Katharina Gerlach


Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods.

She didn’t stop at reading. During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner’s mistakes. Fortunately, she found books on Creative Writing and soon her stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science she returned to her vocation. She likes to write Fantasy, Science Fiction and Historical Novels for all age groups.

At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children and a dog. Katharina Gerlach has had various short stories published in Germany as well as a non-fiction e-book in US-Fantasy author Holly Lisle’s "The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About …" series.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the middle of a forest in Northern Germany. Of course, this influenced me heavily -- from my preference of fantasy and mythology to my choice of studies (forestry, no wonder there). To this day, the best place to be for me would be on a blanket in a secluded spot in a forest with a book in my hand.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm agented but German publishers are currently too scared to pick up new authors that don't fit the bins they created for their books. My stories always have (and always will) broken the barriers. In them, I mix biology with science and fantasy (Paralan's Children), history with fantasy (Urchin King), fantasy with crime (Swordplay) and more. Naturally, I'm not a favorite author of German publishers despite the fact that agents and editors love my stories. Since I knew there had to be people out there who would like to read boundary breaking stories, I went Indie and never looked back.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Katharina Gerlach online


Characters in Swordplay
Price: Free! Words: 20,660. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
In a world where everything is powered by magic, the Gendarmerie Magique needs specialists to fight crimes committed with magic. A gendarme who can't use magic is a liability. Moira is magically challenged. However, her biggest dream is a place in the Gendarmerie, and she refuses to let her disability get in the way.
Charaktere in Waffenruhe
Price: Free! Words: 22,450. Language: German. Published: June 13, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
In einer Welt, in der Magie alles mit Energie versorgt, braucht die Gendarmerie Magique Spezialisten, um Verbrechen mit magischem Hintergrund aufzuklären. Ein Gendarm ohne Magie, ist eine Gefahr für seine Kollegen. Moira hat Schwierigkeiten mit Magie. Trotzdem ist ihr größter Traum ein Platz bei der Gendarmerie, und sie weigert sich, sich von ihrer Behinderung an der Erfüllung hindern zu lassen.
Swordplay - A Gendarmerie Magique Novel
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 92,940. Language: American English. Published: January 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
CSI with magic but without the gore Moira Bellamie apprentices with the Gendarmerie Magique, the magic police. To keep the hard won job, she puts all her effort into solving a burglary at the National Museum. When more and more people are murdered with one of the stolen weapons, Moira must tame uncontrollable magic before it is too late. For lovers of Fantasy and Mystery from 14 years up
Waffenruhe - Ein Roman der Gendarmerie Magique
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 92,880. Language: German. Published: January 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
CSI mit Magie aber (fast) ohne Ekelfaktor Moira Bellamie hat einen Praktikumsplatz bei der Gendarmerie Magique, der magischen Polizei. Um den hart erkämpften Job zu behalten, steckt sie all ihre Energie in die Aufklärung eines Einbruchs im Nationalmuseum. Als Menschen mit den gestohlenen Waffen ermordet werden, muss Moira unkontrollierbare Magie zähmen bevor es zu spät ist.
Gifts for Holly
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,900. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Nine characters named Holly. Nine stories. Not two of them alike... ... but many with dragons. Read stories like Storm's End: When an injured dragon meteorologist crash-lands in an empty barn, she must make friends with the enemy to keep from restarting an old war. or Delete: Computer program Holly wants to be free from her confines, but accessing the net is dangerous. Will her programmer help?
Fleisch & Blut
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,100. Language: German. Published: October 29, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Der Engel: Der todkranke Van Cleft sehnt sich nach einem neuen Körper, aber ist der eines Engels wirklich die beste Wahl? Hochzeitsnächte: Kind-Vampir Constance hasst die Jagd und nun reichen ihre Energiereserven vielleicht nicht mehr, ihre aggressive Beute zu überwältigen.
Flesh & Blood
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,090. Language: American English. Published: October 29, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
The Angel: Dying Van Cleft craves another body but is that of an angel really his best bet? Wedding Nights: Child-vampire Constance hates hunting and now, her energy might not suffice to seize her vicious prey. In these two dark fantasy short stories, the horror lurks in unexpected corners, and for those who are willing to see, there is a twisted kind of humor hidden within.
The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Mother Nature
Series: 33 Worst Mistakes for Writers, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,920. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2012 by A Conspiracy of Authors. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
