Foto: Katarina Sandberg
Jeg var så heldig at få lov til at anmelde Katarina Sandbergs “Vi er ikke sådan nogen der får hinanden til sidst”, og det var godt nok en positiv overraskelse! Katarina Sandberg har en helt særlig skrivestil. Fortællingen var interessant, moden og tankevækkende – ikke hvad man ville forvente af en 19-årig.
“Vi er ikke sådan nogen der får hinanden til sidst” er én af de bedste bøger, som jeg har læst i år 2015. Katarina Sandberg har været så sød at lade mig interviewe hende og det er blevet spændende. Nu kan jeg endelig dele det med jer her 🙂
1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
“My sister has always written a lot and wanted to be a writer, and since she is six years older than me – I’ve always wanted what she wants. So I think I’ve always wanted to be an author. I did not think it would happen at this age though. I thought that to have a chance to become an author you should be a man in his 50s, who had been living in Paris and been drinking a lot of alcohol – you should have a lot of life experience. Well, turned out I was wrong”.
2. How long have you been writing?
“I’ve been writing diaries and stuff since I was very young. But during high school I became more serious with my writing. I managed to get a job as a columnist at the local newspaper in my hometown and wrote a lot of short stories”.
3. Who discovered you? Did you achieve this yourself? (did you contact publishers? How?)
“During my last year of high school I decided that I wanted to try to write a whole novel. In fact “Vi er ikke…” was a very, very ambitious school project. After finishing the manuscript I started sending it out to publishing houses. The letters I did send out along with the manuscripts where insane – I wrote things like “This is probably impossible since I am 19 and haven’t slept with anyone in the media industry” – I think I felt like I didn’t have anything to loose. And I knew how important it was to gain some attention to make the publishers read at least a few pages. At first my strategy didn’t work – I received a few standard rejections. But as time passed by three publishing houses was interested in reading a second version. I think it really helped me that three short stories that was extract from the novel was nominated for the young version of the August Prize, which is a huge deal in Sweden. After re-writing the manuscript I signed with Gilla Böcker, a small independent publishing house in Sweden specialized in young adult-literature (I didn’t even know that I wrote for young adults beforehand!) It took about one year from finishing the manuscript to signing the contract and another year before the book was in store”.
4. Why this story – anything in particular?
“Well, I think it is always natural to write about something that you know well and has given a lot of thought about. During my last year of high school I naturally gave a lot of thought to what I should do with my life – what would be the next step? I had great grades, I could do anything – but should I go in to law school or business school just because I could do it? Also, I had never had a boyfriend or a serious relationship by that time and was questioning the whole idea of romance and thought of love as a construction. Was it something Hollywood just had invented? Identity and love is to central themes in the book for this reason I think. So, the thoughts expressed by the protagonist are very much mine – but the events have not happened to me”.
5. What inspires you?
“I think inspiration is very hard to define, since you can’t always tell exactly what you’ve been inspired by. But, I can still try: books, movies, art, well-written blogs (for instance sandrabeijer.se) in particular and the internet in general. Strangers conversations at the train, big cities and people watching”.
6. Which authors have inspired you?
“Well, I would say I’m more inspired by single books than authorship. I was very inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Amanda Svensson’s Hey Dolly (not sure if it’s been translated) while writing my book”.
7. What is your message with your book?
“I don’t think there is a message – I never intended one while writing it anyway. I wanted to write a book I wanted to read: a high-qualitative novel about relationship which dealt with serious subjects with a big portion of black humour”.
8. The ending – which one would you choose yourself; a) the one where history repeats itself or b) the one where she truly finds herself?
“Definitely the one where she truly finds herself – I feel obligated to say it for the sake of Cassiopeja anyways”.
9. How do you identity with Cassiopeia?
“Like mentioned earlier, while writing the book I very much identified with Cassiopeja. Nothing in the book has happened to me, but all the thoughts are mine”.
10. What are you reading right now?
“A book from Swedish author Karolina Ramqvist, it’s called Den vita staden (The white city). It’s about a woman who used to be with a criminal man, who now has disappeared. The book takes place in the aftermath where she is stuck in their house with a newborn baby waiting for the Enforcement Authority to take all she has left. It’s beautiful, brilliant and brutal”.
11. When is your next book coming?
“Well, I’ve had the busiest spring ever – and no time at all to write. But I’ve started! And this fall I am moving to Tokyo and that will give me a lot more time free time than my life in Stockholm and Uppsala does. So my goal is to finish the manuscript by new years 2015/2016”.