Wednesday, October 29, 2014

time for NaNo once more


I'm just clearing my office to make room for my NaNoWriMo project. This year, I'm going for a 25-30K novella (#4 in my Treasures Retold series) including translation. I know that's rebelling, but I#ve rebelled nearly every time I participated.

Are you going to be there? If so, buddy me if you like.
See you there,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cover Design by Yourself

For Indie authors, one of the biggest obstacles to attract reader attention is the cover. Hiring a good cover designer is expensive (although I absolutely recommend it), but getting someone unexperienced will cost sales. Despite the saying, people do judge a book by the cover.

Since I'm not exactly rich, I have been doing the covers for my books myself and learned by looking at other people's covers. I was never satisfied with the results. Therefore, I spend some of my hard earned money on a cover design course by WMG publishing (owner is Indie author guru Dean Wesley Smith), and it was brilliant.

I learned so much in such a short time (the courses are mostly 6 weeks long). We covered everything from the basics to branding, and although I'm not someone who can afford InDesign, using my ancient but faithful Photoshop 7 and the free GIMP program worked well for me.

I highly recommend this workshop if you plan on doing your own covers. It is money well spent.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I'm starting a series of fairy tale retellings


when I learned to read, I inhaled fairy tales. The first book I ever wrote (now sleeping peacefully in a drawer) was a fairy tale kind of story. Many of my early attempts, handed in to editors with a hopeful heart, reminded of fairy tales. And then... nothing for many, many years. I wrote Fantasy, SciFi, Urban Fantasy, Historical novels and even Non-Fiction, but never a fairy tale any more. I guess it was because of all the rejections I got and that basically said, fairy tales don't sell.

These days, I believe differently. So when my Muse (my creative side) offered me a series of fairy tale retellings at novella length (100 pages max.), I was delighted. In three months, I wrote three stories, revised them and translated two of them. There are more to come since I already got ideas for at least two more stories set in the same world. I'm having a blast.

But for now, I have the pleasure to announce the release of the first volume in my "Treasures Retold" series: The Dwarf and the Twins, a retelling of "Snow White and Rose Red" by the Brothers Grimm.

The original story of "Snow White and Rose Red" by the Brothers Grimm tells us of two innocent maidens who help a talking bear through the winter. They also help a vicious dwarf despite his bouts of anger. In this tale, the dwarf is a little different, as is the bear... 

Martin lives a solitary life in the kingdom's big forest. One day, he encounters a pregnant woman who is fleeing from the king's soldiers. Little does he know that helping her will change his life forever, for the twins she bears will not stand idly by when his life is threatened.

The books in this series will all contain the retelling, a bonus story and the original tale (for some fairy tales will be quite unknown).

I hope you will have as much fun reading the tale as I had writing it. Please help me spread the word.
Thanks in advance,

Monday, September 29, 2014

New release of a great read

My friend William L. Hahn releases his new eBook "Strength of Conviction" today. It is the second volume in the "Judgement's Tale" series. To celebrate it, you can get the first volume for free until the 3rd of October on Amazon. Please help us spread the word.

Judgement's Tale vol 2:
Strength of Conviction

About the Book

As the central kingdom of the Lands of Hope languishes without rule or reason under a worsening pall of chaos, most Children of Hope stand by and do nothing. The few who would dare are outcasts and strangers, either too high up, or too far inside, or still too young to help. Worse, all their scattered mysteries seem unconnected.

Treaman the Woodsman struggles to guide his companions through ensorcelled wildlands to safety. The poorest knight in the city prays by Conar’s statue for weeks without ceasing, as though his life depends on it. The young scribe Anteris copies histories for his master by day, dreams of adventure till sunset, and searches the stars by night for the riddle of his future. A noble Conarian heir seeks to join a lost legendary Order, putting his duty before his life. A gentle Elvish sage confronts the greatest of puzzles, the closed door barring the way to friendship with his greatest, and most dangerous pupil.

For Solemn Judgement, the Man in Grey, is learning that names are indeed important when he shows… Strength of Conviction

Go and grab it, and if you like it, please leave a review and buy the second book too. He needs all the help you can give.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I know I'm back late but...

