All month for Women’s History Month, we will be featuring women indie authors! Follow along every Tuesday and Thursday this month to learn about new writers and new reads.
Hello. My name is Klara Wilde and I believe I have always been a writer. I have tried my hand at many different genres, including theatre and poetry. But I feel most at home nowadays with historical fiction. A fun fact about me is that I am fluent in nine languages and I have written fiction in at least four of them. I am also a historical reenactor and I love to dress up and immerse myself in different time periods. Some of my favourites are the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and the early Romantic period around the turn of the nineteenth century.
How did you start writing?
I started to write fiction, fanfiction to be precise, as soon as I learnt how to write in elementary school. I then progressed to historical fiction, writing short stories and three finished novels. I later fell in love with poetry and wrote poems in a variety of styles, both classical and experimental. In later years, I have reembraced my passion for historical novels.
What is your writing process like?
I am a pantser through and through. Whether I call it inspiration, my muse, or my intuition, they are all very important to my creative process. A lot of my writing ideas, including the inception of my unpublished novel “Ribbons and Salt”, come to me in a dream. Before I put pen to paper, as I linger above the blank page, I ask myself what scene I want to write at that very moment and I go with the flow. As a result, the chapters of my novels are rarely written in logical succession, and my plot changes constantly. My characters seem to have a mind of their own and often decide to not follow the path I had laid out for them. Like a classical writer of yore, I write with ink on paper. My novels are housed in beautifully patterned notebooks. I type them into a writing software and reorder them during the first edit. A scented candle, an occasional glass of wine or even a Tarot deck are my go-to companions for this process. I also value historical accuracy so I travel and do extensive research for my novels.
What inspired you to write “Purely, Simply Haiku”?
My published book of poetry is a collection of haikus (a short, fixed-form poem from Japan). I published it in Romania (title in original: “Pur si Simplu Haiku”), under my maiden name, Klara Losonczy. For me, a haiku is a mental snapshot capturing a fleeting glimpse into my inner world of emotions at a certain time and place. I am known to walk, stop without a warning, close my eyes and then, after a moment, take out my phone and type my haiku in with a fury. I am a classically trained writer, with a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese and French Literature, so accuracy is important to me and I follow the original norm of 5-7-5 syllables per row, with a compulsory reference to nature. Besides Romanian and English, I have even written haikus in French and Japanese.
Do you have any other books published/are you working on anything new?
I am currently in the process of publishing my historical novel “Ribbons and Salt”, set during the Renaissance in the south of France, right on the cusp of the Wars of Religion. I have also drafted a potential sequel, “Masks and Powder”, which is in editing at the moment. They are intended as a series entitled “Magnificent Games”. I am never short of ideas for new novels. I am now slowly putting together the first draft of another novel exploring what it meant to be a strong and independent woman in the bourgeois society of the early fifteenth century in Flanders. I think my current working title “They Want Us to Burn” says it all! I also have ideas for two other novels, one set in Ancient Rome, the other in eighteenth century Sweden, based on real historical characters and events. I am never short of ideas, as you can see. As a full-time working mother, finding time to write is my main hindrance, not writer’s block.
Do any authors influence your writing?
I love the classics so the novels of Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette have been in more ways than one the main cornerstone of my writing career, inspiring me to start writing historical fiction as a teenager. A comparative analysis of her most famous novel, “The Princess of Cleves” is the subject of my BA thesis. The action of the book is set during the same time period as my novels from the cycle “Magnificent Games”, against the backdrop of the extravagant Valois court of King Henri II of France. I am also a fan of the Brontë sisters, especially Anne, and of Jane Austen. Contemporary writers I love to read and who influence my writing style are Kazuo Ishiguro, Amitabh Gosh, Lisa See and Tracy Chevalier.
What is your favorite piece of writing advice?
Jodi Picoult said: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” I believe that it is important, as a writer, to silence the inner critic and keep writing, however unstructured or unrefined your text feels at that moment. Everything can be fixed later through editing.