don’t like the skyscrapers much, so I thought one of them would be a good prison for my characters. Therefore, Mia and Sebastian live for a while in New York in a building with a lot of glass and above the streets. Then, Russia is a land that was important for me, because I saw many different documentary movies and I was fascinated by the landscapes and the whole space out there. I couldn’t go there personally, yet, but I researched a bit and decided to set Russia as one of places where Jonas could hide over the years. He doesn’t like people and other beings, so he needed a lot of free space around him. He isolated himself every now and then, so he is not just the bad character, because he doesn’t kill at any opportunity. He kills with purpose, that’s the bad issue. After all, he needs space. On the opposite, USA, another country with a lot of space, has the charm of being known as the land of opportunities, changes and miracles, so I settled Govan in the USA.
#178 Posted by Moritz
Some see ethical dilemmas as proof that there is no reliable way to decide moral questions. What are ethics? What is morality? How can one behave in a moral manner?
These are among the most difficult and most interesting questions which face people of any age. Today, however, with advancing technology, difficult moral situations come upon us faster than we can even create the questions, much less find the answers.
What is life and what does it mean to be alive?
What is death and is there any “bright line” that allows us to definitively say that someone is no longer alive but is now dead?
Are your books more about who you are as a person, right now, or is more about “what” you are, in the sense of your heritage and cultural background?
Amalia: I am no character of my books, but my characters behave the way I describe it. The good characters are not free from failures. They are sometimes selfish, arrogant, insecure, doubting, hurt… They tend to make choices they value as the right choices. They go forward, but not in the optimal way, because of their failures – just like in the real life. Our choices are not ideal, because there is always something that we didn’t or couldn’t calculate in our plans or realisation. That’s life: going forward, but also making mistakes. We learn as well from the success stories as from the falls. If we look back at what way we already have behind and we accept it as the way we would have chosen again, then our life has been good. If we wish to come back to a special moment in time or if we wish to change something, then we can’t go forward, because something is holding us back. We have to face the truth and fight against the demons inside us. What we do with our lives and with lives depending from us in any way, that’s what makes us good or bad people.
#175 Posted by Veronica
I lately read the novel Old Man and the Sea. I found it a bit of ironic. What is the irony in the Lovefool Saga? Do you think that we are The Lost Generation or is it a generation that already passed away?
For the most part the “Lost Generation” defines a sense of moral loss or aimlessness, for example after World Wars, when the world seemed to be destroyed. Many thought that if people would have acted properly, good things would happen.
But so many good young men went to war and died, or returned damaged, both physically and mentally, that their faith in the moral guideposts that had given them hope before, were no longer valid…they were “Lost.”.
Is Mia also lost in that sense masking her general depression behind the forced politeness and smiles?
Amalia: The generation of our grandparents was a generation that experienced the brutality of war. They were lost in pain, suffering and moral choices where the choices between life and death were sometimes much clearer than today. However, we are also a kind of lost generation, because we have access to so many information sources and we still can’t decide whom to trust. It makes me feel lost, indeed. I am not saying that living during war or in any other period of history would be easier. We have our dangerous monsters we have to fight against and there is no secure way how to handle it.
About Mia – yes, she is a kind of lost, because she was running away from something that she couldn’t describe and she has to experience a lot of pain. She doesn’t know the reasons and the entire situation gets complicated as she meets Julian. Falling in love makes our world easier in some perspectives, but it also makes it a lot of complicated in other issues. She knows that she has a reason to fight and she has a clear goal, but on the other hand, it makes her more vulnerable, predictable. As she meets the Third Wiseman, she is confused – who wouldn’t be? In the third part of the book, she will have to deal with her past and it will be harder than she ever assumed.
#161 Posted by Fynn
Gandhi famously said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” When does a word (Christian)become unusable? Is the Third Wiseman the God Himself, because God is all powerful, all merciful, and all loving and He knows everything. Do you believe in God at all? That’s how I see it. Of course I saw God in the universe. I saw Him everywhere. My faith was visceral.
Amalia: I was raised in a very Catholic family, but I don’t look at myself as a part of the Catholic Church. I like many ideas written in the Bible, but I don’t follow everything with bounded eyes, just because a Priest says to do so. I think there is a kind of a God or Special Being in the universe, but how anyone defines it is a personal matter and it shouldn’t involve killing or attacking anyone just because “their God is not our God”. If anyone does it, then it’s the end of the Christian idea and a start of politics.
#51 Posted by Anneczka
I believe many factors play a role, but a very important is originality. Now there are so many stories, because we do not always read the same thing and look for a story that stands out from the others. I like good books whenever something exciting happens and you can empathize well with the main character. How do you empathize with Mia? Or Julian? Or Sebastian? Or Govan? Or Third Wiseman?