Hi all,

this year, the summer holidays started quite late (late July, and yes, they move around here in Germany for most countries except for Bavaria) and thus they didn't end until last week. So this has been the first week where I was truly back into writing, and I spent most of that time on revision my latest novel (Juma's Rain).

I also published a short story (see below) and took a course on creating covers. It's been expensive, but I've learned so much already. You can see it if you look at the cover below. However, watching the videos takes time, working through the homework takes time (I'd love to show you the mock-up we did for a title prompt but haven't got the copyright permissions to do so). All that ate into my blogging hours, and I apologize for that.

BTW, the course I'm taking is Cover Design by Dean Wesley Smith, and I think it's absolutely worth the $300 I spent for it. I might take the interior design course too at a later time (when I earned that amount, since I'm not using family money for my writing except for edits).

About the Story

When Dan's mother, a gifted piano player, dies, his father puts away his cello for good and drowns his sorrow in alcohol. Now, Dan wants to join the local school band, but his choice draws the attention of those who have been hunting him since his birth. Will the stranger he meets at a rave be able to help him? 

Get it on Amazon (other retailers will follow)
and if you like it, please leave a review

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Hi all,

Just a very short notice to let you know that I'm going on a horse riding holiday with my kids. Won't be in for a while.

BTW, I finished the fairly tale during my CampNaNo and most of the time travel story. I'll write the ending as soon a I'm back. Then, I'll need to concentrate on getting the stories I've got line sup published in a timely manner. At the moment I'm looking at 5 short stories, 2 novels of the time travel series, 3 fairy tale retellings, one spooky MG story about ghosts and beasts, and Juma's Rain, my YA historical fantasy set in Stone Age Africa. I've also got to finish the first volume in a MG superhero story tentatively called Rainbow Girl that I started during NaNo last year and have always wanted to get back to.

So there's enough to do, but for now, I'll be enjoying my summer vacations.

Enjoy yours too,

Monday, July 7, 2014

trying CampNaNo


I'm currently working on the second volume of my time travel series "Terry and the Folding Rule of Time", and I'm using CampNaNo for the first draft. To catch up, I'll have to write another 2K words today -- which I won't do because there are also other things that need to be done. Anyway, I did write some more on a second project (another fairy tale retelling, this time: Brother and Sister by the brothers Grimm).

How are your projects coming?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

This made my day


I got a review for my audiobook which nearly made me cry because I was so happy. It's pretty obvious the listener really enjoyed the tales.

Reviews like this are the reason why I write.
Thank you.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

hot summer night...

Hi all,

all of a sudden, summer decided to visit Northern Germany. Temperatures went up from a refreshing 10°C to burning 33°C. Even in the local outdoor pool, I can barely stand the heat. Also, it makes it hard to sleep. So I spent most of last night with planning my series, and I'm nearly caught up with the course homework (I'm doing Holly Lisle's How to Write a Series, lovingly shortened HTWAS).

The series is going to be about tomboy Terry traveling through time, trying to set historical events back to what they should be so her time will be just as she remembers. Also, she's looking for her father who got stuck in time. Her biggest help is Mrs. Klio, the muse/mistress of history and time. Terry travels with a folding (or carpenter's) rule that opens into a portal. I've had so much fun writing the first volume that I won't stop until I finish writing her reunion with her dad.

So, how's your writing coming on? Is the weather pushing you toward new goals? Or is it simply draining all strength?

Have a great day,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

please help me with my first ever kickstarter


I've sponsored a lot of kickstarter campaigns already but this is the first time I'm behind the scenes. Setting it up was so difficult -- not technically, that's all fairly straightforward, but mentally. What are the right things to choose for rewards? What amount of money do I ask for each tier? How much money do I need to pay for printing? How much of my own money might I have to use to get the rewards to the supporters if funding is successful? I figured it all out and today, the campaign went life.

I'm trying to get enough funds to finance a print run for the German translation of reMIND, a graphic novel. Since the story is freely available online and suitable for all reading ages, it makes perfect learning material for anyone studying the language. So, please help me to make this a success.

