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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Learn more about Matthias Drawe on his Amazon page, where his books can also be purchased, and on Wikipedia.

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Categories: Author Interview

Tagged As: Author interview

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