Today we talk about Back to square One, a book by Lianné Jansen Van Resenburg published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Lianné Jansen Van Resenburg, to get to know her better, what was the moment that led her to the writing of her book Back to square One, as well as how much of her self she sees in the protagonist of her story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What is it?
Reading was always a way for me to escape into a new world and become a different person every time. The love for reading created the love for writing. Both my parents are also exceptionally talented. My mother in craft and clothing and my dad even though he is an engineer has a way with words that always moved people. I think both contributed to my love for writing. I always loved when we were told to write an essay for school, and I always hated that I had word limits to stick to. I had to always spend more time trying to stay in the word limit than I had thinking of what to write. It was my favourite part for language subjects. I didn’t ever explore it further than when I was doing my writing for an assignment and then our family was hit with a tragedy, and we lost my brother in an accident. I had trouble dealing with my brothers’ death and the normal ways we all know people use to deal with something like this didn’t work well for me and I was struggling to deal with it all. I had a teacher, my English teacher, that one day without even knowing I needed a kind word that day told me my writing was good and that I had a talent for creating a story. She showed me one of my essays I submitted as part of one of my assignments and told me she wanted to see the first draft that I didn’t submit with my story. That one not fitting into the word limit. That 10-minute discussion she had with me after class that day changed it all for me and encouraged me to write ‘Back To Square One’. She told me she could see my sadness and heartbreak I am struggling with in the story I wrote as well as in my eyes and she suggested I took to paper to place my feelings into the paper. To get them out of my mind and store it in a book. I didn’t understand what she meant with that and then one afternoon I sat down. Took out the original first draft of that essay and I started pouring my emotions onto a piece of paper. That so ‘Back To Square One’ started and believe me it changed a lot from that first draft to what we have before us today.
- What are the messages you wanted to send out with your book?
This is a bit more difficult to answer as my story was never written with a message in mind to others but more of a coping mechanism for me. But I feel it does have a message in the end. ‘Back To Square One’ has a lot of sad emotions running through the story from start to end. I think the most important message is to not give up on once self. Even when you believe it might be better for you to be gone from this world, you will be surprised to find out how wrong you can be about yourself and others. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help, keep asking until the right person hears it, there is someone out there that wants to help. Just don’t give up on yourself. Keep fighting back, fight against yourself and others if needed. But just don’t give up. I know the world has been struggling with bullying it is something we all know I am sure of. But I want to ask those people, they know who they are, to just stop for a moment and fight against there own pain and stop pushing their pain onto others. For me personally I believe that is the reason we have bullies in this world. It is a person like ‘Sam’ in ‘Back To Square One’ that has there own hurt in there life that just reflects it onto others to try and shield the world form seeing that hurt. We as people need to stop being scared to ask for help and the world need to stop saying you are weak if you do ask for help. Because I believe you are anything but weak if you ask for help, I believe you are the strongest person to ask for help. So please ask for help, a lot of people want to help. Don’t give up on yourself ever you are worth it to fight for yourself and others will help you to fight to.
- How much of you is there in the protagonist of the novel?
A lot I would say. As I mentioned earlier, I started writing Sam’s story to help me with my own sadness. Although the closest truth in the story between me and Sam is the fact that we both lost a younger brother. My family life is nothing like hers. She had it bad, I had the love and support of my family always. But I had a lot of anger and sadness about my brother’s death, and I think I took my sadness and just gave it all to Sam. I was also never the popular one in school, just like Sam, but I wasn’t bullied – to that extend, the way Sam had to endure. Sam was a great student, but I think I made her such a great student because I always wished I was that type of student. But I think there is quite a bit of me in Sam, I think I used a lot of myself when writing her because I needed her to take my pain and sadness away and the only way, she could do that for me is to be a bit like me. And then there is a lot about Sam that I am not at all. But like I mentioned that I wished I was or could have been, when I was at school. I think my dad would have loved it if I was a better math student, like Sam.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
The word ‘unreal’ is what I wanted to use. I never wrote ‘Back To Square One’ with the intention of publishing it, but I had a friend asking me if she could read it and when she finished she told me I should try and get it published. And at first, I wanted to laugh off the idea because I believed it was not close to being good enough to be published. But she told me to try and so I did, I send out the manuscript locally (South Africa) to all and every publisher I could find on google and I didn’t have any luck in getting it published. And so I put it out of my mind and continued on with my life. Then one day, a slow day at my work, I was reading my own book again and I though let me try again in sending it to publishers. By this time the book has also gone through a few more drafts that what I originally send in, and I tried again, sending it locally to publishing houses. I then by mistake opened Europe Books website and thought if not why not It cannot hurt to try and send it to them as well. And so I send it in, and to be honest I completely forgot about it until one evening I was cleaning out my emails and saw a email from them in regards to my book. And I screamed like a real girl, just like to see in movies, when I read the email and then I started to cry when I saw I missed the date they requested to have a call with me and then I found some of ‘Sam’s’ courage to ask if we can set up a new date and time, and then I nearly fainted when she said yes and actually called me. I’m a sceptical person always worried I’m stepping into something that is not real. And to be honest I still feel like this isn’t real some days. I think the reality will start to become real for me when I actually hold the book in my hand.
- Are you planning to write more books?
Of all the questions asked here this is the easiest to answer. The answer is yes, and to be honest, Sam & Brandon already have a second book to complete their story. I also have another book I have finished (not connected to Sam & Brandon) and then about half a dozen if not more story ideas where I have even written a chapter of two for each of those stories. And then some more where I have a title and nothing more. I love writing and I think it will continue writing. My day job has just been keeping me away from starting on once of the other stories to start developing it. But when an idea strikes, I note it down to ensure I can go back and see what potential the idea has. I have also played around with the idea of giving the other characters in Back To Square One a story of there own but apart from writing a title for the story or noting down there names on a piece of paper I have not developed anything for them. Sam & Brandon is the only characters I have given an entire story to and a follow up story to just round out their story.
Europe Books thanks the author Lianné Jansen Van Resenburg 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 Back to square One. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish that this book thrills you and touches you to the point that allows you to understand the importance of never giving up, not being afraid to ask for help, and continuing to do so until you find the right person who wants to help you. Just don’t give up on yourself, ever!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this touching reading!