Since I showcased the versatility of one of my fellow writers in my previous post, I thought I'd give you a taste of my own "other" writings which have nothing to do with my historical fiction novel, nor its archaeological thriller/action-adventure sequels. This one is short, it's different, and
May 29 - June 2
Check it out and enjoy the short-lived dreams/delusions of a spinster
This writer isn't afraid to think (and write) outside the box -
or better said, outside his usual genre.
Christoph Fischer tells us about this newest venture:
I’ve recently contributed two short stories
to Punk Rocker, the much anticipated sequel to “L.A. Punk Rocker” by top
author Brenda Perlin’s best-selling punk anthology.
I'm so proud that my stories have been
chosen for this.” LA Punk Rocker” was one of my favourite reading pleasures
last year and brought back a lot of livid memories of those exciting times.
Many people were surprised when I told them
about my involvement in the new project. You – a punk? Never! You are always so ‘clean cut’…
Well, maybe now I am (I couldn’t possibly
comment). Back then, I was young and rebellious.
Nena for example was part of a New Wave of
German artists that changed the music landscape of my youth. Visage, The Clash,
The Cure, P.I.L. – they were the air that we breathed.
Outrageous and provocative hair and
fashion, uncompromising attitudes and a hunger to live… I’m glad I was able to
witness it all, even if I wasn’t the Full Monty…
Punk Rocker is a collection of short
stories from those who were there, in the early days of Punk and New Wave. Hard
core musical anarchists who saw it all, heard it all, did it all - and survived
to tell their stories.
Along with Brenda and the West Coast punks,
Punk Rocker features rebels, writers, commentators and street kids from all
over America – talking about the music, the fashion, the attitude, the passion,
the lifestyle and, of course, the bands who made it all happen.
Meet people who discovered punk’s new dawn
– and those who were there for its sunset, in the ramshackle mausoleum of the
Backstage, in the clubs, in the gigs, in
hotel rooms with the band, on the streets –Brenda was there. She saw it all.
And so did her friends.
If you want to know how I fit into the
picture – I won’t tell you here. Read the book ;-)
This is an interview with
Christoph about Punk Rocker:
How did you get involved in the
PUNK ROCKER project?
I’m a huge fan of Brenda Perlin’s writing, and downloaded L.A.
Punk Rocker as soon as it was released. The book unexpectedly stirred a lot of
forgotten memories and latent emotions in me.
This was still going on when I
saw her call for entries to the sequel a few months ago. I couldn’t help myself
and composed two stories. I am over the moon that they were selected for the
Without giving too much away,
tell us about your short story for the anthology.
One is about my admiration for punks,
rockers and all who dared to be different and speak up. The other one is about
a wicked night I had in my student days, also in the company of Punks. They are
Can you explain what Punk means
to you? Do you have any more memories you would like to share with us?
Punk is a lifestyle and an attitude that manifests itself
outwardly in fashion and music and inwardly in a powerful mental state against
the establishment and outdated conventions. I drifted towards the political end
of the spectrum rather the nihilistic one. Every generation needed their rebels
and the punks were ours. I loved them.
What are your favorite Punk
Acts, Albums and Songs?
The Cure, P.I.L.,
Billy Idol and – if I may count her in – Cindy Lauper.
Why type of fiction do you
normally write? Tell us about the concept behind your books?
I write mostly historical fiction, (sometimes heavy)
contemporary dramas and a few thrillers. I’m interested in deeper subjects,
such as Alzheimer's, mental health, wars, displacement and identity.
Tell us about one of your main
characters. What makes them special?
Zacharias Nielsen is an 18year old idealist who leaves the
safety of his family in Denmark to fight for the radical left in the Finnish
Civil War of 1918. He’s special because he leaves material wealth behind to
fight for a better future for all, rather than his own betterment.
Who would you cast to play him
in a movie? Josh Hutchinson (since Ewan McGregor
outgrew the age for the role)
Are you like any of the
characters (and how so)?
I’m a bit like all of my characters, I guess. When I try to
understand them and their actions, some kind of projection can probably not be
helped. Even when they do things I don’t do, they do it like I would be doing
it if I did.
What do you do when you don’t
Walk my dogs, cycle, do yoga, watch comedy TV and read.
What makes you laugh?
