ONE OF THE FIRST NAMES THAT POPS TO MIND AT THE MENTION OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN TURKEY, GÜLTEN DAYIOĞLU IS CROWNING HER 50-YEAR CAREER WITH A NOVEL, “DISAPPEARING INTO THIN AIR”.
You have a lot of travel books. Where does this passion for travel come from?
I was born in the town of Emet in Kütahya province. Our region is very fond of traveling. People would start getting ready to go to the spas the minute spring was in the air. Evliya Çelebi was originally from Kütahya, too. Travel is probably in our blood.
Did you start traveling in order to write?
No. I’m not a travel writer, but I do like to share the places I’ve been to with others. My husband and I have always loved traveling, and that love eventually became an addiction. I’m as addicted to traveling as I am to writing.
You’ve been to 107 countries. Which one impressed you the most?
Some places did not live up to my expectations, others surprised in a way I never imagined they would. I have not written about each place but only about the ones that truly touched me. India, for example, and China, Mexico, Argentina, Antarctica…
What does traveling mean to you?
Meeting different people, seeing unusual types of people and different ways of life excites me.
How do you translate your experiences into your fiction?
Sometimes people ask me what books I’ve read. It’s like asking me all the meals I’ve eaten in the last fifty years! The books I’ve read are hidden between the lines. I’ve assimilated the books I’ve read, I’ve made them mine and created my own style. I’ve forged my own literary persona.
Can you tell us something about your latest book?
“Disappearing into Thin Air” is a young people’s book that I brought out in my fiftieth year as a writer. It’s got adventure and a zillion different lives. It’s a book full of emotion and human feelings.