Forfatter-interview #107 Carol Matas

carol-matas-2014_credit Bonnie Brask[1].jpg
Photo: Carol Matas

Mention three fun facts that your fans maybe don’t know about you

I am a night owl and I love to sleep in!
My favourite food is chocolate
I am a Trekkie (Star Trek fan) and also love Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Not until I was in my twenties. Before that I trained to be an actor.
How long have you been writing? And what started it?
Since I was in grade four!
I started writing as an adult after listening to a friend read a story he had written. I wondered if I should try it and I did.
If you click on this link you will find a very long answer to this question.
Who discovered you? (Did you contact publishing houses? How was the process?)
I had over twenty rejections before my first book was acquired. After that I kept trying but it was 3 more years and countless more rejections before my second book was published. So no one discovered me- I had to work very hard to find a publisher. And I have had many rejections since then. Including this year- I still have projects that are rejected.
How many books have you published (so far)? And which genre?

I have published 45 books so far in many genres- contemporary, historical, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, supernatural.

Why this story? What made you choose this specific theme?

When I was giving a talk about my book “Lisa”, the book about Denmark during WW2, someone gave me a book about this village, Le Chambon, in France. Once I read about it I knew I needed to write the story of the brave people who risked their lives to do what was right. It is important that they stood up and refused to go along with the murder and lawlessness of Vichy France and the Nazi regime. Today, too, people need to stand up to discrimination against others that we see happening all over the world.

What inspires you to write? Which authors have inspired you? (Music, art, things in life?)

Each book has a different inspiration. Sometimes it is a book I read. Sometimes it is a movie I see. Sometimes it is a conversation I have. I am inspired to write for two reasons – to entertain and to educate. I hope my readers will love my stories and not want to put them down, but I also hope that my stories will make them stop and think- think about what kind of world we want and what they can do to make it a better world. And that they won’t go along with leaders who are cruel and heartless but will fight for a world where every person is considered equal to one another.

What is the message of your book? How should the reader interpret it?

I would never dream of telling a reader how to interpret a book. That’s the beauty of literature. Often readers see things in my novels I didn’t even know were there! But in terms of a message, when I write about The Holocaust I don’t write about it as a history lesson. I write about it because I want readers to think about how it could have happened and by making it personal, to think about those 6 million who were murdered not as numbers but as real people who were killed in the most cruel and vicious ways imaginable. And to caution them that dictatorship is only a breath away at any time. Right now, in the United States, it is a real and present danger. The President is going after minorities in an unprecedented and dangerous way and we should all be standing against that in our own countries. (I am Canadian.)

How do you identify with the character(s) in your book?

I imagine my characters, rather than identify with them. I try to see them and hear them as I write so that they take on their own identity and even often surprise me!

What are you currently reading?
I just finished a mystery by Ngaio Marsh. I am about to start a science fiction novel or another mystery.

I am also reading a number of books on The Holocaust for a new book I am working on.

Mention 3 book titles that you wish to recommend
Any book by these 3 authors!
 Frank L Baum
 Jane Austen

Agatha Christie

When is your next book going to be published?
Hopefully fall of 2018. It will be a sequel to After The War and The Garden about a girl who survives The Holocaust.

2 thoughts on “Forfatter-interview #107 Carol Matas

  1. This is really an encouraging interview. I love Carol Matas’ books for young people at every age. Looking forward to the next one!


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