Writer vs. Writer Interview: Vitor Vicente

In this post, I had a chance to chat with Vitor Vicente one of my favorite travel writers. Vitor was born in Portugal and lives abroad since 2006, between Spain, Ireland, Poland, and Hungary; currently based in Cork. Author of books in various literary genres, travel is a common topic in all of them. Some of his works are translated into Spanish, Hungarian, and English.

1. Hi Vitor. So glad to have you here. Let's begin before the cats interrupt. Tell us when did you decide to become a writer? And as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Let me start by answering the second question. As a child, I wanted to be a football player, ideally a goalkeeper. If you ask me why a goalkeeper and not a striker, you know, scoring goals, getting all the attention, I suppose the reason lays in the goalkeeper’s opportunity given to play somehow by himself within the team. And that is linked to my wish to become a writer. Before I do any actual writing, I recall being shown a book named “men who changed the world”. There weren´t that many writers there, most of them were remarkable individuals like Thomas Edison or Louis Pasteur. I know I won’t be popular in the literary scene with this sentence, but the crude reality is the following: at the end of the day, we are more grateful for those who developed a cure for a teeth pain than for the author of our favorite novel.

Now, when I did decide to become a writer? That I know very, very well. It happened at the moment I realize I was doing a better job at writing the lyrics than at the time I was trying to sing. So, I was probably sixteen or seventeen, I had a few rock/metal bands that didn’t go anywhere; though our egos were already clashing, wildly debating who would step in first/last in the gig that wasn’t even scheduled or who would be photographed in the cover of the album for which we were unable to complete a single song. A writer indeed needs a network, at least a team, that’s out of the question. But at some point, it is only he and himself; similar to that goalkeeper of my childhood.

2. It's fascinating how you developed such an interest. How many titles have you published and in what genre?

I’ve published seven books and a handful of others I don’t usually mention, though I haven’t renounced to any of them; just don’t proactively bring those to the table. Genres, well a bit of everything: poetry, play, memoir, fiction, short stories.

3. What is your latest book title and what is it about?

I have a book being printed at moment. It is written in Portuguese, as in the majority of my books; though the tendency, or the “trend”, being a trend a trendy word, may change. If I translate the title to English, it would be something at the lines of “Fury of Travel – The Trips of the Old Days”. Let me tell you about the title, why it is in two parts. “Fury of travel” is a reference to the famous Jean Dean movie “Rebel without a cause”. I bet you are wondering about the reference! Ok, for some reason in Portugal it was translated to “Fury of Living”. And that’s how I’ve traveled during those years, furiously, as they say, “like there is no tomorrow.” I don’t want to sound paternalist, but those were different times, I was quite naïve; which in essence it is necessary at a certain stage of your life, it makes you high in openness and increases your exposure to the world and its events. On other hand, the world itself has also changed. And no, I am not talking about the post-Covid. I meant that back in the days – some of the trips happened fourteen years ago and the most recent as early as 2014 – no one was using apps to go from a to b and we knew much less about the destination than we could ever imagine. Although I am thankful for some of the technology perks, the doors opened, etc., sometimes I miss my brain prior the internet and the broader experience of discovery in those days.

4. What genre do you prefer to read and write?

I can’t give a straightforward answer to this question at all. When it comes to reading, I am not a big fan of massive novels, rather concise stories. Same issue I usually face when watching movies. If above 100 minutes, it really needs to click, if you know what I mean. As for writing, it also depends on my mood and life phase. Perhaps literature travel or memoir would be my favorites, at least they come up spontaneously or just naturally.