Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interview at Author Lee-Ann's Blog "Writing Commando"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Author Snjezana Marinkovic was 'Born In Sarajevo'

Ah, Sunday. It has quickly become my favourite day of the week. Why? Because I get to interview incredible authors, such as Snjezana Marinkovic -  woman who experienced life’s atrocities and lived to tell the tale.

Welcome, Snjezana it is an extreme pleasure to host you today.

When you moved to the U.S., you studied criminal justice. At what point did you decide to become a writer?
Writing was not on my forecast (even though, it first appeared with rain and it still often comes with it). This journey of words, papers, erasers, a few acceptances and many criticisms and rejections, started for me when I was twelve years old. As Alice, I stepped into Wonderland and here I am still searching, seeking, and more than ever enjoying every step of it. In a world full of disconnectedness I was lucky to find something to reach out to people, and that’s what writing is for me.

What would you describe your greatest strength to be at this point in your life?
Crossing barriers -- from war barricades to different languages, cultures, beliefs, and many other “borders.”

Who inspires you?
People. Especially when they rush to collect more of material goods while forgetting that inside of them are things that matter most. Love, peace and those little cells which defend our systems from that “enemy” cell. What else is needed? Pen and paper certainly for me (I will not mention keyboards because they belong to those material goods too).

You have done several readings over the past few years. Do you find them difficult to do?
As mentioned earlier, I like to connect with people. It is interesting, but when you are able to make an eye contact with your audience and you realize that at that particular moment they are not doing anything else but listening to you, your thought appears to be much richer, and more beautiful to you.

In 1996, you were awarded the Lazne Prize for Literature. In 2006, you won third place for your poetry. You’ve written poems, short stories, and now have a published novel with my fellow publisher, Gypsy Shadow. As an accomplished author, what advice can you give those just starting out in their writing careers?
I think we all have our own tactics and tools in this process of “shelving” our creative thoughts with different ideas. This as well applies to the stage when we are presenting our work to people other than our family and friends. Don’t be discouraged when someone says your “baby” has big ears, funny eyes, and her words make no sense. Anyway, you are a writer you are not suppose to frame rejection letters you receive in your mind, rather hang them on your walls so they can bring a smile on your face on that day when your qualities are recognized.  

Tell us why you decided to write ‘Born in Sarajevo’.
I started writing ‘Born in Sarajevo’ when I was able to retrieve from my memory some of my writing which was burned in war. Fortunately, I was even able to remember some of the dates. I guess because I was somehow trying to prove to myself that my life existed before I found myself in the middle of havoc.

Here is a sneak peak at ‘Born in Sarajevo:

When first barricades and first gun shots occurred in the capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, I was seventeen years old. It was the year 1992, and one of the worst mass killings in the history of mankind began. At that time, my family, my friends, my neighbors, and I were still unaware that we will lose all privileges related to peace. People of this country, which was called Yugoslavia, proudly holding the title of the biggest and the wealthiest Balkan country, started losing their freedom, their homes and their lives. I, as any other teen, knew about war only from movies and video games until my first encounter with those whose intention was not to act or play but to overpower, destroy and kill.

 Here is the link for the trailer:

Where can we find your latest achievements?
You can find me at my blog:, my Facebook page: , as well as at Twitter @pjesnik. I just love this virtual world. Recently, a couple of my articles were published at:  

What is next for you?
I am finishing my two books. Both of them fit under the roof of criminal justice. “If” deals with domestic violence. “Just Point At Him” is a true crime story about a man whose voice, after eleven long years, reached the Innocence Project of Texas, and me, to write his story with my hope to knock at a door of ignorance and pierce through the silence that surrounds it. 

Thank you so much for allowing us into your world, Snjezana. It’s been my extreme pleasure to host you today. I wish you every success in the world.
Thank you for coming into my world and visit again I am always open to share a word, unless you see that big sign “Don’t disturb, I am writing.”

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