Hi Ben. Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us a little about your book, The Spring of Kasper Meier and how the idea originated?
The Spring of Kasper Meier is a novel about a black-market trader, Kasper Meier, who is just about surviving in the ruins of post-war Berlin. He is blackmailed by a young rubble woman, Eva Hirsch, and the novel follows the twists and turns of that blackmail, but also the uncomfortable friendship that develops from it.
The idea came from two places mainly. I’d already had the idea of a Kasper-like character for a Chandler-esque novel some years earlier that didn’t quite work out. Then I moved to Berlin about 6 years ago, and while living there became very inspired by the city and its history. The two things came together and I had the idea of this first scene with Kasper and Eva. It all grew from there.
If you could travel anywhere in history, where would you go and why?
I suppose Ancient Rome in its heyday. I never quite got over going to the Forum when I was a kid; the everyday life of the city seemed so tangible.
Are you a planner and do you edit as you go?
I do plan, but I do have to write to make sense of where the novel is going. This means that I write a lot that gets not used. I will often write myself into a cul-de-sac plot-wise, discover what’s wrong and then have to go back 50 pages and start again. I would love to be able to plan it all in an Excel sheet and then write it all out in one go, but that just doesn’t seem to work for me.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I have a day job, so I don’t really have the luxury to have rituals. I just squeeze in the writing around it in any way I can.by
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