Wer ist eigentlich Neli K. Filipić ? Und was mag/macht sie für Kinder- und Jugendbücher? Drei Fragen an die Autorin aus Slowenien.
– How did you start to write books for children (and young people)?
Writing was very natural for me, from my childhood on and I always wrote more for adults than for other kids. When I was perhaps 10 years old I even won a reward for a short-short story on radio broadcast, competing with adult amateur writers. It was fun, but I never thought about becoming a professional writer. That changed after I won the Levstik literature award for my novel Star Hunting (Original: »Lov na zvezde«, 1995), which was my first work for children, inspired by my little nephews and nieces. Since than more than twenty years have passed, and young people and children still inspire me to write for them, while the adult writing I’d like to do, patiently waits for some future that has yet to arrive.
– Which of your books should everybody be familiar with (and why)?
I am lucky to have a publisher who understands my desire to write literature that reaches adults as much as children, such as my story Can I Give You a Big Hug? (Original: »Ali te lahko objamem močno?«, 2011). I wrote it as much for the children as for their parents or teachers. While kids can enjoy the story on one level, I’d like to think that an adult reader would linger upon the messages that I’ve hidden behind the first and most superficial reading.
I would also like to see families reading my picture book The Fire (Original: »Požar«, 2016) together. This is a story about refugees, who after a devastating fire which destroyed their homes, try to save their lives on the banks of the river which sweeps them away. It would make me happy to know that children and their parents talk about the story with compassion and understanding and connect it with the present refugee crises worldwide.
The Little Girl And The Giant (Original: »Punčka in velikan«, 2009) is another personal book of mine for both parents and children. It’s a story of pain that passes over generations until one girl learns to move and live free beyond it.
Ich freue mich auch, wenn Familien mein Bilderbuch »Das Feuer« (im Original: »Požar«, 2016) lesen. Dabei handelt es sich um eine Geschichte über Flüchtlinge, die nach einem zerstörerischen Feuer, das ihre Häuser vernichtet hat, versuchen am Ufer eines Flusses ihr Leben zu retten, der sie jedoch davonschwämmt. Zu wissen, dass Kinder und ihre Eltern über die Geschichte mit Mitgefühl und Verständnis sprechen und diese mit der heutigen kritischen Situation für Flüchtlinge weltweit in Verbindung bringen, würde mich froh machen.
Ein anderes persönliches Buch für Eltern und Kinder ist »Das kleine Mädchen und der Riese« (im Original: »Punčka in velikan«, 2009). Es ist eine Geschichte über Gewalt (in der Familie, Anm.), die über Generationen weitergegeben wird, bis ein Mädchen sich ändert und frei davon lebt.
– Which theme or motif would you love to work on in a children’s book some day?
Usually I don’t choose a theme or motive to write about in particular. I wait for something to inspire me to write about it. But I do have a wish for my future work; I would like to write more stories for children that would make them laugh a lot. Just to make them happy and see smiles on their faces. Wouldn’t that be something!