interview with Saskia

Original, untranslated version of the interview with Saskia Sarginson

What can we know about you? What do you do for a living, as free-time activity?
I’ve always been a writer. I used to work as a health & beauty editor on women’s magazines; I’ve also been a freelance journalist, copy writer and ghost writer.
I see the main theme for The Twins is family, especially families in trouble. What does it mean for you and why exactly did you choose this theme?
The blood ties, long histories, intense emotions and sibling rivalries inside families creates interesting fictional possibilities. I come from a family that is made up of step-parents and half-siblings and step-siblings. So I’m naturally drawn to complicated families.
Do you like reading in your free-time? What kind of books, if so?
I love reading! And, for a writer, it’s essential. I have some favourite modern writers, like Tessa Hadley and Sadie Jones, but I like to read widely  - different historical periods, different genres, poetry and non-fiction too. 
Tell me a bit about your upcoming book! When will it be published?
My second novel, Without You, is on kindle now and it’s being published in the UK in July. It begins with a father and his 17 year old daughter capsizing in a storm at sea. He survives but she is lost, presumed drowned. In fact, she’s been washed up on the shore of an out-of-bounds military island in Suffolk, where she’s being held captive by an ex-soldier. Her little sister is certain she’s alive and determined to find her, but the parents’ are too self-absorbed to listen; their relationship is falling apart, undermined by guilt and grief. The novel is about strangers. The ones who come into our lives and change it; but also the stranger inside the people we think we know best.
Both of your published books, The Twins and Without You also take place almost in the same decade, the 80s. Does this decade mean something special to you?
I grew up in the 80s; so it holds great nostalgia for me. Because it was a time that came before most of the technology we have today, like the Internet and mobile phones, communication was different then. Things were slower. It was easier to go missing, get lost, to be uninformed. And that allows me to develop plot lines that wouldn’t work in a modern setting. I’ve moved away from Suffolk and the 80s in the book I’m working on now. It goes between Germany in the 1930s/1940s and London in the 1990s.
How can you deal with raising four children and keeping up the writing work at the same time?
My children are all older now; three of them have left school. So it’s much easier than it used to be. 
Do you have any special needs while writing or any habits? (i mean writing in the nature/listening to music while working/being absolutely quiet/etc..)
I need complete quiet. I never listen to music while I’m working. It helps if I’ve done some exercise before I sit down to write – walking my dogs is the perfect thing to get me thinking.
The Hungarian reading community just met your first book, The Twins. Do you have any information if Without You will be published too?
At the moment there are no plans for it to be published in Hungary, as far as I know. It’s gone to six counties – but not Hungary, unfortunately!
Do you think it's harder to prevail as a female writer than a male writer?
Perhaps it was in earlier times. But there are so many female writers now. I love reading work by other women.
After publishing The Twins, how did you feel about the positive welcome of it? Did you expect worse?
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised and thrilled by the reception. I think I learnt a lot about myself when the book came out – it’s quite a testing time, having a novel in the public eye. There are always negative comments as well as the all the wonderful positive ones. But I think I’ll be a bit more resilient when Without You hits the stands.
If one of your children would decide to follow your example and become a writer, what would you advise her/him?
Follow your dream. If you feel passionate about something - writing, music, art, science -  then you should do it. Just be prepared to take the rejection and failures that will come, and use them to grow wiser and stronger. Never give up.
How does your family feel about you being a writer?
I’m happy to say that my family is very supportive. My one regret is that my mother didn’t live to see my first book published.
How long does it averagely take for you to write a book?
About nine months to a year. It takes me six to nine months to write it and a couple more months to edit. Once I’ve begun a book I become obsessed with it and my fictional world – I tend to give up on anything else except the domestic essentials.
How did you feel when you held your first book for the first time?
It was a little like holding a baby – I was filled with awe, hope, pride, protectiveness and humility.

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