“I can write anywhere” | Inna Manakhova

“I can write anywhere” | Inna Manakhova

Inna Manakhova  is an acclaimed Russian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Inna will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Odyssey, our new anthology of stories for young adults, inspired by journeys. 

Tell us about your story…
The theme of my short story is “journey”. No matter what the theme is I always try to show  diverse characters interacting in everyday situations, and this story is not an exception. I believe the most interesting thing is to see how young people try to reach each other despite their differences: they often fail in their attempts, but their communications and relationships never lack sincerity as compared to the adults.

When did you decide to become an author?
I’ve never thought to become an author and I don’t feel like an author now. I’ve been writing since childhood, but the only purpose of my literary exercises was to amuse my friends. Several years ago I participated in a literary contest and got a youth jury award, and it was the first time when I thought that my stories and short novels could interest someone other than my closest friends.

When did you publish your first book?
My first novel was published in February 2016. It hasn’t been translated to any foreign languages yet. Its title in English would be Twelve Spectators.

What is special about writing for children?
The most special thing about writing for children is the ability to affect someone who has not made the most important decisions in life yet, who is still learning, seeking, looking for something. And the author can show the way or, at least, offer an option.

What does it mean to you to be a part of the anthology and the Hay Festival?
It’s a very big honour for me to be a part of the anthology and the Hay Festival, and I appreciate having been chosen to participate in such a great event!

Do you have a favourite spot where you write?
I don’t have a favorite spot where I write. I think I can write anywhere, because every time I grab my tablet to write down some new idea I forget about anything else, and it doesn’t really matter where I am.