Today’s featured guest is the talented and compassionate writer, blogger and multi – award winning author, Christoph Fischer.
I’m thrilled to have Christoph here to share some of himself and his time talking about his writing and his newest book, The Body in the Snow.
Christoph Fischer is an Independent writer from Germany, based in the UK.
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. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his latest thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
Find more about him on ChristophFischerBooks
Christoph Fischer is also a reviewer of independent books and on his recommendation pages on this site he features interviews and reviews of the books that have most captured his attention and appreciation by genre.
Christoph is a multi-talented writer who is known for his award winning books such as: Ludwicka, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, The Healer, The Gambler, just to name a few. He is a dedicated supporter of Indie authors and a most versatile writer, quickly becoming a multi-genre writer from historical and contemporary fiction, and now with his latest book, he dives into the cozy mystery genre.
Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap.
Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback? All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.
Let’s get more personal and learn a little bit about Christoph!
- You have so many successful published books, cranking them out at lightning speed it seems. I think we’d all like to know how you manage your busy life between writing, blogging and promoting your books, as well as other books of fellow authors?
I’m not sure how it all works out sometimes, myself. There are days when I feel time is stretching to help me. But, I’ve had a little head start by having finished seven of my novels before I published the first one. So, I’m not writing as much new materials as it seems. I have a deep passion for books, though, and I truly enjoy all that I do, which helps to get things done. I would like to do even more, so I keep going as fast as I can in the hope I get a little spare time for new projects. I guess I will sleep when I’m dead 😉
- Tell us a little about how and when you decided you wanted to become a published author.
I point blank refused to spend a lot of money on printing and sending off drafts and begging letters to agents or middle men to those agents. Without the right contacts the system seemed hopeless and a waste of time. Writing was always more like a hobby to me. After I had completed seven novels my friend and gifted cover designer Daz Smith suggested repeatedly that I self-publish one book to see if it would find an appreciate audience, which I did in 2012. My (relative) success took me by surprise and so I kept going.
- Do you have a set regiment you adhere to for writing time?
When I have an idea, I write and write until the first draft is done. I start early in the morning and go for as long as I can, only stopping to walk the dogs and eat. The story needs to come out and everything else becomes secondary. I prefer to write early in the morning but for that first draft, any time will do.
- Do you have some advice you can offer to new authors and writers you’ve found instrumental in becoming a successful author?
Invest in a professional editor and cover designer! The biggest prejudice against us indie authors is that we’re sub-standard and these two areas are most often mentioned as our shortcoming in comparison to traditionally published books. It’s worth it, because readers will judge us by the same standards and only pick up a book that looks good and that doesn’t feature lots of typos.
- As a writer who has written a few sequel series books, do you have some advice about how to engage readers in a sequel who may not have read the first book, without divulging too much backstory to get them up to speed?
I personally try to tell only what is really necessary for the sequel. Backstories are part of a previous book which can still be read and this should never get in the way of the new plot. After reading a second in the series, I often go back to the first. I love it when I find things there that I haven’t been told already, so I try to work on a tight ‘need-to-know’ basis.
- Many of your books are in the genre of historical fiction dealing with stories taking place in world and civil wars. Do you think because you were born in Germany and your compassionate nature, this led you to write your best selling trilogy – Luck of the Weissensteiners, Sebastian, and The Black Eagle Inn?
Those three books were close to my own family background, so being born in Germany had everything to do with them. Compassion is what makes us human and I couldn’t imagine reading the source materials and not think of how the people at the time were affected. The human factor is what interests me the most when researching.
- Much of your writing entails compassionate stories dealing with human condition and emotions, adversity, flawed people and even Alzheimer’s disease. Are any of these books taken from real life stories or people you know?
Many of my stories had a point of inspiration from real life stories and people I know. For example, we had Alzheimers’ cases in mine and my partner’s family. I had to read up about the disease and watched a lot of documentaries. This led to the desire to write about the topic, but not about the actual people I knew.
- What inspired you to jump into a completely different genre with your newest book, The Body in the Snow, a cozy mystery? And do you anticipate you’ll be writing more in this genre?
A few years ago I was snowed in at home with a power cut. My partner and I joked how our village would be the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie style murder mystery where none of the suspects can get in or out. Since then the idea has lingered. I’ve always had two fun characters in my head that didn’t fit into my serious dramas. They finally got their own book.
I have a lot of ideas for the faded singer and amateur sleuth Bebe Bollinger, so a series is definitely in the cards.
- Your newest book, The Body in the Snow is acquiring rave reviews. Can you tell us a little about the book and perhaps share a snippet of an excerpt?
“The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)” is a cozy murder mystery set in rural Wales during a snow storm. A reluctant fading singer, desperate for a comeback, gets involved in a murder investigation in her village. This all happens during the snowstorm of a century, which traps her with odd and quirky neighbours, a murdered body and a desperate detective.
She needed to take her mind off her troubles and decided to have a drink in the trendy bar next door. It was full of recording hopefuls and producers talking about contracts and demos, with more names being dropped than you’d find in a copy of Rolling Stone. It was enough to set Bebe’s teeth on edge. She knocked back a Bloody Mary but the presence of so many young starlets with their ‘sponsors’ – usually twice their age – only made her feel worse, so she soon left and headed instead, to a piano bar not far from the studio. Maurice occasionally worked here. The lighting was low, so nobody would recognise her and she could take a moment to get over her worries and anger. There seemed to be a kind of tea dance or cabaret act in progress. Someone sang a very bad rendition of That Ole Devil Called Love – another Alison Moyet hit. Bebe had enough and turned round, ready to go back to her car and be done with London, when she heard a shrill voice screaming her name.
“Bebe Bollinger? Oh my god, it’s her!”
Instantly flattered and in a better mood she turned around and saw two middle-aged gay men with moustaches and jeans and leather attire fall over themselves to run after her. She couldn’t suppress a smile.
“We’re such big fans,” the two men gushed in unison and grabbed her hands “You must come inside and sing for us,” one of them insisted. “Please, please, please!”
Her face flushed with happiness.
“Darlings, my manager won’t let me sing without his cut,” she said evasively. “You need to book me properly sometime. I’d love to sing for you.”
She blew them an air kiss with her free hand and tried to free the other one, but her admirers didn’t loosen their grip.
“Just the one,” they insisted. “Losing My Mind. Please!”
Bebe turned her head left and right. The road was deserted, nobody had seen her; she could do this. This spontaneous gig was exactly what the doctor had ordered.
“Fine,” she said.
They led her into the piano bar where a crowd of drag queens were holding a karaoke event. Some of them had impeccable make-up on, Bebe noticed. It put her to shame. Glitter, feathers, disco-lights and size 11 heels – this place had it all.
“You look fabulous darling,” one of the drag queens reassured her.
“You think?” she asked. “People keep telling me I’m too old.”
“Nonsense,” her admirer said and waved his hand dismissively to the side. “Jealousy, that’s all it is.”
Here, she was a star and treated like royalty. Drinks were ordered for her, she was begged for autographs and people were reminiscing about their favourite moment in her career.
“Remember that time you were on Top of the Pops?” a guy asked her. He had a grey woollen vest on and wore thick glasses, like her. He looked like a librarian.
“Which time?” she said. “I managed a few gigs there, thank god.”
“The show with Renee and Renato,” he said. “You sang right after them and they stayed and brought you flowers afterwards, remember? Cabanero was your song. I remember it well.”
She looked at him with astonishment. Even she had forgotten about the flowers from Renato. Renee was nowhere to be seen. “Aren’t you a darling,” she said and kissed him on the cheek.
The man shrunk shyly and played nervously with his glasses.
“Bebe Bollinger to the stage,” the DJ called out, “Or we’ll all loose our minds.”
Her heart pounded with joy.
She sang four of her songs – pleased to see that almost her entire repertoire was in that karaoke machine. She made a note to get one of these things herself. It seemed a lot easier than her recording in the basement.
“So what is new with you?” another drag queen asked after the show. “Are you going on tour again sometime? I’ll be at every show.”
“He’s not joking,” said a stunning-looking woman, half Bebe’s age. “He really is your number one fan.”
“Well then I’m very pleased to meet you,” she said. “And thank you for sticking by me.”
She found it very difficult not to spill the beans about her Engelbert gig or ask these fans about their opinion on her further career plans. As loyal as these guys were, they were only a fraction of the music market and she needed to think bigger.
“Come back soon,” the DJ said when she made her goodbyes.
Thank you so much for guest appearing here today, Christoph. It was lovely getting to know more about you and your writing. As you know, I love your writing and am a dedicated follower of all your writing and thank you for being such a strong supporter of the Indie community.
Please visit Christoph at his blog where he shares, not only his work, but the work of fellow authors, book reviews, and keeps us abreast of oncoming bookfairs and events. He also has another blog, which gives us some greater insights into his books, Christophfischerbooks.com
Find Christoph and all of his books on his Amazon Author Page
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