Freitag, 3. Juni 2016

[Zu Besuch in Sophies Bücherecke] Interview mit Helen Maslin

Hallo ihr Lieben,

für alle, die darauf gewartet haben. Hier ist nun das Original Interview mit Helen Maslin in Englisch.
Dieses habe ich von der Tonaufnahme transkripiert und an einigen Stellen "geschnitten".
Auch wenn ich Fremsprachenkorrespondentin bin und Fachübersetzten studiere, bin ich nicht perfekt in der englischen Sprache, also verzeiht mir Fehlerchen.

S: Let’s get right to it.

H: Let’s do that.

S: When did you decide that you wanted to be an author?

H: Oh. I think always. When did you decide that you gonna write a blog? I bet you’ve always been good at writing.

S: After I met my favourite author. I was like “Yes, this is so amazing.” And I just wanted to write it down.

H: That’s obviously the reason. It’s fantastic. If I can make someone feel the things I’ve felt when I’ve read my favourite authors. I Think I didn’t do it seriously until I had children of my own. I wanted to make them proud of me.

S: That’s cute.

H: That’s cheesy.

S: Are they proud of you?

H: It’s a bit too old for them but they think I’m like JK Rowling.

S: That’s so cool. I read that you run your boys art club at school.

H: Well, I have very little control of that. It’s a lot of tidying up. Ten year olds are a pain. It can go either way.

S: But it’s fun?

H: It is. It is a distraction from the waiting to hear back from agents and publishers.

S: It’s probably nice to do something else besides writing and just get something else done.

H: Yeah, you can get much messier and don’t have to make it perfect.

S: What did you do before you became an author?

H: Again, I spent a lot of time at home, just looking after my kids. Before that. Nothing really. A lot of different things, just looking for something. I was an optician for a while. I worked at an antique shop because I like history.

S: So this now like a dream come true?

H: I still can’t believe it. This feels like someone else.

S: What do think of the original cover and the German one?

H: When people say they like the cover I say “You should see the German one!” It looks better than it does in pictures. It’s so shiny. It’s more or less how I imagined it. But just seeing my name of a cover, even if it was terrible, I still would be a bit teary. It’s just amazing.

S: You made something and now you can see it.

H: I did that. (To Anja Kammerzell) Well, you helped.

S: This has a lot of different genre in it. I think it’s hard do describe. It has history, romance, light horror.

H: It’s the first question I get asked “What’s your book about?” I do you, uhm, it’s everything I have liked when I was a teenager that I wanted to read about. It started to be a lot more romancy and than I enjoyed the scary stuff. And the danger, the darkness. I like jokes. I tried to put everything in. I suppose it’s a ghost story more than anything else.

S: I think so to, because what Elenor has, it is not love.

H: Well there was a nice boy, she should have seen that earlier on. But she wanted danger and excitement.

S: If you went with him than it would be romance.

H: But again, nobody sees what’s right in front of them. There is this boy you grow up with, it seems dull. One of the other bloggers said that she likes the bad boys. And you know they’re no good for you. But in the older days you had to marry them.  And there are still stories where girls are married at a very young age in arranged marriages in the modern days. It’s awful to read. And just to think that not long ago girls were just sold like property. That does make me feel things. And I’m glad it’s not like that anymore. At least not here.

S: So, did you do some research in this area? Where girls had to marry boys they did not want to marry?

H: I wouldn’t say researched. It just about everything that I liked reading about. I just like historical things. And I didn’t want it to sound like a history lesson “I have learnt this and I have learnt that”. Some books do. I kinda wanted to have more of feeling of history. Of what is right and what is wrong. And then it is for you to decide, I suppose.

S: Are you currently working on something? Is it going in the same direction or is it completely different?

H: I hope it will be a bit different. I do think there are some authors who kinda keep on writing the same book, do you know what I mean? I don’t want that. All my favourite authors tend to write something completely different. At the moment I’m working on something that is written around the French revolution. So different country and the guillotine maybe. Cause I like the danger. So we’ll see what happens.

S: So also history?

H: Yeah, I do like that. Spooky old castles.

S: I think it is nice. You stick to what you want to write about, but you still go in a different direction.

H: I hope so.

A: You talked about the authors that inspire you? What are your favourites?

H: In High School it was definitely Daphne du Maurier.

S: Uhh, Rebecca.

H: I mean it is a real classic. And the Bronte Sisters and Jane Austen. But now it is mostly Young Adult. And a lot of authors are very supportive of each other. In the same way that bloggers are. I think I mentioned Neil Gaiman a lot of times. I would like to be Neil Gaiman.

S: He is pretty cool.

H: He is a writer, but he is super cool. He is married to a rockstar. He can write anything. Children’s books, old books, a Doctor Who episode, graphic novels.