Amalia: I like my characters a lot, all of them. They represent different positions and states of mind. They’ve experienced a lot of different issues and they deal with their history in an individual way. I like looking at them and seeing how they raise above own fears of being loved, loving someone, or rather bodily limits. I see them all as separate beings, so not a part of me, rather a kind of friends, even if we are not living in the same universe and time. I understand they moves and reasons, so I can completely empathize with them.
#27 Posted by SkyFall and #36 Posted by Will
I have just one question I want to ask:
Do you listen to anyone who says along the lines something like “That does not sound so good, rewrite it” or “the character is good, but it is too flat or too detailed”?
I’m curious whether and to what extent she is forced to change her texts.
Furthermore, I would want to know if she can raise an objection, and in how far she has to change the texts.
Amalia: When I write, then I don’t analyse whether something is written too much detailed or too less detailed. When I send the written parts to my editor, Anna, and her team (Scholar Online Europe), then I have to wait until the parts will be read and we discuss some lines of the book. However, I don’t have to change anything, if I don’t want, so I have all my freedom and it’s wonderful. I’ve heard that some writers get pressure to change smaller or bigger parts of their works, but I don’t have to. The good thing is that I get the first feedback and then, I can decide whether their remarks and to which extend will be changed.
The real feedback comes from the readers and they write what they liked more or less in my books. Mostly, I get compliments and that confirms that the readers like what I write.
#12 Posted by Ivan
You put classic question: if the man is good. Do you believe in people? Do you trust people? Or are you rather like Mia in her first years?
Amalia: I believe in people after all. I want to keep the faith in people, because it’s needed to go forwards. Being shy or trying to keep distance from people doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in people at all.
#6 Posted by Hans
I have to say that I read your book to see what is my baby girl reading. She was in the Twilight fever and I couldn’t understand why she likes so trashy books. I read your book and found many interesting approaches, even if I am rather beyond your target group. I don’t like romances, but I liked the way you connect different themes. Here my questions:
Which is more difficult for you, writing short stories or novels?
You use some suggestions that direct reader to poetry and cultural issues. Is studying culture helpful for book writers? Do your readers get the all hints you leave them?
What’s the best piece of advice you got when you were starting out as a writer?
Amalia: Writing the novel takes more time than writing a short story, that’s obvious. Writing at all is not complicated, if you’re in the mood for it. If I have a story in my head, then it’s easy. Sometimes, I stuck a bit, because I am not sure how my characters should act. There is a strategy, but sometimes, it’s about details like sentences they speak, or clothes they wear. I don’t think a lot, when I write. It’s already in my head and I have to let the hand to bring to paper things I have already in mind.
Studying culture helped me a bit to have more general background over the centuries of art, but it’s just one step that I could reduce while research work. I had already some information and I knew in which direction or in which sources I have to search. Research shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s sometimes hard and takes a lot of time. It brings me sometimes out of the way, because I find so many interesting things that distract my mind. That’s the hardest part: to do your work good, but to not be distracted too much.
#47 Posted by RealMia
Do she really knows her characters all by heart in all details?
Amalia: I know my characters, I know at which places I thought over what to do with them next, what I imagined them to be and what they could go through. However, I don’t remember all details as the parents don’t remember everything what their children said. But I am bounded with them emotionally, so they are all in my heart.
All approved and published questions you can find online here. All mentioned readers will get Amalia’s book bundle with a special dedication.
Lovefool, part 1, ENG, pdf
Lovefool, part 1, DE, Der Narr der Liebe, epub
Lovefool, part 1, PL, Glupiec w milosci, epub
Lovefool, part 1, PL, Glupiec w milosci, pdf
Lovefool, I(m)mortalpart 2, ENG, epub
Lovefool, I(m)mortal, part 2, ENG, mobi
OR AT SMASHWORDS (BUY BOOKS AND READ SAMPLES OF ALL BOOKS IN DIFFERENT FORMATS)
For all my fans, who already asked what I am working on since weeks. Here is the very first sample of the new book: Vengeance and remission ( +Vengeance and remission at Google+). I thank you all for the patience and good wishes. I hope, you like the introduction. The book will be available soon.
