eigentlich wollte ich das Interview, das ich mit David E. Hilton vor einigen Tagen geführt habe, erst einmal übersetzen und dann auf Deutsch online stellen...
Aber nachdem ich nun selbst ganz viele Literaturblogs verfolge und sehe wie viele von Euch die Bücher am liebsten im "Original" lesen, d.h. meist in Englisch ;) bin ich fest davon überzeugt, dass ihr dieses Interview ohne Probleme verstehen werdet. Wenn es jedoch Verständnisprobleme geben sollte, bitte ich Euch umgehend drum mir eine Mail zu senden, dann würde ich es auch übersetzen....
Nun aber viel Spaß mit den Antworten vom Autor des Romans "Wir sind die Könige von Colorado"
- First of all, can you please introduce yourself to my readers
Hello, my name is David E. Hilton, and I’m the author of Kings of Colorado. I was born, raised, and currently live in Texas — more specifically, Austin. I have 2 children, both boys.
- I’m not sure but I think "Kings of Colorado" is your first published book. How do you feel about it? Has it been your "biggest dream" which is now came true? And for how long did you work on this book?
Yes, KINGS is my first published novel. Honestly, it is indeed a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to write novels after falling in love with reading. I’m very proud of this book, and still think of the characters often. I learned much from the writing and publishing process that hopefully will just make my second novel that much stronger.
- What is the book about?
Kings of Colorado is the story about four boys who come together at a reformatory ranch in the Colorado mountains during the 1960s. It is a novel that centers on their struggles and how their friendship helps them to overcome the trials that they face.
- When did you start working on your book? Have you had the complete plot or rather just an idea for the book? Did you knew what your chracters going to be like?
I wrote the novel back in 2006/2007. I honestly didn’t have the complete story in mind, I didn’t even have an outline. I prefer to write off the cuff, meaning I develop much of the particulars as I go, not fully realizing the details of how the story will end. I visualized a few of the main characters at first, and went from there.
- In Germany it’s really hard to find a publisher. What about U.S.A? How did you found your publisher and what happened next?
Yes, in America the road to publication is also a tedious one. But at the end of the day, if the writing and the story are good, you have a chance. I found an agent, a good one at that, and learned much from her regarding what mistakes to hopefully avoid with future manuscripts. She sold the story to Simon & Schuster after putting it out there for only a week, so I consider myself very fortunate. After signing with my publisher, I was faced with more edits and rewrites. This is typical, and an author can expect to go through at least a couple of these. After that, I began to prepare myself for this book to be released to the public – something which is both excited and nerve-racking. All in all – publishing KINGS has been an experience of a lifetime, and I hope to go through the process again many times.
- Your book has been translated into German this year. How do you feel about it? And do you like the German cover?
Yes, I was very excited to have this story translated into the German language! I don’t speak much German at all, but that didn’t stop me from thumbing through the pages, looking for recognizable phrases and characters. I absolutely love the cover – there is something so beautiful and foreboding about that dark horizon.
- What influenced you on giving certain qualities to your characters? Why are they so different and which character is your favorite one? (I like Benny; he’s so cute and innocent)
Well I wanted each of them to bring something special to the group, characteristics that supplement the others’ in order to set them apart and feel more realistic. You have Will, the usually-serious story teller, Mickey, the tough cut-up, Benny, the innocent one, and Coop, the logical literary. It’s hard to say which would be my favorite because I feel so close to them all. It was hard to say goodbye to some of those guys as I was writing the story.
- What about the approved school (sorry I just know the British term :) How much of the story about it is real? Are the approved schools in USA so cruel like you describe it in your book?
They exist under a variety of names: juvenile schools, reformatories, state schools, etc. There are juvenile reformatory ranches in the U.S., but I added some flair to it by establishing the wild horse element, and having them tame the mustangs. There have indeed, though, been programs for adult prisoners where the same concept has been introduced. I would truly hope that at these juvenile schools the violence is nothing like it is in KINGS, but of course we hear unfortunately hear otherwise all the time in news articles.
- And the last question: What plans do you have for the future? Are you working on a new book? If yes, could you tell something about it?
Great question! But unfortunately I can’t divulge too much about my next book. It’s not a sequel, but is another character-driven story set in the same universe as KINGS. Oh, I can tell you that there will be at least one familiar face to appear in the story.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you and answer some questions! I hope you and your readers have enjoyed the novel.