Veneta Çallpani is an Albanian-American writer born in Bajram Curri, Tropoje, Albania. After publishing her first book at the early age of thirteen, Ms. Çallpani went on to write and publish three more books over the next six years. Following two years of study at the Technical University of Medical Sciences in Tirana, she moved to New York City and continued her studies at the MCI Institute of Technology where she earned her license as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.
From 2012 – 2013 Ms. Çallpani was periodically a guest correspondent for the “Missing People” TV Show. She was published in the anthology “Dhimbja e Kufirit” (The Pain of the Border). In 2016 she received the Gotham Writers – Creative Writing and Fiction certificate. Currently she works at the University Diagnostic Medical Imaging (UDMI) as sonographer and continues her studies at Bronx Community College to earn her degree in Liberal Arts and Science (Biology).
Hena dhe yjet dashurohen – “The Moon and Stars Fell in Love” (2006)
Ne heshtje – “In Silence” (2008)
Frymezim Casti – “Momentary Inspiration” (2010)
Rikthimi – “The Return” (2013)
NY Elite Interview with writer and poet Veneta Çallpani
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Veneta Çallpani: Currently I work and go to school. In my spare time, I am doing some research for my next book. This is why it’s taking long for my new book to get published, which I don’t mind. For me numbers aren’t important. The content, the value of the book is what matters to me. I will take my time and do something unique.
NY Elite: What is this book about?
Veneta Çallpani: I cannot say much about it since I am still in the researching process and outlining the story.
NY Elite: Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do?
Veneta Çallpani: The main character is a girl that decided to dedicate her life doing a research and taking care of her sick mother.
NY Elite: What genre are your books?
Veneta Çallpani: Fiction(novel) and fantasy.
NY Elite: What draws you to this genre?
Veneta Çallpani: Looking beyond of what I’m surrounding of. I have a “weird” connection with the universe and often I express that in my writings. My third book Momentary Inspiration, Poems, reveals that connection and gives my poems a music that heals.
NY Elite: What are your biggest accomplishments thus far?
Veneta Çallpani: All my accomplishments so far for me are big. I knew what I wanted to become since I was a child and I’ve always worked on achieving my goals. I started writing around 9 years old and published my first book when I was thirteen. Always wanted to become a doctor, and I am currently working in a medical field as a sonographer and going to school to become a radiologist, perhaps (not sure yet).
NY Elite: What is your writing process like?
Veneta Çallpani: I like writing in the evenings. During my childhood, I used to go visit my grandmother often in the village. After a very active day running around, helping my grandmother, spending time with my cousins, every evening I used to sit outside and write. The fresh air, the sky, the sound of the birds and insects chirping and the beautiful natural surrounding was a great inspiration for me. I was free to feel and write what my brain and my heart was experiencing.
My curiosity and my wonder about everything would create my unique world and actually helped me build my character. That was the time when I didn’t know anything else except love. I think that was exactly what I needed to become a writer. The war between the “perfect world” I used to live in and the reality gives me a lot to write about. This is why I love writing in the evenings, because my soul takes wings and I can travel in time and space without worrying about anything. However, since I came in America (2013) I’ve been so busy with work and school, so often when something gets my attention I stop and write. It might happen in the train, while I’m walking, in the school or when I am reading. Now I don’t wait for the evenings anymore. I write anytime.
NY Elite: What three social topics/theme do you care mostly about and why?
Veneta Çallpani: LOVE, Human rights, family.
NY Elite: What are your top three favorite books/scripts?
Veneta Çallpani: After the Quake by Haruki Murakami, Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin.
NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Veneta Çallpani: The surest way to make a story gripping is to create a strong central character who wants something very intensely. As Vonnegut said “Make your character want something badly even if it’s just a glass of water.”
NY Elite: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Veneta Çallpani: To be honest I never thought about writing as a career. Writing is me. Is something that I can’t stop it. My soul is always hungry and writing is what best feeds my soul. My ambition is to write a book which will be everlasting and will make me happy even in the other world. Medicine is my career, but I won’t be fulfilled until I make a movie.
NY Elite: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Veneta Çallpani: Daenerys Targaryen, she played in Game Thrones as Khaleesi, the mother of dragons.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Veneta Çallpani: In every other way. I tend to make everything I do enjoyable. Little things can make me happy. I am also so creative when it comes to giving a gift to someone I love. People who know me, they value even my ‘weird’ little creativity presents because they know how much thought and love I put into it.
NY Elite: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Veneta Çallpani: Yes. Go out and experience things. Experience things you were afraid of, get out of your comfort zone, and wait. Everything takes time and it will come back to you when you stop stressing out yourself about it.
NY Elite: How do you market your books?
Veneta Çallpani: In Albania I took care of the market myself. I have sold all copies of my three books. I only have some copies of my new book “Rikthimi”. All my books are published in Albania. My recent book “Rikthimi” was published one week before I moved to America, this is why I couldn’t do anything about it. For two years was available as an e-book at Filozofia Urbane but for some reasons that website isn’t functioning anymore.
It took me time to build my new life in America, this is why I couldn’t concentrate too much on my writings. But now it’s time. Soon, The momentary inspiration (Frymezim Casti) and The return (Rikthimi) will be available in Amazon.com
NY Elite: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Veneta Çallpani: Keep writing.
NY Elite: What can we expect from you in 2017?
Veneta Çallpani: My readers will have “The return” and Momentary inspiration books available to buy it online while enjoying some poems and a short story I will be publishing soon in English. All these will be posted on my Facebook page and Instagram.