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Lucy Braun

German

First Language(s): German
Second Language(s): English

Bio

Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, as the youngest of four children, Lucy always liked to read and write. For creative writing tasks in school, according to her classmates, she always wrote the “next Harry Potter” which of course was the children-standard for long texts. She now studies British and American cultures at Universität Hamburg and writes creatively both in German and English.

Q&A

What was your favorite book as a child?

I am not sure if I had one favorite book, but I know that fantasy was a big genre for me growing up, so the Eragon books by Christopher Paolini, and Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) and Momo, both by Michael Ende, were definitely among my favorites. All these books dive into different, and often magical, worlds while not shying away from mature themes and sometimes complex issues. Whether you must fight a tyrannical king, desperation, or your own desire for power, whether you need to learn how to master magic and dragon riding, the value of time and slowness, or the importance of imagination: these books provided me with these lessons. Later I also thoroughly enjoyed the young adult sci-fi Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Looking back at them now, I realize how the books’ commentary on obsessive beauty standards and independent thinking as well as its ecocriticism have impacted me. Oh, and let’s not forget the incredible hoverboard rides! Those were awesome.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

Intrinsic joy, I guess? I just enjoyed it as a child, so I kept writing, and I always had these ideas in my head that kept nagging me until I “banned” them on paper. Creating worlds and characters is something I find incredibly fulfilling and at the risk of sounding melodramatic or complacent, I do believe that storytelling, whether you read or write stories, is important for all people to maintain a sense of self and to understand everyone and everything outside their own little bubble. It is a way to learn empathy and to stay curious, and that curiosity to explore a world or emotion or human connection is something that drives me to this day.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

Again, I don’t think that I can pick out one: watching humpback whales, dolphins, and seals at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These gentle giants, cheeky mammals, and slick swimmers really correct your understanding of your place as a human in this natural environment. Standing in the heart of Manhattan, New York City, and being completely blown away by the hustle and bustle of this incredible place, the many smells and sounds and colors and movements almost felt like a fever dream, and it was a lot to take in. Attending protests, demonstrations, and marches, and seeing so many people rally for a common cause, to listen to their chants and demands and stories that brought them together is empowering. Hiking and climbing in mountains and earning the reward of an incredible view from above after you put in the sweat and the struggles.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on my mood on a given day and the type of music. Some instrumental music can help me with channeling a certain emotion into my writing, but some vocalists are just too “attention-grabbing” for me to be able to focus on writing. For reading, I mostly prefer silence or at most some peaceful ambient music. There are YouTube channels that offer loops of crackling fires, lapping creeks, ocean waves, library noises, or rainstorms, and these can be helpful both for reading and writing.

Contributions

Flash Fiction
Holding
Issue Fall '21

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz