I’m delighted to share an interview this week with debut author, Katie Jansson Shahin. Katie’s novel, One Day This Will All Make Sense was released on 1st December (click here to get your copy.) It sounds like a brilliant read and classic chick-lit, so I loved quizzing Katie on where she came up with the idea for One Day This Will All Make Sense, being a daydreamer, and what it’s like having your first novel released out into the big, wide, world…
Hi Katie, a massive warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! I’m so pleased to have you on the site, thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
It’s my pleasure! Hmm… Isn’t it funny how hard that question is to answer? Well, I am a writer. I write all kinds of things. TV scripts and features and on my blog. And I guess I can add novels to that list now. I’m from Stockholm, Sweden but have lived in California for 4,5 years. For my day job I’m in HR and recruiting.
Can you tell us a bit about your debut novel, One Day This Will All Make Sense? (released 1st December 2014)
The novel follows a 27-year-old Swedish girl trying to survive in the corporate world of LA. It’s about learning on a firsthand basis what “easy come, easy go” really means and the importance of the unwritten rules and politics in the workplace here in the US.
But more than anything, it’s about recovering from getting fired. Not just professionally but also emotionally. It can be a very traumatic experience to be fired and escorted out of the building. Your sense of self and self-worth is jeopardized.
What made you decide to write a novel set in L.A?
I didn’t decide—the story decided for me. As you may have suspected, the story is inspired by my own experience moving to LA from Sweden 4,5 years ago. It takes a long time to settle in and to find good friends there. Most people are not from LA originally but have moved there to chase their dreams. You can almost sense the desperation like a fog over the city. And yet, so many move there and never leave even when it’s evident their success will not arrive. Just like me. It’s a fascinating city, which makes it a great setting, and it even becomes its own character.
Is the lead character in One Day This Will All Make Sense, Emma, completely fictional or is she based on anyone you know in real life?
She’s based on yours truly. She is I, but at times in fictional settings and context. However, it’s not a biography because while most of the events are true, many are not.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
It was one of those dreams that came and went ever since I was a kid. But eight years ago it came and never went away. And since then it has been a huge part of who I am and my life.
On one hand, it has been the best thing I have ever done and I still can’t believe I completed a full-length novel. It’s been such a learning experience and a lot of fun. But it hasn’t always been easy. First of all, writing what you know is good advice but it can also take an emotional toll depending on what you’re writing about.
Also, I am a time pessimist. I typically think things will take longer than they do and I usually show up way too early for appointments. But with this, I was a complete time optimist. When I thought I had 2 weeks of work left I actually had about 6 weeks left. I put a lot of pressure on myself by setting unrealistic deadlines for myself and made promises to others I was working with, that I then couldn’t live up tp. And I ended up feeling bad about not keeping them. But now I know the process and for the sequel it’ll be much smoother.
What does it feel like to have your book out in the big, wide world?
So exciting. I can’t believe the day is almost here. It’s mind boggling that it will be on Amazon and people anywhere in the world could potentially read it. It’s pretty freakin awesome!
But of course, it’s also scary. Not so much for the rest of the world to read it, but for my family and close friends. Because the novel is inspired by my own experiences, they will speculate in what is true and what is not. I guess that’s the hazard of being a writer and writing what you know: you’re opening up your diary for everyone and anyone to read.
Who are your favourite authors and which types of books do you enjoy reading?
My reading taste is very diverse. I love Marian Keyes. She writes about serious topics but in a humoristic way. I also love Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hosseini and Charles Bukowski. And I enjoy reading historical fiction and literary fiction too.
What’s the best thing about writing chick-lit?
I live a lot inside my head. I am a huge daydreamer. What I love about writing is the world building. Describing the scenes and settings and thinking about them in such detail, I almost feel like I was there. For my debut novel, a lot of the times that was the case. But in general, that’s what I love about writing. Of course fantasy will never be better than reality (or I guess that depends on your reality), but it’s like virtual time travel.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
After I publish One Day This Will All Make Sense on Dec 1, my blog will be my main priority for a bit. Aside from the reviews and articles on writing I’ll be posting, I am also outlining a novella that I plan on posting on my blog as a blog book. It’ll be about the Emma’s roommate in One Day This Will All Make Sense, Nicky, and her story.
Apart from that, I am slowly starting to outline the sequel to One Day This Will All Make Sense debut.
My thanks for Katie for participating in this interview. ♥
One Day This Will All Make Sense, published 1st December 2014. Check back later today for an excerpt from the story.
In the three years since Emma, Human Resource professional by trade and writer at heart, moved to Los Angeles from Sweden it has been anything but smooth sailing. When she was offered a new job Emma thought she had finally found the security she’d been looking for since moving to the city of her dreams.
The bliss is short-lived as Emma struggles to adjust in her new role and environment. She fails to learn how to play by the unwritten rules and office politics of corporate America, leaving her defenseless against a new boss who soon makes it clear that he wants her gone. After having put her writing before her HR career for so long, Emma knows it was just a fluke when she was hired and is determined not to let it slip away. But she cracks under the pressure and is ultimately fired. Will she be able to dig herself out again? Or has she peaked at 27? More importantly, will she survive in the city that represents everything she has dreamt of becoming?