For the strong rural root, the choices in life and the mountain
10th-graders Bojidara Rusenova, Ivanka Lazarova and Silviya Kodzhova from SU “Vasil Dechev” in Chepelare talk the Bulgarian author Vasil Veninski about his work, the challenges that writers in Bulgaria are facing, and his advice to young writers.
Introduction: Vasil Veninski was born on 30.01.1954 in the Rhodopian village Pavelsko. After graduating from high school, he decided to study Chemistry at the “Paisii Hilendarski” University of Plovdiv and then he specialized at the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Sofia. He is an author and co-author of more than twenty books including his latest one – “Prekarshena sevda” (“Broken lass”).
When did you first feel the need to write?
I was at the barracks. That is when I wrote my first poem. After some time, I made an effort to collect materials for a book dedicated to the school in my home village of Pavelsko. I am a man with solid rural roots so I have preferred the village rather than the capital – Sofia. At that time I was working as a principle of the educational institution.
This is my first book; it is a result of more than four years of work. Then I began to write stories, related to the Turkish slavery.
What inspires you?
It is the natural desire of every person to leave a trace to next generations.
What is your favourite part of being a writer?
I do not consider myself as a writer, I am an author. According to me one of the greatest Bulgarian writers is Ivan Vazov.
With my book about the school in Pavelsko I would like to say that this place is still alive and it should exist in the future. It was founded in 1832. In 2017 we celebrated its 185th anniversary. In my stories I rely on facts to teach people the historical truth in a popular form.
What obstacles do you encounter in your working process?
In our municipality, the employees are very fond of the requests and needs of authors. Dedication is required in linking facts. You need to be methodical in dealing with multiple documents. An author always faces self-censorship. Will I offend someone? A good example is easily named, but it is difficult to handle the bad ones.
Is the work of the author appreciated and rewarded?
The work is appreciated but not rewarded – the reason is not the author himself. Some people say that nowadays we have drawn back from the books, but that is not true. The thing is that the well-favoured texts and words cannot immediately get to many people. Because of that you have to make appropriate advertisement. That is the reason why I started publishing my texts at blog.bg ten years ago.
What is your advice to the young people who would like to become writers?
My advice is to return back to their homelands and create their own families. Every human owns dominant genes which can appear at some stage in their lifetime. I understood that I am passionate to write about Rhodope mountain. I do not want to witness the death of this place but unfortunately this is the reality.