Literaturschock: Your current book "The other side of the story" was very successful over here in germany. How do you get the ideas for your books?

Marian Keyes: I’m very happy to hear of the success, although I never write with that in mind. It’s very hard to answer where the ideas come from – but generally it is just when I notice different issues and quirks of character. The Other Side of the Story is slightly different as its about gender politics: two of my friends are successful lawyers, but reached a point in their career where men were promoted and no women were allowed – I was shocked, and so that is why I wrote about the ‘glass ceiling’.

Literaturschock: The leading character Gemma Hogan has a lot of problems with herself since she lost her boyfriend to her best friend. But that's not enough. Her dad break up with her mom and unfortunately her mom is on the best way going mad. So, Gemma has to handle not only her problems, but also her mom's problems.How important is it for you to have your family around?

Marian Keyes: The best thing about having moved back to Ireland is being near my family – they are probably the most important thing in my life, and I’m sure that’s reflected in my characters – even though in Gemma’s case, I’m reflecting how society insists that women are the carers, and her mother is a drag on her lifestyle.

Literaturschock: I think,that many of your female reader restore oneselfs by some means or other. It's good to know that we aren't alone with this problems. Do you often get feedback von women? How do you handle that and do you use it in some of your books?

Marian Keyes: I get a lot of feedback from women readers who say that the books have made them realise they are not alone in the issues facing them. It’s great for me to have such a connection, and it’s a real encouragement when I’m at home on my own writing – but that’s the only way in which I use it in my books.

Literaturschock: All leading characters of your books are mostly women with the stamp of live. Have you ever thought about to write a book with a male leading character?

Marian Keyes: I haven’t really thought about it, as women fascinate me, and I think I will always understand them better.

Literaturschock: Many authors say, that they handle their live with the help of their books. Can you sign this statement?

Marian Keyes: No, not at all. I love writing, but it is important that that isn’t the only thing in my life.Also I unlike many authors, I don’t use my books as catharsis for my life. Everyone presumed that Rachel’s Holiday was about me coming to terms with my own addiction, but in fact I had come to terms with it long before I wrote the book and I actually feel quite uncomfortable at the idea of using my books to solve my own problems.

Literaturschock: Many of your books are about the Walsh-Family. I think there is a big following of the Walshs. But there is one missing: A book about Helen! I like her very much. Have you any plans to write a book about the cool Helen?

Marian Keyes: Helen is very tricky – all my books are about characters with flaws and vulnerabilities – I’d like to think that Helen’s confident exterior goes all the way down! However, I love her, and would like to write about her, so I am thinking of a comic detective novel (If I’m able to manage it and I don’t know if I can.) My next novel is about Anna Walsh, and there is a lot about Helen in that.

Literaturschock: A special gift, in my opinion, was the book "Under the duvet". It was very fantastic to read so much about yourself. A highlight for all loyal fans. Although it wasn't an auto-biography there were lot's of insights. How did you get the idea to write such a personal book?

Marian Keyes: It came about by accident. It was simply that, over the years, I had written a lot of pieces for magazines that most of my readers wouldn’t have had a chance to see – and I’m quite proud of them, and happily the publishers were happy to put out the collection of them. And I think it did come together very well. I have a second volume coming soon, which in many ways is more personal and autobiographical, although it also includes some fictional stories and it’s called Further Under the Duvet.

Literaturschock: What's the most silly question you had to answer up to now (besides this question! :-) )

Marian Keyes: Hmmm… Hard one to answer. I’m not sure any of them have been SILLY but the question that makes me want to set myself on fire is the ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ question. I hate it because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to answer and from what I can gather most authors hate it because they don’t know either. And it’s the question that’s ALWAYS asked, always, always and I’m just in despair because I don’t know how to answer it.

Literaturschock: What are your favourite authors?

Marian Keyes: It’s so hard to choose, it really is. At the moment I’m reading a lot of thrillers, so Val McDermid, Dennis Lehane, Mark Billingham, Barbara Vine, Kate Atkinson.

Literaturschock: How would you enjoy a day on which you could do whatever you want?

Marian Keyes: As I said above, it would involve my family in some way – maybe I would spend the morning writing on one of those days when the inspiration flows, and then in the afternoon see all of my family (especially my niece and nephew, Ema and Luka).

Literaturschock: And last but not least: Are there any plans to come to germany for a promotion tour?

Marian Keyes: I hope so. It’s been a long while since my last visit, and I love meeting my German readers.

Literaturschock: Thank you so much, Ms Keyes! I really appreciate your taking the time to let me interview you.

Das Interview wurde von Maria Scherrer für Literaturschock geführt

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