It is a story of love and loss, betrayal and mistrust. It is a story of change and redemption. This is the story of Jana, a young Czech girl who lives through dramatic changes in a country, newly released from a Communist government. As she marches with her father during the Velvet Revolution and watches the fall of the Berlin Wall on television, will she be able to endure the changes in her life and in her country, and what will she do when she discovers all that she knew has been eroded. Who will she trust?
What would you do to secure your own freedom?
What genre is it?
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
People who enjoy political or historical fiction and romance with a twist. It will appeal to readers of international fiction and people with an interest in the history of Eastern Europe.
What reaction has it received so far?
[It] won The People’s Book Awards 2013.
Congratulations. Are there any other books out there that are similar to yours?
If you like Snowdrops, you’ll love my book.
Tell us a bit more about Jana.
Jana is a young Czech girl who has endured a family loss and is navigating her way through huge political changes. As she tries to make sense of the world around her she discovers a deep and shocking betrayal. She is a character who is both seared with scars and strengthened by adversity.
Is there anyone else we need to know about?
Lukas is a conservator working on the restoration of the Prague Castle mosaic, The Last Judgement. As he meets Jana and falls in love with her, his past is uncovered and he has to face the consequences of decisions made under great pressure. Will he be able to find forgiveness through Jana?
From the title we assume the Prague Castle is central to the story?
The title harks back to Vaclav Havel’s Autobiography, To the Castle and Back, and to Kafka’s The Castle. Jana works in the castle and Lukas is restoring it. It is a central theme in the book.
Have you written any other books that we should read next?
I have published three short stories, The Bench, Blood Red and Bird. My short stories have also been published in various online journals and have been shortlisted in The New Writer Prizes 2013.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I worked as a teacher and a photographer before moving to Central Europe in 2007, when I began writing. I enjoy art, music, theatre and travel. I paint, sing and play three instruments. I never imagined I would become a writer. As a child I wanted to become a vet or a police intelligence officer. I went through a phase of wanting to travel the world working as a photojournalist.
We’re pleased you became a writer instead. Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
I am working on a second novel and more short stories.