Thursday, 7 April 2016
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT WITH CHRISTOPH FISCHER
I am overjoyed to announce that author Christoph Fischer features next in the series.
As you may be aware I asked authors on my facebook page if they would like to appear in a series of *interviews*. I wanted to connect with other writers, find out what they write about, why they write, their thoughts about the writing process, their drives, and learn a little more about them. Please find the full interview below (also linked to my twitter, tumblr, facebook, Goodreads, and google + account).
Please do share with your circle of book friends and leave me a like/comment - thank you very much.
Hi Christoph, thank you for featuring here today.
When did you start writing and why?
About 7 years ago I began some ancestry research and read a lot of history books about Czechoslovakia during and after World War 2. I learned a lot that I hadn’t known and combining those facts with some ideas about my family’s roots in the region resulted in my novel “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”. Although this is not the story of my ancestors, the book is quite close to my heart.
Are you self-published or traditional?
Self-published, out of choice. With all the changes in the publishing industry authors are called upon to do a lot of their marketing work anyway. I prefer having the control over cover design, who edits my novels and how it is marketed.
If you can make it work, then fantastic. It's hard work, that's for sure. Lonely, sometimes and I wonder whether an agent would help champion my work or not? I have mixed feelings.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written ten novels so far. Here are some of them:
Five historical novels, all set in the 20th Century: “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” (Slovakia during WW2), “Sebastian” (Vienna during WW1), “The Black Eagle Inn” (Germany after WW2), “In Search of a Revolution” (Finland between 1918 and 1956) and “Ludwika” (A Polish Ostarbeiter in Germany during World War 2).
Three contemporary family dramas about mental health and Alzheimer’s.
Two thrillers: “The Healer” and “The Gamblers”.
Brilliant! I've just picked up Ludwika. What a story!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel to “The Healer” and on a comic rural murder mystery.
Who is your favourite character of your books and why?
Jonah Weissensteiner is a very jovial and caring father figure with a great sense of humour. He’s close to how I saw my father and how I imagined my grandfather, whom I never got to meet.
Where can readers find your books?
On iTunes: https://itun.es/i6LL9CF
Nook Book Link: http://ow.ly/LMhlm
On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395
Which authors have enthralled you?
Paulette Mahurin, John F Hanley, Brett Easton Ellis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gregory David Roberts, Ian Hutson, Melodie Ramone, Judith Barrow.
What writer or book has had the biggest influence on your work?
Lionel Shriver with her sharp and acerbic writing, Christos Tsiolkas with his uncompromising style, Khaled Hosseini with his ability to portray diverse cultures and alienation… so many more.
What book are you currently reading?
“Enjoyment is Forbidden” by Aaron David. I love the author’s sense of humour and sharp wit.
Where do you read mostly?
In a quiet corner at home or on busses, airplanes and in the bath tub.
Your next book should be an autobiography called 'Planes, Trains and Bathtubs'. :)
How many books do you read a month, would you say?
About ten, sometimes more.
If I love a book so much I'll re-read it...so does that count as two...?
Where do you do your writing?
In a quiet corner of my house, overlooking the garden.
How many hours a day do you write?
When I am in full flow it can be up to 8 hours. Writing is all consuming, the story needs to come out, it’s like giving birth…
And the cravings too. Haha - ahem...
Do you agree with the statement: write about what you know?
To some degree that is true but as historical writer I am forced to write about things I do not know about from personal experience. Good research and thoroughness can compensate. What you know about can also be too familiar; I’m personally more motivated to find out what I don’t know and write about that.
What has surprised you most about writing?
How much time it takes; not the writing but the editing and formatting and marketing.
Yep, agree with you there.
What do you like doing when you aren't writing?
Walking my dogs, exercising and watching some mindless comedy TV.
How do you structure your writing - do you start with an outline, plot each chapter or just write and see where it goes from there?
I have basic outlines and ideas for chapters but usually the story takes on a life of its own and things happen quite differently than planned.
Have you attended any literary events?
I’ve been to the Kensington Christmas Book Fair in December 2015 and am currently organising a Book Fair in Llandeilo, West Wales. I’m looking forward to the Historical Novelist Society Conference in Oxford later this year.
I look forward to seeing you there!
So what social media platforms do you use?
Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Google Plus, Amazon promotions.
What is your favourite genre?
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Comedies and thrillers.
And the favourite thing you've ever written so far?
The epilogue in “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”
What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?
Without spoiling anything, the scene where one character in “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” dies. It still gives me goosebumps.
What do you think makes good writing?
Many different and quite opposite things, I believe. I personally like sharp and pointed writing best, raw and uncompromising in style, yet I also enjoyed some very wordy and flowery literature.
Lastly, what advice can you give to other writers?
Work hard, keep writing, believe in yourself and don’t let yourself be discouraged.
Write for the love of writing and for your audience as well as for yourself. Enjoy it.
Thank you, Christoph!