Tag Archives: writing

Won’t you just die already?

22 Mar


No, I am very much alive, thank you very much. And there even is proof of this, for when I went to one of the major German book fairs last weekend, there was plenty of opportunity for pictures. I’m part of the “Nornennetz”, which is a collection of female German-speaking fantasy writers, and we had readings and signing opportunities at our booth, and drew lots, and fun was had by everyone.

See, I wrote a book. Yes, another one. It’s not yet out in English, but my publisher thinks we may do something about that. The title roughly translates to, “Lusty Andrea and the hilarious tentacles of death”. You can see the tentacles, also known as Bob, in the picture.

Another thing you can see is me, being merry in public, talking to a small audience. That day, I read a brief passage from the book and answered questions and hopefully convinced a few people that #notalltentacles are bad.

If you know anything about me, you know that I am kind of shy and introverted and have the personality of a soggy egg carton. I’m hilarious as a writer, sometimes even good, but in person I tend to stammer and look at my feet and generally rather crouch in a corner than face people who might have thoughts or ideas or judgement. However, this is not a good thing to do for someone who wants to act as a public figure every now and then.

What to do? I remind myself to be kind, and curious. Then I cling to my colorful, “unorthodox” style for clothes and makeup*, and try to be as much fun as possible, and to listen to the others more than I talk myself. The listening part is easy for an introvert, but actively listening and asking all the right questions is a challenge sometimes.

All in all, I would say we did well, as a collective and as writers who are too shy to walk up to people and actually talk to them. The next event is loosely planned for November, but it is once again far away and I am not sure whether I can make the time to go there.

*My sister, meeting me at the book fair, asked whether I could cram any more colors onto myself: Brown boots, purple stockings, green and teal skirt, black and blue sweater, red/orange/green jacket. Let me tell you, there are only so many layers a woman can wear!


September round-up

30 Sep

This September was kind of ridiculous, in a good way.

First, I went to a friend’s birthday party in my old hometown, and on that occasion also met my sister and her family.

Then said friend and I went on a trip to Bruges in Belgium.

The next weekend, I participated in my first obstacle race.

(Some pictures taken by Richard, some by Sportograf.)

After that, we visited Sicily, or mainly Catania, where we had secured a lovely flat for a week.

And only today, I met my word count for the next “Magic behind the mountains” adventure, completed edits while I was at it and am now ready to send everything out to my test readers in the coming days. I have also started collecting material for the cover picture.

The working title is “Skeleton blues”. And yes, my mother got me the bones of a complete roasted suckling pig.

So, this is the life. This is pretty much what people dream of – adventures, accomplishments, fun times and great food. I wonder whether it will get any better than this. I mean, next month I will be at my first book fair as a traditionally published author, and I hope to complete my first 10K race in under 60 minutes. And next year I intend to publish three more books, get started querying for the ones after “Magic behind the mountains” has ended and drag Richard on a new trip – this time it is my turn to choose, and I am thinking: Prague or Norway? ^^

I have magical powers!

14 Sep

By that I do not just mean the ability to make huge amounts of cheese disappear. ^^

We were sitting in the car on our way back from Bruges last Sunday. My friend Stephanie and I had spent a weekend away from everything, to catch up, look at old houses, and eat everything Belgium has to offer (namely waffles, fries, chocolate, and beer). Anyway, we had seen all we wanted to see, eaten all we wanted to eat, and walked more kilometers than any reasonable person would plan to, and the duck was sitting on the dashboard looking out at the highway.

Me, “By the way, I have magical powers.”

Her, “You don’t say.”

Me, “Do you remember that tiny hut at the edge of the woods, around the corner from our flat? The one I had used as a safe place for that stupid teenager in my last book?”

Her, “What about it?”

Me, “They demolished it.”

Riverton, in the real world (and in the original German novels) is my current hometown Bonn. And I frequently use places one can walk past in real life, with as much detail as I remember while writing. So far:

  • the bank mentioned in book one has been destroyed and replaced with a new building;
  • the conference center has been turned into a hotel;
  • the former embassy Helena is sitting on at the beginning of book one has been turned into luxury apartments;
  • the “Institute of Cryptozoology” has been sold and renovated;
  • the townhall is under critical assessment due to supposedly unstable structures, either to be demolished or renovated;
  • the place where the first dead body is presented in book four has been turned into a construction site for apartments;
  • the hut from book five has been demolished.

Basically I renovate the town by writing about certain buildings. It is kind of cool, right? However, I am havong doubts about book seven – it was supposed to take place in and around the castle in Stephanie’s hometown, where my family used to live. I mean, that castle has been around for about a thousand years. What could a single fantasy writer do about it? We may find out.

And now – which building would you write new?

It’s here!!!

3 Jul

And sorry you had to wait so long … “Taught by flames” has finally been published! My dearest proofreader tried to catch all mistakes I may have made, but I am sure there a still a few for you to find – and they are all mine!!! (Not sharing.)19598923_1088455481255667_1341620238296673100_n

Anyway, get your copy through the usual channels and let me know if you enjoyed it! And I swear by my cold pinky toe that I will try my best not to leave you waiting so long for the next book! Actually, it’s being plotted and written as we speak.

Just racing around

16 May

… trying to get everything organized and have my coffee while I do it. Nothing much has happened around here, and the things that have been happening are kind of exciting. Most of all, I GOT A BOOK CONTRACT!!! This is not so interesting for you, as it is a contract for a German book with a German publisher, but I am sky-high with endorphines and confusion, and I thought I would let you know. The story contains tentacles and jokes and super heroes and a cat, and maybe we will even find a way to have it translated in the future. Speaking of translations, “School of Fire” had to take a backseat while I was editing the tentacle novel, but I am trying not to forget, and I promise I won’t let you wait as long for the next book in the series.

Caffeinated witch greetings to all of you!

Happy first day of spring, everybody!

20 Mar

This morning I unwrapped the balcony plants. The tiny apple tree has started growing leaves already, and to my neverending surprise neither the lavender plant nor the verveine have died. The avocado tree hasn’t made it, unfortunately. I do have kind of a brown thumb, to be honest.

Spring manifests in other ways as well – I feel a strong urge to purge our apartment, get rid of all kinds of stuff and downsize resp. redecorate. For some time I have been trying to get rid of one unnecessary item per day, such as old clothes, kitchen utensils we never use or decoration. I am a knick-knack horder, and all our shelves are filled with tiny puppets, poppets and gadgets. Some things are given away to people who will appreciate them, others are donated to good causes, and the rest is thrown out. (Germans are masters of recycling, so don’t worry … we have containers for papers, bottles and old clothing on almost every street corner, and every household separates their trash anyway, it’s mandatory – the only thing I miss is a trash can for biodegradable waste, which is optional and which our landlady won’t order because of the costs (and because many people think that these trash cans are especially disgusting … ah well).) Also I have started some major cleaning endeavors, such as foam-cleaning our matresses and shephearding all kinds of blankets and pillows through the washing machine. It’s kind of scary, and I hope this urge goes back to sleep soon.

And I feel the need to eat tons of green stuff – salads, tiny carrots and tomatoes, all kinds of fruit. You name it, I’ll eat it. In winter I prefer soups and stews and potato-laden dishes that are warming and filling, but now I would rather increase my intake of raw plants. Of course this means I have to get to the grocery store more than once per week, for many things don’t keep that long in an average kitchen. Took a BLT salad with some extra chicken (for yummy protein) to the office for lunch today.

Last Friday we did our first official run of the year as well – a 7.5 kilometer run around a lake in Cologne, with the paths lit by torches and a tiny celebration afterwards. We did not stay long, instead drove home and fell asleep on a heap of blankest spread out across the living room floor. That’s my favorite way to spend the weekend.

What else is new? Oh, I have started translating “School of Fire” for you, the fifth of Helena’s magical adventures behind the mountains. The series is intended to end after the ninth book, and by now I even do know where everything is headed. I am currently writing book six in German and hope to get the English and the German version out at the same time. Translating means an extra editing round, after all.

Makes any sense? No? Ah well, stuff happens. Gotta get back to bread-winning, and later curl up on the sofa (freshly cleaned) with some zucchini in tomato and feta cream, served with smoked trout. This witch knows how to spring-party. ^^

Body Poetry

16 Jan

In honor of trying new things, I have written a haiku on my Sunday adventures:

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Ouch ouch – Pilates

Have a great week!