S: He is very different to a lot of authors but he just seems so genuine.

H: And he is not hard to read. It feels like he’s having fun. And I would like to feel like I’m enjoying it.

S: Well, I definitely had that feeling. Because the way that the two timelines are coming together. It’s just like big puzzle. Where did you get your ideas for Darkmere? Is there a time you can pinpoint.

H: When we went to stay at a castle that I based it on. Watermouth Castle in Devon. We stayed there a few of times. It has dungeons and tunnels and it is by the sea. It is very magnificent. You are in a castle, but very spooky too. And I was thinking “Who lived here before? Who built it?” And I just decided that I had to make up my own story.

S: Do you like the ghost stories or the haunted house themes?

H: I am not very good with horror. I like writing it. You cannot scare yourself.

S: I thought your novel had the right amount of goosebumps.

H: That’s amazing.

S: If you could visit the castle at one of the two timelines, which would it be and why?

H: The modern day one, I suppose. Because you can walk around and you can see all the clues to how it used to be. The past one would just be to new.

S: Alone?

(Lots of giggles.)

H: are you gonna come with me? Maybe we’ll assemble a team.

S: We are all probably just going to sit in the garden and cry or something.

H: That is why wanted a gang to be there. It is difficult to frighten them. But then they get separated and one by one they just fall apart. Maybe they should have respected the curse a bit more.

S: I like the girls the most. I think they are very strong characters. Did you have a favourite character when writing the book?

H: Well, they’re based on me of course. Probably Kate is a bit more like me, because she is more like me, a bit crumpier. But the villains where the most fun to write.

S: So, do we get nice bad guys in your next book?

H: I hope so. I try.

S: Do you have a favourite scene?

H: I guess, if you want everyone to enjoy it, then you have to try and make everything a favourite scene. But just little lines or descriptions. Maybe the beach and the description of the castles.

S: I thought the most important thing was that the characters had their depths.

H: I wanted them to change a bit. You are revealing who you are when you are a teenager.

S: I really like Elenors change. She becomes this very brave, strong woman.

H: I do like happy endings and escapeism. But I do think it is more important that she finds herself. More than getting the man.

S: At the end everything flows together, however, there are still some things unrevealed. I like that. The big picture is cleared, but the little things are uncertain.

H: I really wanted that. The teenage ones were the ones who where okay with making up their one ending. And I think in history you can never find out what happened. And If the sister didn’t know what happened to her sister, how could I tell.

S: I liked that the sister finally got what she deserved.

H: What? Really? I thought she had a reason for what she did. She lost everything.

S: Even though I only have brother, I would never act the way that she did and hurt their sibling. But it fits in the time era. And I like to read about it.

H: I had too much fun writing it. I am quite nice in real life. Maybe I just had to get it out.

S: So, this story about the castle is finished? You are not going back to it?
H: I don’t think so. I killed people.

Fun Questions This or That:

We had a long discussion about crisps. Walker’s and Pringles and how the British people have these huge packets of crisps with multiple tiny packets in it. You know, just a conversation about how British this it.

S: Printed or eBooks?

H: Printed. Especially this one (Darkmere). But I love my kindle for trips.

S: Reading or Writing?

H:You can’t make me choose. Probably reading. I wouldn’t be writing If I weren’t able to read. You read and then you write? You choose!

(Helen, Anja and I all agreed that we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing if we wouldn’t choose reading before anything else.)

S:Tea or Coffee?

H: Coffee. Oh yes. I hate tea. This is not very English-like. I eat the crisps, but the tea is disgusting.

S:Silence or white noise/music?

H:Silence. But I live near a school. I am used to that. That is a happy sound when children are playing. I would like to be able to listen to music and make playlists.

S:Harry Potter or The Lord of The Rings?

H:Harry Potter. Without question.

In case Helen reads this one ... Thank you for your time. It was a pleasure talking to you and I hope we will meet again one day.


  1. Huhu Sophie!

    Wow, was für ein tolles Interview! Irgendwie hatte ich es damals ganz überlesen, aber jetzt habe ich es glücklicherweise nochmal entdeckt :) Ich finde richtig toll, wie ihr aufeinander eingegangen seid... Bei vielen Interviews habe ich of das Gefühl, dass die einfach einen Fragenkatalog abarbeiten wollten und gar nicht auf die Antworten gehört haben in irgendeiner Weise...
    Danke für diesen schönen Post :)

    Mareike :)

    1. Liebe Mareike,
      freut mich, dass du es doch noch entdeckt hast.
      Und danke für die lieben Worte. Ja, ich habe vor Ort viel improvisiert. Manche Fragen gestrichen oder ergänzt und es wurde mehr zu einem Gespräch. So war es einfach natürlicher.

      Alles Liebe


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