SR: Hi Paulina, welcome. A few months ago your book “Taubenleben” was released. How much truth does Lois’ story contain?
PAULINA: Writing a novel gives you this kind of superpower with which you can secretly mash up yourself with what you’ve heard and observed and things you dream up. You never have to tell someone where you have all the details from. Also will never even be able to figure out where all this exactly came from. This is why fictional writing surprises me again and again. Everything you write contains at least some truth – it came through your head, your mind, your fingers to paper (or screen). And everything you think about will do something with you (and maybe with some of your readers too) somehow. Truth is what you turn into truth.
SR: Before returning to your Berlin, you lived in the US and then in Paris. How useful was live elsewhere to collect stories, get to know about you and return to love your city?
PAULINA: I often write about inner life and emotional states. When I’m away from home I can experience myself in a way I’m not steadily used to. It activates my mind. Though it’s interesting that I always come back to the same topics wherever I am. Since I’ve always been a lonely thinker I don’t urgently need journeys getting inspired. But what I definitely need are conversations, profound and sometimes also superficial smalltalk, wherever, whenever.
SR: JK Rowling wrote most of her novels in a London pub. Do you have a “comfort zone” that you use for your ‘writing moments’?
PAULINA: Since I’m noting ideas everywhere there are countless memos on my phone. Sentences, thoughts, odd moments, striking words, certain emotions, dialogues, personal descriptions. But my comfort zone where I sit down to write texts out of all these snippets is my apartment ever since I’m working as a freelance writer. I need a space where I have a routine and nobody is watching. I want to feel free and don’t want to get reflected in my writing sessions which may sometimes seem unfocused even though it’s just my personal rhythm.