Posted on May 28, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing Matthias Drawe, a filmmaker, writer, actor, and journalist.
Drawe was born in East Berlin. As a child, he defected to the West with his parents by literally jumping over the Berlin Wall (using a ladder).
In the early ’80s, he lived in a squatted house in West Berlin, which provides the backdrop for his first novel. In 1991, he founded a small arthouse cinema, focusing on independent productions, including his own.
In 1995, he moved to New York City and worked as a journalist, mainly for Deutschland-Radio Kultur, the German equivalent of NPR.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
MATTHIAS: As an adolescent, I felt the need to write about my experience: trying to set up a rock band, first love, painful rejections, etc.
This was partly inspired by my father, who worked as a screenwriter at the time.
He also sparked an interest in reading in me, giving me books that were close to my own experience.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
MATTHIAS: I tend to function best if I have the golden pocket watch of my late grandfather on my desk.
It is more than 100 years old, but it still works!
As a young child, I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents, often sleeping in the same bed with them.
The watch reminds me of this sheltered time and makes me feel good.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to or what historical figure would you most like to meet?
MATTHIAS: Havana in the 1930s. The music of that time speaks to me, especially the compositions of the Lecuona Cuban Boys orchestra.
The sixteenth-century philosopher Michel de Montaigne. His approach to life and his observations are valid even today.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
MATTHIAS: My first love (after we had lost contact for more than ten years) wrote me a letter after she read my first novel, and we got back together for some time.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
MATTHIAS: It ain't easy, but keep going anyway!
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
MATTHIAS: No advice. It is an essential part of the human experience to make mistakes.
The strongest stories are based upon negative experience and failure that is eventually overcome.
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Categories: Author Interview