I’m glad I’ve been given an opportunity by the Authors’ Lounge to say something about my new, seventh book. It’s an anthology of 63 short stories and brief observations, entitled Musings About the World and People.
What is your book all about?
This book is perhaps an inevitable, although almost unintentional, result of the way I interact with my surroundings. In everyday life, I, perhaps like many other authors, curiously and instinctively yet subconsciously, observe and listen to whatever is happening around me. Some of what my curiosity notices intrigues me particularly. Then, I think about possible deeper, wider, and more universal meanings of what I notice. I try to identify my own relationship with those meanings, as well as the relationships other people might have with them. Later, I mentally combine all that with various elements coming from my imagination and/or related knowledge and convert it into something new. Eventually, I write down the outcome, as a short piece of fiction or non-fiction text. Some of these pieces get included in parts of some of my novels. Others remain to live on their own in my laptop. This book is a collection of such stand-alone textual pieces on a wide range of topics. They include but aren’t limited to relationships within family, friendships, love, marriages or partnerships, dealings with adversaries, finding your own identity, professional work, creativity, social and political issues, interaction of humans and technology, environmental concerns, communication including social media… In short, through everyday themes (or examples), the book touches upon many challenges and dilemmas we face in modern life, and how we cope or could cope with them.
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve noticed when it comes to considering complex aspects of human nature and our interactions with today’s society and the world – whether through writing or verbally – some people show keen interest, but many prefer just to slip away… So I thought that using concise and familiar-to-everybody but thought-provoking observations, as in this book, might stimulate those indifferent ones to join in such considerations!
What is your target audience for the book?
Primarily, I’m a novelist. I’ve been told by some people that my novels require the intellectual and emotional engagement of mature, thinking readers. My novels can be somewhat demanding reading, and hence, have a niche readership, as with modern, busy lifestyles, most people choose more relaxing and entertaining reads. With Musings About the World and People, comprised of bite-sized textual pieces on themes close to everyday life and easier to read, perhaps I’m reaching out to audiences wider than my usual readers. I hope this book will help readers who don’t fancy literary fiction novels today to understand there are “philosophical” truths even in everyday life and inspire them to include more “philosophical” novels in their reading tomorrow.
What do you hope readers could get out from your book?
People look at the world and people all the time, but only some really see what they are looking at. Even fewer think about what they see in a deeper way. In other words, to paraphrase a comment made by one of my readers, this book encourages people to notice and understand the extraordinary in the ordinary. In many everyday moments that we even don’t notice, there’s some wisdom to be found.
What are your future goals/plans for the book?
I like thinking. Also, I like to stimulate others to think, if I can. Thinking has made us humans what we are. However, today, people live by endlessly racing – whether for bare survival or to achieve high goals they or somebody else set for them. That deprives them of opportunities and time to sit and think even about everyday situations and events, let alone about the big picture of civilization, society, and humanity. I hope this book will stimulate readers to think about what’s happening to them and around them. They could start with thinking about small things, but that might lead them to thinking about bigger issues. I hope this book will nudge them forward in that! Then, the next book too…
Add something more about yourself.
I’ve lived in an international setting. For most of my adult life, I’ve been in constant motion between New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and my birth country Serbia. I worked as an academic and scientist at different universities and research institutes in those countries, as well being a visiting fellow in Denmark, Italy, and the USA. I’ve enjoyed creative writing all my life as a hobby, but a decade ago I turned to full-time writing literary and science fiction novels – all in both English and Serbian, and all in both paperback and e-book (Kindle) formats. My wife Sheryl (she’s a New Zealander) is a microbiologist and English language editor, and my only son Veljko is an architect and lives with his family in London (UK).