Sunday, 6 October 2013

Now available: Ghostbound - Call from the Other Side

Liz´ and Danny´s adventure continues:

Who can you trust?
Finally, Elizabeth and her friends have a hot lead. It appears that a secret brotherhood is responsible for the murders, and its roots hark back to a long-forgotten Indian cult.
But it seems they are after Elizabeth now as well, because this invisible society is powerful and will do anything to keep their secret hidden.
As if this isn’t enough trouble, Daniel is being called to the other side at every sunrise, and the ghost can only stay in this world if Elizabeth is there to anchor him to it. But then Elizabeth is kidnapped, and relentlessly the new day dawns…

Book 2 is out now as ebook - paperback will follow soon.

Stay tuned for book 3 - available in November.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A new German home for Liz and Danny

Time flies and in only four weeks Liz and Danny will have a new home in Germany.

Amrûn - a fairly new publishing house, focused on the fantasy genre -will re-launch the trilogy.

"... und der Preis ist dein Leben" Book 1 and 2 will be published under the title "Ghostbound" in September 2013.

Book 3 plus the 3 Novellas will be published under "Soulbound" in October 2013.

And in 2014, there will be a sequal - brand new and fresh - with the title "Spellbound"

Exciting Times!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Who am I writing for?

This is a question I´m thinking about a lot , these days.
Do I write for my existing readers who are expecting a sequel?
Do I write for potential new readers who haven´t found my books yet?
Do I write to please my publisher, the book market or even critics?

Or do I simply write for myself?
About five years ago, when I started to write Ghostbound, this was not a question at all.
It was my private little project. My hobby, my spare time pleasure and escape from “same old same old.”  My baby!
After all I have a full time job as a Marketing Manager that keeps me busy for 40+ hours a week.
I didn´t think about whether other people would like it, if it meets someone’s expectations or whether there´s a market for such a story. It was just those handful of characters, who talked to me and with whom I spent a brilliant time. Together with Liz and Danny I fell in love and lived through their adventures.
I put everything into the plot that has fascinated me for ages: magic, the paranormal, ghosts, secret societies, conspiracy theories and the good old fashioned murder mystery. I didn´t even think about where it should take place. It was the most natural thing to me that it has to be London, the city I´m in love with.
The more the story grew and the more confident I became, the circle of readers grew. First my family, then close friends, then acquaintances and finally critical readers, I haven´t known before (Yes, Romana, I mean you!)
Each feedback pushed me forward. The positive ones motivated me and the more critical made me (and the text and the story) better.
And with each step, the pressure grew. I was not writing for myself anymore. I started to think about the expectations of the readers. Would they accept Liz´s decision? Will they be happy with the ending?

At one point, I was brave enough to reach out to publishers. And things like “markets” and “target audiences” came into consideration. Is a ghost a fitting hero? (at this stage vampires were still en vogue and shifters/angels/demons were coming up) Is it appropriate to have a setting in London when it´s going to be published in Germany? Is it too much fantasy? Is it ENOUGH fantasy? Would more sex sell better or is it already too much for younger readers?

When the trilogy was finally published and I got in contact with book bloggers, I was so nervous I bit down my fingernails until they bled. But when the positive reviews and recommendations came in and readers exclaimed they LOVED the story and the characters (especially funny, charming, mischievous ghost Danny, for whom they even established a little fan club) I was in author´s heaven. 

But with that humble success the writing changed.

I´m currently working on the sequel (Spellbound) and it´s a completely different experience.
First of all, you have to be true to your characters and the universe you´ve created, of course. So you are not as free as you used to be, anymore.

But then there are also those damned expectations.

From your devoted readers, the publisher – and yourself.
Will the new story live up to those expectations? How will readers react, if the mood of the story changes or a beloved character behaves different, or - heaven forbids- dies? Is the story still as romantic and thrilling as it was before? Does the plot meet the market need so I can reach new readers too? It´s a balancing act. You have to be fresh and new, so it´s not just repeating itself and getting boring, But at the same time you have to stick to what people loved before.
And you know what, folks? This is difficult!
It´s a lot of pressure, because you just can´t please everyone.
So I made a decision.
I am going back to write for myself. It´s MY story, MY characters and MY adventure.
I´m delighted if I can take people away with me on that trip and provide some romantic, thrilling an entertaining hours.
But at the end of the day it´s my hobby. I´m far away from making a living out of writing and I´m enough of a realist to know that this won´t change in the near future. So I will make sure that I have fun in my spare time and I look forward to sitting down on my laptop and type away to escape to London for a while.

And everyone inclined is cordially invited to join me on that trip :)

Friday, 28 June 2013

British English vs. American English: Opening a can of worms!

The differences between British English and American English are mostly pronunciation, spelling and a little bit of vocabulary, right? RIGHT?


When I started to think about the translation of my trilogy, it was crystal clear to me, that it has to be done in British English. After all the setting is London and the protagonists are Brits. Makes sense, doesn´t it? 

My translator, Claudia Rapp, comes with an American background, but my editor, Diane Ashfield, is English and she gave the text the British polish.

But then my doubts rose. How would American readers react? Would they like it? Would they consider British English exotic and interesting - or rather irritating? 

So I spoke to other writers who went down the road of “going international” before me. And the more I heard about their experiences, the more I came to realize/realise that a different version for the US was in order. 

I thought: ‘Hey, how difficult can it be to replace words like colour with color, sympathise with sympathize, and cupboard with closet?’

But that´s just half the rent, folks.

There are phrases like ‘in the circumstances’/ “given the circumstances”.
A British room mate is a roommate in America.
Mr Mason in England would be Mr. Mason in the States.
Brits say: ‘Something, whereas Americans say,”Something.
Even the grammar can be different and commas have to be added, deleted or moved.

Trust me, it´s a can of worms!

So I decided to do a SLIGHTLY Americanized version. The tone and the idiom in the dialogs will still be British. They will always play football and not soccer, and their skeletons are kept in their cupboards, not closets. Friends are mates, not buddies and there are numerous “Blimey!”, “Bloody hell!” and “Brilliant!”s.
But I adjusted the spelling, replaced some words (e. g. ambulance man with paramedic) and changed the quotation marks and Mr to Mr., so the reading experience for Americans (hopefully) won´t be too irritating and British words and phrases that stayed in the text are considered exotic and interesting.

The rest of the world will get the strictly British version, though.

I know I can´t please everyone – but I really do try hard to do so :)

If you´re curious now and you want to check your knowlege, here are some British English vs. American English quizzes:

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Welcome to my new virtual home! Please come in and make yourself comfortable.

Within the next few days (well, to be honest, it´s rather going to be a few weeks ...) you will find here more information about my books, impressions of my life - and struggles - as a writer, updates on new projects and much more. So please, stay tuned!

But where are my manners? First of all, please let me introduce myself .
My name is Claudia, I live in Bavaria, in the beautiful city of Munich. I love travelling, hiking, movies, books and good food. And I love to write. My debut is a romantic fantasy trilogy that was published 1.5 years ago in Germany and is now on the way to conquer the rest of the world. 

The title of the trilogy is GHOSTBOUND. It combines an extraordinary love story with a suspenseful murder mystery - and the victim helps to solve the case! The first book is available on amazon as ebook and paperback. Book 2 is currently at the editor and book 3 is under translation.


The German title is "... und der Preis ist dein Leben" and can be ordered in books stores and everywhere online, for example at Amrûn.

So, thank you for visiting and I hope to see you more frequently from now on!