Es ist mal wieder soweit: Zeit für ein neues und ganz aktuelles Q & A.
Diesmal an Bord: die Autorin Helen Grant, über deren Buch „Wish me Dead“ ich bereits vor einiger Zeit geschrieben habe.
Nun hat sich die sympathische Schriftstellerin die Zeit genommen und mir ein paar Fragen beantwortet. Natürlich geht es darin wie immer um Bücher, aber auch um die Social-Media-Plattformen facebook und twitter, auf denen Helen Grant auch vertreten ist.
Doch bevor es zum Interview geht, hier noch eine kurze Vorstellung der Autorin:
Helen Grant wurde 1964 in London geboren, hat in Oxford studiert und anschließend als Marketingmanagerin gearbeitet. Die Autorin, die mit einem Schotten verheiratet ist und seit 2011 in Schottland lebt, wohnte auch einige Zeit in Deutschland: 2001 erklärte sie Bad Münstereifel zu ihrer Heimat.
Wer sich dafür interessiert, was die Autorin sonst noch so macht, kann sich auf ihrem Blog umschauen. Dort finden sich interessante Artikel, die immer einen zweiten Blick wert sind.
Zu ihren Büchern gehören:
„The Vanishing of Katharina Linden“ (deutsch: „Die Mädchen des Todes“)
„The Glass demon“ (deutsch: „Blutige Scherben“)
„Wish me dead“ (noch kein deutscher Titel vorhanden)
„Silent Saturday“ (noch kein deutscher Titel vorhanden)
Nach diesem kurzen Einstieg gehts nun auf zum Interview:
In your book „Wish me Dead“ you mixed signs of mystery and friendship with the question of wishful thinking, betrayal and murder.
What was your idea behind setting it to a german town and to give the characters typical german names? I know you lived in Bad Münstereifel for a time, did that affect your choices?
When I first started writing – well, writing with the aim of being published one day – we were living in Bad Münstereifel in Germany. I found the town incredibly inspiring. It is very beautiful in an old-fashioned German way, with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. It also has a very colourful history, with war and plague! And it has a wealth of interesting local folk legends. So I set my first book, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, right there in the town. When I came to write my second book (The Glass Demon) I stuck to the same part of Germany, although I changed some of the place names in that book because I wanted to set most of the action in a castle. Many small castles in Germany are still in private hands and I didn’t want anyone to think I had used „their“ castle and perhaps be offended. So I created fictional places for that book, although the fictional town of Baumgarten is stated to be near Bad Münstereifel. Wish Me Dead is actually the last of my books to be set in Germany, because in 2011 we moved to Flanders and I set the next book (Silent Saturday) there. Wish Me Dead was inspired by the witch trials that took place in the Eifel in the 17th century. I also wanted to tell my readers a little about what had happened to the town after the events of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, and in particular to some of the people who lived there, such as the venomous town gossip, Frau Kessel!
The other factor in choosing to set three books in Germany was that it was my „home“ environment when I was writing them. We’d been away from Britain for years and I was out of touch with life there. I couldn’t have told you the price of a litre of milk or a newspaper in Britain!
What is your favorite time for writing and why?
I have two children so I have to work during school hours! I try to start work around 9am and I have to finish around 3.45pm when they get home. They are both teenagers now so they don’t need me fussing over them every moment, but I find it difficult to concentrate when anyone else is in the house.
With you being a writer – in terms of reading: are you mor of a „real book“ reader who enjoys the feel of an actual book in ones hands or are you more of an „E-Book“-reader who enjoys the possibility of having lots of books in a small space together? Why?
I am a „real book“ reader because I love to read in the bath!! I don’t think an eReader would survive falling into hot water! Apart from that, I don’t have any particular prejudice against eBooks.
I think when my family have grown up and moved out, and my husband and I move into a smaller home, I will probably replace many of my paper books with eBooks to save space. The exception, however, is my collection of antiquarian books. You can read some of those online but it really isn’t the same! They are lovely antiques.