Silly comedy programmes, adolescent humour.
Who would you like to invite
Brenda Perlin, Billy Idol and some of the long lost friends from
What would your friends say are
your best and your oddest quality?
Oddest: My taste in music.
What would you chose as those
Oddest: My sleeping pattern
Who are your favourite authors?
Lionel Shriver, Christos Tsiolkas, Khaled Hosseini, Brett Easton
Ellis, Paulette Mahurin, P.C. Zick, Murielle Cyr, Brenda Perlin, John Dolan,
Tony Gilbert, Ian Hutson, Richard Yates, Anne Tyler…
What is your favourite book?
What book are you currently
reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
“Lights of Polaris” by Melodie Ramone – e-book. It‘s brilliant!
What are you working on
I’m working on a silly murder mystery set in the UK countryside.
I’m also involved in a charity project for a No-Kill Shelter: The Santa Paula
Animal Rescue Centre.
My novel: “African August” will be part of a box set in
aid of the shelter. The story revolves around a young banker and his adventures
in Uganda. It is based on some of my travel experiences on the continent.
CHRISTOPH FISCHER - Short Biography:
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border,
as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local
in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging
and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead
a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he
now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles
to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries,
Museums and for an airline. The Luck of The Weissensteiners was published in
November 2012; Sebastian in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013
– which completes his Three Nations Trilogy.
Time to Let Go, his first
contemporary work was published in May 2014, and Conditions, another
contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel Conditioned was published in
October 2015. His medical thriller The Healer was released in January 2015
and his second thriller The Gamblers in June 2015.
He published two more
historical novels In Search of a Revolution in March 2015 and Ludwika in
Christoph has written several other novels which are in the later
stages of editing and finalisation.
* * *
Thank you, Christoph, for this great interview and for giving us a glimpse into your next project; or should I say, projects. Since I have known you (originally as a long-suffering reviewer of my own books) you have come out swinging - and winning - establishing yourself as a prolific writer of historical fiction (when you are not punk rocking).
April 1 - Alison Morton: Aurelia (Roma Nova Series)
April 2 - Lucienne Boyce: Bloodie Bones
April 3 - Sunday Break - No Challenge -
Conformist or Rebel
Jeffrey Manton asks: Which Characters do we Admire? What makes a Rebel?
April 4 - Man in the Canary Waistcoat by Susan Grossey
April 5 - Dubh-Linn by James L. Nelson
April 6 - The Evergreen in red and white by Steven Kay
April 7 - Fortune's Fool
April 8 - Gift For The Magus - Linda Proud
April 9 - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday - Mary Fancher
April 10 - Sunday Break -No Challenge -
But a Fascinating Article by Prof. Nigel Henbest about Halley's Comet
April 11 - In Liberty's Wake - Alexandra Norland
April 12 - Jacobites' Apprentice - David Ebsworth
April 13 - It's my turn: Khamsin's Royal Daughter and Heiress, NEFRET, speaks out.
April 14 - Luck Bringer - Nick Brown
April 15 - Murder at Cirey - Cheryl Sawyer
April 16 - A Newfound Land - Anna Belfrage
April 17 - Sunday Break - No Challenge -
Enjoy an Interesting Article by Anna Belfrage
April 18 - Out Of Time - Loretta Livingstone
April 19 - Pirate Code - (Helen Hollick's Jesamiah Acorne, Pirate Extraordinaire...In his own words)
April 20 - To Be A Queen - Annie Whitehead
April 21 - The Spirit Room - Marshel Paul
April 22 - Sower Of The Seeds of Dreams - Bill Page
April 23 - Tristan & Iseult - Jane Dixon Smith
April 24 - Sunday Break - No Challenge
Alison Morton (An Interesting Reminder about History...)
April 25 - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch April 26 - Victoria Blake - Far Away April 27 - When Sorrows Come - Maria Dziedzan April 28 - The FlaX Flower - Amanda Maclean April 29 - Sail Upon the Land - Josa Young April 30 - OZgur Sahin - The Wrath of Brotherhood
What a great Challenge. Thank you Helen Hollick.
Catch Up on the Alphabet and Meet all these exciting Characters!