Of course, if you've got relatives or friends who still read German, or if you've got friends and relatives over here, in my home country, please let them know about this campaign. I need as many people to support it as possible.
Here's the link. Thank you for the help.

Thank you for your support,

Friday, May 9, 2014

So much to tell...

Hi all,

sorry that I was MIA. I have been extremely busy. I took part in the A-Z blogging challenge over on my author homepage (I even translated a fun German poem I once wrote into English), was promoted head-moderator on Holly Lisle's forum, and revised 3/4 of "Juma's Rain", my Stone-Age African fantasy novel.

Next, I'm going to run a kickstarter to fund the printing of the graphic novel reMIND which I translated into German. The author-artist, Jason Brubaker, had published the English original successfully with the help of crowd-funding and allowed me to give the German version a try. If you understand German and/or would like to help me spread the word (or more), you'll find a video-trailer and a German reading sample here.

Also, I installed a new system on my Computer. I've been tired of Windows for quite a while, and when Microsoft stopped the support for XP, I thought it high time to finally enter the Linux world. It took a few tries to get things right but now, everything is running smoothly and I'm extremely happy. The new system is very stable and beautiful too. I can only recommend it.

Finally, I've been busy revising, translating, and proofing all the stories I wrote last year. I'm very close to publish something again soon. For those interested in the state of my non-linear fairy tale murder mystery, "Chasing the Grimm Reaper", I hope to finish proof reading in early summer. That would mean publication in July or August.

I hope you're all well,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Easter


I know I'm late but I wanted to wish you all a very happy Easter.

Enjoy the spring regardless of the qweather,

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop


over on my other blog, I'm still posting daily random thoughts for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Feel free to check them out. Also, today's the day where I'M giving away some more of my novels and a gardening tip for the "Authors in Bloom" blog hop (the main price for those who visit ALL the hop's websites and comment is a Kindle Fire or Nook plus $25 gift card).

I have been nominated for the "My Writing Process Blog Hop" by Murielle Bollen, a Belgian living in Canada, who posted her own answers to the questions below on her blog on the 3rd of April (the first day of my kids' Easter holidays. I'm really surprised that I get any work done...). Check them out. She's a lovely person.

Now, for the questions.

1) What am I working on?
Oh dear, that takes a while to answer.

First, I'm in the process of preparing five mini-short stories (character studies for my latest novel) for publication in an anthology. I'm planning on giving them away for free as an introduction to my book "Swordplay".

Second, I'm setting up my first ever Kickstarter campaign (I still need people willing to spread the word in May). I translated the award winning graphic novel reMIND by talented author/artist Jason Brubaker and want to bring it out in print in Germany. The book will be awesome but I need help with the funding -- therefore, Kickstarter.

Third, on July 4th (if all goes as planned), my publishing company The Independent Bookworm will publish the first book that's not by me. It's the first volume of an epic fantasy tale by the highly talented author William L. Hahn. I read and loved several of his other books and was able to convince him to trust me with this series.

And last, I'm in the process of translating all the short stories and novels I wrote last year so I can keep publishing my own stuff soon.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't know. Maybe it's the European influence (I'm German after all). Maybe it's my degree in forestry and my interest in all things science. Or mabye it's just the fact that my mind is crazy and throws really surprising characters and plot twists my way. I invite you to find out for yourself. Just check out my page on Amazon and pick up one of my books.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Easy: because I cannot Not write. The people and worlds I write about swim through my mind and want me to tell the world about them. I'd go crazy if I couldn't. I only write the kind of novel I'd like to read myself, hoping that there are more people out there as crazy as I am.
4) How does my writing process work?

Back before I took Holly Lisle's courses, I'd sit down and wait for the Muse, hoping she'd show up. These days, I plan my novels with the tools Holly provided, sit down and write -- and my Muse has learned to come when called. As soon as I finish writing the first draft of a project, I set it aside and start translating the last project. Then, I'll do revision on this one while planning and outlining the next one. That way, I'm always running two things parallel (revision and planning, writing first draft and revision, translating and planning). It works well for me.