You are on twitter and facebook. Are you really a „social media „fan““ or mostly doing it for reasons of promotion? Which one do you prefer – twitter or facebook – and why?
I went onto Facebook some years ago because my then publisher (Penguin) suggested it. I have a Facebook books page as well as my own private account. The trouble is, social media is addictive and you end up spending more time than you should on it! So I probably would have stopped there, but then my publisher suggested Twitter, so eventually I went on that too. Same story! It would be far too easy to spend the whole day on social media!
I did start social media for reasons of promotion, but it is much more than that. If you follow someone on Twitter and all they ever do is post links to their book on Amazon, it gets very tedious and dreary, and you end up unfollowing. I post about all sorts of things – interesting old buildings I have visited, books I have bought, the foreign locations of my books and so on.
If I had to choose between Facebook and Twitter, I would probably choose Twitter. It can be a challenge saying what you want to say within 140 characters, but that is also rather fun. Also there isn’t the commitment of friending people – you can follow whom you like – so you make contact with a very wide range of people. Also there are some great initiatives like #ukyachat, where anyone interested in YA (young adult) fiction from the UK can join in and ask questions.
You were born in London, now live near Brussels. In a former blog entry I interviewed the german author Frank Rüdiger about his love for the british capital.
Do you miss living in London sometimes? What is the best place for you in the city?
We lived in Brussels until 2011, but then we moved again, to Perthshire in Scotland! My husband is Scottish but I am English, so in a sense I am still „abroad“! I love living in Scotland; the area where we live has some really beautiful countryside and some very interesting old buildings, including the Library of Innpeffray, Scotland’s oldest lending library, which has four hundred year old books that you are allowed to take out of the case and read!
However, I still miss some of the places I lived in the past: Bad Münstereifel, Brussels, and of course London. I don’t get to go to London very often because it is over 400 miles from where I now live, but I always enjoy visiting. My favourite places are probably the museums. A couple of years ago I took my kids to see the Natural History Museum in South Kensington and I think I enjoyed it as least as much as they did, possibly more! I remember going there many times when I was a child.
(Please fill in the first thing that comes to mind, thank you)
Favorite Season? Spring. It has such a hopeful feeling about it!
Book to the movie or the movie itself? It depends on the book/movie, but mostly book!
Favorite Author? I can’t choose one – impossible! But I am a great fan of the English ghost story writer Montague Rhodes James.
Best moment in 2014 so far? Standing on top of a hill in the dark looking for the Northern Lights (we didn’t see them) and singing silly songs with my teenage daughter!
Biggest wish for 2014? To earn enough money to get by…and maybe have a holiday.
Which book do you want to become a movie? Any book? Or book of mine? If you mean book of mine, I think The Glass Demon would make a cracking movie, and so would Silent Saturday.
Do you have a place (anywhere) where you would want to live/ work one day? Like a „dream place“? Well, we only lived in Flanders for three years and I feel I had hardly begun to explore it when we moved to Scotland. So I would like to go back and spend another year there, maybe in the city of Ghent, which I love. My next book, The Demons of Ghent, is set there. That’s coming out in June 2014.
I would also like to live by the sea. I’ve always fancied that. I have fulfilled many of my ambitions (to write a book, to travel the world, to have kids) but I have never lived by the sea. If I could choose, I would have a house that looked straight out at the sea. I’d go swimming every day!
What do you look most for in a book to impress you? Excitement, thrills – I like modern crime novels but I also like the classic Gothic horror novels and Victorian novels with big moral dilemmas in them. I also look for good writing, which is hard to define, except to say that I like to see more than the bare bones of the action. I like writing with colour; I like the setting to spring to life.
At this point: Thank you very much, Helen Grant, for taking part in my Q & A 🙂
Auf ihrer Autorenhomepage findet sich ebenfalls ein Q & A – für diejenigen, die mehr über die Autorin erfahren möchten.