I knew there were several
books out there with that title.(There
is even a 1951Humphrey Bogart
movie.) Still, to come face to face with another contemporary Sirocco
was a bit startling at first. Naturally, and because of its beautiful cover as
well as reading the ‘Look Inside’ on Amazon, I was intrigued enough to buy “the
other” Sirocco written by Danielle
While our two stories are
completely different (Danielle’s being a delightful yet heart-wrenching memoir
and mine a pure archaeological adventure fiction), we both use the fierce
Mediterranean wind as a symbol of foreboding.
I asked Danielle about
her life other than what I read in her Sirocco, and she tells us this:
“A voracious reader, I cultivate my passion for the power and
magic of words. When asked, ‘Who's your favorite author?’ ‘Steinbeck,’ is my
straight-from-the-heart answer. For love of languages, I speak French—but of
course. English—indubitably. And Spanish—por qué no?’
my time away from writing, I like to paint, take photos, bowl, and hike. Ah,
oui! Last, but not least, I'm raving mad about dark chocolate.
am a member of the South Carolina Writers Workshop, Sisters in Crime, the
National Association of Memoir Writers, the Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance,
and the Seneca Writers Critique Group.
am also a member of Le Cercle Franco-Americain and The French Underground, both
in Greenville, SC.
was finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
In the Historical Non-Fiction category,
In the Historical/Legacy category.
of my creative nonfiction stories appeared in the 2011 and 2012 Petigru Review
won second place in the 2011 Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards for
I was semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner Wisdom Competition for a
novel-in-progress as well as for a short story.
present, I am translating SIROCCO to French and am writing the
first draft of MISTRAL, SIROCCO's sequel, depicting the struggle, which I, my
family, and over a million others like us, faced after we fled Algeria and
searched for new places to call home in France or across the globe.”
Thank you, Danielle, for letting us look deeper into your past.
Actually, it struck me that our paths might easily have crossed at some time,
as I was an au pair student in Paris in 1962, and then also lived in Chicago
until the late 1960s after my job transfer there from Austria.
What a pity. I would
have like to have met you then; but am glad I am doing it now (at least via the Internet through our mutual passion for writing).
Back to Sirocco:
A French Girl Comes of Age in War-Torn Algeria.
The following is
my Amazon Review of this coming-of
Delightful and ForebodingNaturally, the title intrigued me. Danielle A.
Dahl’s Sirocco starts out with the day-to-day recollections of an
adolescent girl growing up in Algeria during the early 1960s. Her French
parents and four siblings are happy with their lives. While having to be frugal,
they are respected members of the community comprised of other Pieds Noirs (all French expressions are made
beautifully clear throughout the book), as well as their Arab neighbors,
friends and colleagues.When Algeria’s desire to self-rule rears its
head, it all changes. The family is given a choice: To leave their home with a
suitcase; or to stay in a coffin. Such is the heartbreak behind any revolution;
the price to pay by those who had made a foreign country their home.Ms. Dahl’s writing comes straight from the
heart, yet without sentimentality or rancor; in short, it is delightful,
insightful, humorous and sad all at the same time - a wondrous window into a
world most of us know little about. I highly recommend this beautifully written
H. Borg, Author of Sirocco, Storm over
Land and Sea
Most of us are not familiar with the city of Constantine nor might you be aware
of its dramatic setting. I certainly wasn’t. Danielle’s website features astonishing
and hauntingly beautiful photographs. Sitting as it does atop a formidable
rock, the city overlooks deep chasms connected to the outside world by
death-defying bridges and roads.
I could almost feel the echo of the howling sirocco; an inescapable portent to those
wrecked lives during the 1960s.
Ms. Dahl’s writing has
been described as “lush, richly evocative, bittersweet and brilliant” by other
readers, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Ms. Dahl is already working on her next storm,
the Mistral, where
she and her family come to face as they find refuge in an inhospitable France.
In keeping with my own stormy theme, I almost chose that
title for Book 3 of my Legends of the
Winged Scarab. Eventually though, I settled on a world After
the Cataclysm (as the story takes my protagonists into the South
Atlantic, well away from Mediterranean storms – to which they only return in The
Crystal Curse and The Nile Conspiracy). If you feel
this is a shameless little plug for my
Sirocco, you are not wrong...
However, do yourselves a favor and read Danielle Dahl’s book. I found it a brilliantly-cut diamond among the pebbles: