Marie Anders was born in Kirchdorf an der Krems, Upper Austria. She grew up multilingual in an international environment and has lived, studied and worked in the United States, Serbia, Russia, Germany and France, among others. Recently, she has been living and working in her Austrian homeland again.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
As soon as I could read, I became a passionate reader. Later in school, one of my favorite classes was literature, so you could say that my passion for reading, and writing started in my childhood.
A writer starts to see the world with different eyes. When you walk through the world with your eyes and ears open, you hear the most exciting stories. They are stories that you can eventually work into a book. Somehow, as a writer, you are always working. The best thing about creative work is that, apart from publishing deadlines, you don’t have fixed times.
What’s not so great and sometimes becomes frustrating is the constant “fear” of not meeting your own standards and possibly disappointing the reader.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My books are cozy crime novels situated in Salzburg, Austria. The “native Salzburgers” have a reputation for being reserved, cold tempered, aloof, and sometimes arrogant. Malicious tongues even claim this could be due to the weather since it rains so often. Well, sometimes even I think there might be something to it.
My protagonists are the exact opposite of the described “native Salzburgers”. They are warm-hearted, help each other, and above all, they have a sense of humor. Although they have rough edges and flaws, they are all likeable and empathetic people with whom you would like to be friends with.
So far, four German and two English crime novels have been published.
You can find me here on social media and my Website:
Facebook: Marie Anders – Autorenseite
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
The idea for DEATH BY TRUFFLES came from a classical concert that unfortunately didn’t touch me at all. However, during the interval, among other delicacies, chocolates were offered and to cheer me up, I treated myself to one.
During a somewhat lengthy lecture at a seminar, a participant was actually knitting socks, and when I asked her about it, she said she could concentrate better that way. I thought that was great, and that’s how I got the idea for the crime novel “THE FINNISH SOCK”.
Since I love to go for walks by the Salzach lakes, it was only natural that the next corpse would be found there. The German crime novel “TOD IM GRÜNEN KLEE” “DEATH IN GREEN CLOVER” will be translated into English and should be published by spring 2022.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
No, actually, I do not have a schedule. Unfortunately, as a self-employed entrepreneur, I can’t reserve any time. Something called “official business” would always come up. For me, no day is like the other.
I never outline my novels. You see, writing is similar to painting. You start off, and then it develops as you go. Nothing happens on command. Sometimes whole chapters flow in no time, and sometimes I get up after half a page and call it a day. There is no set time to finish a novel, but as a rule, I take time every day, preferably at night when everyone is asleep, to write something down – even if it is just some notes. When everyone is asleep, and it is nice and quiet, I’m at the peak of my creativity. Writing is hard work, and if you don’t keep a certain discipline and rhythm, you will never finish the novel. So my laptop, scribbles and pocketbooks are my constant companions.
The fifth German crime novel is on the way, the third English Neuner is being translated, and I am writing a family saga.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
My first books were books by Enyd Blyton and Astrid Lindgren. I have read so many good books throughout my life that it is hard to choose a favourite. When it comes to books, I like to alternate between “heavy” and “light” ones. I think Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen are great. Currently, I am reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
It is an achievement to finish a book. I am sure any author can confirm that. However, my most significant achievement was that a publishing company published the books. Hopefully, I will be able to please my audience with many more books.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
When I face rejection, I take it very seriously and closely look at what went wrong. I take it as a challenge, learn from it and try to improve it.
My advice to other writers is to never give up. You will always face some difficulties. Learn from them, grow, and continue.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
It isn’t easy to build an author platform from scratch. Finding your target audience is one thing but getting them to buy your book another. However, once you are established, it gets a lot easier.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Well, I read passages of my books in front of the public. However, it is difficult to read one’s work because during the writing/publishing process, you have read it so many times you almost know it by heart, and you can’t let go of it. You always find mistakes and think to yourself – I could have done that much better.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No, not at all! There is no time or age for a writer. Even though the industry is, as everything nowadays, a fast-moving one, it is still the readers that make a book successful. I believe the reader primarily judges the book and its content and only then has a closer look at the author.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Since I speak several languages, I can empathize with other people and cultures, which allows me to give my books an authentic voice in which I tell the stories.
Writing made me aware of the fact that one does not have to always function and be perfect and that people who see or sense these imperfections can relate to the characters I describe in my books and say, “wow, that happened to me too,” or “Hey, I know someone who…”.