Friday, April 13, 2012

Interview with Sarah


I’m really excited for this interview.  Sarah is a discerning and avid reader and does so in several languages.   I met her over at the Compuserve literary website.  While she never posts any writing she often gives very good feedback to excerpts and exercises, making insightful comments and pointing out elements of craft.  She’s also one of the friendliest, most supportive people I am privileged to know.  Plus she has a cool name.:) Her answers are in purple, my comments are in red. 

Here she is.

What country do you live in? 

Germany

Have you lived in other countries? 

No.

How many languages do you speak?  How many can you read?

I can speak German and English.
And I had French in school for four years, so I can understand that as well, but speaking is another matter <g>.
And because Italian is a bit like French, I can understand bits of it, too.


I read in German and English.

I’ve studied three languages other than my own and don’t know any well enough to truly read and understand.  I’m so impressed by people who are fluent in multiple languages. 

Does reading in a foreign language affect how you read/understand the book?

Yes, because some things just can´t be translated. The books I read in German first and later in English (original), were mostly much better in English than in German. If you have a really good translation, than the “flavor” of the book is mostly the same, but if not, lots of it gets lost due to the translation.

What makes you want to pick a book up and read it?

Oh, different things <g>.
Some books I read, because someone recommended it to me, some because I know the author and/or the work of that author.
Or other ones, I pick after the genre and/or time they take place.
Some just because I like the cover and/or the blurb or because I read a review.
So, lots of different reasons for me <g>.

Me too.

Do you finish every book you start or will you stop reading if you find it boring or disappointing?

Normally I finish every book, even if I find it boring or disappointing. Because I always have the hope that it will be get better .
Sometimes I still want to know how a story ends, even if it´s not my favorite read.

Do you have a favorite author or series?

Yes. I like Diana Gabaldon´s books very much, Outlander-Series and the Lord-John-Books.
There is a German author I read often, Rebecca Gable. She writes stand alone books, but has also a series, called Waringham-Series.
And from completely different genre, I enjoy Joanna Bourne´s and Darlene Marshall´s books very much, too.

As a reader what advice would you give writers? 

I get bored with books, when I can´t understand why the characters act the way they do or what makes them tick.
So, I would say, give the reader as much insight to the characters minds that we can understand why they act like they do.

I agree, character motivation is so important.  

Have you ever considered writing anything?

Yes, I have.
I would love to be able to write a story myself, but until now I didn´t have an idea what story I would want to write.
And I´m always in awe of writers, to create stories out of nothing. I´m not sure I can do that.

Yes you can! You already know tons about writing. and I for one would love to see anything you write. Start small, find a picture and describe the story you see in it. 


Thanks so much Sarah for doing this interview.  I was so excited to get a readers perspective, especially such a knowledgeable reader. 


31 comments:

  1. Wow, Sarah sounds like an incredibly smart reader! And all those languages! She makes a good point about character motivation.

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    1. She is, that's why I wanted to get her opinion here. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Thanks for the nice words, Shelley :)

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  2. I'm impressed by your willingness to finish reading a book even if you don't like it. I can never do that.

    Great interview, Sarah and Sara. :)

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    1. Thanks Linda. I'm just starting to be able to put down a book. There was always so much guilt if I didn't finish, plus I always wondered if it had got better.

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  3. Such a fun interview ladies! I love jearing from someone in Germany. My dad is from Germany and I have an uncle that lives there. Also impressed with all the languages. I wish I could do that. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Cool that you're dad is German. I wish I could learn languages too.

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    2. Thanks for your nice comment Leigh. Have you ever been to Germany?

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  4. Hi, Sarah! (waving from Georgia) You both did a great interview and I love to get critiques from the two Sara(h)s at the Forum. ; )

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    1. Hey Zan hows the weather? It snowed here yesterday. The kids loved it. Unfortunatley while I packed jackets and long sleeved shirts for the kids I didn't for me.

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    2. Low 70's and totally clear. Snow in April?!? Don't get too cold. ; )

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    3. Waving back at you, Zan Marie.

      I´m sorry that I don´t have been able to give much critiques over at CS. Hope to be able to do more again in the future.

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  5. Great interview! What a neat perspective to get :-)

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    1. Thanks, Sarah was fun to interview. I loved her responses.

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  6. Hi Sarah!!! [waves] Du weisst dass ich liebe Diana und Joanna und Darlene auch!
    That's a great tip about character motivation, thank you :-)

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    1. Um...I'll let Sarah comment on that since I didn't understand it. :)

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    2. LOL, Deniz. Ja, ich weiß.

      I´m glad you like my tip :)

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  7. The same thing totally turns me off in a book - of a character does something out of character, I'm done.

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    1. I'd say it probably bugs most writers but there are a lot of writers that do it to follow an arbitrary plot line. Grrrr.

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    2. I needed a while to realized that this is what me turns off from books.
      At the beginning I couldn´t say why I didn´t like a book.

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  8. An Outlander fan! :D

    Oh, and you're much better than I am, Sarah. I don't finish a book I don't like unless I have to. Nice to meet you! Thanks for the intro, Sara P.

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    1. Are you an Outlander fan too? Always good to find more.

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    2. Nice to meet you, too, Emily :)

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  9. Nice interview! Since I started reviewing books, I've gotten to the point where I can stop reading something if it's not working out for me. It's hard, but I can do it...

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    1. I'm terrified to review books. I suddenly feel that I'm in highschool again doing a book report.

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  10. Thanks for stopping by, Lara. Maybe I will learn to stop reading some day.

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  11. Great interview! Makes me want to try and learn French now:)

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    1. She's a great motivation. I have some children's stories in Russian, I may pull them out and see how much I remember.

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