Today I am joined by Carmen Radtke to talk about the books that have inspired her life. Carmen’s latest release is called Walking in the Shadow and it is out now in all the usual formats. Thank you to Carmen for taking part. Here is a wee bit more about it.
Jimmy Kokupe is the miracle man.
1909, Quail Island. On a small, wind-blasted island off the east coast of New Zealand a small colony of leprosy patients is isolated but not abandoned, left to live out their days in relative peace thanks to the charity of the townspeople and the compassion of the local doctor and matron of the hospital.
Jimmy Kokupe is a miracle: he’s been cured. But he still carries the stigma, which makes life back on the mainland dangerous and lonely. To find a refuge, he’s returned to the camp to
care for his friend, fellow patient old Will, and disturbed young Charley. Healed of his physical ailments and dreaming of the girl he once planned to follow to a new life in Australia, Jimmy meets ‘the lady’, the island caretaker’s beautiful but troubled wife who brings their food. Can she help Jimmy forget his difficult past and overcome his own prejudices towards his mixed parentage, and find the courage to risk living in freedom?
For fans of Victoria Hislop and Delia Owens.
Carmen has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.
She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.
When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.
The shaken but stirring novel made it to the longlist of the Mslexia competition, and her next book and first mystery, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner.
Carmen was born in Hamburg, Germany, but had planned on emigrating since she was five years old. She first moved to New Zealand and now lives in York, UK, with her daughter, cat, and sometimes her seafaring husband comes home.
Website – http://www.carmenradtke.com
Inspired by with Carmen Radtke
What book inspired your love of reading as a child?
I was always a reader. It started with my father coming home from work and every single evening hiding first behind the pages of the newspaper. Anything that could be even more interesting than spending time with me surely must be good, so I taught myself to read. Lo and behold, I’d discovered magic that could transport me anywhere, from the Wild West to the underbelly of Charles Dickens’ London or Pippi Longstocking’s villa. The magic still works for me, after all these years.
What book took your breath away?
Many! The first one was Astrid Lindgren’s “Pippi Longstocking”. The idea of making your own rules and having complete freedom was intoxicating for an eight-year-old girl. Funnily enough, grown-ups interpreted my resulting self-assertiveness as being a smart-ass.
The last book that took my breath away was “The Shadow of the Wind”, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Apart from the fact that I now absolutely must visit Barcelona there’s the gigantic scope of imagination, with crime, history and supernatural undercurrents, framed in the most sensuous language… It’s one of the books I would have loved to have written, despite knowing I would never have been able to.
What book made you laugh out loud?
Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I didn’t just laugh aloud, I snorted coffee through my nose (not something I would recommend). It’s hilarious, self-deprecating and never gets old. Another series I re-read and never tire of, is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, in particular the witches and the night watch books. They’re witty, profoundly satirical and delightfully bonkers despite the truthfulness lurking underneath.
What book made you shout at its pages?
Spoiler alert: I usually shout at books when a character dies and I’m not ready to let them go. In Fannie Flagg’s “A Redbird Christmas” it was the little redbird that broke my heart. In “The Great Gatsby”, I wanted Gatsby to live. I know he couldn’t survive, but to die because he loved a woman that never deserved it… I’m getting emotional again.
What book made you cry real tears?
“Watership Down” by Richard Adams made me sob my heart out. When my then nine-year-old child wanted to read it, I hesitated before I said yes, because it is heart-breaking. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque moved me to tears with that ending.
What book has stayed with you always?
Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch, a surprisingly dark book for comedic fantasy. Sam Vimes is one of my favourite characters, and the time in the past he finds himself hurled into by a freak magic accident is corrupt, bigot and full of evil. It takes all his strength to fight a battle he couldn’t prevent without losing himself, or his desire to return to his world and time.
What book taught you the most?
Too many to mention, but on a purely intellectual level it’s Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. I’m endlessly curious, and having the world and history of, well, nearly everything explained in a way I can understand is mind-blowing. It’s also an inspiration for my writing.
What book would you give to a stranger?
Can I make it a bundle? Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Shakespeare’s Complete Works, Terry Pratchett’s “Nightwatch” and Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”.
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).