Wednesday, January 29, 2020

In the Spotlight: Katharina Gerlach ~ Author of "Winter Days"

Over the coming weeks, the IWSG Anthology blog will be featuring posts
from each of the authors in Voyager: The Third Ghost.
Our author today is Katharina Gerlach.


Katharina Gerlach on her short story "Winter Days" . . .
Being a bilingual author from Germany, I’m the odd one out in this anthology. However, that doesn’t really bother me since I’ve been the weird kid ever since I started school. I was a tomboy and a book nerd, a child who loved school and learning, and someone who could easily dream away whole days on end. Yes, I got bullied a lot during that time, but my experiences with the German-German border, as featured in my short story in this anthology, made me immune to the jibes of my school mates. When no one wanted to be my friend, I found tons of them in my books. And when that wasn’t enough, I’d write my own stories, turning school bullies into antagonists and tortured heroes or heroines. This remedy only failed whenever we neared that dreaded border. But although much changed when it finally opened in 1989, the fear stemming from suppression and bullying on a big scale can still be found in the world today. That’s one reason why I still write my stories (first in English, then in German).


Blurb

On a Christmas visit in 1979, twelve year old Katie, whose father fled the GDR 20 years earlier, fears her family’s arrest when a blizzard hits.


Excerpt

"Winter Days" by Katharina Gerlach

The car in front of us shifted forward, and so father started the motor again and moved up to a white line on the road. Another gray guard stood there, holding out his hand. Father cranked down the window while Mother held out our passports again.
“Where to?” The guard practically ripped the documents from mother’s hand. I flinched at the ice in his voice and because the cold air sliced through the comfortable warmth of the car’s interior. “Feldberg, Brandenburg.” Father snapped out the words, not adding an explanation or greeting or anything else. “Are those your children?” The guard bent down and stared into the back of the car. I’d never in my life seen brown eyes that looked so cold. I froze like a drop of water in winter and barely dared to breathe. Tim stiffened, too, and his hand squeezed mine harder. Even if we had wanted to, we couldn’t have uttered a word.




Bio
Although Katharina Gerlach was born in the late sixties, she’s still a child at heart. 

She inherited her love of fairy tales and words from her mother, an ex-secretary and avid reader, and her love of all things nature and science from her father, an ex-forester. 
Memories of her rather interesting life in Germany flow back at the smallest trigger, even though she tends to merge her three brothers into one when she tells stories about their childhood adventures. 
And more often than not, she recalls events truthfully. 





Supported by her husband and her three children and distracted by her dog and grandchild, she currently writes stories of varying length in fantastical and historical genres. She runs the Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar each year, a free for all story feast.


Coming on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 . . .

Next up is Roland Clarke who shares his backstory for "Feathered Fire," a tale of two brave sisters who, with the help of the mythical Firebird, match wits with evil in their Soviet motherland.



* * * * * * * * * *


The release date for VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
is May 5, 2020,
but purchase links are available,
and you can preorder a copy now.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press


Amazon - Print https://www.amazon.com/dp/193984472XKindle https://www.amazon.com/Voyagers-Third-Ghost-Yvonne-Ventresca-ebook/dp/B083C4WPR5/

Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voyagers-yvonne-ventresca/1135912991?ean=2940163430857

ITunes - https://books.apple.com/ca/book/voyagers-the-third-ghost/id1493413956

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/voyagers-the-third-ghost

31 comments:

  1. Writing from firsthand experience of that wall really added a lot to the story!

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    1. After the first visit we got quite used to it, bu the uneasiness never left. I've got so many stories to tell, maybe I should write a book about that time. :D

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    2. Yes, Katharina, you should write a book about that time. Maybe your short story can be a seed for a novel. Congratulations on being in the anthology!

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  2. Replies
    1. I remember when the wall was being built and all that came after. I can't imagine what it must have been like to cross the border between the two Germanys. Scary, indeed. I can't wait to see what comes next in Katharina's story.

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    2. I'm currently busy collecting family anecdotes. I think an anthology with sad and happy stories spanning ca 100 years might do the trick too.

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  3. I remember when the wall came down. I believe former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters did Pink's Floyd's "The Wall" on site not long after.

    You and author Charles are both our special bilingual authors. I think Louise knows French pretty good, too.

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    1. 50-year-old French and a bilingual niece ~ LOL!

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    3. Anglo-Chilean with a tri-lingual mother, and bilingual sister and niece. I've learnt languages for work situations: like interviewing Swiss farmers. Welsh phrases for my WIP - LOL.

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    4. Cool background, Roland! We are a multilingual bunch!

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    5. I remember a little French from school days but not enough for writing a book in it.

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  4. Your background, Katharina, and your language abilities, gives you a fascinating perspective. I look forward to reading your tale. I got a narrow glimpse of the border problems when I had a German girlfriend who took me to the fence in the Harz mountains. I also briefly saw the wall when in West Berlin.

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    1. It was a strange time. People on "the other side" often seemed very strange to us when we were children and didn't fully understand what was going on. I really think it would be a good idea to collect my memories in from of short stories when I have the time.

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    2. Did you get brought up in the GDR then? My viewpoint is dependent on what I read these days - basis for my story.

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    3. No, I was raised in the West. However my father was born in the East (before it became GDR) and had many friends there.

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  5. Congrats, great story, and looking forward to reading more.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juneta! And thank you for doing interviews of us for the blog tour!

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    2. Thanks for your hard work, Juneta.

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  6. Katharina, you are not the only one who grew up in a different environment that set you apart. I may not be bilingual (though I can speak a dialect of English that sounds like a foreign language) but I know about being different and being teased. We have a lot in common, and I look forward to reading your story.

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    1. That sounds fascinating. I'm looking forward to reading your tale too.

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  7. Great reason to keep on a writing indeed.

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  8. Elementary school was rough for me. I was quiet to the point of painfully shy. I made a friend in the third grade and she was always outgoing, so I just rode her coat tails until I had my own voice.

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    1. I was that kind of friend. I pulled several shy people along over the years. :D
      It sounds like you've found a way to get by.

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  9. Writing a story from a first-hand experience adds a lot. Congratulations on having your story selected for the anthology!

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  10. Thanks for sharing your writer journey with us! Although I didn't grow up bilingual, I did grow up as a book nerd and a tomboy, so I get that part. :) And, I do love languages. Duolingo is my third favorite phone app (Kindle reader and Instagram top it because I love reading and taking phone pics).

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Delighted to hear from you!