Category Archives: Authors – Katharina Gerlach

get to know Katharina Gerlach

a near miss

(cross posted from my personal blog)

I sent in one of my fairy tale retellings (an adaption of Cinderella) to the Writer’s of The Future Award, one of the best known competitions in the US where hundreds of aspiring authors present their manuscripts every quarter. Naturally I had hoped for the best, but I didn’t count on it, being a non-native speaker/writer. And now this (self-explanatory):
Certificate from Writers of the Future
I’m bursting with pride and had to tell you right way. Go on, celebrate with me. Here’s sparkly wine (German naturally, but I’ll have still water please) and chocolate (yummy). 😀

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Summer Holidays and Writing

As long as your kids are still in school, summer holidays are a recurring feature. For me that means a lot less time to write but much more time to read. The reason is simple. While my kids accept that I need to work, their constant needs and questions (whom I love to answer) stifle my creativity. So I tend to do revisions or proofreading when they are around.

This year however the holidays started so early that they’re nearly over already. What ate into my writing time the most was the fact that my middle daughter is getting braces. For them she needs two teeth to be pulled (which I had to arrange), visit the dentist specialist 3 times (once for the mold, next for the brace, and last because one of the little metal bits didn’t stuck to her tooth. It came off last night and we had to go back again), and another visit to the normal dentist to get the teeth cleaned professionally. I just hope all that driving around will be over soon.

Strangely enough, this year I seem to be struggling more than the other years. Maybe it’s because of the additional hustle, or maybe it’s because the holidays started so early, I don’t know. I do know that I have to adjust my daily routine. What are you doing to get through holiday times (whether with or without kids)?

Leipzig Book Fair

The last few months have been extremely busy and this blog got too little attention from me. I’m sorry for that and hope to change it again. I like the variety of authors we’ve got here. Today, I’d like to introduce the best book fair for interacting with German readers to you: Leipzig Book Fair.

Leipzig Book Fair Logo

There are two big book fairs in Germany every year (and tons of smaller, more targeted ones), one in Frankfurt and one, lesser known, in Leipzig. The book fair in Frankfurt is a lot bigger than the one in Leipzig, and it’s more focused on the publishing professionals. Leipzig is more cozy and fully aimed at readers. So if you plan on connecting with readers, Leipzig is the place to go.

I joined a group of German Indies who all received the Qindie (a quality badge for Indie publications) and we set up our booth for the second time. Last year was successful (with quite a long tail of sales after the fair) but flawed. This year, we came better prepared.

 

Here are a few tips on how to visit a book fair as a presenter:

  • no more than 2 authors at the booth or there’s no room for readers
  • put several samples, flyers, bookmarks etc. into one folder, readers like to take those along much more than loose booklets or pieces of paper. We spread nearly 1000 of those
  • know at least the basic gist of the books on display so you can help readers to find the right book; even if they don’t buy yours, they will remember the friendly face and maybe recommend you to a friend (happened to me) and also, the other author will help to promote your books if he notices your efforts
  • if possible walk around the fair and look at other booths so you can talk about the fair in general with the people stopping at your booth- enjoy yourself; getting a booth usually is expensive and you will most likely not make the money back during the fair, but the increase in visibility will help you long term
  • bring food since buying it at the fair is expensive

 

Now to the Leipzig Book Fair in particular.

lbm2016_0869There are 5 halls connected with glass tunnels. Usually one of the halls is reserved for Comics, Mangas, Anime, and Cosplayer. Naturally the Cosplayer spill over into the other halls too, so you’ve always got something to look at with awe (I’ll be posting the nicest costumes on my author blog soon). Be prepared for crowds, especially in the reading arenas, often many people squeeze together to listen to a presentation. I really enjoyed all the halls, but spend only little time with the school books. One thing to take into account is how tired your feet grow when you move around the halls for any length of time.

This year 260,000 visitors came to Leipzig, and of those 195K entered the halls (96K for the Mangas and Comics alone). Despite there being more people than last year, I think they spread out better. I was able to move through the halls on every day. Last year I got stuck in the corridors and tunnels. In total there were0 2.250 presenters from 42 countries.

If you plan to come to the next Leipzig Book Fair (as a visitor or a presenter) please contact me. I’d love to meet you there. And now, tell me if you’ve been to a book fair in your home country. What was it like? And if you haven’t, what’s preventing you from it?

to valentine or not to valentine

v-day muse partyI’m not very romantic at all. That might come as a surprise to those who know that I’ve been true to one guy since my 17th year in RealLife(TM). So, maybe I am romantic after all and my definition just doesn’t fit. Hmmm. I need to think about that some time soon.

