‘I find inspiration in life, people, the world, and also in my head, so Hungry for Love is a little bit of everything. Hungry for Love is an unusual love story about a woman who falls in love with another man while her husband is in a coma. When her husband wakes up, she is faced with possibly the most difficult decision in her life. She is supposed to choose between her husband and her lover, but does she have to? Is it possible to love two men, and in the open? Is it allowed? These are some of the questions I raise in the novel, and I leave it to the readers to find the answers’, Maya Sacher, young and successful writer told us during the interview for Just Zagreb. Inspirational and unusual, just like her book, Maya told us everything about the idea behind this story…
How long did you write the novel and does it contain ‘real’ life elements?
It is difficult to count all the months because I sometimes write more intensely, and at other times I have to pause, but it took roughly two years for me to finish the book and prepare it for publication. This included working with the mentors who have given me a lot of useful advice and ideas.
Writing a novel is always on some level an intimate process. Authors don’t need to share their own experiences, but they consciously or subconsciously reveal their view of the world and the themes which interest them. Although the premise of Hungry for Love is made up, some situations and characters were inspired by real life.
Hungry for Love is a story about an unusual love triangle. How did you come up with this idea?
The idea of this love triangle has followed me for ten years. I’ve even inserted these characters into two other (wrong) manuscripts until my Croatian editor suggested they deserved their own novel. I was intrigued by the moral dilemma and the idea of whether one can love two people with equal fondness. On one hand, we have the norms which dictate our lives, on the other, we have our hearts, and our hearts don’t care about norms and restrictions. There’s also the question of personal freedom and pursuit of happiness. How much should we indulge in our desires before we start hurting people, and is putting ourselves first from time to time mere selfishness or the only way to be happy? In the end, what it all boils down to is love. Love is our fuel. How dreary would our lives be without it?
As this book has shown, you write in English with ease. Will there be a Croatian version of Hungry for Love?
It is too soon to talk about the Croatian version. However, I’d like that very much, so that the readers who don’t know English well can still get the opportunity to read the novel.
Do you have anything in the pipeline and can we expect a book signing in Dubrovnik?
As soon as I finish one book, I start working on a new one, so it feels as though I’m writing one huge life’s book. Maybe I am. I’d love to do a book signing in Dubrovnik. The last time I was there, I was actually promoting my first book, God’s Sins, a collection of short stories. We’ll see.
Is it difficult being an author in Croatia today?
If there are authors in Croatia who can support themselves solely by writing fiction, I applaud them. I’d like to know how they do it. Of course, if we include in that category columnists, translators, journalists, screenwriters, playwrights and everyone who writes, situation does look a little better. Still it seems that most writers need ‘normal’ jobs to survive.
Interestingly, this isn’t a phenomenon typical of small markets like Croatian. It appears to be quite normal in the rest of the world to write during your breaks, as a hobby, and have a paying job or someone to support you. Most writers, if not all, dream of being able to quit their jobs and devote to writing. Writing is more than a mere job because writers write regardless of whether they’ll get paid, regardless of whether anyone is going to read their work. They can’t help it. Writing is like a forced masochism, a Sisyphean task. It doesn’t sound encouraging, but I can’t think of other professions, except artists, for which you know right from the start that you can’t live on, except the lucky few.
Perhaps self-publishing in places like Amazon, as I did with Hungry for Love, is the future. Amazon definitely represents an additional possibility for authors. It probably won’t make us rich, but it can increase our income.