Vedran Volarić is a Croatian author of science fiction, crime, fairy tales, humorous, and romance stories. Born in Koprivnica, Croatia in 1988, he has a master’s degree in Communication Science from the Center for Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb. He lives in Zagreb and has been writing stories since he was nineteen years old.
His first book 22 centuries was published in 2017 after the manuscript won in 2016 Ivan vitez Trnski award for the best unpublished novel by a young author. The story is divided into twenty-two chapters with each chapter telling a different story situated in a different century. The story follows reincarnations of ten characters who are unaware their actions are determining the course of their next lives.
He is an author of more than fifty published short stories that together, have been published almost one hundred times in magazines, radio and on the Internet in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also won numerous awards for his short stories (second place Svetozar Koljević 2017, Duško Trifunović 2015, Rade Tomić 2015, Joan Flora 2015, metaFORA – SFora 2014, Cassius 2012 and third place Čitafora 2016). Two stories were in short list (Avlija 2016, Oktobar, mesec horora 2014) and five in long list for awards (Hourglass 2016, Sloboda 2016, Kritična masa & Sedmica 2016, Priče o telu 2015, Promena 2015). Also, through the many different contests he published twenty stories in magazines. Two stories were read on national radio HR3, including “In Her Garden,” which is published on Underpass.
You can find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VedranVolaric
What are your sources of inspiration?
It’s not easy to talk about inspiration because nobody has control over it. It’s like a wind on a hot summer day–before it comes, it’s already gone. I would say that my inspiration comes from details; details in books, details in movies, details in real life.
Describe your creative process.
If I see a man walking with an umbrella during a sunny day, I ask myself: “Why umbrella?” Then I start to think about that. If I want it to be a science fiction story, I say to myself: “Ok, so that man must be a time traveler. He is from the future and he knows that there will be an unexpected rain today. But what is he doing here in the present?” If I want it to be a love story, than I say to myself: “Ok, he had an umbrella on the day he met his wife. She has divorced him, and he is walking with the umbrella because he promised her that he would never let go of it until he gets her, his lifetime love, back.” The more I think about a story, it grows more and more; few hours later, I have something to write about.
Where do you write? Do you have any writing rituals?
I can write almost anywhere as long as I’m alone in the room. All that I need is a PC/laptop and some music in the background. If I’m witting horror story, I need scary music as a motivation, if I’m writing a fairy tale, I need some relaxing and fun music. Music is important to my writing but I only listen to instrumental music, because I need to concentrate when I’m thinking through my characters. If I can choose the time, I prefer night over day, winter over summer. During summer days I need to be outside in the real world, with my family and friends. And during winter nights I think: “Everybody is sleeping, which means that I can write because I not missing anything from the real world.”
What are you reading now? Do you read literature that has been translated from other languages or just Croatian books?
Mostly I have been reading foreign authors such as Japanese Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Jo Nesbo and the Swedish duo Roslund and Hellstrom.
What are you working on now?
I write all the time, almost every day at least for half an hour. I have millions of ideas so I worry that life is too short to get them all on the paper. Right now I am writing short stories for some magazines. Also I am working on a few novels. At the same time I’m trying to publish stories on English portals and perhaps sells some of them on Amazon.
Do you have a favorite English writer?
I like many English authors. My favorites are David Mitchell and C. J. Sansom. Also, I like Joy Fielding, Robert Harris, Katherine Slaughter, Stephen King, M. L. Stedman, James Patterson, J. K. Rowling, Lee Child etc.
Which Croatian writers or books do you think should be available in English?
There are a lot of Croatian writers which books I haven’t read yet, so it would seem to me unfair to name someone who should be available in English. Perhaps I will be able to answer to that question in a few years.
What makes Croatian writing unique?
I believe that Croatian writing is based on emotions. It seems like everyone wants to express themselves; some with love, some with criticism on the society. Not many writers write about actions. Actions are almost fully replaced with pure emotions. I believe that Croatia has a lot of talented writers, but because the political and economical world’s map a lot of them can’t reach the door to the outside where foreign audience maybe is waiting for them.