bookblast laia fabregas

Interview | Laia Fàbregas | Author of the Week

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Barcelona. When I was twenty three I went to the Netherlands for a couple of months and I ended up staying there for twelve years. Now I am back home for seven years already, but I still feel like I am a bit Dutch.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a teenager I saw myself as a teacher. As a child, I don’t remember.

What books have had a lasting impact on you?
When I was a teenager I read everything from Edgar Allan Poe and his tales made me want to write. Later on, when I was in art school in Barcelona, I read Opera aperta by Umberto Eco. That book helped me understand why I liked some books better than others. And when years later I started writing, it helped me see that I was doing it fine by doing my own way without thinking about who was going to read my words.

Why do you write?
Because the beginning of stories come to my mind and I have fun writing them down and discovering where they end up.

Your advice to new writers just starting out?
I believe that every author starting out has to find his or her own way to write a novel. There are a lot of writing manuals that only state one way of writing: a structured, rational one. That can work for some people, but not for everyone, and surely not for me. For example, I would have never been able to write a novel if I had to outline a synopsis before I started writing the story, because I work intuitively, I start with one sentence and work from there on.

As an author, what are you most proud (or embarrassed) of writing?
When I was eighteen I wrote 100 pages of a story which at the time I thought was a novel. If I read it now, I feel pretty embarrassed to know that once I thought it was worthy of publishing. At the same time, I feel pretty proud that at that age I was already walking around thinking about the lives of my characters.

What is your biggest failure?
My relationship with my brother.

Your views on success?
To be able to earn your living by doing something you really are passionate about.

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I have 40.000 words of my fourth novel waiting for me in my computer. They have been waiting for a while because I am on maternity leave . . . I hope to be able to get back to my writing by the end of the year.

Your views on book publishing?
I hope the industry finds its own way of surviving. I don’t think paper will disappear and I’m sure ebooks are here to stay. 

Your views on how new technology has (or has not) changed your writing life?
Research is much easier. I like to be very accurate when I write something happening in a place I don’t know well enough. With google stree tview I can ‘go’ anywhere.

Your views on social media?
A good way to feel connected to people, but I barely use it.

Do you enjoy reading ebooks?
Up until now I have only read ebooks for work purposes, when I am doing research, or when I have been asked to be part of the jury on a writing price. I like it better to read on paper, it feels more like leisure time and less like work-time.

If you could go anywhere in time for one day, where would you go and why?
I would go to the Oklahoma Panhandle on April 14th 1935, to experience that big sandstorm of the dust bowl . . . A bit of research for my fourth novel.

Who are the five people, living or dead, you’d invite to a party?
A debt collector, a motorbike rider, a farmer, a caretaker at a home for the elderly and a secretary. Again: research for book four.

Which characters in history do you like the most?
The ones who got into history books without trying, just by doing the right thing at the right moment.

Which characters in history do you dislike the most?
Dictators.

Your idea of happiness?
To love and be loved by your partner, children, family and friends. Thus feeling connected to people. But at the same time, to be able to be totally alone from time to time.

Your greatest unhappiness?
The loss of my unborn daughter.

Your bedside reading?
At this moment, nothing. I am glad I can get into bed and sleep some hours before my baby wakes me up in the middle of the night because he is hungry.

Your greatest achievement?
Writing a successful first novel in a foreign language (Dutch).

Your favourite motto?
Sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting.
I specialized in sculpture at art school and I took that motto as a challenge.

 

Questions format © BookBlast Ltd, London.

 

 

Published by

georgia DC

Bilingual editor, rewriter, French-to-English translator. Has written for 3am magazine, words without borders, The Independent, The Lady, Banipal, Prospect Magazine, Times Literary Supplement. Currently writes for The BookBlast Diary. Founder (1997) of London-based writing agency BookBlast.

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