Faun Pischerke

Biography

I grew up multilingual from a very early age, received my Masters degree in Engineering Physics and spent my formative years in Bulgaria, under the shadow of a mild, yet persistent political persecution and harassment by the regime. My background cannot be understood without a few words about my country of origin - a little known European country with about 7000 years of history, home to the third European alphabet, whose people have brought the oldest known Sun calendar, dating back some 7000 years. This is a country that has had its name intact for a little over 1300 years and has survived and outlived several major empires. This country has been a Christian nation for much longer than major European nations, and has given birth to great reformers of the church, at the time when Europe has ensconced in the "Dark Ages".
‘Mild’ in this case means continual, sometimes overt, sometimes implicit denial of job and growth opportunities, based on political origin, as well as travel and residency restrictions.
I started writing back in the early seventies, while still in high school with several research papers on bionics, quantum mechanics and relativity theory that have won me national awards and later, Dean’s scholarships. Half way through university I caught the proverbial ‘writing bug’ and decided to try my hand at free-lance journalism. Despite or better, because of the obvious and not-so-subtle difficulties of publishing in a country with tight government control on print media, I had managed to publish about 40 articles both in popular, weekly publications (some of them now defunct, due to the radical changes in Bulgaria at the end of the 80’s), as well as in international magazines and symposia in Bulgarian, Russian and English languages. Topics varied from reporting on the latest technological advances in Western science, to philosophical discussions on human cognitive development and Artificial Intelligence and book reviews. This research has also landed me participation at two, all expenses-paid symposia – in Los Angeles (CA), 1988 and in London (UK), 1989.
I have worked as an adjunct professor, trilingual linguist and an IT specialist (including several stints as a technical writer) in various capacities, and am currently serving with the US military in the Middle East as an IT & logistics specialist.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
If I were to say it is fast and easy, that would be a gross overstatement and a big league lie! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a nagging thought about something that I have read, heard, sensed or somehow got entangled in my brain and it is an itching curiosity. If I remember it until dawn, I investigate it and sometimes it sees the light of day, sometimes the computer recycle bin takes care of it.
When I was working on the "Southerly Breeze" I visualized the places, people and locations that I describe, but translating the visuals into coherent and sensible stories took a lot of effort and brutal editing on my end. I wrote the book entirely in English, trying to do my best to depict events, facts and people with the greatest possible degree of verisimilitude and realism, naturally stumbling at typical Bulgarian idiomatic expressions that lack a direct correlate with American English. The fact that I am intimately familiar with the country, languages and culture, by virtue of my having been born, educated and spent my formative years, helped a tad. Then, another process kicked in - do I provide a photographic, total immersion description to the reader, or do I leave (and if so, how much) to the imagination? Add the unfamiliar to the Western reader reality, the language barrier and you get some idea...Then the real editing process began - sequence of names, events, places.
Thus, if write that such and such even happened on Friday, on such and such day of November, such and such year, it is a fact of life. My intimate familiarity with Microsoft Office had allowed me to confirm dates, make literally thousands of changes, and be consistent with names, descriptions, facts and fiction throughout the book.
How did you get started?
Well, long story. I had never had a taste for literature and history, as in the old days, in a previous lifetime, they were heavily obfuscated by the political expediency du jour. Thus, in high school, we were discussing the poetry of a great Bulgarian writer, who was sentenced by the pro-German monarchy that ruled the country during World War II for what we call these days, "domestic terrorism".
So, the poem went like this - someone, living in utmost poverty killed his father and was accordingly sentenced to death. And, the son met some Communist Party functionaries in jail, awaiting the same fate. So, he repented for his sins and became a Communist Party member, not unlike US felons who having languished in jail, find religion and accept Jesus as their Savior.
The poem had its merits but my pragmatic outlook took over at an young age - "What is the big deal? He committed fratricide, so he had to pay the price." The class was in awe, as such statements were simply not kosher at the time, and my Bulgarian literature teacher gave me an A-, instead of kicking me out of school.
Several years later during my conscription military service I served as the registrar and custodian of records for a 500-men training battalion, so I got my fair share of poorly and well written reports and political documents of every imaginable kind, speeches, communiques and the like and I wrote and edited even a bigger number of them.
My real earning of "literary stripes" came serendipitously to me while studying at the Physics Department of the Sofia University in the mid- to late seventies. I read an article in one of now defunct newspapers that published sci-fi in translation, news about Western technology and had a more or less stable reading audience. It was just like a letter in a bottle experience - you write it in longhand, seal it, throw it in the seas and forget it. Well, sometime later I got a personal letter from the editor, advising me that my "article" was published and would I be interested in seeing her and discussing the article further? Obviously I have no recollection several decades later about the topic of the article, but yes, I felt elated. Long story short, one thing lead to another, so by the time I was ready to embark on my Master's thesis in Physics, I had somehow managed to publish about 40 some articles in different periodicals.
The editorial work on my thesis additionally polished and fine-tuned my writing skills, to be complemented by extensive translation work to and from English, Russian and Bulgarian on a plethora of topics, covering everything and anything between patents research, articles, research theses, technical manuals, laws and the like. This has additionally improved my analytical, writing and editing skills, that later in life became invaluable.
In the United States I have worked extensively as a technical writer and have burned truckloads of the proverbial midnight oil, trying to get some sense from the usually convoluted ramblings and rantings of numerous subject matter experts.
During one of the numerous menial, demeaning and just survival jobs working for a call center, I found enough time between calls, so I was able to sketch my notes and sometimes, quickly pouring thoughts that formed the fabric of "Southerly Breeze".
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Faun Pischerke online


Where to buy in print


Books

How to Run a Business on a Shoestring Computer Budget A Dummies Book of Tips and Tidbits
Price: $3.77 USD. Words: 24,980. Language: American English. Published: March 24, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Consulting
A reference book with practical, tested and proven advice on different business entities, how to make a savvy choice when using present day computer technologies for the small business. This book is a must have for the small business owner, whether a newbie, or a seasoned hardened veteran, as it written by someone who, "has been there, done it a few times".
Southerly Breeze
Price: $5.95 USD. Words: 121,460. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Ancient history, modern crimes of the mighty and powerful, twists and turns, unknown country with mysterious ways. All this at the end of Communism as we know it, in a country with 7000 years history, deeply slumbering behind the Iron Curtain, where the clocks have frozen in time. Evildoers receive their punishment from even more evil characters for reasons that have nothing to do with justice.

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