Writerly Beginnings

I’ve just put some material together for a short interview. One of the questions was when did I start to write, which, naturally, made me think of all those early writing projects of mine.

I’ve always invented stories to amuse myself, and I started to write as soon as I could write. My very first novel was called “Dicki und Tomi” and was about a little cat and a little dog, who became friends (this would be the pink writing). During my late teens I started to write poetry (the kind of emotional, angst-filled poetry you write when you’re seventeen — this phase is represented by the upper right image), and finally I turned to fantasy fiction. I wrote everything by hand back then. For one of my novels I made the DIY paperback you see above: I photocopied the whole manuscript, folded the pages, pasted them together and gave them this pretty cover. It was a monstrously big (BIIIIIG!!!!) book, but I was so happy that I could hold my own book in my hands. 🙂 

I wrote “Wolfswald” when I was 21, and around this time I also began to think seriously about publication. After submitting my manuscripts (now all nicely typed up) to more or less every publishing house in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and receiving umpteen rejection letters, I almost despaired of ever finding a publisher. Eventually I had to face fact; I would never find a German publishing house that would buy one of my novels. As a last-ditch effort I decided to start writing in English. I not only changed languages, I also changed genres: my first novel in English was called “Highland Love” and was a contemporary romance set in Scotland — this was 14 years, and I haven’t looked back. 🙂