Living in a multicultural city I find it quite interesting to know more about the publishers. Who they are, what they do and why they do it? In this way we get to know them and appreciate their work. We can find out more about their feelings and life experiences that can make us see the world through different eyes.
That’s why this is the beginning of showing the world who Swedish writers really are.
I had an interview with a young writer, Felicia Margineanu, who will tell us more about her work…
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was laying in my bed one day and it hit me like a train: I want to write a book about the opportunities f social media, with focus on our kids and youths. I was so tired of the debate and how big organizations are educating teachers and parents about “young people’s internet use” and talking hours about internet hate. I am a living proof of how internet and social media can change someone’s life to the better.
- How long did it take you to write this book?
One and a half years. I had the chance to pitch my book idea for the publishing house Modernista and after one week I had the contract in my hand.
- Where did you get your information or ideas for your book?
The book is a mix of my life experiences and other people’s experiences of the positive sides of internet. But the foundation of this book is based on me, you will read about my childhood and follow me until today. I also did a lot of research to find the right people to interview in the book, and also on the Swedish Media Council (Statens mediaråd), reading also many articles and statistics.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to spend time with my cats and my boyfriend. Whenever I am not home, I’m out running like crazy between meetings, lectures and jobs. I am an entrepreneur, so my days are never the same.
- What does your family think about your writing?
My boyfriend was the first one to read my texts, I sent them to him during the writing process and he was very impressed with it – he knew I was a good speaker, but not a writer. Remember – I don’t have an academic background, I quit high school after one year of studying photography – I wanted to start and build up my company. So, writing was something new to me, but I’ve always loved to write – I guess it’s like everything… it has to come from within.
- What was one of the most surprising things you have learned in creating your book?
Oh wow… It was this journey I had within myself. Writing a book about your life is hard. The process from “why should anyone ever read about myself? How is this going to be interesting for anyone else?” to: “This is me, this is my life and my experience, no one can ever take it away from me and, if people want to read this book, they will.” I accepted myself for who I am, who I was and who I will be.
- Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, this is one of the best things with publishing a book. I’ve had amazing conversations with my readers, in all ages. A lot of people are inviting me to their schools, companies or organization so I can meet them in real life. Some people even buy me a Swedish “fika” and just chill for a while at a café. Most of the people say that this book is full of love and that they feel very inspired and hopeful for our children’s future and that they themselves are changing their view of internet – to a more positive one.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I played tennis at a very high level as a child. I played eight hours a week plus the competitions. Unfortunately, I was being bullied by the other girls, because of my very mature body, I looked older than I really was. I felt very sad and humiliated so, I quit playing. I felt like a loser, 12 years old, no friends, no tennis. I got a camera as a Christmas present and that camera became my new friend. Photography became my profession and I started my first company the day I turned 18. I was a lone wolf growing up, and I guess I still am – but my dream since I was a child, after quitting my tennis, was to ”never live my life in someone else’s eyes and expectations”.
- How did you begin writing?
I´ve always been writing something: a diary, short novels, poems or blogging. So it’s been very natural for me.
- What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
My favorite author is, of course, Astrid Lindgren. I don’t think any book influenced my way of writing, but in my future I want to write children’s books – Astrid is of course going to be one of the biggest inspirations.
- Tell us some more about your book.
Today the debate about young people’s use of social media is mostly in negative terms, that young people’s Internet use would be detrimental and my generation who are born in 90’s are “the egocentric generation”.
In this book I make up to that image. For me and many others, the internet is a place and an effective tool to drive social change and fight for democracy and human equality. I show how social media gives its users unique opportunities to realize creative and political projects, break the norms, adopt or reject identities.
A day that changed my life and my view on social media was in 2010 after the Swedish election – when the Sweden Democrats entered the parliament. I saw that my Facebook feed was filled by disgruntled updates and decided to do something. Less than a day later, I stood as a 17 years old and held a speech before 10,000 people at the Sergels Torg in Stockholm, to take a stand against racism.
In this book you will also meet Patricia Richter behind GroPlay, Michael McEachrane, founder of Fight Racism Now, the youth blogger MissLisibell, the extreme sports group Rackartygarna, Kia Mohebi who started Inspons and a long list of others who created something positive online – as well as ordinary young people and parents who give their perspective on social media and the internet.
This book is an inspirational book with lots of practical tips and advice on how to use the internet to realize their ideas and projects. The book is also addressed to teachers and parents who want to learn more about the possibilities of social media.
- Tell us why people should read your book?
It’s a book with love and inspiration and it’s a good alternative to this negative, deep and complicated debate.
- Do you plan to translate it into English?
YES!!! This is one of my biggest plans in the years to come.
- How did you feel the Stockholm public received your book?
Amazing. I have been supported and had a good publicity in media and people are greeting me on the streets.
- Where can the fans reach you?
On my website: www.FeliciaMargineanu.com or on Facebook.
- Where do we find the book and how much does it cost?
You can find it on Bokus and Adlibris (online), and also in your local bookstore: Akademibokhandeln and the price is between 150-220 kr.
- Can students borrow the book from the library? If yes, where from? If not, when?
YES! I don’t know all of the libraries, but if you are interested in getting the book and it’s not available in the library – ask them to order it to your library. But I know it’s in at least 50 different cities all over Sweden.
- Are you planning to write a new book? If yes, when?
I have so many ideas, but the more I think and fantasize about a new book, it’s a children’s book. That’s something I never thought I would feel!
- Where do you see yourself in the next 15 years?
Oh wow… 15 years. Then I will be around 35… Of course I want to have a family with my husband and children. My dream is to live my life and to have all of my dreams at once. I do not believe that I have to choose one thing in life – family or career. I want to be a career woman, a working mother and spend my time with my family. I see myself developing new social companies. I’d love to continue lecturing and meeting new inspiring people. I focus more on how I want to feel in 15 years, not WHAT I want to be or do. I want to feel love, freedom and creativity.