Debut Author Snapshot: Natasa Dragnic

April, 2012
Natasa Dragnic Foreign language instructor Nataša Dragnić speaks Croatian as well as German, French, English, and Spanish. Appropriately, her debut novel, Every Day, Every Hour, will be translated and sold in 20 countries; that's quite a sphere of influence. Born in the seaside city of Split, Croatia, and now a resident of Erlangen, Germany, Dragnić wrote her first book in German, but the plotline follows her origins, beginning on the rocky shores of the Adriatic Sea. Young lovers Luka and Dora meet in kindergarten and promptly become inseparable friends. Their paths diverge when Dora's family moves away, but life throws them together when they connect years later in Paris, where Dora is an up-and-coming actress and Luka a promising painter. This love story questions the durability of passion and whether anything is meant to be.

Dragnić shares with Goodreads some of her inspirations for the novel—in photographs and music.

Makarska, Croatia—where Luka and Dora grow up. (Photo: Tonci Andrijasevic)

Goodreads: In Every Day, Every Hour your two lovers meet very young and immediately connect. Were you prone to romance at a precocious age?

Nataša Dragnić: I went to kindergarten when I was five, just to get used to other children and to learn to follow the rules and the routine of the group—my mother did not work, I could have stayed home. I liked kindergarten, of course. And of course I fell in love for the first time. But I wasn't Dora, and he wasn't Luka, and today I couldn't even tell you his name. What did last is a friendship with a boy whose name I more than remember, him still being my best friend. He miraculously fell in love with a woman from Makarska, married her, and lives there now. That's the real life. And then there is fiction.

GR: Dora and Luka seem fated to know each other, and yet they have to face many obstacles in their relationship. What role do you believe fate plays in whom we love and when?

"Moj galebe" (My seagull), Luka's song
ND: "Fate" is a word I do not like very much. It is heavy with significance, things that supposedly are as they are and cannot be changed. I don't agree with this concept. I believe we all know everything that is to be known about our life. It is in us. It is just that we forget about it sometimes, we lose touch with that knowledge, with our gut feeling. So we need a lot of patience and confidence and faith in ourselves, faith that everything we do makes sense and has meaning, even if we don't understand it immediately. I believe we all have our way, our path that comes from within and is not determined from outside or by some higher power. We are not puppets on the string. We are the ones pulling our own strings, even if we do nothing. That's also a decision. We live to learn. So we decide, without knowing we are doing it, whom we love because this person is going to be the best teacher for our lesson, whatever this lesson is. And I am not saying that those lessons are going to be easy. But we chose them. The lessons and the teachers, that will help us grow and become who we are. That is what I believe.

GR: How did your work on the novel begin? And how did you develop that first idea into a robust story?

ND: The novel originates from a short story I wrote for a writing competition (which, mind you, I did not win). I wrote about two people meeting in a hotel after a long time, what is now basically Chapter 40 in the novel, the opening one [Chapter 40 appears out of sequence]. After I was done with the short story, I couldn't stop thinking about those two people and why what happened did happen. So to be able to understand, I started writing the novel, letting Dora and Luka guide me. And they did a great job. I owe them everything.

The water in Makarska, Croatia. (Photo: Tonci Andrijasevic)
GR: As a multilingual person, did you consider writing this book in any other language?

ND: I started learning German when I was 16. I studied it in Zagreb and never ever thought of living in Germany. We had our struggles, German and I, we really did. But then I fell in love with a German guy and found myself in Erlangen, a small city with a big university where you can still find me. From the moment I moved to Germany I began writing in German. It was a decision at that time. And when I was thinking about Dora and Luka and their story and all the whys and what ifs, it all came in German to me. No decision here. It was the most natural thing to do, even if the story takes place in Croatia.

GR: What's next for you as a writer?

ND: I finished my second novel in January. It is a story about three sisters, their parents, affairs, and families, and their relationship to one man in particular, set in Italy, Germany, and the U.S. It will be published in Germany by DVA in spring 2013. At some point I will start a new novel. I have so many stories to tell, stories I have collected for over 40 years—they are very impatient to get to their readers.


Comments (showing 1-46 of 46) (46 new)

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message 1: by Milena (new)

Milena Truden I would love to read your book. It sounds interesting.
Milena v Australiji.


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary This sounds like a very good read - possibly even taking me back to when I was young!


message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Barter Sometimes this hardened mystery reader,loves an interesting romance.I'd like to read it too.


message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Griffitts I especially like your views on fate. I share your belief that we decide our own "fates" and that everything that happens has a purpose even though we cannot see it immediately. I am excited about reading your book.


message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Adding this to my TBR list!


message 6: by Petra (new)

Petra Loved it!


message 7: by Ari (new)

Ari I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!


message 8: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Milena wrote: "I would love to read your book. It sounds interesting.
Milena v Australiji."


Thank you, in a just few days you will be able to!
All best, Natasa


message 9: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Mary wrote: "This sounds like a very good read - possibly even taking me back to when I was young!"

