I wrote a short story and won the runner-up prize to see Carlos Ruiz Zafón, guest-headliner as part of the The Auckland Writers & Readers Festival 2013. A major part of the festival spirit — all types of festivals — is discovering new things, and what Zafón had to impart to his attentive theater audience, myself included, was inspiring and related to my style of writing nicely. I’m thinking the CWOC judges may have put two and two together. Either way, cheers CWOC, much appreciated
“Carlos Ruiz Zafon is Spain’s bestselling contemporary writer and the author of six novels, including the international bestsellers ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ and ‘The Prisoner of Heaven.’ His work has been published in more than 40 languages and honoured with numerous awards.”
“Writing is an experiment.” A young reader may be smarter than the adults around them who never read books at their age, and can still grasp an adult orientated narrative, although parts of that narrative may not register with young readers because they have no comprehension of what an adult might. Many experiences come with growing old. Zafón likes to write his novels with this emotive-like intelligence in mind, and as a result his stories are peppered with intrigue for the whole family. Well, maybe not the whole family. Zafón spoke a little on science-fiction which I liked, and how much more it is to do with our present time. I can agree with that. Writing in the past or future setting allows you to look at your world objectively and cuts out all the unnecessary humdrum we are constantly surrounded with today (all the pop-culture references, social-media, etc) and concentrate on the story. And get this; Zafón deletes all his draft work and research when his books get published. “No paper-trail.”
Zafón made comments on the post-Spanish Civil War in relation to novel-writing (a question raised by an audience member in respect to people who actually lived through the War) that I didn’t fully understand, but I understood his resolve. Also, he acknowledged his translator Lucia Graves (daughter of poet Robert Graves,) who is without a doubt a main contributor to Zafón’s success in English-speaking countries. Don’t quote me on any of that, I’m not even sure if what I’ve written can be considered paraphrasing, but there is some of what I gained from going. The rest is for me
Congratulations to Vishakham who was the other runner-up, and first prize winner Tessa, whose prose entry won her the competition’s top prize to a Kathryn Burnett workshop. To be honest, I am more than pleased I got runner-up and got to see Zafón. More so considering Kathryn tutored me five years ago, but let’s keep that a secret between us She’s aight.