Lisa de Nikolits’ A Glittering Chaos may be full of mystery, suspense and romance. But I had a lot of questions for her around Melusine’s character and her relationship with a pretty damaged husband.
In case you missed it, read my review of the book.
Here’s what Lisa had to say:
A Glittering Chaos – a terrific, smart, funny and incredibly wise story about marriage, secrets and lies and unusual sexual proclivities.
The main character Melusine is German but a good half of the story occurs in Las Vegas. Why the decision to feature someone who doesn’t speak English and why someone German?
The decision was made for me when my husband bumped into a German woman in Las Vegas who couldn’t speak English! His chance encounter with her in the elevator sparked the entire novel. That she was German and couldn’t speak English was the keystone of the story, it was a gift that was given to me, I had to find a way to work with it.
And I was very daunted by Melusine being German – I had to do a huge amount of research and call upon the patience of many friends and relatives to check that I had the right tone and expressions for her.
I have been to Germany a number of times and I am half-Hungarian so I felt a kinship towards what my character could be but I was very worried I would get her wrong. Because it’s one thing having a sense of who a character could be, and another writing an entire book about one.
In A Glittering Chaos, Melusine gets a second chance in life with a new bakery. If you had a chance to redo your life and career — what would you do differently?
When I was very young, just out of university, I tried my hand at teaching and found that it wasn’t for me. And then I tried to write articles for magazines and found that very stressful. I was fortunate to discover magazine art direction some 24 years ago and I immediately fell in love with it and there’s never been a day when I haven’t enjoyed doing it. So in a sense, I’ve already had the chance to do things differently and it worked out very well.
I think that my life has been a hugely surprising adventure, one that I could never have envisaged myself. I would never have dared to dream of a life filled with so much change and excitement and variety! And, had I known at the outset, I would probably been overwhelmed and anxious at the thought, so it’s a good thing I didn’t know!
What would I do differently… well, one thing’s for sure, I would study the craft of writing much earlier on! Being told early on that I had potential as a writer was very bad for me because I assumed I didn’t have to do anything except pour words onto a page. I spent a lot of time pouring a lot of mediocre words onto mediocre pages without thought or improvement and I regret that wasted time.
So I would study the craft of creative writing.
Do you think Hans ever loved Melusine? Did they ever need each other?
Great question! No, I don’t think he ever loved her but I think he could have, had he not been so damaged. And he knows that too – that he could have. He feels guilty for not being able to love her.
Hans is so tormented. I think that early on in their relationship, she loved him more than he did her – she was more in love with him as opposed to loving him and she needed him more than she loved him and as the years passed, she couldn’t forgive him his coldness towards Jonas. Her love for him was eroded by that more than his love for Kateri, although Hans thought it was his love for Kateri that was to blame for the demise of their relationship.
Before Las Vegas, Melusine was so locked down, and then the trip and Gunther – along with Han’s actions – awakened her true self and there was no going back.
Photo credits: flickr.com