I was always keen to let the world know what I was thinking about. I had written two novellas and several short stories in my childhood and teen years, and also about a hundred poems. Some of those had been published in students’ journals at the university.
In my chosen profession in the scientific world, geophysics, I had published several papers in national and scientific journals but it was very different from creative writing. Then I got smitten by the most wondrous person in the world, we started a family, and I changed my homeland to follow her. The buzzing early 90’s, when unseen opportunities popped up in Central Eastern Europe, saw me joining the business world. These new ventures hibernated my literary quest for a long time.
After a satisfying business career of three decades, in 2021 I took a voluntary early retirement, having re-evaluated my priorities in life: I realized that we could be financially independent and pursue interests we had not had time before, when we still had the strength to do so. This allowed me to devote myself to genealogical research about my ancestors and return back to creative writing, the dream of my younger years.
Nine years before, I had already attempted to publish a non-fiction book under a pen name (Rob Mars: Corporate Mission Possible) about my managerial experiences in business, but writing a novel was a totally different project that needed intensive learning, reading and research.
During the years I realized that my belonging to a nationality or language somehow got mixed up. I was born in Hungary, moved to the Czech Republic with my family at 32 and worked for international, mostly American or British companies for almost three decades. My mother tongue receded in the background, and Czech, English and German dominated my daily conversations. I read books almost only in English, by the hundreds during the years. This led me to the daredevil gambit that if I wrote again, it would be in English. My intimacy with my mother tongue was replaced by the presumptuous feeling that I could be most intimate in my second language. I also thought that this tongue would enable me to raise above nationalities and their narrow, insular thinking, and somehow emphasize my impartiality in my chosen topics I wanted to write about.
My debut historical novel ‘The Hand We Are Dealt’ based on my mother’s memoirs took almost two years to create from the outline to publishing. In the beginning, while waiting for feedback from my editor, I started a new novel inspired by my genealogical research, that hopefully grows itself into a series in the following years.
We have always been a crazy family. Who would have thought that a Czech girl and a Hungarian boy in the tumult and excitement of the 1989 revolution can build a lifelong relationship? Especially taking into account that neither spoke the other’s language, they had to converse in their (that time in places modest) English.
Against all odds and the opinions of others, we’ve managed it. We are celebrating our 33 years together this year (2022), of which 31 we spent in marriage.
We raised two daughters, helped them graduate, one dealing with marketing and mass communication, the other creating fashion. Now they help us when we need some social network marketing, making a book cover or a trailer! They did not fall far away from the tree – my wife spent her professional life in communication, marketing and organizing events and she has always been developing something new. I sometimes wonder who is more creative…
Our children heard us speak different languages but they figured out early that Dad understands Czech – so despite my speaking to them in Hungarian, they always replied in Czech that made our conversation mighty funny for our friends. It did not help that their ‘Hungarian’ granny, speaking a mixture of Slovak and Czech, perfectly understood them – there was really no motivation to speak Hungarian. I still regret that I did not have enough perseverance to teach them my mother tongue properly. The only consolation is that they speak English so well.
We live in a suburb in Brno, Czechia’s second largest city, in a comfortable home in the middle of a charming garden that my better half created and is constantly caring for. We love to travel and enjoy the sea a couple of times in the year, especially the Greek islands. We hope to live to see our grandchildren fill the house and the garden, hopefully not so far in the future.