A few questions about Helden wider Willen to the author Nathalie Martius-Weber:
Matabooks: Hey Nathalie! It’s nice that you found time for a short interview so close to Christmas. Why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers first?
Nathalie: Hi, out there. I’m Nathalie and I love books. I pack my passion for children’s and young adults’ books into literature projects that I do in schools or museums. I also enjoy making one, two, or three-dimensional art and am interested in foreign cultures. I miss traveling, but luckily you can travel by writing and reading!
Matabooks: This joy of traveling is also reflected in your book. Together with Molly Spitta, you have created a world of your own for Heroes Against Their Will: The Ænderland. What is so special about it?
Nathalie: Ænderland consists of different regions: The Lake Country with the Word Weavers and Wave Weavers, the maze of alleys of the old desert city, the Wind Country where messengers are trained, the realm of the Desert Rose King, who will play a role later, and the Metallicians, a traveling nation of craftsmen and acrobats. Above it all is the leafy forest, where Impera rules as guardian and which feeds and keeps the different regions alive.
The children come from different parts of the earth. Therefore, they have different skills and cultural techniques. It was important for us to invent worlds where they can use and apply these skills.
Matabooks: And in which part of the Ænderland would you feel most comfortable yourself?
Nathalie: Definitely in the lake country. I always need water around me!
Matabooks: And are there any particular secondary characters that you have taken to your heart in the course of the story?
Nathalie: The encyclopedia Anatol Ablat, a mixture of mad genius and living archive. He collects everything worth knowing and also experiments with himself to gain new knowledge. He collects all this in his book-like body. He is the memory of the leaf forest and unites the knowledge of the Ænderland in himself. He also serves as an advisor. Plus his assistant Diphtong. And I love the guilty toad who shuffled into the story one day…
Matabooks: That sounds quite fantastic, thank you so much for this insight!