Where do the ideas for your books come from?
My books are inspired by events from my own life or stories I am told by friends or strangers, by scenes that I happen to watch which draw my attention. In other words: by pretty much anything. Sometimes it’s just a tiny little thing like a name, a gesture, something someone says on the train. These little somethings settle in a corner of my brain, evolving of their own accord. Some ideas may sit in my head (and my computer) for years before I actually start working on them.
Do you read a lot yourself? And if you do, what kind of books do you like?
Yes! I have to always have a book on me (at least one, that is!) , so I can be sure I will be able to use every spare minute for reading. It is actually a slightly obsessive habit. I like to read from different genres – but very often I end up with a current young adult novel. There are so many great writers out there! My favourite time for reading is in the morning, after walking the dog, while having breakfast. The coffee hot, the dog asleep, the day still ahead: the perfect minibreak!
Why do you mainly write for girls?
Hmmm – because I am one myself, I guess?
My heroines are always a little bit like me. And naturally, I see things from a female point of view. But when I give readings, I find the boys are usually just as eager and interested as the girls. I mean, we do have a lot in common too, after all, don’t we?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I take long walks with my dog, Pumpkin. I ride my Icelandic horse, Darri. I read, I go to the movies. I listen to music. Music is very important to me, also for my work. Even if the music doesn’t seem relevant for a story I am writing, I like to think about what music a given character would be listening to. This way, I get to know them better. A little while ago I also started learning Swahili which is spoken in Tansania where I sponsor a child.
Travelling and foreign countries are a recurring element in your books – why?
It is not a coincidence I put so much focus on travelling. Getting to know new countries and their people, cultures and languages, poses challenges, inspires me, sometimes pushes me to my limits and beyond. In other words: Travelling has made my life so much richer and more colorful and exciting! I have met some of my best friends while travelling and my „extended family“ is spread around the world.
How do I become a writer?
I believe there is only one possible answer to this question:
And then write some more!