Interview with Fikret Pajalic, Author of Complication: Short Stories

17 Oct 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Complication?

About ten years or so, after coming to Australia, from war in Bosnia, it was suggested to me that putting some of my memories on paper would help in dealing with my nightmares and process my inner demons. They were right.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Complication, what would they be?

Mother by Danzig and Stop! By Jane’s Addiction.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Literary fiction and Creative non-fiction.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917—1921 by Antony Beevor

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favourite short story is Complication, which in about 3000 words encapsulates my life, and represents all our lives. Our lives are a series of struggles or difficult situations, sometimes they might even look insurmountable, but those are the moments or situations that make us and stay with us. These moments that make it worth living this absurd existence. My favourite scene to write was the raven scene at the end of Complication and the metaphor it creates.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

No, but I keep a notebook on my bedside table to jot down the ideas.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Tomorrow is promised to no one” and “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I’m often told that I had courage and resilience to flee war in my country. The truth is that when you are running away from war, your only motivation is to survive. The only thing that gets you to safety is luck. I was lucky, most weren’t. Behind each refugee statistic is a unique human story, marked by loss and survival. If those who lived their whole lives in safety begin to read those stories, maybe one day we will live in a world where compassion transcends borders.


Fikret Pajalic is the author of the new book Complication: Short Stories

Connect with Fikret Pajalic

Author Site


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