We had the pleasure of interviewing the talented Gokhan author of The Man With No Shadow. We spoke about his writing journey, where the ideas came from and his favourite times along the way - we were also joined by Zeynep, the talented illustrator.
Why did you decide to write a book? Was it a dream of yours or did it just create itself?
Gökhan: We were talking about a collaboration for a graphic story for a long time. One day I had this idea of a man and his shadow, changing everyday... that idea eventually led to this book.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
Gökhan: For the creative process, being lonely makes sense but for me, having loved ones around is so important. They give me the morale that I need to keep going.
Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
Gökhan: They try to.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Gökhan: I mean, you try to set it in the beginning but eventually your ideas take you somewhere else.
You mention you like sci-fi shows, what are some of your favourites?
Gökhan: Sci-fi fuels my imagination. Especially the classics, I watch them whenever I have time. Star Trek: The Original Series would be my recommendation to anyone who’d like to have Sci-Fi 101. (If you’re looking for something new, try The Expanse. Best sci-fi show around these days)
Where did the images of sign language come from?
Zeynep: Shadowgraphy, is the art of performing a story using images made by hand shadows. This is a story about losing shadow, so we decided to use some well-known images of hand shadow for the inner cover of the book. That also explains why the illustrations are black and white; black is considered as nothing but absence of light.
What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
Gökhan: It’s the experience. Of course, each element has its own importance, but the overall feeling that it gives you, the atmosphere that you go back when you think about the book, that’s the most important thing in my opinion.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
Gökhan: Especially in this era, the cues that you get about a book determines the fate of it. That’s why they’re both incredibly important.
If you could review Olympia publishers in a few words, what would they be?
Gökhan: This is our first book with Olympia but they were really kind to us. They helped us a lot along the way and did all they can do to improve the book.