How did you become a writer?
NCV: I have always loved books, and I have always loved daydreaming and inventing stories. I love speculating about people - real people, historical figures,
fictional characters. To imagine their inner lives, what they think and feel. What it would be like to walk in their shoes, to live in their world.
And there has always been this urge to clothe these questions, emotions and thoughts, these mental images in words. Because the world of words, the world of language has been my medium as long as I can remember; it is a very large part of who I am.
To what extent are your novels autobiographical?
NCV: None at all. They are fiction, made entirely from my imagination, although anchored in my reality.
Anyhow, novels are always greater and deeper, wiser and more inspired than their author; that is the magic of writing.
Have you been to all the places you have written about?
NCV: Sometimes yes, more often not.
What about authenticity, then?
NCV: Novels are always authentic within themselves, even when they are completely fictive.
What they are not: Factual reports. Guidebooks. Historical works. Manuals. Autobiographies.
Will there be a sequel to …?
NCV: No, all my novels are standalone books. With the last sentence, everything is said.
What might happen after this last sentence - that I leave to my imagination.
And even more willingly to the imagination of the reader.
Will there be a TV or film adaptation of …?
NCV: Currently there are no such plans.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
NCV: Read a lot - as diversely as possible. Travel. Daydream. Watch and listen, wherever you are. Live your life - consciously and intensely and sometimes even to
the limits. Remain curious. Collect and hoard ideas: as photographs, articles from newspapers or magazines, jottings, music, tangible items.
Write a diary, every day, unrestrainedly and without censoring yourself. The more trivial, the better, in order to get rid of all these scattered thoughts buzzing around in one's head, creating some space instead for the story you want to tell.
The story itself … just do it: Write. Edit and edit again. Throw it away, start afresh. Edit again and again and again. Every bad text, every discarded sentence is one step on the way towards the right sentence, the true text. Sometimes this process is easy and fast, sometimes tedious and stealthy.
Writing is learning by doing, by trial and error - and it takes a lot of patience.
May I ask you for some tips, specific advice or help concerning my writing or my plans to become a published writer?
NCV: Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to meet your request.
What does the letter "C." in your name stand for?
NCV: This letter is supposed to compensate for the small phonetic stumble between the end of "Nicole" and the beginning of "Vosseler".
Check it out for yourself - with the "C" in the middle, the pronunciation is suppler, isn't it?
In my opinion, a far more interesting question would be how the characters in my novels got their names. None of them is random: each and every name was chosen with consideration and has a certain meaning, at the very least its own small anecdote. For instance, Mohan Tajid in my "Darjeeling" novel was unnamed for quite a time. Until he appeared in my dream one night and introduced himself to me - under this name that couldn't have been more fitting for his personality as well as for his role within the story.