First Language(s): Dutch
Second Language(s): English, German
Ramon Martensen was born and raised in the Netherlands, but he currently resides in Budapest, Hungary, where he writes poetry, prose, and folklore-inspired tales. His works in the English Language have been published in magazines such as The Ozorian Prophet, Indievoyager, and Better Than Starbucks, with one of his stories upcoming in a Budapest-based anthology. He likes writing about things that fall between the cracks of life.
What was your favorite book as a child?
It was a series called Zwervertje (little wanderer) It appeared in a monthly publication of illustrated fairy tales that we were subscribed to. This particular story was about a little black witch-cat that didn’t want to be mean like the other witch-cats, so he left his family to find a caring and welcoming home. In every edition he would find a home in the beginning, only to lose it again by the end due to the curse of being a witch-cat. For me as a child, this was an emotional rollercoaster. On one hand, I knew that he had lost his home by the end, but on the other hand, I always knew that he would find a new one the next time. I guess it ingrained my sensibility towards bitter-sweet storytelling and, of course, my love for cats (though our pet cats also helped a lot in that sense). Zwervertje found his forever home in the end, by the way. He deserved it.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
It’s a bit of a stretched-out story. I was already making up stories as a child and I even wrote them down sometimes. I lived in my imagination, anyway, so it came sort of naturally. Through my adolescence, I did a lot of substances and I lost interest in basically everything. Later, as the smoke settled and my interest towards the world and myself returned, I saw my girlfriend of that time reading a book that raised my curiosity. She lent it to me. I read it, then another book, another book and another book. I got hooked on reading again. One day I thought, I want to write something that doesn’t exist yet; something that reflects the world as I see and experience it. That’s when I wrote my first-ever short story. “Better late than never”, as they say.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
I would say moving abroad for the first time. After having to move a lot throughout my childhood, we finally settled in a place where I felt good. My initial reaction to that was to grab on to it, yet I could always feel a certain restlessness and pull towards bigger adventures. You can love the comfort of a place and maybe even the place itself, but I also knew that a settled life wasn’t for me. When I finally made the decision to go abroad, the thought of leaving my comfort zone behind scared me, but once I did it, I grew a lot on every level. Living in new places and finding new adventures is something that suits me, that is right for me. Thanks to that decision of moving abroad, I have now experienced things I would never have thought were possible before.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
No, I simply don’t have the focus to have background music on. I need complete silence. I get too easily distracted otherwise.
Issue Fall '21