Author Romy Hausmann not only wrote our Book of the Month, Dear Child, but has a myriad of other achievements under her belt, including becoming chief editor at a film production company at the age of just 24, and working as a freelancer in TV. Romy now lives in a remote cabin in the woods in Germany with her family and writes crime fiction for fans across the world.
Romy stashes her books anywhere she can in her little remote cabin so we take a sneak preview at this author’s bookshelves and see if she can give us any tips on what to read right now:
Hi Romy! Where’s your bookcase located, and what does it look like?
Since I’ve moved to my very, very small house in the forest, I can no longer have a bookshelf due to space constraints. That’s why my books are actually distributed everywhere. I love to improvise on finding special spaces for them, for example in the struts of the stairway between the kitchen and living room.
“I can’t fall asleep at night if I haven’t read.”
What kind of books will definitely not be found in your bookcase?
Fantasy, sci-fi, rough slasher horror or super cozy women’s literature sadly aren’t my cup of tea– so basically books that play too far from reality.
What author have you discovered and loved recently?
Norwegian author Kjersti Skomsvold and French author Olivier Bourdeaut. Both made me cry in the most beautiful, funniest, cruellest way.
Where is your favourite place to read?
My bed – I can’t fall asleep at night if I haven’t read. And trains. I travel a lot and hate staring at my phone all the time. I don’t like the sight of others doing the same and always think how many good books everyone is missing, whilethey‘re just all spending hours and hours on social media during a long train journey.
Can books change lives? If so, which one changed yours?
I maybe wouldn’t call it ‘change’– people still have to do that themselves. But nothing is nicer than when the reading of a book does have an impact in one way or another. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, for example, is a book that I read again and again in difficult phases of my life. It calms me down. And Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl gave me the idea of trying to write a thriller myself.
Which book would you choose to take on a desert island with you?
A poem collection, I think. Maybe something by Sylvia Plath. I like her darkness, and because I wouldn’t have much else to do on the desert island, I could think about her poems in depth. Strangely enough, sad subject matters rarely pull me down, but have the opposite effect: when I read something bleak or painful, I reflect on my own life and I’m all the more grateful for it.
What book did you give last as a present and to whom?
My friend is a big Don Winslow fan, so I got him The Border. That backfired a bit, because it‘s such an incredibly big and heavy tome that he preferred to buy the e-book after all. But the print edition might still come in handy with a burglar, of course.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading an early proof of Fiona Cummins’When I was Ten, which I’m doing with much pleasure at the moment. Before that, I read and really loved Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.
What are your top ten books?
The list constantly changes, but these are my current favourite books:
Kjersti A. Skomsvold –The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am
Dylan Jones –David Bowie – A Life (an absolute must for a Bowie-fan like me)
Olivier Bourdeaut –Waiting for Bojangles
Ane Riel –Resin
Pauline Delabroy-Allrad –Ça raconte Sarah (‘They Say Sarah‘ in English)
James Franco –Palo Alto
Iain Reid – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ocean Vuong –On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Sylvia Plath –Ariel
Guy Burt – Sophie
What’s your most treasured book on your bookcase?
My book had just been published and I was still very insecure about my writing, when Simon Beckett sent me an edition of The Scent of Death. As a personal dedication he had written inside: “For Romy, from one writer to another”. That completely knocked me off my feet: Simon Beckett thought I was a real author! Since then the book has been sacred to me and I take a look at the dedication whenever I doubt my abilities. It gives me courage and a good feeling.