Sunday, May 22, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: CHRISTOPH FISCHER



ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.


Editorial Review:

"This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika's life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told."


INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPH FISCHER

Christoph, you are one of the most prolific writers I know. You started with the Three Nations Trilogy: The Luck of The Weissensteiners, published in November 2012; Sebastian, May 2013, and The Black Eagle Inn, October 2013. Two contemporary novels, Time to Let Go and Conditions, were released in May and October 2014, respectively. Conditions' sequel, Conditioned, was published in October 2015. You tackled the medical thriller genre in 2015 with The Healer in January and The Gamblers, in June. In 2015, you also published two more historical novels, In Search of a Revolution, in March and Ludwika, in December. How do you do it? What's your writing routine?
In November 2012 I had seven of my ten novels already in advanced draft stages, and while I learned the ropes of book marketing, I kept editing and re-writing these drafts. I’ve only really written three new books in that time.


As for my routine: When I have an idea I’m quite wrapped up in the writing and can work for up to 14 hours a day. The story doesn’t let me go and needs to come out. So I get up early, take out the dogs, and once they are settled I write for as long as inspiration stays with me. It can be very anti-social.

From starting the first draft to publishing, what is your publishing process like?
For historical or topical novels I spend a month or so researching, then I need another month for the first draft (on average). I tend to re-write the story once or twice before giving the book to the beta readers. I spend a few weeks letting their comments and suggestions sink in and then begin the next round of re-writes. Around this time I ask my cover designer for his first suggestions.


Each book goes to my editor twice before it is formatted and submitted. 
I wrote the first draft for Conditions in 2009 but didn’t publish until many, many, many rewrites later, in 2014. The Healer only took 5 months from first word to published product.

You’ve written historical fiction and medical thrillers. How do you research for your books?
Firstly, I read books, and then I use information on the Internet. If I come to rely on a historical fact in a novel, I make sure that I can verify it from several sources. People will always catch you out, so this is leg work that cannot be avoided.

With the medical facts I do the same, but I also consult two friends who are doctors. 
I only write about things that interest me, so this part is really great fun.

You are a Twitter beast. As I write this, you have 190K tweets, you're following 49.6K people, you have 51.5K followers, and you have 46.9 likes. How in the world do you do it?

I’m not entirely sure how this happened either. Re-tweeting and interacting with readers and other authors alike helps a lot. I used Twitter tools to help me find the right people to follow, namely Crowdfire and Tweepi. Twitter has changed the rules for these several times, so it isn’t as easy as it used to be. Following a lot of people at the same time can lead to suspension, so always be careful.


It seems, though, that the more followers you have, the more people will find and follow you without you doing any work for it. I remember how long it took me to get to 2000 followers. Persist, and it will get easier!


What's your favorite genre?

Hand on heart: Good comedy. I thrive on drama, historical fiction, and thrillers, but nothing beats a good laugh.

How do you get your ideas for stories?
With the historical novels, it starts with an interest in the country’s history and from wondering how those times might have been like for regular people. At some point during the research the plot comes together. The same is true with my contemporary novels. For example, there were several cases of dementia and Alzheimers’ Disease on my surrounding, which inspired Time To Let Go. My partner had the initial idea for my thriller The Healer.

What's your favorite thing about the writing/publishing process? Least favorite?
Favorite: Writing the first draft/making it up. Least favorite: Grammar edits.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?

Work on your ‘brand,’ which is you. Don’t try to be something that you’re not, people will see through it. My most popular posts are those about myself, not about my books. 
I’m not good at this, but I have seen successful authors use their blogs and mailing lists to connect with their readers and provide them with regular, fresh content about their work.
Be visible on as many platforms as you can—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, but don’t rely only on other authors or ‘buy my book’ adverts. Mix it up.

What’s one thing a writer should never forget?
Be true to yourself.

What’s more important—characters or plot?
A really good character is watchable during the most mundane tasks. A good plot can bomb without a good cast.

