Theresa Old. Interview with the author of The girl who wanted to know everything

We talked to the writer and communicator Teresa Viejo about her latest work.

Photography: Teresa Viejo. Courtesy of Communication Ingenuity.

A Theresa Old She is well known for her professional career as journalist, but it is also writer vocational. She uses her time between radio, television, the relationship with her readers and more workshops and talks. In addition, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and the Foundation for Victims of Traffic. He has written essays and novels with titles like While it rains o The memory of the water, among others, and has now presented The girl who wanted to know everything. In this interview He tells us about her and other topics. I really appreciate her attention and her time.

Teresa Viejo — Interview

  • LITERATURE NEWS: Your latest novel is titled The girl who wanted to know everything. What do you tell us about it and where did the idea come from?

TERESA OLD: The girl who wanted to know everything is not a novel, but a nonfiction work around curiosity, a fortress in whose research I have specialized in recent years, also taking charge of publicize its benefits and promote its use at conferences and trainings. This book is part of a process that is giving me great joy, the last one starting my doctoral thesis to support this study. 

  • AL: Can you go back to that first book you read? And the first story you wrote?

TV: I guess it would be a copy of the saga of The five, by Enid Blyton. I also especially remember Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter, because her happy philosophy despite the difficulties that the character was experiencing, marked me a lot. Later, over time, I detected in it the seeds of the positive psychology that I now practice. around that time I started writing mystery stories, which did not seem very usual for a girl of twelve, thirteen, but, as Juan Rulfo said, "we always write the book we would like to read." 

  • AL: A head writer? You can choose more than one and from all eras. 

TV: Pedro Paramo, by J. Rulfo is the book I always reread. The author seems to me to be an extraordinary being in his complexity. I love Garcia Marquez, Ernesto Sabato, and Elena Garro; Boom novelists helped me grow as a reader. the poems of Peter Salinas they always accompany me; contemporary to him, although in a different gender, was Daphne du maurier, whose plots seduce me from the beginning, a good example that you can be popular and write very well. and I recommend to Olga Tokarczuk for something similar, a Nobel Prize winner whose books immediately captivate. Edgar Allan Poe between the classics and Joyce Carol Oates, contemporary. 

  • AL: What character in a book would you have liked to meet and create? 

TV: More than a character, I would have liked visit any of the settings from Daphne du Maurier's novels: Rebecca's house, Jamaica Inn, the farm where cousin Rachel lives...

  • AL: Any special habits or habits when it comes to writing or reading? 

TV: Wow, so many! Each novel has its range of aromas, so I have to write with scented candles or air fresheners around me. in my office I create the atmosphere of my characters with old photos: fabrics and dresses that they will use, the houses where the plot will take place, the furniture and personal belongings of each one of them, the landscapes of the locations... if some action takes place in a city, in a real setting, I need to find the map that Explain what it was like at the time the story unfolds. The photos of its buildings, the reforms that have been made afterwards, etc. 

As an example, during the writing of my second novel, May time find us, adopted mexican idioms to give them to the characters and I got used to Mexican food, immersing myself in its culture. I usually say that writing a novel is a journey: inside, in time, to our own memories and to the collective memory. A gift that each of us should give each other, at least once in a lifetime. 

  • AL: And your preferred place and time to do it? 

TV: In my office, with a lot of daylight, and I prefer to write at daytime. Better in the morning than late in the afternoon. 

  • AL: Are there other genres that you like? 

TV: In general, I like soap operas with a good load of mystery, but it also goes through streaks. For example, in recent years I read more non-fiction: neuroscience, psychology, astrology, leadership and personal growth… and, among my reading, texts on spirituality always sneak in. 

  • AL: What are you reading now? And writing?

TV: It is very frequent that I combine several books at the same time; in my vacation suitcase I have included the novels Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell, and The sky is blue, the earth is white, by Hiromi Kawakami (a delightful book, by the way), and the essays think againby Adam Grant being relational, by Kenneth Gergen and the power of joy, by Frédérich Lenoir (his reflections resonate quite a bit). And just today I received Blonde, by Carol Oates, but for its almost 1.000 pages I need time. 

As for writing, I'm finishing a story that I have been commissioned for a compilation. And a novel spins in my head. 

  • AL: How do you think the publishing scene is and what decided you to try to publish?

TV: Actually, I don't really know what to answer you because writing and publishing for me are linked. I published my first book in the year 2000 and it was the result of the conversations I had with my publisher; I have always maintained fluid contact with my editors, I value their work and their contributions, so that the final result is usually the sum of several views during the creation process. 

  • AL: Is the moment of crisis that we are experiencing being difficult for you or will you be able to keep something positive for future stories?

TV: Every era has its crisis, its war and its ghosts, and human beings must learn to manage them. It is impossible to deny the difficulty of the scenario we are in; but when writing about other historical junctures it helps you to relativize and also to understand. I cannot imagine the torment of our grandparents trying to find some normality during the civil war, and still life flowed: children went to school, people went out, went to coffee shops, fell in love and got married. Now young people emigrate for economic reasons and in 1939 they fled for political reasons. Some facts come dangerously close, so to understand what we are experiencing we should read recent history.  


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