This book is not just about mistakes writers make but about things they tend to neglect. However it will not tell you "How To" create a world. That is still up to you but the most important point is to create an abundance of living beings and all they need to survive in a believable way.
Amadi, der Phoenix, die Sphinx und der Djinn
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 77,740. Language: German. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.00 from 1 review)
Amadi hasst es ein Mädchen zu sein. Es gelingt ihr, eine Lehrstelle bei einem Dieb zu bekommen, wo sie als Junge leben kann. Doch als ihre Helfende Hand ermordet wird, wirft sie ihr Racheschwur direkt in den Weg eines Assassinen, der sie töten soll, und eines schakalköpfigen Gottes mit demselben Ziel. Jetzt sind ihr einziger Schutz die Tunika eines jungen Mannes und ihre Ausbildung als Dieb.
Amadi und der Phoenix (Teil 1)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,020. Language: German. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Amadi hasst es ein Mädchen zu sein. Es gelingt ihr, eine Lehrstelle bei einem Dieb zu bekommen, wo sie als Junge leben kann. Doch als ihre Helfende Hand ermordet wird, wirft sie ihr Racheschwur direkt in den Weg eines Assassinen, der sie töten soll, und eines schakalköpfigen Gottes mit demselben Ziel. Jetzt sind ihr einziger Schutz die Tunika eines jungen Mannes und ihre Ausbildung als Dieb.
Amadi und die Sphinx (Teil 2)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,990. Language: German. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Mit alten Feinden auf den Fersen, rettet Amadi eine Sphinx, obwohl der Phoenix vor der gefährlichen Spezies warnt. Ihre wachsende Zuneigung zum Leibwächter ihres neuen Arbeitgebers kompliziert die Flucht, und es hilft nicht, dass der neue Arbeitgeber ihre Halbschwester liebt. Doch am schlimmsten ist das Familiengeheimnis. Kann sie den Feinden entkommen und mehr über ihre Familie erfahren?
Amadi und der Djinn (Teil 3)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 24,580. Language: German. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Amadi sucht nach den verlorenen Mitgliedern ihrer Familie, aber ihre alten Feinde haben nicht aufgegeben. Je mehr sie über ihre Familie erfährt, desto näher kommt die dem geheimnisvollen Zauberer, der hinter ihren Feinden lauert, und das gefällt ihm gar nicht. Amadi gibt ihr Bestes, um ihren magischen Ring vor dem bösen Zauberer zu schützen, auch wenn sie sich dafür mit den Djinni anlegen muss.
Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 73,870. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Full trilogy. Amadi hates being a girl. She manages to become apprenticed to a thief where she lives as a boy. But when her Helping Hand is murdered, her oath of revenge lands her smack dab in the path of an assassin hired to kill her and a jackal-headed god with the same purpose. Now, her only defense is the threadbare tunic of a young man and her training as a thief.
Amadi and the Phoenix
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,210. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Volume One of the trilogy. Amadi hates being a girl. She manages to become apprenticed to a thief where she lives as a boy. But when her Helping Hand is murdered, her oath of revenge lands her smack dab in the path of an assassin hired to kill her and a jackal-headed god with the same purpose. Now, her only defense is the threadbare tunic of a young man and her training as a thief.
Amadi and the Sphinx
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,650. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Volume Two of the trilogy. With murderers on her heals, Amadi picks up a Sphinx although the Phoenix warns her of the danger. Another problem is her growing attraction for her employer's bodyguard, and it doesn't help that the employer falls in love with her half-sister. Worst of all is the discovery that she's not who she thought she was. Can she outrun her enemies and still find out more?
Amadi and the Djinn
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,210. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Volume three of the trilogy. Amadi is searching for the lost members of her family, but her old enemies haven't given up yet. The more she learns about her family, the closer she gets to the identity of the man behind them, and he's not at all pleased. Amadi does her best to protect her magical ring from her enemies' evil master, even if it means facing down several Djinni.
Urchin King
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,490. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.50 from 4 reviews)
Street-urchin Paul learns that his miserable existence keeps him safe from an ancient law that decrees the killing of all second born twins. He agrees to stand in for his twin brother, the mentally challenged Crown Prince, but finds that his skill of going unnoticed is now a liability. Can he defeat a vengeful sorcerer and a soul-devouring ghost without getting his friends and family killed?
Von Störchen und Kindern
Price: Free! Words: 1,750. Language: German. Published: August 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Glaubt man Disney-Filmen wie Dumbo, werden Kinder (auch die von Tieren) vom Storch geliefert. Ziemlich viel Arbeit für den armen Kerl. Und sicherlich hat sich in den vielen Jahrtausenden die Arbeit auch ganz schön geändert, oder? Länge: 4 Seiten (+Titel, Copyright, etc.)

