Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. I hope that you'll return often and always find something of interest about my world and what inspires me to pick up a pen. (This is a figure of speech, unfortunately. My handwriting is terrible!) Here's what I've been up to recently...
I was delighted with the opportunity to interview Swiss writer Karin Bachmann, whom I first met a few years ago at http://swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/ the Writers’ Summer School in Swanwick. Karin is unnecessarily modest about her command of English, as you will see from her answers below. You can read Karin’s reciprocal interview with me on http://stories47277.blogspot.co.uk/
Have you always been a keen writer?
I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. So it came naturally to write them down once I’d learnt to read and write. In the beginning, they were micro-stories of only a few sentences. I’ve always had problems with spelling, and it took me some years to discover a love for letters. It helped a lot that I grew up in a house full of books. Both my parents are avid readers, and they always read stories for us at bedtime. I doubt whether I’d have become a writer without their support.
Where do you find the greatest inspiration?
I’m a born eavesdropper. And I commute to work. That’s where I find most ideas. You wouldn’t believe what great stories you can come by using public transport. I also find it inspirational to stare out of a train window while the world is gliding by.Having said that, I’ve also found great story ideas listening to the news or watching documentaries on TV. Once I had to wait at the town hall and found a fantastic story beginning simply by reading a flyer. Stories are everywhere. All you need are open eyes, open ears and an open mind.
Do you have a favourite story out of all those you have written?
I usually like my latest story best. However, there’s one of the children’s whodunits I wrote for SJW-Verlag, Zurich, called Die Zirkus Affäre (The Circus Mystery) that I think turned out rather well. It’s a mix of circus versus village life and a burglar mystery. There’s also a good deal of humour in it. When I’m invited to school readings, it’s often that story that I choose to read.
Do you always write first of all in German or sometimes directly into English?
The language I use depends on the market. If I’m writing for an English market, I’ll write the story in English. I have some very dear, long-suffering friends who are native English speakers and who proof read my texts, as my English is still very far from perfect. I have used stories in both languages and my blog is bilingual, in which cases I translate either from German into English or vice versa.
Do you plan everything to the last detail before you begin a new story or do you prefer to ‘go with the flow’?
I’d say it’s a mix of both. When I begin to write, I usually have a pretty good idea of the beginning and I know where I want to go. I also know what topics I’m going to use and what obstacles the protagonist(s) will encounter. So I know what kind of research I’ll have to do before fully embarking on a project. I don’t do to much planning because I’m afraid I might grow tired of a story before I even start. The disadvantage is that I might have to do stubstantial re-writing because a twist I insert doesn’t go anymore with an earlier part. But I like being surprised by a story, so I don’t mind the additional work.
What are you working on at the moment and what are your future plans?
For some time, I’ve been trying to interest a publisher or agent in a children’s whodunit set in the Isles of Scilly, without any success. A course at last year’s Swanwick Writers’ Summer School set me thinking about going the self-publishing route. Two Swanwick friends read the story and I’m now re-working it according to their ample and helpful suggestions. A lady friend of mine, who’s an illustrator, will do the cover. I’m at the editing stage and hope to bring out the book either in time for the next Swanwick Writers’ Summer School or for Christmas (probably in both, English and German). The working title is The Venetian Pearls.
My plans for the future? I have two or three projects in the pipeline, which I hope to be able to finish soon and sell. Being superstitious, I won’t tell you more at the moment. But if you wish, you can follow my progress on http://stories47277.blogspot.com or on Twitter (@BookwormKarin).
Thank you very much, Karin. I’ll continue to follow your career with interest and look forward to seeing you again at http://swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/ Swanwick in August. In the meantime, I’ll test out my German skills by reading Die Zirkus Affäre, which can be found in http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mord-Switzerland-Kriminalgeschichten-Edition-ebook/dp/B00BQ8OR86/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367145473&sr=8-2&keywords=Mord+in+Switzerland Mord in Switzerland.
28 April, 2013