Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket? If you enjoy twisted fairy tales, you might enjoy Katharina Gerlach’s newest book, The Stepmother. Meet Katharina below and hear about her stories.
What genre(s) do you write? I write novels, novelettes, and short stories in fantasy realms and historical times. Sometimes, I mix those, and on very rare occasions, I write SciFi or Horror. Most of my stories are aimed at young adult readers, but more often than not, readers of other age groups like them too.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Oh… I’ll do this in the stiff, and old-fashinoned author bio-style. I love speaking about myself in third person (makes me sound more important). 😀
Born and raised German with a generous helping of an adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina started writing at age seven (although she didn’t get serious until much later) when the tomboy adventures she lived in her father’s forest weren’t enough for her imagination any more.
Writing about balloon people, flying hearts, giant spiders, and more was her lifeline to sanity and Real Life™ all through her education. After finishing with a PhD in science, marriage and the start of a beloved but distracting family, she returned to her life-long vocation.
These days, Katharina lives for stolen moments of writing happiness in two languages while juggling her husband, two girls in puberty, a fledgling daughter that just left the house, a dog, and … laundry.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to begin writing? I have always been telling stories for as long as I can remember. Inspiration comes from everything that sparks my interest. You could say I’m a writing addict.
What is the last book you read? I’m currently reading “The Islands of Chaldea” by my all time favorite author Diana Wynne Jones (co-written with her sister). It’s sad to know that this is the last “new” story I’m going to get from her. She died a while back.
Which writers inspire you? Astrid Lindgren, Edith Nesbit, Neil Gainman, Alan Dean Foster, Holly Lisle, Jean Marlow, Danyelle Leafty, and many, many more.
Where did you get the idea from for your novel, “The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister”? I’m currently writing a series of twisted fairy tale retellings. “Little Brother, Little Sister” is my mother-in-law’s favorite tale. Since I’m a stepmother myself, it was an obvious choice.
Can you tell us something about the story? Isabel, the stepmother, has been searching the known world for her runaway children without finding them. Hoping against hope, she’s on her way to the kingdom where she was born. However, the Old Forest she has to travel is a dangerous place.
Who do you think will like reading your book? Everyone who likes a twisted fairy tale will like my books regardless the reading age. Even though the protagonist is not a young adult any more, her feelings are true (which seems to be the most important thing in YA literature). I think Isabel will appeal to anyone who’s ever loved – be it a man, a child, or a pet.
Are you working on a new book or story at the moment? Yes. I’ve written part 3 (Beauty and the Beast) and 4 (The Hut in the Forest) of the series already. After Christmas, I’ll sit down and prepare the next two novellas in the series.
Where can people go to read your work and when will it be available?
The Stepmother is already available for preorder on Amazon. Other retailers will follow soon. The first volume in the series, “The Dwarf and the Twins” (a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red), is also available from amazon. I’ll be releasing the print versions of both books close to the end of the month.
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? BIC – but in chair 😀
For most authors, it is impossible to hit it bog right from the start. So, the more stories you write, the better they get, and the more you publish the easier your books will be to find by potential fans.
Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews – what are your thoughts on each of those? Of course, I’m thrilled when I get a good review, and bad reviews sting a little, but none of them will change the way I write. The mixed ones might though because reviewers writing those usually notice things I haven’t realized about my own writing. That gives me a chance to improve. However, I appreciate any kind of review, even if its only the minimum number of words (25 on Amazon) because it is a gift of time from a reader for me.
If you review others’ books, what is your approach to reviewing those? I try to be as fair as I can be (reviews are always subjective). Usually, I point out what is very much a matter of taste as well as the things that were good about the story or those that can be improved. Sometimes, when I’m short on time, I’ll write very short reviews. The most important thing is to write one.
Where can we find out more about your work? The easiest way to keep up with my publishing schedule is by leaving your eMail address with me (you’ll get a free eBook as a thank you). Or you can have a look at my amazon page or my homepage. I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest, and (occasionally) on Twitter.
Info about the book The Stepmother: An imaginative retelling of “Little Brother, Little Sister” by the Brothers Grimm. What if they painted a wrong portray of the stepmother? Even with her powers as a witch, Isabel cannot find a trace of her stepchildren. Desperate, she crosses the Old Forest, filled with as much malignant as benevolent magic, to reach the distant mountain kingdom she left as a young girl when her magical powers manifested. She soon realizes that a sinister creature holds the unsuspecting kingdom in thrall. It will take all she’s able to give to save her children and the kingdom she once loved.