Ahead of the Young Writers Festival on Friday 14th June at The Undercroft, we're meeting the writers!
Here is Saulius...
Name: Saulius Kovalskas
What has been your journey as a writer?
Recently my mum sent me an old newspaper clipping. It was one of the very first short stories of mine that had been published. It had an evil wizard, a perilous journey across temperate sea and an emotional ending that revealed something about the ways of the world. Through that particular story, I, the boy of six at the time, attempted to understand why guinea pigs were called that way, they had nothing in common neither Guinea, nor with pigs.
Two decades have passed since then, but it still feels as if I'm very much the same wide-eyed boy: gazing agape at the world and its wondrous mysteries; still advancing on the same path as I did back then, puzzled, but nevertheless driven forth by desire to understand the world through the stories we tell.
What is the thing that inspires you most when writing a new piece of work? (e.g image, overheard conversation, theme, character)
To paraphrase Carl Gustav Jung – “People don’t have ideas, ideas have people”. But if it’s so – where from do these ideas come? The best explanation I’ve found so far comes from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave:
We’re like prisoners, living our whole lives chained inside a cave. In front of us there’s a blank wall, upon which we see shadows projected from the objects passing in front of a fire behind us. We see shapes – sometimes familiar, sometimes completely alien and we strive to make sense of them – to name them, thus confirming & explaining their existence.
But who are these puppeteers, teasing us with shadows-‐ideas? And why? Your guess is as good as mine.
But what I know certainly is that once you have an idea – or it has you, the world transforms itself becoming an endless source of inspiration. It’s as if you become magnetized by the idea, suddenly attracting dreams, people, events and experiences that before have been simply passing through unnoticed.
And in this feverish journey nothing can be pushed aside – you have to become a hoarder of sorts, collecting snippets of conversations, paintings, people, images, experiences, dreams, moods, other works of art… Everything is fair game as long as it helps to materialise that formless hunch of an idea into a substantial shape that can have a very concrete effect on our reality.
What is it like being a member of the Eastern Angles Young Writers Group?
Humans are social creatures. We need others: to understand them and be understood by them. But, paradoxically, we’re all hermetically locked-‐in in the vast solitary boxes that our minds are. And every attempt to break through these barriers, to reach out – to communicate – is a desperate attempt at finding a common language.
Writing is just another form of communication and although most of the work is done alone, the recipient of that work is always someone else. A play on writer’s desk is just like hydrogen, safely stored in a secure container. It needs oxygen. It needs a spark.
Being part of this group provided a much-‐needed possibility to test the consistency of one’s play in well-‐controlled conditions. It felt like a laboratory, encouraging experimentation rather than demanding fast and safe product.
In the end, it provided encouragement and allowed everyone to come up with just the right formula, which when mixed and ignited by a spark from the audience, will explode on the stage, sweeping all the barriers of solitude down – if only just for an evening.