Fine, those are my answers. Now, I get to nominate three authors I like who will have to post their answers on April 14th on their blogs. I nominate:

Will Hahn insists he's a chronicler, of heroic and epic fantasy set in the Lands of Hope,
Peter Cruikshank asks, "It is what it is?"
Delle Jacobs is fighting her scatterbrain-iness while working on several projects at once -- oh, a squirrel...

Check them out next week, and thanks for putting up with me,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Help needed


I decided to write a series this year. It is going to be a single-genre fantasy series - and I need your help. Of the bat, I can think of three of my existing novels I can turn into a series, but with some more brainstorming I can use them all. So, please tell me:

Which story shall I expand into a series? Welche Geschichte soll ich zu einer Serie ausbauen?
Poll Maker

If you haven't read the stories (yet), you can look at their descriptions by clicking on the titles in the poll (for voting please click on the white circle).

A few more informations on what I'll do once I choose the series:

Since I don't like cliffhanger endings, you can expect all three to be linked stand-alones (meaning each book stands on its own but is linked in sequential order to the other books of the series). The books will be slightly shorter than the initial stories (maybe around 50,000 words).

Thank you for your help.

P.S. This post is cross posted from my website since I need more input. Please help out even if you haven't read any of the books yet. You can go by the description alone.

P.S.S. I'll post something about my trip to Texas soon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

...but I know when I'll be back again. I'm headed for Texas from Sunday 9th to Monday 17th. I'll tell you all about my awesome writing forum friends when I return. It's been 20 years since I lat visited the US. Back then, I spend my 25th birthday sitting above Niagra Falls watchin the water fall and fall and fall... tremendously impressive that.

I'll see you when I renturn. Maybe I'll post some pictures. We'll see.
Keep writing and/or reading with joy,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finally writing some new ficiton again


the last 2 1/2 months, I have been busy translating, publishing, and marketing. I already felt drained when February rolled around. Then, an idea hit me and now, I'm writing again. It's a steampunk romance retelling of "The Beauty and the Beast". I enjoy it tremendously. There's no magic involved, but all elements are there (the father, the roses, the castle, the beast, beauty) and some more (a steam driven motorbike, a little brother, gaslights, royal advisors, a Royal Nurse...) It's so much fun. I'm already 17K into the story wich is slightly more than half of it. I'm so looking forward to sharing this story with the world.

Will I see you at INDIeRECON?

Sunday, February 2, 2014


In four weeks, at noon EST, 2014 INDIeRECON will open its gates for the second time. They'll kick off with a chat with Barry Eisler and JA Konrath. These two giants of indie publishing will be there, chatting for two whole hours.

So come on, get excited! And mark your calendars! Because IndieReCon 2014 is going to rock your socks off. It did to me last year. ;-)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Tour kickoff


I just thought I'd let you know that the blog tour for "Swordplay" has started now. I kicked it off with a giveaway. You can find the schedule here. Tomorrow, I'll put up a university lecture about the way magic gets incorporated into plant matter. It's geeky but fun.

Please help my by spreading the word (there are share buttons on my website for that purpose, so please head over and share).

Thanks for your support,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

very late -- sorry

Hi all,

I'm sorry for being so very late. Let me start with a heart-felt Happy New Year, regardless how late it comes. Have a wonderfull 2014 and may all your dreams begin to come true.

In case you're wondering why I was MIA, I've been coding and formatting the next release, "Swordplay", the first in my new "Gendarmerie Magique" series (think CSI with magic but without the gore).

Despite her obvious lack of magical talent, nineteen year old Moira Bellamie apprentices with the Gendarmerie Magique, the magic police. She puts all her effort into solving a burglary at the National Museum where antique weapons have been stolen, to keep the hard won job. Falling for her partner Druidus wasn’t part of the plan. When more and more people are murdered with one of the stolen weapons, Moira must tame uncontrollable magic, or the people she cares for will die, her partner first and foremost.

I’m also preparing a blog tour for the release. If you want to be kept up to date and get mini-stories about characters in the book, please join my mailing list. If you're interested in featuring me on your blog, please let me know. I've still got time for a couple of interviews, or I can give you snippets to post.

I'm looking forward to this.