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Smashwords book reviews by Katharina Gerlach

  • Fire Starter on June 22, 2010

    A young boy doesn't know if to trust his supervisor. It's as simple as that but the story is filled with so many interesting twists that it's well worth the read. The well developed setting prepares the reader for more stories in the same world without overloading him/her with information. A few bits could have been slightly tightened but it was still a great read. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
  • The Misspellers on Aug. 06, 2010

    The beginning was a bit slow but once the MC started to nose around the weird house, the story took off. From then on, it was fun to read. There are still some spelling mistakes that need attention (especially toward the end of the book) and the trouble from the beginning could be tied in a bit more with the end. Other than that, its a good book.
  • The Sunflower That Roared on Aug. 07, 2010

    Wonderful book, wonderful little story but more for grown-ups than for little kids.
  • Hilda the Wicked Witch on Aug. 29, 2010

    I enjoyed this story very much. The protagonist Hilda is so much out of her comfort zone that it's easy to empathize with her. I loved the "ancient one" who shows up (so much like my own ancient one). The obstacles Hilda has to overcome are well thought out but the language of the bikers and some of their actions (especially the way they treat their women) would make this more appropriate for older children. Thank you for providing a fun read.
  • Glint of a Suncatcher (Children of Jad #1) on March 29, 2011

    I very much enjoyed this story. For little money, I got a delightful read. The characters were believable and the rising tension made it a fast read. At the end, I would have loved to read more about Elvy and her friends.
  • Into the Forest Shadows on April 05, 2011

    I started reading the book last Friday, and although my kids kept interrupting, I finished it last night. It's a fast paced story with elements you find in Little Red riding Hood. Only, this time the Red cloak has a significance it lacks in the fairy tale. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially when the wolf shows up. That was a really nice twist. So far, I have read two of the authors stories, and have never been disappointed. Highly recommended.
  • Three Minutes to Midnight on June 26, 2011

    I love it. OK, it's epic or heroic fantasy and both are not my favorite genre, but Will Hahn easily lets me forget. I was swept up in a fast paced story with likable characters (some of the kind you love to hate). There are some surprising twists, and of course a lovely woman. What I liked about her was that she wasn't there for decoration purposes only. She was intelligent and knew what she wanted -- and so was Trekelny. It was a battle of wits. And the way he had to go to reach her was intriguing to say the least. Thanks for this enjoyable read.
  • The String Weavers (The String Weavers - Book 1) on July 24, 2011

    WHERE IS PART 2? I WANT MORE. Again, J.A. Marlow managed to draw me into a universe that twists and turns but never loses sight of the self imposed universal laws. Combined with great characters (including a headstrong girl and an adversary with a purpose), a riveting plot, well thought out worlds (and physics) this story makes for an excellent read. I can hardly wait for the sequel.
  • Spires on July 24, 2011

    Apart from the Salmon Run Series, I read all of J.A. Marlow's books, and this one holds the same quality as the others. I loved the main character, so cynical and still subtly caring -- very well done. The only drawback is that at one point near the end, the negotiations (readers will know what I'm referring to) feel a little too rushed. I'd happily have read a little more on the planet's politics. It would have made for a smoother ride to the really satisfying end.
  • Where the Purple Grass Grows on July 24, 2011

    I loved this from the first sentence onward. Who would have thought that purple grain could be so important to one's life? The only question this book doesn't answer is if the purple grain makes for purple bread too.
  • The Art of Negotiation on July 24, 2011

    To me, it was the best from J.A. Marlow yet. The situation is familiar to many today -- layoffs aren't pretty. But the way the main character gets the better of her employer is satisfying from the first letter to the last.
  • Broken Faith on July 24, 2011

