Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not aware the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, I’m chatting to Danielle in the tearoom. Welcome. The first question I always ask is what refreshment would you like?
Thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely tearoom. I’d like to have a cup of Rooibos tea please, if possible.
Of course, it possible. Right, now we have our drinks let’s start by asking when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
My mother and I have always been avid crime fiction readers, so writing anything other than that was out of the question. When we are on holiday, we try to buy locally written crime novels. Back at home, it’s great to walk the streets, that you have just visited, with your victim/killer/detective inspector again.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest writing project is the German version of Snow Light, my first book. I’m a German native speaker but strangely I can’t write books in German. My mother is an English teacher and I have studied in the UK and worked in the US, so I have always preferred English over German. Snow Light was originally written in English but many of my friends and family have asked me to translate it for them. My cousins did the groundwork and presented me with a first German draft. Now I’m at the editing and polishing stage to publish it next year. The sequel to Snow Light is being edited at the moment as well and I’ll try my hands on self-publishing next year with book number two (it’s in English again).
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Two, at the moment – the German version for Snow Light; it’s translated and I’m at the final editing stage. And the other project is the sequel to Snow Light, which is currently on my editor’s desk.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter, or let the characters lead you?
Before I start writing I take an A3 sheet of paper to “draw” my story. Then I start writing the chapters and only at the end, before I submit it, I write the synopsis. Having said that, I guess the synopsis is already in my head all the time while writing the draft, but it’s not written down somewhere.
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
Beatrix Potter – I’m a German native and my mother is an English teacher. The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was the first English book that my mother read to me, and thus my introduction into English literature.
J K Rowling – At the age of thirteen I had accumulated enough English vocabulary to start reading English books only. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone was my first English book I read by myself. After that, I barely ever resorted to German books.
Peter Temple – I bought Peter Temple’s book “Broken” while on holiday in Australia, fell in love with his writing style and decided that the time had come to try my hands on a book of my own. Although English is not my native language, I’d read enough books in ten years to get a pretty good feeling for style, language and grammar.
Louise Penny – I have devoured all of her books in the Inspector Gamache series which are set in the rural Eastern Townships of Montreal, Canada. The beautiful, detailed description of her settings inspired me to have Snow Light and its sequel set at my equally beautiful home area of the Ore Mountains with forests and lakes and small villages similar to Penny’s Canadian landscape.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
Uhm… yes. Guilty of the crime 😉 Both books are set in my home village, which has only some 3,000 inhabitants and among them are some lovely quirky figures, like our ancient, now retired pharmacist. The figures in the book have similar traits of character to some locals but I always change their appearance (physique, hair colour, …) I would never offend somebody with my writing.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
My life partner is an author as well. We only grew up some ten kilometres apart and his books (German crime fiction) are also set in our home area (Ore Mountains/Erzgebirge Germany). We didn’t know about each other until we met at a local reading.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work full time as a Business Partner in Finance and Controlling at an international IT-consultancy, so unfortunately my writing time is limited to the evening hours and weekends. On the plus side, since my partner is also an author in his spare time, we can spend the weekends together writing or mulling stories over and nobody has to feel guilty about sitting in a corner and typing away on a laptop.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
No. As I’m only a spare time author, I have weeks where my job is rather intense so I don’t find the time to retreat into my writing cave.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From the development of the idea until a complete first draft it takes me, depending on my work schedule and travel commitments, around ten months
Thank you so much for joining me Danielle. When you’re ready to leave our driver Brutus will be home to run you home, or wherever you want to be dropped off. Remember the location of the clubhouse must remain a secret 🤐
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.