Announcement

Due to various projects I’m working on at the moment, I will not be able to keep up the regularity of my blog posts the way you, my dear followers, are used to.

I’m very happy that both my translating and my writing business are taking up so much of my time at the moment, that reading – and with that also reviewing – and writing posts for this blog need to step down on the priority ladder.

I had made nice plans for chats with authors this year, and hopefully will realize them at some later point in time, but right now the focus is on getting book 5 in my German Jabando series written – which the publisher moved up a spot to make it book 4, because book 4 is a Christmas story and cannot be published in January. So the first time in my writing career, I’m working with a deadline. In addition to translating books for other authors, I am also translating my own English books into German, hoping to publish them eventually.

This also means I’m currently not continuing work on ‘The Silent Maid’, as the day only has 24 hours and there is a family, home and horse here to take care of as well. So I hope you bear with me and enjoy the little pieces I’ll be able to share as time allows.

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Coming in the Fall of 2019 – The Silent Maid

Have you ever been nagged by a story? I was completely wrapped up in writing my German kids book series Jabando, when a story popped into my head. A historical romance, no less. I tried to push it to the back of my mind, but it wouldn’t stay there. It kept creeping up on me, beckoning me with its mystery. I wrote a story outline and told it to go away and leave me alone.

Useless. When I lay in bed at night, trying to fall asleep, little scenes would play out in my head, keeping me awake. I didn’t want to write anything historical. I didn’t want to do loads and loads of research. I didn’t even know what time it would take place in! But The Silent Maid was anything but silent in my brain.

Eventually, I gave up. I decided to sit down and write it, just to get it out of my head. Here is the first, tentative blurb:

England at the beginning of the 18th century.
Daniel Huntington finds work at Brigham Estate as head groom in charge of the baronet’s stables. He has never been happier in his life, but one thing puzzles him. There is a young maid working in the kitchen who never says a word. Strangely enough, none of the other servants know her name. She lives among them like a ghost, excluded from their ranks by superstition, but made to work like a slave. Daniel’s heart goes out to the lonely girl and they form a secret, fragile bond.
When an old man warns Daniel of a mysterious murderer with his dying breath, Daniel knows he must find answers to the riddle surrounding the silent maid.

As I have only written about half of the story, I’m not giving a publication date yet, but I do intend to publish sometime in the fall, hoping you will enjoy the story as much as I do. It is a challenge I’m finding more and more fun, despite the research involved.

What are your reading or publishing plans for 2019?

Discount January 1-3, 2019

Looking for a contemporary romance, that runs a lot deeper than mere ‘boy meets girl’?

The Way of Life series tells a love story that’s so much more than butterflies and candlelight. Josie and Jim couldn’t be more different, no matter what you look at. Their upbringing. Their background. Their outlook on life. Their mindset. Their experiences. And yet they fall in love and form a bond that can only be described with one word: soulmates.

Yet each of them has their demons to battle and it isn’t easy for either of them.

I invite you to look at the books right here on my site or hop over to Amazon to get your discounted ebook now. Enjoy!

Would you like to have your book translated into German?

New spots available for January 2019!

flagsHave you ever read a translated book? Have you ever thought ‘I wonder if this sentence sounded better in the original language’? I have.
As a German, I have come across a number of awful translations, which is probably one of the reasons why I read so many books in English. Translating a text word by word may not only cause the loss of all lingual beauty, it might also change its meaning or lose it altogether. For that reason, the translation of literature is considered as much of a creative process as writing itself. You need to find the expressions in the other language that will convey the meaning, even if the words are completely different.

Let me give you an example. ‘He made himself out of the dust’ is a literal translation of the German expression ‘Er hat sich aus dem Staub gemacht’. You know exactly what that means, don’t you? No? Oh. Well, it means ‘He made himself scarce’. I think you get my drift.

Finding a translator and putting your book-baby into their hands is an act of total trust – especially, if you have no grasp of the language it’s translated into. I was amused when a customer suggested to add a paragraph to our translation contract, prohibiting the translator from adding a character into the story. Such a thought would never have occurred to me!

