I was born on a small wine-making farm in the heart of the Istrian peninsula in Croatia. Surrounded by fields, meadows and forests, without many other children to play with, my childhood was marked by immense reading and constant wandering around.
At the age of seventeen I moved to Rijeka, a largish town where I got a job as a trainee -journalist and Italian translator at the third biggest Croatian daily paper “Novi list”. At the same time, I enrolled at the Faculty of Philosophy to study Languages and literatures of Yugoslavia. It was 1990 and Yugoslavia still existed as a political entity and we were encouraged to study the languages and cultures of the other republics of this “brotherhood and unity” confederation, while the bloodbath disintegration was lurking just around the corner.
The Yugoslav Civil war, which followed, left traces on all of us. Boys from my generation were stuck in the garrisons of Yugoslavian army and thousand of multi-ethnic families, like my own, were living their own Calvary of not knowing what had happened to their closest relatives. It left us all with memories we would all prefer to forget.
By the time the war ended I graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and at the same time became an established journalist in the section of art, culture and entertainment for “Novi list". I covered artistic, theatrical and film events and festivals in Croatia and abroad – from Sweden to Venezuela – and interviewed national and international celebrities, such as Jamie Bell and Nick Hornby.
One of my most challenging and rewarding projects was teaching the basics of journalism to kids and teenagers in the “School of Peace”, a humanitarian effort to build bridges between Croatian and Serbian children in the small and highly isolated villages on the Eastern border. Over the years many of my short stories and poems have been published in various Croatian literature magazines.
In April 2002 I found myself in London and this time, after a short spell as an au-pair in the middle of nineties, it was for good. London was gloomy and rainy, noisy and crowded, but still indescribably attractive and in a strange way, as only vibrant cities can be, welcoming. For someone who never did anything apart from writing, this new life was a daunting game of scrabble with unfamiliar letters and finding a suitable job was an extremely hard mission. After half a year of work experience in a publishing house, I landed a job as a translator for the languages of the former Yugoslavia - Slovene, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian.
Writing was and will always be a vital part of my life and hopefully one day, after many more writing courses, scores of read books and translated articles, I will be able to write in English, the language which adopted me.