Interview: Graciela Mayrink talks about The End of Our Story
Graciela Mayrink was born in Rio de Janeiro where she lives with her twin sister. She graduated in Agronomy with Master's degree in Phytopathology and has five young adult books published in Brazil: The Sound of an Empty Heart, The End of Our Story, Until I Find You, My Best Friend's Girl and The Day the Wind Disappeared. Graciela talks to NZ Booklovers about The End of Our Story. Tell us a little about your new novel. It’s the story of João and Mônica, who dated for two years as teenagers. After John moved to the United States with his parents, their relationship ends. Now, after three years, João is a famous painter who returns to Brazil for his own exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, but his main goal is to win Mônica back.
What inspired you to write this book? The idea for the story came up when trying to imagine what it would be like to meet a great love again, that person who marked your life, who changed in some way who you are. How to act? What to feel, do, talk? How much would this reunion affect who the person is now? It's a strong experience.
What research was involved? I tried to read as many testimonials from people on internet as I could about separation and reconciliation after a long time. Writing about complicated feelings and making the book with a non-linear timeline required a lot of discipline and involvement with characters and story. I can only start a new story when I have its end defined, and from the moment I decided to alternate the present with the past, I had to stop everything and detail what scene would be in each chapter and which character would narrate it.
What was your routine or process when writing this book?
First I think about what will happen and then I create a profile of each character, always thinking about them as real people. I like to do a kind of script about the book so I know what will happen in each chapter (or something like that). And my routine is boring: I like to write on the afternoon, then I do a review on the next day and move on. When the book is finished, I ask other people to read it and give me some feedback and I review it again before to send it to the publisher. What did you enjoy the most about writing this novel? I liked the humor on some scenes. And I really liked to write the alternation of narrative between João and Mônica and the scenes of past and present interspersed throughout story. It was a challenge I liked and I hope readers will like it too.
What did you do to celebrate finishing this book? My twin sister and I went to dinner to celebrate, something we always do when I finish a book.
What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why? I loved Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. It’s a book that I couldn’t stop reading and I found myself involved with the characters and their problems. It was like they were real people I know. It was the first Jodi’s book I read and it was a great surprise.
What’s next on the agenda for you? I don’t want to publish any book this year because of the pandemic as the book fairs are suspended, and I don’t know how it will be next year, so I will publish some short stories on Amazon on the next months in Portuguese and in English and let them for free during 5 days. It’s a gift to my readers.