On his 60th birthday: Thomas Brezina published his 600th book

On his 60th birthday: Thomas Brezina published his 600th book
One of the discussants: children’s book author Thomas Brezina
Image: OÖN/Beck

Thomas Brezina and Tom Turbo.
Image: ORF

“I actually can’t believe I’m 60. Because I have a completely different attitude towards life”says the jubilee to the APA.

Oeuvre and success are astounding: Brezina’s books have been translated into more than 35 languages ​​and, according to Wikipedia, have sold around 70 million copies worldwide. The author has to smile about this: “I don’t know where these numbers come from. Officially it’s 45 million or so. I dont know. But I can’t imagine 70, I’m rather modest.” He doesn’t care about numbers at all, emphasizes Brezina, who describes himself as “storyteller of joy” designated: “That sums it all up.” The new book, the story “What should I wish for… if I don’t know what I want”is an autobiographical story about the meaning of life.

The author, born Thomas Conrad Brezina on January 30, 1963, took his first steps towards his vocation at the age of eight with a story about a mouse on Jupiter, followed six years later for screenplays for the puppet television series “Tim, Tom and Dominic” the Grand Austrian Youth Prize. A first taste of a profession that became a permanent second mainstay: Brezina designed concepts and screenplays for television several times, since 2008 he has been in charge of drawing for the ORF children’s program “Okidoki” responsible.

Before that, however, he worked as a puppeteer for Arminio Rothstein, better known as Clown Habakuk. Among other things, he played the magician Tintifax, “but I didn’t speak to him”says Brezina, who also wrote bedtime stories and radio plays for the radio and finally as an assistant director for programs such as “On the day of” started. In the meantime, Brezina was jointly responsible for the creation of around 40 TV formats, mainly for the ORF, but also for foreign channels.

Thomas Brezina and Tom Turbo.
Image: ORF

In the early 1990s, the author succeeded with the series “The Knickerbocker Gang” about four young detectives the final breakthrough. The fact that he made a girl head of the gang did not initially meet with general enthusiasm: “I was told that the flop is inevitable because boys don’t want to read it that way and girls read this type of book less. But I insisted. Today, many women tell me that this was very important to them. I did it on instinct, there was no intellectual concept behind it.”

Brezina also writes series aimed only at boys or girls

Three years later he delighted his young audience for the first time with the greatest bike in the world, “Tom Turbo”, which he also brought interactively to the screens. series like “dragon treasure” or “The Research Express” followed. Brezina also writes series that are aimed only at boys or only at girls, in 2017 he brought the first “knickers”volume aimed at former readers of the series who are now adults – it became a bestseller. “It just happened like everything else in my life. One day I got up and said: I’ll write the adult Knickerbocker gang”says the TV darling.

Brezina’s creativity seems to know no bounds and is not limited to writing for young and old or creating children’s programs. For example, he created an audio guide for children for St. Stephen’s Cathedral and wrote a Bible in rhymes (“I’m not Catholic, but the book has had a huge impact on my life.”) and worlds of experience. With his first non-fiction book “Just do it and believe in it” gave Brezina tips and tricks for a happier life. His current story follows on from this thematically.

Vienna and London

Brezina lives alternately in Vienna and for 28 years in his second home London, which he says inspires him. “I learned a lot in England. English literature influenced me, not German.” He shares his everyday life via social media – “not to color beautifully, but to put out joyful things”. In 2016 he married his partner Ivo. On Instagram, for example, he gives insights into married life. “Many write to me that when they see this about us, it gives them courage.”

The author is involved in charitable work for disadvantaged children, is a UNICEF ambassador and supports Volkshilfe. “I take that for granted”he says. “I also support the training of companion dogs. Because the very first partner dog that was trained in Austria for a child in a wheelchair was on my TV 33 years ago. That impressed me.”

Brezina has received several awards, including the Golden Medal of Merit of the Republic. In China he is considered one of the most widely circulated foreign authors. There he had the sentence for the first time on a promotional tour “Thanks for a nice childhood” heard. “This is the highest award for me”according to Brezina.

His latest book likes “What should I wish for… if I don’t know what I want” what he wants for his big birthday, Brezina knows: “That the river of life, on which I have been gliding for 60 years, will continue to carry me. I’m surprised where to go. But I will continue to row the boat and always try to master the current well, not get too excited and enjoy it. Stay healthy, that’s it! And having ideas, implementing them and bringing them to people. And continue to have such a happy married life. What could I want more?”

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