No, being an author myself, I have utmost respect for the author’s work and wouldn’t dream of making any changes to the story in the course of the translation. I want the author’s voice loud and clear in the new language. And I want the story to read just as well as it does in the original language.

Feel free to check my services page for details about my qualifiations and prices. If the latter are above your limit, please don’t hesitate to contact me anyway. Prices are negotiable.

Please, bear in mind: Germans are avid readers!

Writing where the money is

IMG_0545I’m a bit crazy, I suppose. When I started to write my first book in 2014, it was simply out of the question that I write it in German – despite the fact that that’s my mother tongue. Having read English books most of my life, writing in German didn’t hold any appeal for me. So I sat down and wrote.

At first, I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t want to answer any silly questions (like ‘why do you write in English?’). It was just me and the story. After about half a year of this, I felt I needed to explain to my husband what the heck I was doing. “You should write in German,” he informed me. “Who’s going to read this thing in English?” I didn’t know. I didn’t care. All I wanted was to tell the story the way it wanted to be told.

Knowing full well that publishing an English book with a German publisher was out of the question and my chances of finding an English publisher willing to publiIchsh a book written by a German were going on nil, I decided to self-publish. It was fun, it was confusing, it was exciting and I will never forget the moment when I held my book baby in my hands for the first time.

I had caught the writing bug. Ideas were bubbling in my head and my family was duly impressed. One of those ideas was a Christian adventure for kids, and since I wanted my kids to help me and also be able to read it, I wrote it in German. I told my sons – then aged 9 and 12 – about my idea and together we brainstormed about the story, developed a plot and worked out characters. It was fun to write, especially because I read each finished chapter to my sons and received immediate feedback. It was a family project, but not one I took as seriously as my English book. When it was done, I looked for an illustrator I could afford and proceeded to self-publish Jabando. Of course I sent the manuscript to any number of Christian publishers in Germany, but I received only one answer – a very friendly rejection.

Feedback was good, though, and I sold enough copies to cover my expenses, which was about all I expected. Meanwhile, I tried my hand at marketing and found that I’m lousy at it. While I had no lack of creativity, the persistence was a problem. I knew I had to work on it more, but either I had other, more pressing things to do or I simply felt bad about putting another ad out there. After starting out mediocre, sales ceased altogether after a few months.

I admit it. I gave up. I didn’t want to enter the circus of promotion and ad campaigns, giveaways and mailing lists. All I wanted to do was write. But what for, if nobody read it?

Then a miracle happened. My husband went to a congress and met a Christian publisher. He told her about the German book I had written and she said ‘send it to me’. I did, right away. By that time, I had already written two sequels and was planning on publishing the second book in a few months.

Only one week later I had the publisher on the phone. “I started to read your book,” she said, “and I couldn’t put it down. We’re going to publish it. Please do not publish the sequel on your own. We want the whole series.”

I never planned on becoming a children’s author. Perhaps I dreamed of finding a publisher, but I certainly didn’t plan on it. And I absolutely didn’t plan on writing a series of children’s books in German. But that’s what happened.

Facebook-Header_JabandoOn the one hand, it’s what every author dreams of, isn’t it? Who doesn’t want a publisher to say those magic words about your book “I could not put it down”? I’m thrilled beyond measure! I can’t wait for September when my book will finally hit the shelves, professionally illustrated and pushed forward in advertising as one of the major new releases in fall. My head is spinning with all the praise I get for the unique story I created with my boys.

And yet … There is a part of me feeling a little down. My English heart is aching. The English author who wants to write a sequel and a spin-off to that first novel, plus a historical romance. The one who pioneered into the book world and is now being overtaken by the younger sibling.

There is only so much time in the day and I cannot afford to waste it writing English books for my pleasure. I need to write in German to follow up with the series. I recently signed the contract for book two and have submitted book three. Now I’m working on book four and already know that book five will take a lot of research. That’s where the money is and that’s what I have to focus on.

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate writing in German. Book four is a lot of fun to work on and I can’t wait to read it to my kids (it’s going to be a Christmas surprise). And success certainly is not something I turn my back on! I feel that I have a valuable message to give to children in Germany and hopefully in other countries as well.

