Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Kathrin Spinnler. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.
Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Mostly, it energizes me, especially when I’m caught up in an interesting project. There’s nothing better than being inspired by my work, and gradually seeing how the story or article evolves. Only when I feel stuck or unhappy with my progress, it can be exhausting. Usually it takes a few hours of dedicated, concentrated work to get out of such a slump.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
No, I do not use a pseudonym. I like my name – it is very international-sounding and can be pronounced in many different languages, especially German, English and French. As an international writer, that’s useful for me. But I do see the appeal of writing under a pseudonym: it allows you to step away from your private life, and to keep the two more separate.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
No matter how good a writer is, he or she will be faced with rejections, and usually not just a few. That’s why a decent-sized ego is a must in this job. Being sure of yourself and your writing is essential, both for the actual writing process and for selling your work. You can be the best writer in the world, but if you lack the confidence to share your work, you’ll never make it. I definitely think a big enough ego helps – it only becomes a problem if this self-confidence morphs into arrogance.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
For all my writing, my Acer laptop is invaluable. It was a birthday present from my dad, and definitely the best investment so far. Although it’s big and bulky and not very modern, my laptop has traveled from Switzerland to New York to London with me, and it’s never once failed me yet.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
Writing success is very individual, and there’s no right or wrong answer here. It will be different for everyone. For me personally, I hope to publish some works of fiction in the future. I picture success as seeing my book on shelves in stores, or overhearing people on the street talking about it. I hope to touch people with my stories, maybe help them in a certain phase of life.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
Right now, I am working on a factual article series about joint mobilization and well-being. It’s for a non-profit company based in Switzerland and concerned with all things health. Although I have some background knowledge of anatomy, this project requires a lot of research, especially since I have to write it in German. I probably spend 75% of my time researching and only 25% actually writing content.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
As I mentioned, I am working on factual pieces at the moment. However, when I do write fiction, I have an extensive list of names in a little golden notebook. The dates back to when I was about 11 and intent on becoming the next J.K. Rowling. Back then, I scoured the web for baby names and wrote down all the ones I liked. There must be about 300 names in that book – each one with a little box next to it, so I can check it off when I’ve used it in a story.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
Personally, I think love scenes are really challenging to write. Not sure why, but it always feels difficult to get the wording just right.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I have always been fascinated by the author L.M. Montgomery. I read her ‘Anne of Green Gables’ books as a child, and her less known adult novel, ‘The Blue Castle’, is one of my all-time favorites. I would love to ask her about her own life and how it relates to the wonderful worlds she has created in her stories.
Another author who inspires me is Jojo Moyes. I’ve always wondered how she keeps coming up with these great, engaging plots.
In addition, I would invite the Queen of England and Walt Disney. I just moved here to London and find Queen Elizabeth’s long reign fascinating. I’m sure she would have extremely interesting stories to tell. Disney’s movies and brand have influenced millions of children’s lives, including mine, and I would love to get to know the person behind it.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
I am not marketing any books at the moment, but I am running a blog on WordPress, called ‘My Cup of English Tea’. It’s all about my recent move to London from Switzerland, and how I am managing my new life here, as a dancer, Pilates teacher, and writer. This has so far proven to be a great way to reach out to people who are interested in and read my content regularly. I am excited to see where it leads.