The Next Big Thing – Adnan Mahmutović


I’m really pleased to spin out a new loop from the one spun to me by Pat Jourdan, so I welcome Adnan Mahmutović, a Bosnian writer and scholar living in Sweden.  Adnan, too, has lots of “next big things” ahead for him: not only will he be attending the Adelaide Festival in March, but he will also be in Vienna in 2014 for the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English. But here is his really NEXT BIG THING, the short story collection, How to Fare Well and Stay Fair, which has recently been released by SALT Publishing in the UK. 
So now to the questions.
1 Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wrote several short stories before-during-after writing my first novel and I thought that together these stories were not only connected enough for a nice collection, but also disconnected and different enough to give the reader a sense of my development as a writer. After I put together a manuscript and decided on a title, How to fare Well and Stay Fair, I felt like I needed one last piece, something autobiographical, to open the book. 
2 What genre is the book?
It’s literary fiction mixed with autobiography.
3 What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in
a film?
For the main character in several stories I’d love to see Aida Gordon, only she is somewhat too old now, but the kind of strength mixed with vulnerability and cynicism is something I know Aida can pull off. I’d like the character of Adnan Mahmutovićto be played by Brad Pitt, of course, or young De Niro.
4 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Funny stories about sad refugees and sad stories about funny refugees.
5 How long did it take to write the first draft of your book?
Well, a few years, but mostly because I was working on other longer projects.
6 Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Bosnian women. Bless them and their weird imaginations.
7 What else about your book might pique the writer’s interest?
The fact that is pretends to be a how-to book but teaches you to distrust people who will tell you how and what you should think and feel.
8 Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s published by British Salt Publishing, but I don’t have an agent.
Thanks for those answers, Adnan. Have a great time in Adelaide, and see you in Vienna in 2014!
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Coming up are the answers from Annie Evett and Alan McCluskey, so stay tuned.

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