But can you relate to the pain when you have to let your firstborn go, including all the hopes and dreams you had for it, and turn to a new chapter in your life?

Perhaps, one of these years, I will have the leisure to write those beautiful stories still residing in my mind – in English.

Feel free to take a look at my Way of Life series.

Cover Reveal

Today I have the great joy of revealing the cover of book 2 of The Way of Life series, aptly named “The Way of Life”.

Here it is:CoverTWOLNew

The story of Josie and Jim continues in this touching contemporary romance:

All Josie wants is to lead a normal life. Jim is the first man who makes her feel safe and loved and in Stacey she finds a true best friend. Never before did she have so many caring people around her.

But even the deepest love and the best of friends cannot make her past vanish. The past that made her leave New York in search of her real self. The past she keeps dreaming about in violent nightmares. Can anything free her from the untold guilt she carries?

Enter into a story full of emotional turmoil, vivid characters and hope beyond all reason.

Now up for pre-order!

Are You A Torn Indie Author?

TornIndiesTorn between the wish for people to read what you have written and the hope to be paid for your work?

I am.

As so many of my colleagues, I have started my author career late. The talent and creativity lay buried under discouragement, circumstances and low self-esteem. I deemed none of the stories coursing through my brain at all times worthy of writing down. I had no concept of the dynamics involved in creative writing. How the characters and story will take on a life of their own once you start. Self-deprecating thoughts like “Nobody would be interested in that!” kept me from starting.

Until that day the story hit. THE STORY was so compelling I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to read it. But it was only in my head, so I had to write it down.

Following the excitement of my first published book I have learned a lot. I have met many, many wonderful, talented authors, who struggle through the mountains and valleys of Indieverse just like I do. There is one thing we all have in common: We want our books out there. We want people to read them. We want to hear people say “Wow, what a great story. This really touched me. I could not put it down.” It’s what we live for, write for, fight for.

But then there’s the market. A market swamped with books. Some have extraordinary covers, but the story drags. Some have terrible covers not living up to the great story hidden in its folds. There is quantity without end while quality can only be detected by trial and error. Not to mention the marketing platforms dictating the game.

The name of the game? The customer is king. The reader decides which books he picks up. So authors will do anything to appease the king. Lure him; seduce him with promises of free reads and top bargains.
The problem is: Kings have learned a strict etiquette. Kings know how to behave themselves. Customers don’t. So if we roll out a red carpet for the customers, what do we get?

All readers want is bargains. Get as much reading experience for as little money as possible. They are not exactly subtle about it, either. And most of the time, they don’t even have the decency to leave a review. They just grab and devour and move on to the next.

If you belong to the minority of readers who diligently leave a review, please be assured I’m not talking about you!

There is one thing that stunned me recently. Authors are readers, too. And as readers, many authors act just the same as everybody else. They will wait for the books of their author friends to be free before downloading them. I have caught myself doing that, knowing full well that I’m feeding a sick system. We are all feeding this system. We all have our own excuses for doing so.

But I wonder what would happen if indie authors stopped feeding the system? What would happen if indie authors not only supported each other with reviews, likes and shares, but with actually buying books? What if indie authors stopped offering their quality work for free?

I feel myself wince. I hear myself whine “But who will read my story?”

I am torn. I believe my story has the potential to make a difference in people’s lives. I want people to read it. But I don’t want to throw it out for free, because of a piece of wisdom my husband offered me from his marketing experience:
If it costs nothing, it’s worth nothing.

My dear indie friends, your work is worth something. Customers should pay for it. They should know, as any king would, that there is value in a book.

I have made a decision not to offer freebies anymore. My books aren’t expensive. If readers are unwilling to pay for them, then they will remain unread. So be it.

I might read less because my budget is tight. But I will buy the books I want to read because authors deserve to be paid for their work.

I will review what I read, but without any rating. I will simply say what impressed me about the story. And if the story blew me away, I will award it with a badge. I will post my reviews on my blog, on Twitter and Facebook to get the author’s name out there.Badge4

I will support indie authors and I will no longer feed the system. What about you?