Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey but I currently live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I have been always fond of studying and doing multiple art studies. I studied Ballet at Istanbul University State Conservatory and Piano at ABRSM. For a year, I lived in Roskilde, Denmark, where I studied at Roskilde University before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Groningen. Writing poetry was not always in my mind when I thought about being a writer. However, during the first year of my education. I realised poetry was the most expressive art form for me. Additionally, I have a blog where I write articles, book and film reviews. So far, I have written only one poetry book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
During my literature studies, I focussed on the topics of exile and gender. This increased my interest in discovering more about outsiders in society. That was the decision behind my first poetry novel. There are four chapters in my book and each one of them focus on my personal experience and a historical period. I was mostly inspired by unjust witch trials and the migrations which resulted in sufferings. My idea was to connect these tormented souls to my personal experience. Even though they are anonymous and buried deep down into the earth, one day their voice can be heard by the future generation. My attention was caught by the events happening after 2015 (migration and governmental issues). Literature is always evolving and a reflection of whatever is happening in the society at the time. What I represent is there are reoccurring problems in society that we will never recover from. The best way for me was to capture these moments on photographs and drawings companying my poems which were inspired by Middle English scrolls and experimental poetry.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Writing is a complex process as it just flows from your mind to the paper. Personally, I love to write when it is quite dark or rainy because that is the time I am most inspired. Perhaps, other writers do that as well but I always keep the first draft on either my laptop or notebook. Then, I just delete the sections that are too wordy. I try to be economical and concise with how I express myself because I can be too wordy at times.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many inspirational poets and writers from different centuries that have inspired me to write in the way I am expressing myself. Certainly, Emily Dickinson and Marie de France, and James Baldwin (they are all very opposite writers) have provided me with the most argued topics of their time.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on finishing my paperback and hardcover formats which will be out very soon. Besides that, I have some painting and photography projects going on in the future.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Instagram and my blog as we are more active on social media accounts. I figured asking book reviewers is the best way to promote. For self-published authors, the best way is to ask around and contact book bloggers/bookstagrammers to give you an honest review.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice would be just searching and go for it. Of course, there are mistakes to be made but no one is going to tell you the best way to do any of them because there is not just one way to self publish or contact agents. Because we have better access to each other and have the internet, it takes more time to get a response from each other. Publishers take years to give you a response and sometimes you do not even get a rejection email. But go for whatever your heart desires and learn from your mistakes.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t sit and wait for just one thing. Do multiple and do your best. My family taught me to be multitasking and that is how I grew up. I studied multiple things since I was a little kid but I learned that was the best way for me. Otherwise, you will waste your time waiting for a response/chance that will never come to you.
What are you reading now?
I have just finished Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky and reading Mythos from Stephen Fry.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Writing will never stop for me since I have discovered my passion for letting my stream of thoughts breathe forever in other people’s minds.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
That is a very hard question because I am a bookaholic and have so many books to choose from. I would unquestionably pick Frankenstein, All the Light We Cannot See, The Complete Sherlock Holmes.