Every read does that in a way...If you are going to read it, have fun...and maybe few tears ;-)
Best, Natasa


message 10: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Elizabeth wrote: "Sometimes this hardened mystery reader,loves an interesting romance.I'd like to read it too."

Be my guest! Natasa


message 11: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Sharon wrote: "I especially like your views on fate. I share your belief that we decide our own "fates" and that everything that happens has a purpose even though we cannot see it immediately. I am excited about..."

And I am excited about how you'll find it!
Enjoy it,
Natasa


message 12: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Debbie wrote: "Adding this to my TBR list!"

Glad to hear that,
Natasa.


message 13: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Petra wrote: "Loved it!"

:-)


message 14: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Ari wrote: "I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!"

Nothing is weird about languages, it is a mistery to me...
Best, Natasa
p.s.
The book is coming in Spanish in few days, so you can choose... ;-)


message 15: by Deborah (new)

Deborah this book sounds like a must-read for me. I visited Croatia 2 summers ago and fell in love with the country and the sea. Debbie (from Canada)


message 16: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Deborah wrote: "this book sounds like a must-read for me. I visited Croatia 2 summers ago and fell in love with the country and the sea. Debbie (from Canada)"

Maybe by reading the book you'll fall in love for the second time...
Best, Natasa


message 17: by Sonja (new)

Sonja Congratulations, Nataša, it is so nice to see somebody from my country to be so successful. I would like to read your books. Best wishes!


message 18: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Sonja wrote: "Congratulations, Nataša, it is so nice to see somebody from my country to be so successful. I would like to read your books. Best wishes!"

Dear Sonja, thank you, and you can read it in many languages ;-), croatian or english, it's your choice...In any case, enjoy it!
best, Natasa


message 19: by Melba (new)

Melba Tolliver Your thinking that we know everything there is to know about ourselves is thrilling...I share your insight. And as you say, the problem is we forget that this is so. It's hard to stay tuned into this concept, to explore it like a scientific experiment. How do you manage to keep this insight active in your life? I look forward to reading Every Day, Every Hour. Melba


message 20: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Melba wrote: "Your thinking that we know everything there is to know about ourselves is thrilling...I share your insight. And as you say, the problem is we forget that this is so. It's hard to stay tuned into t..."

Well I do my best to keep contact to that part of myself that knows all the answers, but it is not always easy and I am not always succesful in it...and then sometimes I am just not brave enough...but I go on sure that everything is working out for my best...
Thank you for writing me, Melba
all best
Natasa


message 21: by Shandra (new)

Shandra Just pre-ordered it. Can't wait to read it! :)


message 22: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Shandra wrote: "Just pre-ordered it. Can't wait to read it! :)"

Thank you, so happy to hear that! Enjoy,
Natasa


message 23: by Milan (new)

Milan Quite interestingingly i choosed ur book; it seems to be very interesting nd can be co related vth the current life attachments; love to read it..


message 24: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Milan wrote: "Quite interestingingly i choosed ur book; it seems to be very interesting nd can be co related vth the current life attachments; love to read it.."

well let me know what you think about it...Natasa


message 25: by Milan (new)

Milan HI; i want to read it; becz i think ; Every day Every hour is the book ; that vl revel some of my unsolved questions..... which can relate my past life.........


message 26: by Dee (new)

Dee just reserved this at the library looks great


message 27: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Dee wrote: "just reserved this at the library looks great"

Thank you, yes, Viking did a greate job with the cover and everything...enjoy,
Natasa


message 28: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Milan wrote: "HI; i want to read it; becz i think ; Every day Every hour is the book ; that vl revel some of my unsolved questions..... which can relate my past life........."

wish you luck!


message 29: by Raisa (new)

Raisa Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of your book.


message 30: by Natasa (new)

Natasa Dragnic Raisa wrote: "Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of your book."

That is a song to my ears ;-)


message 31: by Ramona (new)

Ramona selvage I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!


message 32: by Wes (new)

Wes zemel excellent


message 33: by Darling (new)

Darling policeman I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!


message 34: by Denita (new)

Denita mcdaniel amazing


message 35: by Marble (last edited Sep 07, 2013 10:46AM) (new)

Marble smelly I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!


Animedubbedonline that's nice


message 37: by Cglaw2013 (new)

Cglaw2013 really nice one


message 38: by Dreams (new)

Dreams nucleus this book sounds like a must-read for me.


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul Blanchard excellent


message 40: by Nativemedia (new)

Nativemedia I thought it was weird when I started keeping a journal in English even though I speak Spanish as a native, but now I see it from a new perspective, neat!


Numerologyanswers super


message 42: by Tanja (new)

Tanja There are not enough contemporary books that take place or have a connection to Croatia.....Croatia has culture, history and mystery, the perfect backdrop for a beautiful story!


message 43: by Poorbo (new)

Poorbo bcat "This sounds like a very good read - possibly even taking me back to when I was young!"


message 44: by Tissueflooring (new)

Tissueflooring "This sounds like a very good read - possibly even taking me back to when I was young!"


message 45: by Eventinspire (new)

Eventinspire excellent


message 46: by Drma (new)

Drma Zaheri excellent


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