We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Henna Johansdotter, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of June 2019.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
I’m probably supposed to say something noble and selfless, but it’s a heck of an ego boost. Several things in my life have come crashing down the last few weeks and receiving this sprinkles fairy dust over my daily grind. Thank you. The timing couldn’t have been better.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
The biggest thing my family’s done for me is probably letting me spend hours at the kitchen table drafting novels that no one really thought would ever become published while my brothers would help clean the house. Letting me be selfish. Letting me create the worlds that will hopefully fill the pages of several novels one day.
As for my friends, it’s gonna sound like a cliche but I mean it when I say they’ve believed in me from the start, even when no one else would. Hell, even some ex-boyfriends have encouraged me, so thanks I guess. (But damn you).
The worst compliment I ever received was: ”Henna, you’re a fairly good writer”.
Fairly. Good. Who wants to be a fairly good writer? Every time I feel like quitting, I think of that one.
What inspires you to write?
Lovely people around the world. Assholes around the world. (I had no idea how great an inspiration they could be until I took up writing). Love letters to people who are no longer in my life. Things I forgot to say. The thing I didn’t dare say. Things I wish I hadn’t said. To love my faults. To nurture what I am and what I could become.
What was your writing catalyst?
As for novel writing, I remember thinking of a book I’d really like to read. Except it hadn’t been written yet. In regards to poetry, I started out writing angry rants about fuck-you-this and fuck-you-that and having sex with the devil, etc. I guess a part of this still lives in my texts. I remember my teacher asking me to read some of my poems out loud at our graduation (which was held in a church by the way) and I had to explain to him that they weren’t those kinds of poems.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I don’t write chronologically. A piece usually starts with a line or an idea popping into my head. I write it down, leaving spaces where words I’ve not yet come up with ought to be. Then piece by piece I start to fill in the blanks. So during my process,
the text ——
usually —– — looks like
Funny enough, even though the right word doesn’t always come to me I can still ”hear” the length of it. Hence I vary the ”—–” – marks depending on whether the missing word is a long ————– or short —- one.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
It’s limitless. Thanks to my favored me-perspective I can be anyone I want for a while. Good guy, bad guy, deity. Everything’s open to exploration.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
I’m an artistic person so naturally, I’d say yes, although, I do trust in a text to deliver on its own. Using pictures is a lot more appealing to the eye though so I do use images to accompany every piece on my blog.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Drama and various feminist topics. Generally, I also enjoy surrealism, horror and of course, science-fiction.
What human being has inspired you the most?
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
First of all a big, heartfelt thanks. Just the thought of someone I don’t know reading my stuff and thinking ”yeah, I’ll vote for her”, is baffling. I’ve got a long road ahead of me and I cherish every breakthrough. So thank you. Truly.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
Coming from a small town in Finland, belonging to a minority and all my life being told I could never make it, I guess I’d like to be remembered as the girl who said: “well fuck that”.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
You can find more of my work as HJDpoetry on WordPress.