Today we play a quick round of Five Questions with Bessora, the award-winning author of Alpha, which is on stage TOMORROW at the South Ken Kid’s Festival featuring illustrator Barroux and actor Thierry Lawson as Alpha.
Can you describe your story in 5 words?
Alpha seen as nobody, seeks refuge
Can you tell us about the particular inspiration behind your story?
Sometimes I choose my stories. This time, this story chose me.
Now, on to Bessora herself!
Where is your favourite place to find inspiration and/ or write?
Love writing in my bed (but very bad for the spine), finding inspiration in my dreams, been found as a “medium” by characters, like Alpha (or Le Testament de Nicolas, who is Alpha’s dark brother and asked me to write his “will”)
What is the best recent book you’ve read (for any age – or more than one if you pick an adult book)?
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing their own stories?
I wouldn’t dare (although I’m running workshops). So if you insist, I would say don’t be afraid to kick your ass, there’s always a good reason. Scars are good.
What’s the nicest (or worst!) thing anyone’s ever said about your books?
“The books of this Belgium writer from Congo who speaks such a good French.” I’m neither from the Congo or Belgium. And French is my mother tongue (after Swiss German, of course).
Which book do you wish you’d written?
My next one. (very self oriented…)
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Bessora is a prize-winning French author of Swiss and Gabonese heritage, deeply committed to telling unheard and suppressed stories. In writing Alpha, her aim was to create a strong connection between narrator and reader. She says: “Alpha is like your brother, whispering in your ear. You are very close to him. So anyone can identify with Alpha: he raises the question of destiny. Do we take it in hand? What meaning do we give to our life?”