Q1: Why does your first best seller happen to take place in Bangkok? Why would a European author want to lead her readers precisely to Southeast Asia?
A: Luckily, I’ve had the chance to travel extensively throughout the world. Traveling had always been a childhood dream of mine; I also dreamt about writing stories, novels, and films. The first time I visited Bangkok, I immediately fell in love with it. Naturally, on the first day, I too could smell the ‘pungent’ odors and noticed the dirt, the cockroaches and the rats; later on, the odors because a cavalcade of scents in a place where the word cavalcade would otherwise be called an understatement. I was stunned by how accepting and tolerant the majority of Thai people are. This is what had the greatest effect on me. It is a colorful, exotic world of dizzying commotion, and yet it gives off an air of tranquility. Their Buddhist outlook on life affected me too, in addition to their way of thinking that teaches you not to look at what was yesterday, not to fear what comes tomorrow, but rather to live in the here and now, the moment itself.
I had a chance to get a glimpse into the lives of many people who were kind enough to welcome me into their homes or places of work. These people included: Dr. Thep, a plastic surgeon; a hotel manager and his wife; the family of a taxi driver; and a woman who sold shrimp on Khaosan Road. The story of the latter also appears in Bangkok Transit: one of my characters, Simon, visits her home. I also became very good friends with a businesswoman in Bangkok who had a difficult childhood, but managed to get her university degree. Her first husband was unfaithful to her, and she had to start her life all over again from zero several times; now, she lives happily with her second husband and daughter. She has found the life she always wanted.
Q2: Do you have any favorite cities in Thailand besides Bangkok?
A: I like the Thai countryside, Chiang Mai, a cooler, northern city, and the islands, of course. For example, I can never forget the tiny island of Raya, especially because we almost suffered a shipwreck on the boat ride over. It was an uplifting feeling to explore the ruins of the ancient kingdom in Ayutthaya. You touch the bricks that make up these structures and you commune with the past… imagining what it must have been like to live here back then. It is all a great, colorful, scented whirlwind – at least on the surface. But deep beneath, things are filled with faith, power, and peace.
Q3: Tell me a bit about those childhood dreams you mentioned.
A: I grew up reading the novels of Jules Verne and dreamt about how wonderful it would be to travel the world. Then, after a while, I started perusing travel brochures, and each night before I fell asleep, I imagined myself whisked off to another land. Somehow I had a feeling that when I grew up, I would make all of these dreams come true, and that I would be able to travel extensively. My other great wish was to write stories. I remember, when I was seven or eight, I re-wrote the ending of a story I had read because I didn’t like the outcome. That was the first time I felt the giddiness that came with creating a story. How amazing it was when a location, a character, or a scenario sparked in your imagination and then became so real, you could almost touch it. I feel the same way today when I write, and this feeling is the true reason why I write.
My dreams are usually realized slowly, but I feel that the greatest dreams always come true if you keep your gaze fixed on them. I think the most important thing is to recall your childhood fantasies from time to time and to ask yourself the question: which of these has come true? Our childhood dreams are very important, pointing like compasses to our future, and if we diverge too much, we can always steer back on track. I’m lucky because my parents always allowed me to follow my own path and to chase my dreams. Even though they didn’t believe that these would ever come true, they never took away my faith.
Q4: How did your career as a novelist begin?
A: I wrote my first novel when I was a teenager; I was eighteen when I placed second in a novel-writing competition, but the publisher went bankrupt. Then I compiled a book of interviews I had done with Hungarian musicians, upon commission. It’s funny because back then I only thought I knew how to conduct an interview, just as anyone who isn’t a journalist thinks they can. I learned the hard way when the subjects I interviewed went on and on about themselves for hours, almost uninhibitedly. I was afraid to interrupt them, but then, when I got home, I had to start editing and writing up the interview from five or six hours of raw material. But it was a good lesson, and I benefited from it later. The publisher that had asked me to do the interviews had to close business, and since I wanted to write anyway, I applied for jobs as a journalist. I was studying towards a degree in communication when I was already working as a reporter. I started as a freelance journalist, had lots of ideas, and was very enthusiastic. I quickly landed jobs with reputable newspapers and magazines, and in the meantime I wrote novels for my own pleasure. My first book was published in 1999 under a pseudonym. Bangkok Transit was published in 2008, and this was my first big debut in Hungary. Since then, the book has sold more than 100,000 copies, which is a great success in such a small country.
