Monday, February 1, 2010

Interview from Brazil with Spotlighted Author Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters!

Mozart in the Future is already very successful in Germany, Austria and Brasil. It has also been translated into Spanish, Swedish and English.

The children’s book writer Tânia Maria Rodrigues-Peters from Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, just published her book Mozart in the Future. In her book she gives Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - who was one of the greatest composers of all times - a childhood that he never had.

It’s a childhood that is not only characterized by music. It’s just a childhood as that of a normal child. He eats hamburgers, plays with other children, watches TV, etc. He has freedom and a deep friendship with a boy named Max. The story is about fantasy, inspiration and brotherhood, and fairy-like being called the Spirit of Music who guides them.

In Austria as well as in other countries, several positive reviews have already been written about the book.

Tânia lives in a small village in Austria with her husband Carsten and their three children Luana (8), Teo (6) and Toni (4). Although Tânia is busy running the household and taking care of her kids, she found the time to write this wonderful fantasy story which is recommended for all ages. Both parents and children will be inspired by the two main figures Max and Mozart.

KultBrasil: Before moving to Austria you lived in both Spain and Germany. In which country was it easier for you to adapt yourself?

Tania: I think I am a person who is able to adapt herself in any place. Every place is beautiful in its own way, and it always fascinates me to get to know different cultures.

KultBrasil: When did you discover your talent as a writer? Was your professional experience as a school teacher beneficial?

Tania: I enjoyed reading already at very early age. When I was five years old I learned to read and to write. That was the time when I started devouring books. It was the first step to devoting myself to writing. The fact that I worked as a school teacher brought me closer to the world of children. Working with children and teenagers I was able to understand their world better. It does good to tune into a child’s thoughts from time to time. In this way it’s easier to write a story for children. So having worked as a school teacher was beneficial on this behalf. I was still in high school when I won the second prize in a literature award. In 1996 I won the first prize in national award in Brazil with a travelogue. In Spain, I won the seventh prize in a literature award, and, of course, I had written the story in Spanish which is not my mother tongue.

KultBrasil: When was it that the idea of writing Mozart in the Future came to your mind? What was it that made you start writing?

I had to visit the Brazilian consulate in Vienna in order to sign a legal document. I wasn’t very happy to travel since the journey takes several hours. But then I took the chance and visited the houses of the great composers such as Beethoven, Strauss, Händel, and, of course, Mozart whose house was the last one I visited. I have always been listening to Mozart a lot. I adore and love his music. During all of my three pregnancies I always listened to Mozart. And now my children love Mozart, too. So I visited Mozart’s house and I left crying. That was so emotional. It is so moving to be inside his house. The house where the greatest composer of all times used to live. On the way home I only thought about him. I thought about the fact that he actually never had a childhood. He spent the nights in so many different places traveling in a carriage from one concert to another. There was no time to have a childhood. Then I thought about how it would be if he could spend some time with us. Of course, I would make a Sacher tart for him, and he would be able to play with other children. He could go skiing, going down a slope on a sled, have a soft drink and eat a hamburger. So I started to write the book Mozart in the Future.

KultBrasil: Your book is very successful in Brazil. It is available in the country’s major book stores. Does it sell in Europe, too?

Tania: When I traveled to Brazil, that was crazy! I still can’t believe all the things that happened. First I managed to give author signings in the biggest book stores Livraria Cultura, Livraria Saraiva and Livraria Siciliano. Then I gave TV interviews in two different TV channels, one of them being the nation’s biggest called Rede Globe. In addition to that I gave two newspaper interviews and I even managed to be the cover of a magazine. The channel TV Cultura asked me to do a whole TV show about Mozart, however, there was no time left and I had to go back to Austria. So I will have to travel to Brazil again. My books will also be available in the book store chains of FNAC and Nobel within short. In Europe I have only given an author signing at Raiffeisenbank in Vorarlberg, Austria. But I am already planning more events in Spain and Germany. In October my book will be exposed at the Frankfurt Book Fair. BRH: This book is also available in U.S.

KultBrasil Have you written other books apart from Mozart in the Future? Can you tell us about them?

Tania: I have already written about ten books which still have to be published. New ideas come to my mind all the time. My husband Carsten helps me to be disciplined. So I always do one book at a time. My new book Lost in Africa is almost finished, however, last week something happened: We passed by a black lake which impressed me. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was thinking about the lake all the time. The next day I wrote the story The Legend of the Black Lake. I already sent the text to one of my illustrators who will accompany the story will watercolor drawings. After this literary escapade to the Black Lake I will go on with Lost in Africa.

KultBrasil: Mozart in the Future has already been translated into four languages: German, English, Spanish and Swedish. Are the foreign language version already published?

Tania: German, English and Spanish are already published. We are looking for a publisher to take care of the Swedish version. We speak Portuguese, Spanish, German, and English, but we don’t speak Swedish. Now with the English version already published, Barak Obama’s daughters will be able to read the book.

KultBrasil: In Mozart in the Future the two main figures are children. Do you think the book is suitable for all ages?

Tania: I think so. Both the Brazilian and the German revisor are adults and they both said that the book is fantastic and really inspiring. The illustrator Pedro Caraça works a lot with children and he said that parents should read the book aloud to their children.

KultBrasil: Your husband told me that while translating the book really moved him. What was it that moved him and what do you think your readers can expect from the book?

The book is about friendship and the devotion to music. It’s a story about Max and little Mozart who both are very talented. However, both are pressured by their parents to give their verybest. In my opinion children should do a lot of different things. Nobody should pressure them, but they should always be motivated. You shouldn’t deprive them of what passes quickly: their childhood.

The part that mostly moved Carsten was when Mozart reveals his real identity. Without saying something or giving explanations Mozart goes to the piano and starts to play, so beautifully he has never played before. Fortunately the Spirit of Music appears to both Max and Mozart. The Brazilian singer Danila Mercury inspired me to create the Spirit of Music. Mozart in the Future is made for dreaming.

Book Readers Heaven is grateful to KultBrasil for permitting the use of this interview. His site can be visited by clicking the title of this article.

BRH is honored to host Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters as the spotlighted author this month.

Myself, I'm looking forward to learning more about the Legend of the Black Lake; it sounds quite mysterious!