Q & A

Throughout the past years, Cornelia has been asked countless questions by her readers. We have compiled a collection for you, that will keep growing.

How does one go about establishing a solid voice?

Find it. Listen to your heart, the world, everything! Be patient. Feed your writing with your time and life and all the passion you have.

Do you struggle with writer's block?

I don't think there is such thing! I came to believe that every story is a labyrinth (the better we get, the more elaborate it is) and the story will hide its heart in it as she likes to send us on a journey to find it. She teases us with wrong paths and wrong characters, she doesn’t reveal her secrets easily!

So when writers meet the so-called writer’s block—that means, in my opinion only, that the story tricked them and that they have to go back and find out where. Or cut a path through the hedge.

Whatever they do — those days are often the most insightful ones, as we do in the end understand the story better.

Do you own a typewriter?

No, I was never a friend of typing machines. I dreaded them. My first typing friend was a laptop called Mad Max!

Would you ever consider writing a book in which the main character has autism? I think it would be really cool to read about the different (and often magical) ways we autistics see the world. Did you know that I can talk with the seasons? You may have noticed that we've gotten quite a bit of snow all over the US - I'm afraid that was my fault. Ol' Jack Frost and I got into an argument.

I love that idea. I have known children who are called autistic and I know some adults who could claim that label — I myself find it hard to put any label on human beings (I think we all have at least one autistic self in us) and I am sure you'll detect characters in my books who could be called autistic in parts, but .... that all said .... I will look at your way to see the world more closely and I hope one day you'll meet someone in my books who shares your view on the world.

What’s the most major thing to remember for writing children's/middle grade/YA books as opposed to books for adults?

Don't think about that difference. Write the story that comes to you and write it the way it wants to be told. If you find a way to make it resonate with all ages you have fulfilled your task as a storyteller in the best possible way, but of course not every story allows that. nevertheless — never clip you imagination's wings by foreseeing what your readers want to hear. They will always surprise you (apart from the fact that children and teens are always underestimated).

If I had a time machine, where would you travel to?

I'd go to Elizabethan England and see Shakespeare himself performing on stage, meet Heinrich Heine, Mozart and Henry Purcell, watch Rodin at work, visit the Acropolis, when it was still highly coloured, travel to a time in the future when it is possible to visit other planets.

What's your favourite plant?

Oh there are many! There is a German flower called Akelei, I don't know the English name, then there is a Chinese bush the humming birds in my garden in Malibu loved to feed on, the lilies in the ponds, the old roses, full of scents and blossom leaves, but also humble plants like Thyme, Camomile, Mint ... I am quite sure I was a witch in a former life, so I cannot live without plants and, of course, I talk to them.

Do you have other jobs besides being an author?

Being an author means having many jobs: writing, answering emails, having meetings, recording audiobooks, travelling...

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