#1 WAY TO BRITANNIA
Not everyone remembers the eruption of Mount Pelée. The mentioned outbreak of the so called Bald Mountain in today’s French, divine overseas department of lovely Martinique where the Caribbean Plate meets the Atlantic Oceanic crust belonging to the South American Plate happened in 1902 within a few minutes. It was the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century and devastated the island completely, destroying the town of St. Pierre, killing 30,000 inhabitants, leaving only 3 survivors. There were signs that should have be en interpreted as forewarnings. There was an impressive, firework-like light rain of spacey cinders on the mountain’s southern and western side. There were sharp, perceptible underground shocks that should make people insecure. There was a giant, extremely scary cloud containing rocks and ashes, before the mountain produced loud explosions, earthquakes, and a massive, scary pillar of dense black smoke. It was the beginning of an upcoming Armageddon for the people of the island. On the day, which stayed in the memory of human nature as the darkest day of Mount Pelée, black clouds rolled upwards from the mountainside one after the other and formed a frightening, extraordinary huge, mushroom-like, dark cloud that darkened the infinity and innocence of the sky in a 50-mile radius. The city burned for further days as if it was a never ending story of hell including red, streaming lava and tireless tongues of fire. Everyone, who said that there was no warning, could not interpret the previous days and weeks correctly. There were enough signs to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Even less people remember the eruption of almost perfectly symmetric Mayon Volcano, the so called Beautiful Lady after the legendary heroine Daragang, on the island of Luzon from the shores of the Gulf of Albay in the Philippines. Magayon, a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, used to be the most active volcano with over 48 eruptions in the past 400 years. The first documented, but not most destructive eruption was witnessed in 1616 by Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen. Less than 200 years later, the volcano was belching dark ash and bombarded the town with tephra that buried the town of Cagsawa. Ash accumulated to 9 meter in depth. Green trees and plants were non-recurrently, violently burned. The rivers were certainly damaged. The eruption was responsible for over 1200 deaths. Due to the accumulation of atmospheric ash, a sad and tragic Year Without a Summer followed. The nature recovered over the long years of troublesome rehabilitation and it was finally possible to establish a national park and a protected landscape there in the year 2000 named Mayon Volcano Natural Park.There was a truly magnificence, uniqueness and beauty captured in this extremely sad and mourning occurrence in these shocking, frightening days.
Marcus Lucius was not able to get to know any information neither about Mayon Volcano nor Mount Pelée. He was a Roman soldier, a tribune in the most powerful army of the world of that time. He had heard about the city of Pompeii being partially destroyed and buried under meters of ashes and pumices in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. He was like a volcano himself. His internal, dark energy was dangerously coming out from the deepest parts of his body, passing the crust of his skin, allowing accusations hot as magma, fussy, obtrusive reproaches and blames like volcanic ashes escaping from below the surface. He could not bear his internal pressure anymore. In the same way that the pieces of matter were collected for a longer while in the inside of the volcanoes before erupting violently, when the time was ripe, flying over chaotically, powerfully and frightening, the same way Marcus Lucius felt, when he remembered what happened some days ago. He felt the same increasing, overwhelming rage and lack of power to predict what was already going to happen. He analysed over and over again which signs he missed, what aspects he could have overseen, what he could have deduced earlier to prevent the damages that were done.
The last days were hard for him. He didn’t remember much at all. As he was laying in a slender bed, he had some visions. Some were clear, but short, and showed rather static scenes than dynamic memories. Some were blurry, fuzzy and hazy scenes taking his whole attention. He tried to analyse them, but he was too weak. He struggled extremely to find any approach to structure the scenes and to find out the truth. He failed every time, because he was falling senseless due to his high, dangerous fever and the wounds, he didn’t perceive. He wasn’t completely sure whether everything really had happened, because he was injured and had continuous fever. He felt permanently cold despite his dangerously increasing body temperature. Then, he felt too hot, he sweated a lot and felt like going insane. He felt weak, but when he would collect all these pieces of fury, anger and sadness hidden in his every cell, he could destroy everything standing in his way. He was burning out internally. His state of mind was somewhat destroyed by collapsing and being squeezed in itself. This implosion concentrated enormous, inhuman matter and dark energy. True, overwhelming pressure and inward and outward forces were involved into the process of his destruction. He didn’t care. He already lost what he was fighting for. There was no hope for any improvement of the situation. There was just a glowing hope for dying before any further thought would attack him again and again until he would lose his consciousness again and again. It wasn’t a life worth living anymore.
Sometimes, you think about dying and losing your life, but you don’t really follow it seriously, until you lose someone you love. Death was his companion already. He had already lost many soldiers on his way. He took part in a dozen of ambushes and he saw many deadly wounded and killed. He was injured once, too, but it wasn’t serious. In the end, he survived. Now, he wanted to be dead, but there was no battle to die in honour. There was even no real, probable perspective for a battle. There were only chances for living the sad, miserable life with no goal.
When he didn’t have flashbacks, in the rare moments of consciousness, he saw two unknown people, a man and a woman, he couldn’t recognize at first. The man was a Roman soldier, one of Appius’s legionnaires. Marcus Lucius knew Appius from the time, when he joined the army. He was 15 and couldn’t wait to move out from the house of his mother. She was mourning for too long, after Marcus Lucius’s father was killed in the Battle of Sarmisegetuza against the Dacians. Marcus Lucius thought he could escape the mourning by joining the army, but it was even worse there in the beginning. Every tribune knew that Marcus Lucius was the one and only son of the great warrior Maximus. Marcus Lucius had the impression that everyone looked at him and waited for such brave, outstanding and wise actions like he would expect from his father. Every day he had to prove that he was someone else. However, the longer he was a soldier, and the harder he tried to prove it, the often he had to hear he was exactly Maximus’s own flesh and blood. He was not only looking similarly to his father.