How do you describe love in your twenties? Dashing, magical or rather complicated? Tyche Beyens is a freelance screenwriter and previously collaborated on the telenovelle ‘Lisa’ and the series ‘Meisjes’, but at the end of last year she came out with a book that is entirely hers: ‘This feeling has been thought about’.
Love is nothing more than perfect timing. Although personal preferences, history, astrological matches, upbringing and hormones also play a role, sometimes love is nothing more than the perfect moment when two people find each other. ‘This feeling has been thought about’ is a search for the love of four people in their late twenties, who try to analyze that multifaceted concept step by step. It is a love story about feeling in a century where so much thinking takes place.
“I like to talk about love and have done so with many people in recent years,” says Tyche. ‘I was also convinced that there was no author hidden inside me, until this came out.’
If a woman writes about love, is it literature? It seems as if a love story is only considered literature if it is very dark.
Your debut novel is all about love, but is not a sugary rom-com. Where does that choice come from?
‘Romcoms are often very rosy and put characters in a box of good or bad. For example, it is about the woman who waits eagerly for a man to repent and realize that he wants to give 100% for her, but that is not how reality works. The more I talk to people about love, the more it becomes clear that not everything always works out and everyone has done things in a relationship that they are not proud of. I just wanted to do something with that nuance and give a sober picture of what love is like in your twenties. So it’s not a rom-com, but that means some people don’t really know what it is either.’
‘If a woman writes about love and it’s not a rom-com, is it literature? It seems as if a love story is only considered literature if it is very dark, and otherwise it belongs to chick lit. Which is a strange term by the way, since there is no such thing as dicklits, right? Women may be more attracted to a story about love, but that does not mean that men will recognize it less if they give it a chance. ‘We have thought about this feeling’ cannot exactly be put into a box, but it is about the little things that we all recognize and that you sometimes don’t realize that others also experience.’
It’s good for others if they can be friends with their old loved one, but when you’ve been through so much it seems very difficult to me to take that step again.
You can’t call it a quadrilateral relationship, but there is an important link between the four main characters. What is the reason for that connection?
‘When I was still dating my current boyfriend, I suddenly met someone who had once had a relationship with an ex of my girlfriend. Then I started to notice that when you’re dating in the same city, you quickly find yourself in each other’s way. The chance that you are dating someone who has also had an affair with a vague acquaintance or that the ex of your new partner has hooked up with your ex is quite high. Then, in my view, a kind of inevitable tension arises that only the people who are part of it are aware of. Especially when you are “forced” by those coincidental connections to still hang out with an ex. It’s good for others if they can be friends with their old loved one, but when you’ve been through so much it seems very difficult to me to take that step again. The link between my four main characters grew from those observations.’
How much of yourself and your environment is in Nino, Aisha, Ingmar and Liv?
‘I’m actually a collage of all the characters together. No one looks 100% like me, but they all have a bit of Tyche in them. On the one hand because as an author you develop sympathy for your characters a little more quickly and on the other hand because I didn’t want to offend anyone and could therefore more easily incorporate my own bad sides into those fictional people. I know I’m anything but perfect and my… fair share I made a lot of mistakes, so I wanted to fix them.
I drew a lot of inspiration for the relationship types from my environment. I have taken out the stereotypical and common relationships, such as the situationships or the high school sweethearts, so that everyone could recognize themselves in something. That’s why many people now ask me if I used their relationship for my story, which shows how universal our experience of love is.’
Publishing a book is simply something naive. Because why would you think that something that has so far only lived in your brain could also interest or touch other people?
Do you already envision this story as a series?
‘This book actually arose from the fact that I didn’t see any audiovisual work in it. I really wanted to work with thoughts and feelings and highlight the little things in life. This is perfectly possible in words, but in images everything that is now beautifully simple should be enlarged. If someone asks me the question, I would think about it, but I think I would also be completely okay with this story just staying on paper.’
As a screenwriter you were always part of a team, how does it feel to now have something of your own completely start to finish to make?
‘Very exciting! With screenwriting I am part of a team and directors and actors ultimately make their own thing from what we have written. This creates a distance between what I write and what ultimately appears on the screen and reactions, whether positive or negative, do not reach me personally. That made writing your own novel extra exciting, because this time that would be the case. And on top of that, I had a lot of doubts about myself as an author and therefore couldn’t estimate how my book would do. Publishing a book is simply something naive. Because why would you think that something that has so far only lived in your brain could also interest or touch other people? Fortunately, that tension has now largely disappeared, because apart from a few negative reactions, I receive so many sweet and beautiful messages. So those months of uncertainty were worth it.’
It’s wonderful to know that with my writing I have given someone the feeling that he/she/they is not alone. That is the power of art and literature.
What is the nicest response you have received so far?
‘That people feel ‘seen’ by my story. It’s wonderful to know that with my writing I have given someone the feeling that he/she/they is not alone. That is the power of art and literature. While I was writing, I said this several times to friends: “If just one more person can take away something beautiful from my novel, my mission has been accomplished.”’
What do you hope people will take away from ‘This feeling has been thought about’?
‘It is important that you guard your boundaries and not just accept or forgive everything, but also know that relationships are not nearly as black and white as we think. No one is just good or bad, wrong or right. I have sometimes been very angry with myself for how I handled certain relationships, but with some distance you realize that people make mistakes and sometimes don’t know any better. So I sometimes hated the characters in my own book, but in the end I could understand why they made certain choices. So I wish people to live life with less resentment. Be gentler with others and especially with yourself. We all make mistakes in love sometimes.’
This feeling has been thought about – Tyche Beyens
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