Dark. Chilling. Trapped. Marriage. Memory.
Did a particular event or case inspire you to write this book?
I saw a documentary about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and I was fascinated by how in extreme cases of trauma you can repress memories over many years. I was also interested in how long term relationships seem to stagnate and these two things brought me to Marta.
Why did you choose to set it in Scandinavia?
I travelled in Scandinavia after university, taking with me only a tent and a backpack, and setting up camp wherever I got to each night. I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the landscape and how it can change in a moment. It felt like something uncontrollable, especially with the light and the darkness, and it seemed to suit Marta’s situation well. The landscape is yet another thing that limits her, and which she can’t control.
You leave a lot open to interpretation. Was this deliberate?
It was very much deliberate. For me, to say whether either Marta or Hector is correct at the end of the book limits the power of the themes of female autonomy within the book. It is also often true that in real life, mental illness is not clearly defined and the way people see things are impossible to pin down.
This is your first novel. Do you have any words of wisdom for emerging writers?
Be determined. Be thick skinned, but not so much that you can’t hear and learn from constructive criticism. Find some people you trust who can help you grow into your writing self. Do everything you can to increase the chances of your book being seen and taken seriously. Never be pushy.
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