Q5: What do you think the secret of Bangkok Transit’s great success is in Hungary?
A: It is entertaining yet thought-provoking. I think there is an aspect of freshness and momentum in it. It is an international story, guiding you into an exotic world, but it also has Hungarian connections, and it is quite modern. My readers have said that, in addition to this book, my other books are also a ‘therapeutic journey’ for them: while they travel along with my characters in their imaginations, sharing their troubles, they also find solutions to their own troubles.
Q6: Do your heroes always travel in your books?
A: They don’t always make actual physical journeys, but there are always spiritual journeys. Of course, as a traveler, I enjoy incorporating the places I’ve visited and enjoyed myself into my novels. When I write a book and the location comes to life in my mind’s eye, I feel like I’m there again. I have fairly good visual memory; I distinctly remember the light, scents, streets, and colors, and my readers say that I am able to convey these memories well in my novels.
Q7: Why aren’t you content with only the success you’ve achieved in Hungary?
A: When I was a kid, I also dreamed that people would read my books in English, and that they would be able to buy copies at airports and large bookstores abroad. I was always a bookworm, and I am, even today. I devour novels one after the other, and I believe that my novels are on par with an international standard. I also feel that my readers in the United States will enjoy my books. I write mostly as a cosmopolite and write cosmopolitan novels, and I believe that I can help women not only in Hungary with my books, but also in many other countries of the world.
Bangkok: a sizzling, all-embracing, exotic city where the past and the present intertwine. It’s a place where anything can happen… and anything really does happen. The paths of seven people cross in this metropolis. Seven seekers, for whom this city might be a final destination. Or perhaps it is only the start of a new journey? A successful businessman; a celebrated supermodel; a man who is forever the outsider; a young mother who suddenly loses everything; a talented surgeon, who could not give the woman he loved all that she desired; a brothel’s madam; and a charming young woman adopted at birth. Why these seven? Why did they come to Bangkok now, at the same time? Do chance encounters truly exist?
Bangkok Transit is a Central European best-seller. The author, Eva Fejos, a Hungarian writer and journalist, is a regular contributor to women’s magazines and is often herself a featured personality. Bangkok Transit was her first best-seller, which sold more than 100,000 copies and is still selling. Following the initial publication of this novel in 2008, she went on to write twelve other best-sellers, thus becoming a publishing phenomena in Hungary According to accounts given by her readers, the author’s books are “therapeutic journeys,” full of flesh and blood characters who never give up on their dreams. Many readers have been inspired to change the course of their own lives after reading her books. “Take your life into your own hands,” is one of the important messages the author wishes to convey.
Try it for yourself, and let Eva Fejos whisk you off on one of her whirlwind journeys... that might lead deep into your own heart.
About Eva Fejos, the author of Bangkok Transit
- Eva Fejos is a Hungarian writer and journalist.
- has had 13 best-selling novels published in Hungary so far.
- Bangkok Transit is her first best-seller, published in 2008.
- has won several awards as a journalist, and thanks to one of her articles, the legislation pertaining to human egg donation was modified, allowing couples in need to acquire donor eggs more easily.
- spends her winters in Bangkok.
- likes novels that have several storylines running parallel.
- visited all the places she’s written about.
- spent a few days at an elephant orphanage in Thailand; and has investigated the process of how Thai children are put up for adoption while visiting several orphanages.
- founded her own publishing company in Hungary last year, where she not only publishes her own books, but foreign books too, hand-picked by her.
- Her books published in Hungary thus far are:
Till Death Do Us Part (Holtodiglan) | Bangkok Transit | Hotel Bali | Chicks (Csajok) | Strawberries for Breakfast (Eper reggelire) | The Mexican (A mexikói) | Cuba Libre | Dalma | Hello, London | Christmas in New York (Karácsony New Yorkban) | Caribbean Summer (Karibi nyár) | Bangkok, I Love You (Szeretlek, Bangkok) | Starting Now – the new edition of Till Death Do Us Part (Most kezdődik) | Vacation in Naples – the English version will be published in summer, 2014 (Nápolyi vakáció)
To be published in spring of 2014: I Waited One Hundred Nights (Száz éjjel vártam)
Bangkok Transit (English version): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDIT4UY
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Genre - Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author