Monday, February 23, 2009

PRESTIGE | Author of the Year / The "It" People | Oct, 2008 | By Aruminingsih

1. How do you describe yourself?

Multifaceted, crazy, humorous, curious, cool, and (a bit) narcisstic in a humorous manner.

2. What do you like most about your job? Tell us about it.

My hobby is my job. I think I am extremely lucky to be blessed in such way. I know many people who hate their job, but they don’t have a choice because they need to make a living. I love my profession, and couldn’t think of doing anything else beside this. I sing, write, and write songs even when people don’t read or listen to them. So I merely do my job for myself, the rest is up to the universe.

2. Your favourite persons to work with?

In writing (song or prose), I work mostly alone. But I have a graphic designer that has been working on my book covers since 2002 (Fahmi). He always manages to translate my idea to graphic image in such perfection. In music, I really enjoy my current team for Rectoverso.

4. Honestly, what was the first thing that went through your mind when Prestige called and said we want to interview you?

The info came to me like this: “Prestige just chose you to be the Author of The Year and wanted to do an interview”. The first thing that came into mind was of course: Say what?? The second thing is: Well, whatever happens, I hope they don’t change their mind. Heheh. I was flattered, seriously. Thank you. It’s an honor.

5. Your breakthrough, Rectoverso, (yes, we do our research) offers new experience for readers. Please tell us about Rectoverso.

Rectoverso is a hybrid of music and fiction. It consists 11 songs and 11 short stories. Basically, it’s two of my main hobbies merged into one. The idea was born accidentally. In 2006, I was planning to make a solo album, then I met a friend of mine who was working in the music industry and he gave me an advice that I should attach my writing to my music otherwise I would be just another name in the list of Indonesia’s female solo singers. There wouldn’t be any strong distinction (I thought he was right). That incidence was the embryo of Rectoverso. For me personally, it was a new creative experience. Then I started to do some more, extending my songs into fiction, and the next thing I knew I had “Rectoverso” in hand. It’s simply the most romantic work I’ve ever created. It’s like reading 11 long, love letters. Each word and expression was carefully picked to fit into the ryhthm of a whole. Everything is about love, and the heart’s journey through love.

6. Is there a single concept, or word, that defines you and your writing?

Enlightening (at least that is my intention, heheh).

7. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Sorry, need to clarify: I was given an advice? Or I gave an advice to somone?
My best advice: Stop trying to change the world and just change yourself.
The best advice that has ever been given to me: Wake up from this illusion called life. Then live your life, as real as it can be, but keep in mind that you’re only dreaming.

8. What country or culture holds an interest for you?

Ever since I wrote my second book “Akar”, I’ve been so interested in Southeast Asia region. It’s so rich, diverse, and it has the best food in the world. I’ve been wanting to travel throughout Southeast Asia. Another country that I’d like to visit is Bhutan. It’s said that Bhutan is not like anything else in the world. Their culture is very well preserved, although the food – I heard – is not so good.

10. What is your biggest ambition so far?

To have my works expand internationally.

11. Who's the coolest person on the planet at the moment?

At the moment? Aside of myself? Reza Gunawan. Heheh. And also one of our teachers, Mingyur Rinpoche. For their lifetime dedication, I also admire Thich Nhat Hanh and Oprah Winfrey.