For now, I decided to participate in a Valentine/Anti-Valentine bloghop to present to you the love of my life (no, not my husband. Didn’t you listen? I’ve only had him since I was 16 and 3/4. It’s my Muse I’m talking about — the one entity that has been with me since I found my consciousness and probably will be with me [I pray daily that I won’t get Alzheimer’s or something similar] until I die).

Here is my Muse and the answers we came up with for the bloghop. Enjoy, and leave comments if you have questions. And if you feel like it, please visit the other participants and read their answers.

1. Who did you bring to the party? Is he/she your Valentine or anti-Valentine?

My Muse – Valentine (most definitely). She’s the best Valentine ever despite being a same gender as me. We’re a pair but not lovers if you understand what I mean. 😀

2. Which one of you is the more romantic person?

Oh, that’s me, says my Muse, and she’s right. My idea of a romantic gift is a new pair of jeans for my husband. I prefer the practical.

3. What gift are you giving to your (anti) Valentine?

Hmmm, that’s a hard one. How about some more writing time?
That’d be fun. I so love to play with your emotions.
Stop messing with them.
Nah… your stories would be boring without, and you owe it all to me, right?
Opps, I think we sound a little …  strange? … crazy!

4. Are you guys wearing red or pink (or black…)? 

green — yes, green is best for both of us. It makes us look less bulky.

5. Did you bring any Valentine’s Day treats? 

Chocolate pips. They’re our favorites (yummy) but a little bitter, so it’s not for everyone.

6. Name a song for our Love Playlist or Anti-Love Playlist (or both)! 

Weißt du denn gar nicht, wie schön du bist – Sarah Connor:

7. Got a great anti/Valentine party game? 

Nope. We’re both not very keen on playing.
Unless it’s in one of our books. We’ve got so much fun with your characters, don’t we?

8. Feeling the love or just feeling nauseous? How will you have fun at the party?

I think we’ll sit in the corner for a while and discuss…
the next scene of that novelette where they swap the queens.
That novelette isn’t due before 2017. We’ve got to publish John & Marge (Hänsel & Gretel), The Challenge (The Cold heart), Bellarosa (Sleeping Beauty), and Flight (The 7 Swans) first.
Coward. It’s just because you don’t like to write about wars, but I’ve (muffled sounds)
Ok, back to the questions…

9. Has your muse been a good Valentine? 

Mostly – stern glance – but it’s always dangerous to let her off the leash, although it’s also very, very stimulating. I think I’ll now need to go and find out about that war. Have a good day… (turns and walks away)
Don’t forget to visit the other participants:
Click here to view this Linky list…

Juma’s Rain – new release

Yes, I know I’m late again. That happens often with authors since we all have ur head in the clouds (actually in stories to tell the truth). I’m participating in NaNoWriMo (= writing a novel of 50K words minimum in a month) again this year (for the 8th time) and have been writing like mad. I managed to get more words down already than in any NaNo I did before. So, please forgive my tardiness in all things aside from that.

Today, I present to you my next book, a YA love story set in Stone Age Africa, Juma’s Rain.

Juma's Rain cover

Yes, I do know that Juma’s buttocks are visible, but people in Africa didn’t wear all that much in the Stone Ages. I assure you though that there is no graphical sex in the book (although a little smooching occurs). The story is about a girl who wants to become the next clan leader but is apprenticed to the village witch instead because she can see the gods. Her talent is urgently needed to wake the rain-goddess and stop the fire dæmon from destroying the earth. Falling in love with the current clan leaders’ son wasn’t part of the plan…

You can pre-order the book on Amazon so that it will be delivered to your Kindle on Sunday 15th of November. Or you can buy the print book if you prefer. And if you like the story, please let me know.

Wishes coming true…

I love my family.

I love to read.

I love to write.

So, why can’t I manage to get all these under one hat? I know there are a lot of people (especially marries woman in the area where I live) who do their best to kill time. I wish they could give it to me.

Imagine what it would be like if I could use those discarded time snippets of other people to… read just one more chapter or write just one more blog post or another scene on my novel.

Sigh…

Truth be told, I though something like that would never happen. But then, I discovered NaNoWriMo. And all of a sudden, my very supportive husband helped me to make room for a miracle that takes an incredible amount of work but gives back to me a) a partly finished novel and b) a boost of creative energy that lasts for months.

