Interview: Ivan Bačić

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Name: Ivan Bačić

Where do you live: Kula, Serbia

Known for: Author of the novel “Krvavo zeleno”

Currently working as:
Fiction writer.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
This is kind of a dream job to me. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I was never ready enough. During autumn of 2011, I, or some other voice in my head told me: “That’s it, you’re going to write a novel!” So, it was more a decision than realization.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
New York, because it is the center of the world’s modern culture and all the people I admire live there; like Woody Allen, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino…

How would you describe your creativity?
I’m not sure whether I can describe it properly, but I’ll give my best. I’m driven by human behavior, all sorts of them, and I enjoy observing and analyzing it. So, when I sit down to write, I try to recall the most interesting or the strangest of people’s events or just the simplest reactions. Then, I create a character. I give him/her attributes, put him/her into various situations and assume his/her reactions. On good days, it feels like everything is created by itself, like nothing is made up by me. It’s like a game to me, a play time, and, it’s fun to do.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
I’ve always wanted to do something with my life but I didn’t know what and how. One day it just popped in my head, like a voice, and it said to me: “OK, from now on you’re going to write and for the first time in your life you are going to give 100% of you”. But I didn’t. At least to me, it feels like I can give more.

What do you do at the moment?
The trouble of being myself, at least one of them, is that I cannot focus on one project only. Currently, I am scattered across a few of them: promotion of the novel, building a website and blog, which I wish to start, and writing a new novel. There are also lot of non-writing activities which I’m involved in. Even if it might seem a bit overwhelming, I found it rather helpful to be able to joggle between various activates.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
There is no secret, really, there is no super special way to do it. It’s rather simple: whatever you want to do, the method is the same – sit there and bleed until you’re satisfied with it, then move on to a new project. If you want to write, let the writing be the first thing you do in morning. Just sit down and write. Call it a day while you still know what you are going to write next. Never drain yourself entirely. It will be much easier to start the following day. If you’re not happy with it, just throw it away, but it mustn’t depress you, you must appreciate the fact that you have been writing that morning, and you must be aware that all writers have bad days and they throw many stuff away, sometimes even entire novels. Those who wait for inspiration, or the right moment, or a muse, or whatever, will never finish anything.

Tell us how it all started.
I believe it all started way back in childhood, when I first saw the Jurassic Park movie. I was six or seven and I wanted to write interesting stories like those Stephen Spielberg used for his movies. It took time to actually happen. Two decades to be more precise, but it happened.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
I can write anywhere, in my room, on a bus, train, in room full of people, in a coffee shop, anywhere, really, as long as nobody tries to interrupt me by talking to me or trying to gain my attention in anyway. The other very important thing is that my bladder is empty. If I feel the slightest need to visit the men’s room, it ruins my concentration. So, my workplace needs to have access to a toilet.

What is your favorite film?
Midnight in Paris. I like Woody Allen’s films in general, but Midnight in Paris is something I could watch every single day. I believe that film is his masterpiece. He put there all the people, places and music that he loves and admires. I cannot even imagine how much he enjoyed making it.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Tough one. I’m not really a dinner person. I don’t enjoy eating at all. But, if I have to choose, just for the sake of socializing, that would probably be George Carlin, because I like people with a great sense of humor and he was the funniest man ever. If I have only to pick among the living, that would probably be Emma Watson. I would like to hear her British accent in person; yes, and I would let her do the talking; I’m not a person who talks much.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
By buying technology – laptops, tablets, cameras… And by tattooing.

What is luxury for you?
Anybody having more than one car.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I’m not a compliment fan, I prefer honest, immediate, emotional reactions to words, like goose bumps, or even tears. Yes, I make my readers cry a lot.

What do you fear most?
Mad dogs. They paralyze me. Phone calls, I don’t know why, I guess because I cannot see the person I’m talking to, but I despise video calls, too. Singing in public (meaning – if anyone can hear me), too.

What is a happy life to you?
Doing work you like, being able to make a living out of it and spending time with people you love.

What does a regular day look like for you?
There is no regular day in my life, there are only a couple of day patterns I stick to. When, besides writing occupation, I used to work in a soda factory I was obligated to adopt to a three shifts job. Now, since I have part-time job at an IT Company I’ve become more flexible. I make a list of things to do during the day and tend to accomplish them. Things on the list are separated in two categories: Priorities and Others. Priorities are: writing and reading and the others are: socializing, exercise, chess, watching movies, music, photography…  Mostly, I don’t accomplish them all, but it’s important to do the priorities and to be happy with the things you’ve done.

Tell us about your dream project.
I want to write 10 books and, while writing the 10th, to realize that it couldn’t be better than the 9th. In that way, I would know that I’ve reached my best and that I’ve had a progressive career. So, this is my lifetime, big, dream project and the number of books isn’t really relevant.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Ernest Hemingway, just in his writing style, not lifestyle. I dislike boxing and hunting though I might grab a glass occasionally.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
I believe it’s down to earth style. Writing stories about real people that might or might not happen. But there is an academic element too, I do a lot of research before writing on a specific topic.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Internet. It’s my source of information and leisure and joy and my girlfriend lives there, most of the time, since we have a long-distance relationship.

What inspires you?
People. What they do, the way they do it, the way they interact with each other, everything about people.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
This one is tough, too, because I believe every book changes you a bit. I have difficulties picking just one, but let it be: The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This is book is a lifetime source of wisdom and guidelines. Every time I notice that I have stopped being a child, I go back to that book and it feels like being rebooted. But, that’s not all, I will have to mention two more, since they are not even whole books but single stories: The Man in a Case by Anton Chekhov; it showed me how a man can drive himself into state of complete madness simply by being a strict conformist. And it’s wonderfully told, too. The other is: The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. Every time I reread it, it makes me question life itself. And I believe it’s a good exercise to do, occasionally.  

Connect with Ivan on Facebook & via Twitter @ivanbacic86 & Instagram @ivanbacic86
Check out his YouTube channel
Read more about him at Goodreads
Email him here

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