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Interview by Melissa Andres

by Bruna Digregorio

Dear Diary,

Today my entry is all about my Writer's Café friend Bruna:

Me: How long have you been interested in writing?

Bruna: Since fourteen years, or so. Like a lot of authors, I started writing because of love and I'm intensely grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today. And I'm also rather surprised, because when I look back on my life the last thing I ever wanted to do was write. So I learned to write about myself, memories are what keep me going now. I like to think of myself as a storyteller, where my past and my future are only stories, my stories, waiting to be told and retold. When you learn to read and write, it opens up opportunities for you to learn so many other things. Poets are not those who write poetry, but all those whose heart is filled with the sacred spirit of Love.

Me: What do you enjoy writing the most? Why?

Bruna: Poems. In general, the poem is a rhythmic articulation of feeling, yes. Poetry teaches us to see things in a different way, The poem, if it's written with the ear, already has been set to its own verbal music as it was composed. In music and poetry, in the natural world of beauty and in the small ordinary things of life, there is a deep, indwelling presence that makes them extraordinary. It's not difficult to write a poem, but to have the heart to write one, you said in your class that we all carry poetry in our heart.

Me: What would you say is your biggest influence when it comes to writing? Why?

Bruna: There's a fuzzy category called multicultural literature in which all authors from outside the Western world are lumped together. I'm completely fascinated by these authors. Their arts, music, literature and the sciences became vibrant and spawned countless works which enrich us still today. The ultimate goal is freedom and that's what art and music and writing and literature and painting, ultimately that's what we look for when we look to someone else.

Me: Have you ever had your writing published?

Bruna: Yes, I get published more and I have just started a blog. Although we are living in the information age and technology is of ever greater importance, some remain unable to benefit from the opportunities created. The market for electronic books (e-books) is expanding both globally and in the EU, with more and more publishers issuing old and new titles in electronic form and new electronic devices for reading these books appearing on the market. Technology can help us and harm us. Thought is given to publishers, thought is given to authors, but too little thought is given to those who have to read the books.

Me: What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Bruna: To write, to fall in love, and to experience real passion. Real inspiration comes to me from many things, from life in general. Everyone got to be inspired by his life. I am convinced that everything that happens in our life has a meaning, and that is why each moment has to be lived intensely. Never try to be better than someone else, always learn from others. You've got to put your best foot forward. That is why you need to choose your objective, do your very best to attain it, look upon it with respect and dignity: you have to know what it means, how much effort it has taken, how much training and intuition.

Me: Describe yourself in one word. Why have you chosen this particular word?

Bruna: “Passion”. There's a tremendous amount of wisdom in finding a great thing, passion in life, and focusing all your energy on it.

Me: How do you choose character names for stories?

Bruna: The characters and the names in my book are a mishmosh of every person I've ever met in my life.

Me: What is the name of a favorite character you have created? Tell us about him/her.

Bruna: When I write, I would subconsciously put myself into the character, like all stories, fears have characters. I'm writing a novel right now “The Vision of Paradise”, the main character is an American, Gustav Hemingway, become an ambassador in a foreign country, Brazil. He's become a man of great ambition, he is an important man, with a strong personality, the charismatic type, a designing, cold-blooded being who thinks only of itself. He's got limited time with his family but he was a different man, back then. Like a lot of modern men, he hides behind a mask and men who wear masks are vulnerable, our society is extremely vulnerable.

Me: Tell us what your writing process is like.

Bruna: Real inspiration comes to me from everything that surrounds me. True inspiration's impossible to fake. The act of writing becomes like a meditation exercise. The first words in a novel are always the most difficult to write, It's like, with a first book, you have this duty to express yourself. Whenever I get a good idea I write it in my diary, I choose my words carefully, I must find a word that goes right to the heart. Sighs are feelings that we can't put into words and then the unexpected connections we form are the real hotbed for creativity. What is important in writing a composition is to make your ideas clear. “Will I ever be able to write well?”, in writing a story, it is the place where I begin.

Me: If you became an overnight sensation and made millions due to your writing, what would you do with the money first?

Bruna: Organization of seminars, symposia and cultural activities. I believe I am as to the importance of books, of culture. Books should have an exemption position in cultural policy. We have to meet this need for information, especially in those areas where ignorance gives rise to fears.

Melissa Andres