Have you ever had the feeling that you can accomplish anything? That’s what I get out of NaNo. This is my 8th year, and I’m excited like a little child. Tell me about you. Do you have something lined up that excites you? Share it in the comments.

You’re late …

… seems to be my theme these days. I keep forgetting appointments, fall asleep on the sofa, stare at my manuscript unseeing, forget blogposts 😀 . All in all, I’m not happy with this. So, I decided to challenge myself.

From now on, I shall increase the amount of sports I do. Beside going Nordic Walking once or twice a week, I shall use our rowing trainer. Way back, when I met my now-husband, I was quite good at rowing. Yesterday, I barely managed 5 minutes. Therefore, I aim to get 20 minutes of rowing done by Christmas, and I’ll report here every once in a while to let you know how it goes and how much it interferes with my writing.

Anyone out there joining this challenge?

New Release: The Day Music Died

Today, I published the short story (20 pages, 99ct) “The Day Music Died.” I’m sure you can guess where the inspiration came from. 😉

About the book:
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?

I have always wanted to write a story that incorporates music but found my skills lacking. Only recently, I decided my writing had improved enough to give it a try. I know it’s not perfect, but it is as good as I can make it at the moment, and my beta readers liked it well enough. Find out for yourself. Get a copy on Amazon (the other shops will take much longer to go life).

friends?

Games of ChanceI’m currently setting up an eMail list for Will Hahn (the first volume of his Magnus Opus “Judgement’s Tale” has done quite well this month (much better than we had hoped for), and we’d like to keep that going even when the book becomes less visible on amazon). As I did so, I wondered for a split second why I was putting so much time and effort into Will’s campaign. I could be spending the same amount of time on my own campaign or on writing more books, right?

Wrong, oh, sooooo wrong! Will is my FRIEND and that’s more important than anything in the world. When I went to primary school I had only two friends; one went to a different school, and the other one more or less dumped me on day two. At middle school I found one friend, and it worked for a while, but then she moved and that was the end of it. I never made many new friends after that except for one during my time at university and one during my PhD in Bavaria. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of people I got along with fine. They just weren’t the people I consider friends.

Friends are there for me when I need them. Friends will let me know, sometimes quite brutally, when I’m wrong. They’ll call me or write eMails when I don’t have the time to read/listen, and I’ll be happy they do. Friends keep me on track. Having a good friend is better than reading a good book (which is my most favorite pastime aside from family life). For years now I had accepted the fact that the three friends I have in Germany would be the only ones for the rest of my life. I count myself lucky to have them to this day even though they live quite far away (nods to Kerstin, Anke, and Walter).

But when I sat there going through the tedious process of setting up a list and a website (not done yet), I was very surprised when I counted the friends I made online. Of course, the topmost one is Will, but there are many more. I realized how very happy I am when I can connect with other writers, readers or people who are really interested in some obscure thing or other I’m thinking about.

So this post is to let all of you (and I’m sure you know who you are) know that I’m deeply grateful that you’re here. In my world, there’s nothing better than my friends (except for my husband who’s a friend too and my kids). I’ll always be there for you as long as I’m alive.

How about your friends? Tell me in the comments about those special ones you’d like to have the world know about. Are they readers? What do they do that you love them so much? I’m curious…

My first ever audiobook

Woohoo! I published my first every audiobook, and already sold a handful (it’s only been online one week). I’ve even got my first review, and it’s a 5 star one! It’s been so much fun doing the audio book. If it weren’t so very expensive, I’d do the next one right away.

As I’ve already posted on FB, I’ve got a special offer for everyone who buys a copy (see below). First, here’s the cover with the blurb:

Heroes Wanted

This audiobook contains two short stories:

“Life(TM) – Divisions of Myths and Legends or How to Order a Dragon”
Mondays are hard in any office. When Siegfried von Xanthen is calling before opening hours, the day at Life(TM) – Divisions of Myths and Legends goes downhill for Rose.

“A Different Perspective”
Romans attack, and Freyja flees with the women of her clan while the men fight, including her beloved Thordal. Can Allfather Odin help Freyja to save Thordal’s life?

Now my offer:

If you buy it and email me your receipt (email Address on my homepage), I will send you the eBook for free.

If you buy the audiobook through audible and mail me proof that this is one of the first three sales you made on audible, I will send you the eBook plus one of my novels as an eBook for free (the title is your choice).

So, get it and start to listen!

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