NEW Fantasy by Author Katharina Gerlach A Fairy Tale Retelling
Today we are virtually traveling to Germany to talk to Katharina Gerlach, author of fantasy, science fiction, historical and non-fiction works. Katharina last appeared in my guest spot January 29, 2014, when she released her book Swordplay.
Welcome Katharina, I am so happy to welcome you back for another new release. Katharina is very prolific author last month she released a short story, When the Music Died.
Thank you for having me. “The Day Music Died” is a short story that is surprisingly well received.
On October 4, 2014, you are releasing a retelling of a fairy tale, Snow White and Rose Red. I know you have retold fairy tales before, one of my personal favorites, Hero’s Wanted.
Not at all. This is my first ever fairy tale retelling that I’m publishing in English (I’ve had a flash tale published in German). Heroes Wanted is based on myths and legends that are quite popular in Germany (The Song of the Nibelung and the Norse gods). In Germany, we differentiate between myths, stories for adults deemed more or less true at some point in history, and fairy tales, traditional educational stories for children.
Ah, I think American’s also distinguish the tales that way. It was my own personal FAUX PAS in wording choice there. Thank you for clarifying that for me.
BTW, the original tale of Snow White and Rose Red will be part of my eBook, so don’t worry if you do not know it.
- What is it that inspires you to retell fairy tales?
Fairy Tales were my first books and I have loved them ever since. I’ve collected tales from all over the world, and despite the cultural differences, they often resemble each other. I also have a big collection of fairy tale films made in Czechoslovakia and Russia. So you could say my love for fairy tales lies behind this urge to write twisted versions of them. It’s surprising it took me so long to figure out I want to write these stories.
- Is Snow White and the Red Rose set in modern day, or in the era it was originally written, or something else?
“The Darf and the Twins” is set in a world where steam engine technology is on the rise, ousting magic. In this first book of the series, we’ll meet people still unaffected by the change, but the second volume (a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” will take us to a much more advanced kingdom already.
- How is the retelling different from the original?
The story is told through the eyes of the dwarf who’s the bad guy in the original tale. In this story, however, he’s the central character, living a rather lonely life in a forest.
- How many books have you published to date?
I don’t really know since I keep losing track of the exact numbers. There are seven full novels available and countless short stories in anthologies. There should be something for everyone.
- How many of your books have been fairy tells retold or elements of fairy tale structure that you used?
So far? None. However, I have just finished the first draft of the third novella in this series, a retelling of Grimms’ “Little Brother, Little Sister” from the pointof view of their stepmother. It was a very interesting experience.
- You are an Indie Author, or for those not familiar with the term a self-published author. Can you give any words of wisdom, or tips, or things to avoid, when choosing to go the self-published route?
You will need a long breath. Even if your books are really good (as I hope mine are), it will take people a long time to discover you. But the good thing is that there will always be more people who have not yet read your books.
- What is the most rewarding thing about self-publishing?
I love the control I have over my products (yes, as soon as I start publishing, my books become products, and are not my little babies any more). I can play around with cover design, interior editing, blurbs and pricing in a way impossible for traditionally published authors. The drawback is that I’ve got to do all the work alone (or pay someone to do it for me).
- What is the most rewarding thing to you personally, as a writer?
The feedback of course. I simply glow with happiness when someone writes a review; even if it’s not a positive one (I get these on rare occasions because no author can ever please everybody). I try to thank all reviewers, if I can, but that’s not always possible (some sites do not allow comments on reviews)
- Do you have any plans for more books in the future that you can tell us about?
Oh dear… Sure. I’ve got 12 books lined up for publication, two more novellas in this series, the first episode of an upper middle grade time travel series, a novel set in a fantastical Stone Age Africa, and lots of short stories.
- If you had to pick one book that has affect you the most in your reading life, what would it be?
Do you really think a person who OWNS nearly 2000 books and has read (and loved) many, many more will be able to choose a single one?
- Do you have a favorite quote?
Fairy tales don’t teach children that monsters exist. They know that already. They teach children that monsters can be defeated (free after Chesterton)
- You just went on summer vacation with your kids. Is there anything you would like to share about your summer fun?
Oh yes, I met an alien. It was so cool!
- As we close, what are three things you would like to leave with your readers about the new release, or in general? First, if you enjoy a book, be it one of mine or from other authors, please, please, please leave a review. It doesn’t have to be long (I think amazon’s minimum is 25 words or some such) or fancy, just your honest opinion. Second, if you’re a parent, read to your children as long as they’re still small. If they know that the tiny black wriggles on the page will bloom into wonderful and imaginative stories, it will be much easier for them to learn to read because they know the reward at the end of the hard work. Third, never, ever underestimate the power of imagination. It will turn the dullest duty into an adventure. An example? OK. I was once babysitting a group of four-year olds (I must have been 12 or 13), and they were supposed to go walking in the forest. So I took them, and when I noticed how they hated trudging along, I began to tell them stories. We went looking for fairies and found a tree stump that looked like the home of gnomes. The kids loved it. When we returned, they were glowing with happiness, and one little boy told his mother that he’d seen the home of a gnome. “Don’t lie to me”, she shot him down. If I had been as tough as I am today, I would have given her a piece of my mind. But since I was still a teen (and in puberty), I took the kid aside and whispered in his ear that grown ups lost the ability to believe in gnomes and fairies. I do not know if it helped since I never babysat that special group again, but I sincerely hope it did. Imagination is one of the greatest gifts we have in our lives.
Thank you for your questions.
Her Website: http://www.katharinagerlach.com/
Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods.
She didn’t stop at reading. During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner’s mistakes. Fortunately, she found books on Creative Writing and soon her stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science she returned to her vocation. She likes to write Fantasy, Science Fiction and Historical Novels for all age groups.
At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children and a dog.