How do you find the contents for your novels, what is inspiring you?
Anything and everything. It’s something I tell young writers, that there really is inspiration all around you, and things can used in unexpected ways. I once wrote a whole story inspired just by a song I heard.
What defines an extraordinary story?
One that I think its author desperately wants to tell. If you can really write a story that you want to read yourself, that’s the way to get other readers. Whatever it might be about, they’ll see your joy in storytelling and want to hear more.
Which author inspired you during the last months and why?
Literaly, Sieben Minuten Nach Mitternacht was inspired by an idea from the writer Siobhan Dowd, so definitely her. She’s a terrific writer. Read her!
How do you see the future of literature – which topics will enthrall, which genres will be read?
The future of literature will be the same as its present and its past: there’ll be something for everyone, thank God. Literature encompasses everything, every possible topic and experience. That’s why it’s so vital.
What kind of feeling is it to hold a new book in your hands after writing on it for months?
It’s the single best feeling of being a writer. Better than seeing on the shelves, better than turning it in. That moment where you hold it is where it all becomes real. Six books into my career, it’s still my favourite moment.
How do you prefer reading – on an e-reader or in a printed book?
Printed. But that’s a personal preference, not a political position!
Which responsibility – if at all – does an author have towards our society?
The same responsibility of an artist: to tell the truth as best we can.
If you had the choice – in which literary figure would you like to transform for a day?
The Cat in the Hat, just because I so rarely get to make a proper mess.
What let’s a book be a perfect book?
I’d never trust a “perfect” book. Let them be human and interesting and complicated and contradictory and not be afraid to get things wrong. Perfection can often be cold, and who wants cold?
Which topic would you like to write your next book about?
I keep all future books secret until they’re ready. So I’m writing, I’m writing, but I don’t talk about it to anyone. That way, it can make as many mistakes and grow as naturally as it needs to.