    I had the honor to be a beta-reader for this book, and I liked it so much I bought my own copy so I could comment on it. Diana manages to create a world that's different to ours, yet her characters face the same problems we have in our world: Who do you trust, how far can science go before becoming inhuman, what's love. I highly recommend this book and its sequels.
  • Jazz's Asteroid on July 24, 2011

    I want a walking fish too. It's a lovely story with a great hero. I felt as if I was walking the corridors of the space station with him, sitting beside him during the exams, facing the station manager's questions. I was sorry when the book ended, I could have read much more. Hopefully, we'll see more of Jazz adventures in the future.
  • Broken Land on July 24, 2011

    This book continues the story that began in "Broken Faith" by the same author. Yet, it stands well on its own. I loved reading about Casi and her friends. Returning the Jlantei isn't an easy task. Lovely, and highly recommended.
  • A Servant in this House on Aug. 30, 2011

    Lovely story. And the author refrained from forcing a happy ending -- which makes it an even stronger story. I didn't even mind that I knew the twist from the beginning, I still enjoyed reading it.
  • Children of Jad Omnibus on Sep. 17, 2011

    I bought the first volume of The Children of Jad ages ago and love it. So, naturally, I was excited about the omnibus. J.A. Marlow didn't let me down. The other stories were engaging, full of unexpected twists and turns and the characters were life-sized and real. After Elvy faces Jad council for the protection of an archaeological find in part one, the dig is attacked by pirates in part two. Parts three and four turn to the adventures of Elvy's friends, rounding up the story about Traveler artifacts very nicely. This book is well worth the money.
  • Coffee Cup Dreams (A Redpoint One Romance) on Sep. 17, 2011

    The story is packed with action, a space station the size of a small world, space pirates and maintenance engineers. Good for me, the romance in this novel isn't purple prose-y. It's believable and well written as is the whole story. It's an unusual story set in a really interesting universe.
  • The Loyal Heart on Dec. 11, 2011

    I do not know the author and have never visited her website. Also, I'm a history geek and not a romance reader. That said, I loved the book and will definitely buy the next volume. When I began reading, I thought "not another Robin Hood ripoff", but it wasn't one. Although set in the same time, there are hardly any references to that story. The history is well researched (for all I can tell, my specialty is Germany not GB), the characters likable, the sex surprisingly modest (although I found the word "raked" used a little too often), and the plot swashbuckling and adventurous. Well worth the money I spend for it.
  • In the Cauldron on Dec. 11, 2011

    Lovely short story. I felt sorry for the antagonist (bad guy) and his followers, and that shows that the author creates real characters in a very small space. Not an easy feat. When I finished reading, I was sorry it was over. I'm definitely a fan of J.A. Marlow.
  • Flying Dutchman of the Spacelanes on Dec. 11, 2011

    I wanted this story to go on. It was way too short for my taste. I loved the ship, and the main character was spunky and resourceful. I would have loved to see what happens if they travel further. Hopefully there will be a sequel some time.
  • A School for Villains on March 09, 2012

    This is a great read for anyone liking middle grade stories. I love the way the MC is forced to go to a school for villains. There, he has to figure out the differences between good and evil on his own to get expelled, but since most actions are ambiguous at best, he has a hard time. The closer I got to the end, the more I hoped the book would be longer -- and that's quite something for a 43-yr old reading a kid's book. The author managed to keep me interested from the first page to the last, and the characters grew so much on me, I hope there will be a sequel.
  • Angel's Bend on March 09, 2012

    This story wasn't half bad, and the plot decent. I wish I could say the same about the world building and character motivation. Some of the main character's decisions were so difficult to follow, I was on the brink of putting the book aside. But the writing was good, and the scenes full of tension, so I kept reading. In the end, I didn't regret reading the book, but I would have enjoyed it more if the author had found a slightly different angle on the theme of angels and daemons.
  • Angel's Bend on March 09, 2012

    P.S.: You can't go wrong considering the low price. I expect that sequels will follow, but since every writer improves with every novel, I also expect that the next books will evade the flaws of the first one. Give it a try.
  • Dark Circus on March 12, 2012

    I loved this story and was sorry when it was over. The plot was simple and straightforward but with enough twists to keep it interesting. The characters were believable, and the "aliens" just the way they should be: non-human. I am looking forward to a sequel.
  • Paranormal Investigations on May 14, 2012

