Theater director, actor, song writer and journalist Paulo Coelho is not only the best-selling Brazilian writer, but his novel “The Alchemist” was a 20th century literary phenomenon. Coelho, who was born and lives in Rio de Janeiro, has sold 100 million copies of his books worldwide.
What is your present state of mind?
Experiencing an eight-month sabbatical period, and surviving. I´m hyperactive.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Loyalty and a sense of humor.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My unbending side; I´m the kind of man who has zero tolerance.
What is your idea of happiness?
An invention made at the end of the 18th century. I prefer the pleasure of a good fight to the harmony of happiness.
What is your idea of misery?
Not only the lack of money, but spending the entire day in front of a computer checking the stock market and not living life.
If not yourself, who would you like to be?
An alien. Completely different; everything new.
Where would you most like to live?
Rio de Janeiro and Geneva
What is the most recent book that you read?
“No Angel” by Jay Dobyns, about what is behind the myth of the Hell’s Angels.
Who are your favorite writers?
Jorge Luis Borges and Jorge Amado.
Who is the person you admire the most?
What is the best advice you ever received?
Never give up.
What event transformed your life the most?
The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, 56 days on foot, in 1986
What reform do you admire the most?
The Greek democracy; from then on, the world began its decay and never recovered.
What special talent do you wish you had?
Be able to conduct an orchestra
What superpower would you like to have?
What are your favorite food and drink?
Moroccan couscous and red wine.
What do you hate the most?
Sitting next to people I´ve never met before in those formal dinners.
Who is your favorite hero in history?
Calvin. (From Calvin & Hobbes, the comic strip)
What is your biggest regret?
I don’t have any. I have lived everything that life has offered me and most of the time I have adored it. Other times I didn’t enjoy what happened, but I’ve never sinned by omission.
What is your greatest achievement?
My career as a writer.
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