Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your novel The Alchemist, which came into being in the space of two weeks, is one of the most amazing sales successes in literary history. How long did it take you to write your novel Eleven minutes which will appear in the coming weeks?

Three weeks. After ten years I wanted to once again write about sexuality but I had neither a workable story nor main character. Therefore, several attempts failed. At a book signing session in Geneva a Brazilian woman said to me: “I have read The Alchemist. Your book changed my life because I decided to move to Europe.” As I thanked her, she interrupted me: “I became a high-class prostitute here.” Then, out of curiosity, I met with her several times. Around sixty per cent of my book is based on her life story.