Name one thing you’re really good at (besides writing) and one thing you’re really bad at.
I grew up in hilly/mountainous Bavaria, so I am surprisingly good at uphill walking, running, and cycling. Yet, I run out of steam quickly on cross trainers.

What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?
A Swedish army coat which I bought in the early nineties. 

Do you have any secret talents?
I make very good vegan salads.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without (besides your phone).
Dental floss.

What would you name your autobiography?

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

Who would narrate the audiobook?

Jeff Daniels.

What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site?

IMDB.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?

I used to spin the decks. Cheesy pop and house music.

What's the wallpaper on your computer?

My partner and the dogs by a beach.

What's your phone's ring tone?
Xanadu.

Five more:
5 favorite possessions

Snowglobe from Israel, Deutschland Teddy bear from the World Cup, Stuffed Ernie & Bert, Stuffed Sully (Monsters Inc) and a pendant from New Zeland (gift from my partner).

5 things you never leave home without
Phone, keys, wallet, kindle, magazine (Actually that is a lie. I frequently forget several of these actually . . . )

5 things you never want to run out of
Fruit juice, good TV shows, good books, new music and love

5 things about you or 5 words to describe you

Easily distracted, a little too sensitive, loyal, mostly harmless, daydream believer.

5 favorite foods
Avocados, Berries, Spinach, Paneer, Thai Green Curry



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers, he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. In 1993 he moved to the UK and now lives in Llandeilo in West Wales. He and his partner have several Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums, and for an airline. His first historical novel, The Luck of The Weissensteiners, was published in November 2012 and downloaded over 60,000 times on Amazon. He has released several more historical novels, including In Search of A Revolution and Ludwika. He also wrote some contemporary family dramas and thrillers, most notably Time to Let Go and The Healer.

Connect with Christoph:


Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |   Amazon  |  Pinterest  | Google+  |  LinkedIn 

Buy the book:
Amazon 

20 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this spotlight Amy! Much appreciated!

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    1. You're very welcome. It's always a good day when Christoph is here.

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  2. I like this man! Especially about the be true to oneself, and the fact that he blogs about himself. Readers want to get into the heads of their favorite authors. It's a good thing.

    Sharon

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    1. You know the Sara Lee slogan? It's true of Christoph. "Nobody doesn't like Christoph Fischer." He's great and so are his books!

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    2. Thanks Sharon, and Amy. That's very encouraging. Amy, I might have to introduce you to one or two people who need persuading...
      Thanks again :-)

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  3. Great interview. I've been lucky enough to have met Christoph personally and he's as lovely as you imagine and then some. :)

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    1. That's a whole lot of lovely then. I'm a huge fan! Thanks, Olga.

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    2. Aw thanks Olga. You, on the other hand, are a terrible person - I will never forgive you that my dog Greta prefers you to me! ;-)

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  4. Great review and interview. I love books with strong characters and this fits the bill. Thanks Amy and Christoph.

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    1. Thanks Diana. That's a big compliment coming from someone who writes really great characters herself! <3

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  5. So Long and Thanks for all the Fish? Oh my god, now THAT was hilarious.
    Fun and insightful interview. Really enjoyed learning more about Christoph, and he never gets old! Thanks for featuring him, Amy,
    eden

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  6. Christop, I didn't realize that you were such a prolific writer. Your latest book, Ludwika intrigues me. It sounds like a good story with a compelling character.
    Of all the different genres you've written (Bravo!) I'm looking forward to your comedy book. :)
    The interview was very interesting. It was fun learning more about you and thanks for your marketing tips!

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    1. Thank you Carol. That's very encouraging <3

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  7. I'd love to know your vegan salad recipe, C! And when did you become such a Twitter Big Bird??? :)

    Great interview! Lots of fun facts. :)

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    1. Thanks Lorna. I could tell you the recipe but then I would have to..... ;-)
      The twitter thing was hard work at first but now has luckily taken on a life of its own.
      Thanks for stopping by <3

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