“My story takes place in a society where people do not have a gender” | Cornelia Travnicek, Aarhus 39

“My story takes place in a society where people do not have a gender” | Cornelia Travnicek, Aarhus 39

Cornelia Travnicek is an acclaimed Austrian writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Cornelia 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…
My story has a Sci-Fi theme, sort of. It takes place in a society where people do not have a sex or gender until they reach puberty.

Why did you pick that theme?
I picked that theme because I like to write short stories about situations – in this case the situation of a young person, thinking about his/her still uncertain future, which, in this very special circumstance, includes deciding if he/she wants to live his/her life male or female.

When did you decide to become an author?
I did not decide to become an author, it was more like I realized I wanted to be an author. And then I started writing. My first book was published in 2008.

Why do you write for children / young adults?
I did not try to write a book aimed at young adults. It just happened that my book was a good read younger as well as elder people.Therefore it is very special for me to be part of the Hay Festival and to be invited to contribute to the anthology and I really hope I am doing a good job.

Do you have a favorite place to write?
I have to admit that I sometimes write sitting on my bed. Well, of course it is cozy and warm in winter and there is room for a cat. Or two.

From where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from different directions and in the right moment all influences mix and combine and if everything is right, then magic happens.