I first started writing when I was about 10. My sister Karen was almost five years older than me and she was always writing stories at school. Really, I just wanted to be as cool as my older sister. Here I am, a few years later and a couple books under my belt and I'm rather happy about it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, New Austrian Order or NAO, is a continuation of my Riesa series about Hagen Kohl and Galiena von Steinberg. It takes place just ten days after Teufel in February of 1938 and only covers about 6 weeks of time. Hagen is sent down to Austria to hunt for a group that SS believes is a threat to their plans. We meet some great new characters in NAO- some real, some not- that I really like. We have Freffie von Reitersbach who is an old friend of Galiena's, and Dr. Gyorgi Demeter who is a university chum of Hagen's. Galiena is also up to a lot more in NAO. She starts to come into her own as more than just a rape victim. She's growing up and taking on the big kids and I'm rather proud of her.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Tough one. I think the greatest joy is when someone sends me a message and tells me just how much they enjoyed the book. I LOVE comments. Yes. I write for me, but I can enjoy the stories in my head, and not go to all the pain and torture of writing them down. When people tell me how much they like this character, or that scene, it makes all the torture worthwhile. Having just spent a couple months editing and formatting New Austrian Order, I'm looking forward to the love.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love the fans! <3 I've stated before... I live for the happy comments of my readers. I always want to hear what you think, and what you enjoyed. That's the best part for me.
What are you working on next?
Oh man... I have a couple things on the burner. In my post New Austrian Order release shower, I was pondering using the momentum of NaNoRiMo (?) to pour the last 30k words into the two half finished books that I have. One is a WWI piece which is totally my bailiwick and the other is contemporary with a twist and right off my reservation. We will see which one comes out first. I also have the first Meinrad von Steinberg novella nearly finished. Watch this space.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a very patient cover designer who comes up with some ideas from my vague thoughts, and then we compare visions. I actually designed the Teufel and NAO covers myself, and he refined and created the NAO cover from there. I also did the novella 'The Airport' myself... art by my niece. But the new things I have are from him and he does great stuff. Really thrilled.
Who are your favorite authors?
David and Leah Eddings and the Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli series. Eddings is one of my biggest influences even though he does fantasy and I do war. His dialogue is like a razor. Even better? Unlike certain very famous fantasy authors I could name, not everybody dies. :)
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Other than an urgent need to go to the loo? I haven't the foggiest notion.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work, I write, I watch a lot of TV. I play with Niblet, my kitten. I keep planning to go SCUBA diving.
I'm a shockingly boring person in real life.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Hm. Good question. My first complete novel is a Star Trek:TNG book that I wrote at 16. It's available for free at fanfiction.net.
I was a geek. Hm. I'm still a geek... but I have better hygiene.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was in grade 5,(11) my mother wanted me to read an adult book so she told me she would pay me $25 if I read Roots by Alex Haley. That was serious cash in 1987. I was inspired. Beyond being all O.O at the 'adult' content, I was agog at the world the book transported me to. It unlocked my imagination and I really discovered the 'movie theatre' in my head. It was the best thing she could have done because I wasn't interested in reading adult books before. I think the next book I read was Taipan by Clavell.
And I wonder why I write epics?
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