Juergen Banscherus in Athens 2018 World Book Capital!

The German author Juergen Banscherus is the “father” of Detective Klouz, or Detective Kwiatkowski in his motherland! The series are read by millions of children all over the world. The author is visiting Athens on Sunday, 9 December 2018 at 12:00 in Danaos Cinema, as a guest of Athens 2018 World Book Capital / City of Athens, in cooperation with Metaixmio Publications. Before arriving in Athens, Banscherus had an intriguing talk with Anna Routsi!

What made you write for children and young people?

When I was 16 years old, I began writing poems and I did that till I was 34. In 1983 I lived in Dortmund and underwent violations against Turkish people, especially against Turkish children. In that situation I decided to write a book for children. While I was working, I made the experience that writing for children and young people makes me really happy. The book with the title “No braces for Oya” became a great success. Since then writing for children is my passion.

-What do you think is the recipe of success for the detective K. series?

There is no recipe! Till today it´s a miracle for me that Klouz is so successful and is translated meanwhile in 21 languages. Last time in Athens a Greek girl said: “Klouz is different.” May be that´s it!

Related to the previous question, what could be the recipe of failure for the children books in general?

I think there is no recipe for a book to be a hit or a flop! As a writer you do the best you can and then have to wait what happens on the bookmarket. Maybe a great book is published at the wrong time in the wrong publishing house and will be a failure. Maybe bad stuff is published at the right time in a congenial publishing house and will be a bestseller. You never know!

 -You have been in Greece and in Athens a few years ago. What was your impression of children and their relation to books and reading here?

Greek children are enthusiastic. In no other country I visited in the last years I got so many compliments and motivation for my work. In Greece I´ve got the impression that children live in and with books they like – with heart and soul.

What could be an advice from you to the writers of children’s books in Greece?

I´m not in a position to give advises to other writers. I can only encourage them to do  t h e i r  thing, to write what they  m u s t  write, what is important for  t h e m. If Pegasus is on your side, it will be a success. If not – never mind and go on writing.

Do you ever get bored of your heroes? How do you develop them?

Sometimes I hate my heroes, sometimes I love them. But I never get bored of them. Do you get bored of your children? For me the development of their characters is the most important thing starting with a new book. Only authentic heroes can get an own life. By the way –  in my writing every hero is a mix of personalities I know.

How did it feel writing for adults – and especially a crime novel?

It´s the same feeling like writing for children. The main difference is that you can work much more with literary technics: cuts, flashbacks, changes in the points of view and so on. A crime novel for adults must have the same topics as a crime story for children: speed, thrill and mystery.