The passport official behind the glass screen takes her passport and she gives him her sweetest smile. He doesn’t smile back. He is young, about her age, with soft blue eyes under dark eyebrows. He leafs through the pages; back and forth and back again and glances past her at the queue forming behind. He looks weary as if he’s had as little sleep as she’s had. Sweat trickles down her spine. ‘Get on with it,’ the woman behind her says under her breath. The man picks up the phone. Keep your nerve, Yana says to herself, don’t run or break down or it would be the end of everything. A tiny muscle twitches in the temple by her right eye. She must look calm, casual, a phone call is not unusual at passport control at Sofia airport. Two soldiers with rifles walk towards the queue. Her blood pounds in her ears. This is it; she thinks. I am done for. But now the man is tapping her passport on the glass, tetchily as if it were she who was keeping him waiting. He hands it back with a brief, hard look into her eyes. The soldiers walk on. The barrier clicks open. Yana exhales and realises she has been holding her breath. In the departure lounge, she finds a seat and puts her bag on her knees. Suddenly all courage vanishes and she wants Mammy and Katya and home but it is too late. She tries to quieten her lurching heart. They’re letting me go, her mind is saying over and over. He let me through. Maybe he didn’t want the paperwork, the hassle, the late coffee break that questioning her would have meant. She had the correct documents, but he wasn’t stupid. His training would have sharpened the instinct they all possessed; he must have known she had paid for this somehow. What he did not know was how and who he’d anger if he stopped her.
Today we talk about A Secret Life, a book by Mina Bancheva, published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Mina Bancheva, to get to know her better, where she found the inspiration to write her book A Secret Life, as well as how her passion for writing started.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What prompted you to the writing of your book?
I was doing a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and one of the modules I took was Novel Writing. I decided to write a novel based on some of my experiences of growing up in Communist Bulgaria during the 50ies and the 60ies.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like to hear about my readers’ responses to my main character, Yana’s terrible dilemma: either betray her husband of expose the family she left back In Bulgaria to danger. I would like it know if Yana’s struggle engaged them emotionally.
- How did your passion for writing start?
My passion for writing started when I was seven years old and had poem publishes in the school magazine. I have been writing ever since.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
- Are you planning to write more books?
I am already in the process of finishing the second draft of my next novel, Family Life (provisional title). This novel is a prequel to A Secret Life and is part of a trilogy mapping the lives and fortunes of three generations of the same family. Each book can be read and enjoyed independently.
Europe Books thanks the author, Mina Bancheva, once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book A Secret Life. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my readers, may this book excite you, strongly captures your interest and at the same time makes you reflect on thoughts that have already been built or to be built from scratch!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!