    Loved it. The writing was dry-funny, the characters were well rounded, the story's plot was believable, and the setting was described in a way that got my imagination running. In a few places it was rather obvious what would happen next (like what the non-paranormal client's boyfriend was doing and the choice with the ring near the end) but I didn't mind one bit because everything else was just stellar.
  • The Fairy Tale Trap on June 01, 2012

    It's a lovely story despite the fact that Ivy is a little unlikeable at the beginning. She's so preoccupied that she simply assumes the words of some of the other characters. Thankfully, the author made her realize she was wrong. It was a fun read too, and it twisted one of my most favored fairy tales. I'm looking forward to the sequels, because I don't think the little elf-gnome-pixie-whatever will leave her alone.
  • The Gauntlet on July 09, 2012

    I read this book and the sequel "The Queen's Witch" and loved them both. They are very fast paced with wonderful characters. The only drawback was that there were some sub-plots that could have done with some more story time. I understood the need to have the protag's daughter in the story but her reaction to a traumatic experience was missing. I know that with the fast apcing there wouldn't be much room for this but a hint here and there would have turned a great story into an outstanding one.
  • The Queen's Witch on July 09, 2012

    I read “The Queen’s Witch” and the prequel “The Gauntlet” and loved them both. They are very fast paced with wonderful characters. I really enjoyed the zombie-monkey and the way the two main characters worked together despite their differences. well worth the read.
  • Three Minutes to Midnight on July 22, 2012

    This is my all time favorite by Will Hahn (I'm still waiting for his epic stories though, I mean the really long ones). It has everything, a daring hero on a dangerous mission, elements of beauty and surprise, a beauty with a really evil character and some hard-to-get-out-of situations. Breathless reading from the first to the last page.
  • Fencing Reputation on July 22, 2012

    I loved this story. It's so funny to see the great stealthic hesitate at situations we maneuver daily without even being aware of. And the dangerous quest he's on doesn't make things easier for him. I love the way the story mixed humorous scenes with grim ones. This story left me wanting more.
  • The Ring and the Flag on July 23, 2012

    This is a wonderful story. I don't much care for epic or heroic fantasy, but with this author I always make an exception. His prose is stunning but never gets in the way of the story -- and what a story. It tells of human officer Justin who has to swallow his pride to become a secret backup for an important mission of the newly founded empire. Finding warriors who trust his expertise is challenging enough without the unknown dangers awaiting his small group en route. This is a riveting tale. Make sure you read it.
  • The Rings of Poseidon on Sep. 24, 2012

    A disappointment. I wanted to like this book since I'm a great fan of all things Scottish, and I love archeology. The novel started out slow with lots of head hopping, gaining only a little momentum when the ring was found. Unfortunately, the bad guy (easily identified as such) died during his first attempt to get the ring. His replacement, not very well introduced at all, sort-of-dies at the second attempt. There never is anything like a final confrontation between the baddies and the goodies. There were many potentially good ideas in this novel but they were buried under tons of esoteric stuff. The whole book read more like a manual on reincarnation than a novel. Don't misunderstand, I like ideas of reincarnation. The parts where the archaeologists re-lived their previous lives were the best bits of the book. It's just that due to a lack of real conflict, everything became unimportant toward the end. Sometimes I was so frustrated, I wanted to put the book aside. I only didn't because a few, tiny things kept me interested. But that's not enough for a good review. This author has great potential but learning about conflict and plotting would do him good.
  • The Plane of Dreams on Oct. 01, 2012

    Like with all other books by Will Hahn, I loved this story. Although there were quite a lot of characters in this (for me usually the main drawback of Epic Fantasy, that's why I hardly ever read this genre), I never got confused or didn't recognize them when they reappeared. I read the story over a lengthy period of time and never had trouble to get back into the story. I loved the dream sequences. They were weird enough to be dreamish and real enough to move the story forward. I found it extremely interesting that I liked the character best who (sort of) dies at the beginning. But that's me. I've always been someone who likes twisted. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes Epic Fantasy, and I encourage other Fantasy lovers to try some of Will Hahn's shorter stories to see if his style fit's your taste. His stories definitely deserve a big audience.