PETRA DURST-BENNING: I LIKE TO LAUGH, TO LOVE AND TO LIVE
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Petra Durst-Benning’s English language debut is amazing. Her Novel The Glassblower reached Top 3 in Amazon’s best selling ranks just week before it’s official premiere, set for November 1. The readers gave very positive opinions for the book (av. 4.4 stars from 565 reviews). Petra will be our special guest just a day before the official release.
– Your last book The Glassblower is an English language debut for you. Tell us more about the novel?
– It is a story about three sisters who have to deal with life on their own, after their father’s sudden death. They live in a little German village high up in the mountains, it is calles Lauscha. There people have lived for hundreds of years from the art of blowing glass. They made glasses, glass pearls, glass animals and other things out of glass.
The problem is: Only men are allowed to blow glass. The woman traditionally decorated or painted it. So … after the death of their father my three sisters – Johanna, Marie and Ruth – were practically penniless. In order to survive they had to break the age-old privilege of men …
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I once saw a film about Lauscha and it fascinated me very much. So I decided to visit the Glassblower‘s village. I learned a lot about the Art of glassblowing, I studied in the museum’s bibliothek and I also made friends with a lot of people. Everyone was happy that I was writing a book about Lauscha. What I didn’t know at this moment was, that in the end it became a trilogy of books!
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
There was no big challenge because I absolutely loved writing this trilogy. It didn’t feel like work, much more like fun!
– You’ve got three sisters as main characters. How would you describe them and are they close to someone from your real life?
– All three are very different kind of women: Johanna is the most sensible one – she is a bit like me :-). Ruth is headstrong andoften jumps into action before thinking, and the youngest sister Marie is like a bloom that needs a bit of water and care before it can start blooming.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– For every book I need about 18 months from scratch to end.
– Who are you?
– I’m a very creative and positive woman. I like to laugh, to love and to live! Life can change from good to very bad in one moment, so we have to enjoy the good times that we have strength to overcome the bad times …
– What are your writing habits?
– I write every day. After I went for a walk with my dogs I start my work. Sometimes, when the scenes are easy and the words come flowing to me, I can finish very early in the afternoon. Sometimes my daily work takes longer. I don’t mind any way!
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Yes! When I plan a book I never think about the sales. I want to write about a special topic, a special person or something that is close to my heart. I never look what is successfull in the bestseller lists and I never copy anyone.
– Do you plan your next novel?
– Right now I have finishes my first contemporary novel which will be released in autumn 2015.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I go to a lot of readings, I have my Page on Facebook, and I am present on a lot of book platforms in the internet, so my readers can always stay in contact with me and vice versa.
– My book The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story was also first published in my native language and later translated to English. How would you describe the entire translation process, adaptation and edition from your point of view?
– I didn’t have anything to do with this process. The publisher chose a very good translator and did also everything else.
– Tell us more about your other works that probably will be translated in English in future?
– Next March will bring us “The American Lady”, which is the sequel to The Glassblower. After that? Who knows …?
– Some of your novels were transformed to movies. How do you find the final result of seeing your characters on the screen?
– A book is a book. And a film is a film. In my opinion they have not very much in common, because a book works with other rules than a film. Most people told me that they liked my book better than the film. I think, our own imagination is a lot more colourful than a film can ever be …
– Your books are products of very deep historical research. How do you select the themes of your novels and how tough is to find some traces of those topics or characters that lived years ago?
– A theme has to “flash” me right from the start. Then I start to research. If I fand hundreds of thousands of pages on google about this theme, my interest very quickly ebbs away. I always want to write about somethin fresh and new – this is the only challenge for me!
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– What is equally important as writing to you?
My husband, my family and my two dogs. 🙂
Take a look at her book