Friday, 12 August 2011

A Brief Chat With Caroline Brothers

Caroline Brothers visited us for a chat about her new novel, Hinterland.

What was the last book you read and what are you currently reading?
Believe it or not, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh at present. Previously, Gould's Book of Fish - Fantastic, magical imagination and an eye-opener into the early days of white settlement in Tasmania.

What inspired you to write a book about refugees?
Encountering these brave, unassuming, incredibly polite, candid kids. I was moved above all by their courage and by the simplicity of their desire to go to school.

What research did you undertake?
Before I knew I was writing the book I went as a reporter to the Greek border with Turkey, to Calais, to Athens and Venice - places along the migration route into Europe. As the novel took shape, I went to some of the places in between - Genoa and back to Nice and back to the places in Paris where I first met and spoke to these brave kids. I also read everything I could on Afghanistan to build up the back story of the boys' lives.

Was it difficult to switch between writing non-fiction and writing fiction?
No - because I'd been writing shorter pieces of fiction, but principally I had a big build up of emotional baggage from meeting these children that I was desperate to channel into some other form, so turning to fiction came as a great relief, a way to externalise all the things I'd been holding that couldn't be contained in journalism. Above all it was a great pleasure to write about these moving kids.

What are you working on next?
I have a few leads for a new novel but haven't decided which one I will stick with to fully develop. But I am dying to get fully involved in the next one.
Hinterland is available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment