It began with the future.
As a teenage boy I was fascinated with PERRY RHODAN. It was a German science fiction novel series which still exists today. My enthusiasm made me not only read these stories, but invent my own ones and introduce them to the fandom. Today this is called „fan fiction“. Back then it ran under the title „short story competition“. They used to be more circuitious in those days.
Two of my stories finished first in their respective competitions. This lead me to conclude that a happy life as a successful author was a certainty. Much did I know then about what it really takes to become an author. But I became involved with the science fiction fandom, working for a few years as a writer, editor, graphic artist and co-publisher for numerous fan magazines. Besides going to school, which had some influence on my grades.
Then came the past.
After a break of a few years to follow a more classical career in trade and business, I remembered my fondness for writing and that I actually missed telling stories. I wanted to try my hand in an other genre: historical fiction, stories based on real historical events and persons, but told through the eyes of fictional characters. You know, like GLADIATOR or KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, only in writing.
I developed a series around a medieval merchant adventurer who becomes entangled in some of the most important political and social tragedies of his time, always having to find a way out for himself and his loved ones unharmed ... and not always succeeding The first of these novels, DER TUCHHÄNDLER (The Draper), was an immediate success, selling all rights including the licence to be made into a major movie and having – up to this day – sold over 500.000 copies.
That success led to a long and prolific cooperation with Bastei Lübbe in Cologne, one of the biggest German publishers on the international market – a cooperation and friendship that holds on still today. Apart from that novels with my name on the cover are published at Ullstein in Berlin, at Baumhaus in Cologne and at Ravensburger. A number of popular scientific and historical articles have been published at the well known PM History and PM Perspective magazines.
I am aided in my efforts by the best literary agent you can imagine: Bastian Schlück. Without him my best novels wouldn't have been written. Thanks for everything, Bastian - and for your friendship!
And what about the present?
My books are translated into 14 languages all over the world and have sold over 1,5 million copies. I am very proud to have received the Landshut Culture Award 2003 and the Golden Homer 2017 for my work. The biggest prize of all is not linked to writing, however. It is about having found my wife Christine, an acclaimed photographer and in my eyes the best one there is - and in her the love of my life.