If any of my book gives a nice comfortable time to anyone, then I feel it makes sense.
An interview given on 20 August, 2021 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Interviewer: Ivan Rumánek
Q: You are known as the author of novels for women. When an author changes her style after years, it logically raises the question why ...
I have never felt like an author of 'women only' books. I'm just writing stories that I hope will give pleasure to people. For me, writing is like breathing, and I feel I miss something if I haven´t been writing for a longer period – I´m not satisfied. It is simply an addiction.
If any of my book gives a nice comfortable time to anyone, then I feel it makes sense. After all, the last few months, too, have convinced us all to see how important this entertaining side of literature, and art in general, is for people.
Q: Why, then, the change in the style of novels from present-day to historical?
In my stories, I have always been primarily interested in women's relationships and stories. So I´ve been dealing predominantly with this topic ever since my first book, Five O´Clock Loves (Lásky o piatej), and I haven´t got too far from it even after the change of genre. Women are my primary focus in my historical-adventurous saga Sopheie as well, women and their everyday experiencing of their lives.
In 2015, however, I was hit by a creative crisis. It seemed to me that I had already written all the constructions of relationships that could be of any contribution to my readers, and I did not want to repeat myself in plot twists or produce their endless variations. I did not see any opportunity to move on or any direction to develop further. My parents' health issues also contributed greatly to this.
And then I met the playwright Viliam Klimáček who advised me to try to write a historical novel. After this meeting, I was left with very mixed feelings, as if I suffered from depression and someone advised me to try flying. But something started to work somewhere inside me ...
Q: When you started writing historical stories about women, why didn't you choose a story from Slovak history?
I´m often asked this. On the one hand, I didn´t want to penetrate by force among my renowned colleagues who have been devoting themselves exclusively to historical stories from Slovakia since the beginning of their careers. On the other hand, I didn´t see any strong personality that I´d be tempted to grasp. Žofia Bošniaková? The Lady of Čachtice? I was looking for a positive story, full of a certain number of inspiring historical figures. I didn't just want a romantic love story set against an attractive background of history.
Q: In the book market, historical novels have been enjoying the readers´ incessant interest and the writers keep coming up with more and more reworkings of the same historical events. What do you think makes your saga unique comparing with other historical novels?
In the historical novels that are being written today, we usually look at the story through the eyes of the main character who is a historically significant figure. Moreover, we are experiencing an overall reassessment of mainly female personalities as main characters. We see this, for example, in the extremely engaging works of Philippa Gregory which have already been made into films. Although the story of the Sophie saga shifts forward along with the historical figures of the period, it leaves the reader to form their own opinion about them. Sophie brings in a different angle.
Sophie, the protagonist, is not the bearer of the story, because her story is actually very simple. The story of a beauty who finds herself in danger of life is not primarily about romantic love - although especially female readers are finally rewarded with up to two great fateful loves. This is a secret that is within reach from the beginning, but it only comes to light on the last pages of the last part of this five-part historical-adventure-romantic saga. And I think that thanks to the gradual procession of the story, which takes on more and more grades with each part, the story has the potential to offer entertainment to many a man as well.
I am therefore convinced that after reading the last line, most readers will return to the start of the story again. And not only because a lot of time has elapsed between the publication of the individual parts. Upon further reading, they will be able to perceive all the details more, and enjoy the book much better in the new light.