All set to release Il-Kulur tal-Lellux; her third novel meant for a young adult readership, Rita Saliba speaks to Clifford Jo Żahra about The Malta Book Festival and why adolescents are her number one readership.
How long have you been involved in the Malta Book Festival?
Since its inception; I have always loved books, and to me the festival is like a free celebration of all things related to books; from authors and readings to simply browsing through book covers.
What activities are you participating in during this edition of The Malta Book festival?
For sure I will be busy with book signings, as I have three new publications:
- Weraq tal-Fidda, a children’s book published by Horizons
- Il-Kulur tal-Lellux, a young adult novel published by BDL
- Żiffa Mqarba f’Ħal Buffura, a novel for older children published by BDL
Also, given that I am an executive board member of the Akkademja tal-Malti, I’ll be participating in all its activities. The Malta Book Festival is also a celebration for all academic organisations; books have an interesting way with bringing people together.
You are an eclectic author with a steady focus on an adolescent readership. You won the Youth Literature contest three times and Il-Kulur tal-Lellux is your most recent novel aimed at such an audience. But why young adults?
Mostly it is because every young adult is always a challenge. Although perceptions change fast, many of us tend to remember our teenage years more vividly; whether cherished or not, certain memories tend to remain there. I consider adolescence to be the most uniformly difficult part of life; the point at which we start questioning everything and getting answers we barely like.
You’re an artist too, and practice the skill regularly. How complementary are both disciplines to each other and does any one of them take preference?
Definitely writing. If given a pencil and a paper, I would rather write, even though both tend to complement each other; they are both artistic expressions and both require regular practice. When painting I must plan things out, set a theme and decide on the colour scheme. The same goes for writing; planning is never ending.
One reason why no one should miss The Malta Book Festival.
Reading is often a solitary activity but expressing our love for books doesn’t have to be as such. Attending the Malta Book Festival is the ideal way to connect with book creators and fellow bookworms.
© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra