Interview with Giselle Roeder

Who are your favorite authors?
Tough quwestion! There are so many to choose from: Ken Follett, James Patterson, Ann Victoria Roberts, Lyn Alexander, Jane Austin...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Can't wait to write more: weekly stories for my website, right now especially the next chapters for my forthcoming book, the sequel to 'We Don't Talk About That'. People send me e-mails regarding the 'abrupt ending' and most say 'I need to know what happens next...' - so I really have to get going! Actually, I really enjoy this manuscript. Twenty chapters are done - but many more to come. After all, theis sequel covers 50 plus years of my life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading - after have done my duty as a 'housewife'. Two years ago it was gardening - but the garden is gone, living in an apartment surely changed my hobbies. I still have 23 large containers with roses, some self-propagated from cut roses, rhodos, azaleas, some herbs, tomatoes, parsley and chive. Naturally I plant a lot of blooming flowers every spring.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually check on Amazon for ebooks of authors and topics I want to read. Up to now it was mainly history and WWI and WWII books. Another way is BookBub, Goodreads and my husband tells me if he read something fantastic.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I used to write for several magazines and columns in newspapers. I still have all the copies - they would make another few books. My very first story was in grade two. It was about live as a blacksmith daughter in a small village. I had been very impatient to go to school to learn to read and not rely on my grandma anymore.
What is your writing process?
I think about it a lot, and I mean, a lot. Sometimes waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. Sometimes I even get up and write down what was processing in my head. I write the stories or memories as the occur and sort them out later. But also, I sit in front of the computer, stare at it and all of a sudden my fingers run away. It goes 'click-click-click - then pause - and then I can't stop. Naturally I do check my facts since I write mainly about my past life and the circumstances surrounding it. Since I belong to a writer's group I test my work during our reading sessions. By their reaction I can tell if I have something good.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember which story was the first - but it was probably Hansel and Gretel, Snow White or Rapunzel. I loved fairytales, and in my life later collected fairytale books from all over the world. All of the stories have a weird impact: I take them for real! Even now I have problems dissassociating TV shows or movies from real life and get upset if the ending is not to my liking. Often I want re-write them.
How do you approach cover design?
That realy is tough. In my head I always have a 'picture' and question myself if it will attract readers because that is of main concern. I do confer with other authors as well as several artists and graphic designers I am fortunate to know. I also belong to several groups associated with Linkedin. Often we have discussions about cover designs. All the advice helps.
What do you read for pleasure?
I really enjoy historical fiction. It entertains and is educational at the same time.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Absolut first is Jane Austens 'Pride and Prejudice' . - What a story - what a mind! At a time when women were not authors.
2. 'Louisa Elliot' by Ann Victoria Roberts - because the author has an incredible ability to paint pictures with word. Poetry to me.
3. 'Fall of the Giants' by Ken Follett - historical facts woven into fiction, keeping you captvated.
4. 'Winter of the World' by Ken Follett. It followed #3 and I just needed to read it.
5. 'The Thornbirds' by Colleen McCullough. Fabulous family saga - but the religious aspect of it drove me nuts.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Radio interviews, lectures, social media like Facebook, Twitter and my regular blogs.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kobo. Sometimes I read Kindl or Kobo books on my iPad.
Describe your desk
My desk? An organised mess! Next to my monitor is a desk lamp, all around are a lot of notes, pencils, calendar, sometimes a cup of tea.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up for ten years in Nazi Germany, 10 years in communist Germany and spent another decade in West Germany before I emigrated to Canada. The first thirty years are the subject of my memoir "We Don't Talk About That".
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To get all the thoughts that keep me awake at night onto 'paper'. I would rather sleep at night but my brain gets really active during the quiet hours. But - the greatest JOY is when I hold one of my newest books in my hand. Number two is every review or e-mail from readers who tell me that my poems or stories have meant something for them.
What are you working on next?
I am now working on book 2 of my memoir "We Don't Talk About That". Since book 1 ends with my dilemma having a choice to go to Canada or to remain in Germany. The decision is made and now I'll have to tell you about all my hopes and problems about starting a totally "NEW" life in a country with a different language, different customs, an instant family and a controlling husband I only knew from being 'pen friends...' A rollercoaster ride through three decades - until there is another break to take a breath and I'll have to write book 3 dealing with busy retirement years.
When did you first start writing?
Oh, my God, that was in Grade School! Everybody hated assignments to write about something, holidays or trouble or Easter Eggs, I loved it!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Actually, my latest book is "Ein Mensch von Gestern - Heute". Translated "A Human from Yesterday - Today". It's a collection of poems I had written over a number of years. I wasn't well for several months and the idea I could die and all the happy and humorous poems would end up in the dump didn't sit well with me. I decided to publish a little book - very suitable as a gift to all my friends and relatives who can not read my English books. It was a bit of sunshine after having written more serious and even heavy duty historic books which brought back nightmares.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided I was too old to wait five years for a traditional publisher to accept my memoir "We Don't Talk About That". Once I had been convinced to even write it I wanted to see it NOW and so "Indie Publishing" was the answer.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Since I just started uploading my books to Smashwords I don' know yet. I heard good things about this company in my writing groups on Linkedin and I hope to be able to join the fan club!
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me. Since I hardly have a family they are my family. I am especially happy when they write reviews or e-mail to me telling me about their feelings after they read one of my books.
Are your books fiction based on truth?
No, my books are based on my memories, my life, my experiences. Every word is true and I tell the stories the way they happened. Actually, when my memoir "We Don't Talk About That" came out I felt quite 'naked' when people looked at me and wanted to know more. Reviews with comments like "Are you okay now? I was with you every step of the way when I read your book" made me feel better. The comment of the UK history writer Bob Pickles gave me a lot of confidence: "...should be required reading in Schools ... historically and literary should be placed next to Anne Franks Diaries" or another UK writer, A.Victoria Roberts comment "... it is a social document."
Have you re-read your book after it was published and are you still happy with it?
I have re-read it several times! With the exception of some sentence structure (after all, English is my second language) I still can't believe I even wrote it, that I am truly the author. So I should probably say "yes, I am still happy with it." I agree with one or two reviewers who said something like "it reads like a Spielberg movie" or another "one of the books you can't put down, like watching a movie".
Is your book 2, the sequel to this memoir, just as heart wrenching?
Definitely not, parts of it may make you upset or mad but there is no rape or murder or other atrocities like in "We Don't Talk About That". It still will affect your feelings and many people, especially women may 'identify' with me because of their own experiences.
What is the title of book 2?
I have a list of titles but none of them really hits the 'jackpot' with me. It has to really say something about the book, there shouldn't be a book with the same title on Google when I look. In a memoir writing class, I was advised not to fret over it because it will - while writing the book - suddenly pop up. So I hope for the best!
Any idea when book 2 of the memoir will be published?
Not exactly - sometimes life interferes if you are not a James Patterson or Ken Follett! But I am aiming for late fall this year, ready for Christmas.
Published 2017-07-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

We Don't Talk About That - A Riveting Story of Survival WWII
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 97,020. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Millions of women were abused and raped during the final stages of WW II, and while the attitude among many survivors is "We don't talk about that," this woman has found the courage to place her memories on record. This book describes the author's life for ten years under Nazi rule, ten years under Communism before escaping to the "Golden West". Another ten years later she contemplated emigrating.
Ein Mensch Von Gestern… Heute
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 11,580. Language: German. Published: June 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » German Poetry
"Ein Mensch von Gestern ... Heute" ist eine Sammlung von heiteren Gedichten, die meisten im Stil von Eugen Roth. Gisela Fiting-Roeder hat einen Blick fuer das 'allzu Menschliche' - und wie es den Menschen von 'gestern' nun 'heute' ergeht, und wie er sich dem modernen Leben anpassen musste: Von Partnerschaften ueber das weltweite Reisen, von Kindern und Hunden bis zum Komputer und mehr.
Forget Me Not - A Bouquet of Stories, Thoughts and Memories
Price: $3.99 $2.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 53,430. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Emotions, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
A thousand ‘Forget-me-nots’ have lined my path. From adoption, babies, cancer, dating, depression, dogs, earthquake, escape, grandmas, kayaking, love, Olympics, politics, from superstition, war to weeping angels and many surprises in-between – these stories are part of me and part of the people who touched my life. They are independent of each other and surely incite discussion.