The Night I danced with Rommel is my first book, and it was a long time coming. Over fifteen years, if I recall correctly. It was supposed to have a totally different title: 6 Married Children, don’t ask why. I actually started writing the story at that stage and thought it would be a good idea to contact Manfred Rommel, then the Mayor of Stuttgart, whether he still had the photographs my mother had sent him years ago, especially, the one of her dancing with Field Marshal Rommel. He searched his files, but I was out of luck on that one. I did receive, however, a private photograph of himself with his father and mother.
I shelved the project for a while, fearing people might laugh about my idea to write a book. Eventually, I stopped worrying about that issue and joined a local writing group. Thank God I did. Otherwise, who knows what my writing would have been like? I destroyed my first draft and wrote a totally different novel. Which, to my amazement, wrote itself.
I was totally clueless about the publishing world, believing publishers would queue for my story. Well, I soon learned the truth about the business. Although I had a few Agents expressing an interest in my work, nothing came of their inquiries. After publishing the novel via a small Indie Publisher, I translated the text into German, and a German publishing house found me. Alright, I have to admit, it was because I simple rang some book shops in Germany in Field Marshal Rommel’s home town. And one of them expressed an interest. Next thing I knew, I received an email from a publisher.
Back to my English book. Yes, although I am German, I live in England, and I write in English. I knew I would never be able to totally self-publish a book, but I am a great believer in unless you help yourself, nobody else will do it for you. I searched writing magazines for inspiration, but I was not alone. There were so many good ideas from fellow writers, and I was inspired by their stories. I contacted a small Indie Publisher, a charming young couple who helped me through the process at a very reasonable cost.
The joy of holding the first printed copy of a book you wrote in your hands is indescribable. Now my book was available on Amazon, but all other avenues, such as book shops and libraries, I had to explore myself. The Indie Publisher’s work was finished, and it was up to me again.
I have met great writers and although some live in different countries, we have become real friends, who constantly support and help each other. Since I am happy to show new writers the ropes, I created my second website: Writers-Room
My writing is promoted on social media daily, but I don’t overdo it. Nothing will put people more off than being constantly bombarded with messages about you books. Therefore, I avoid the direct approach.
The Night I Danced with Rommel was published in February 2013. The bulk of my sales are through Amazon, which features the print and electronic editions. Sales have exceeded 2500 copies
Liverpool Connection and Cuckoo Clock – New York have been published by a different Indie Publisher. The company is a well-known, well respected publishing house that has opened new doors for indie writers like myself. Due to their professional approach, Liverpool Connection achieved the B.R.A.G award, was shortlisted for the 2015 HNS Indie award, and was a Semi-finalist for the M.M. Bennetts award