I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, of a German mother and Indian father.
During the first seven years of my life, my parents moved from Germany to Saudi Arabia and then Brazil, finally returning to Germany to settle there permanently.
Since my father did not speak German and my mother did not speak Arabic, their common language was English. It was not perfect English, but good enough to raise me in both languages.
My real obsession with English began when I was about fourteen and found out about Canada. At the time, there was a TV show in Germany, “Adventures In Rainbow Country”, and my best friend and I were totally besotted with the teenage hero, a blond boy. His mother owned a lakeside hotel on Lake Huron, and he had all kinds of adventures with his Cree friend.
I wanted to live in Canada, very badly. I wanted a lakeside hotel and a blond, Canadian husband, and I knew I would have to be very fluent in English for that.
So, English became my obsession, the door to the life I wanted. So from only speaking English with my parents I started reading English books, listened to AFN (the US Forces radio station) and began corresponding with a lady in Toronto. She was the sister of one of my teachers, and he gave me her address.
After finishing high school, she invited me for a visit with her family. For six months, I was immersed in Canadian culture and the language I had come to love.
When I got back home, my course was set: I was going to study English, be a journalist, live in Toronto, and be happy.
I did study English, and American Literature, but I never got to move to Toronto. Instead, I met my husband, fell in love, got married and was consequently was stuck in Germany.
My husband, after he finished university, took a job with a computer company based in Minneapolis, so we got to travel to the US, and the language stayed alive for me.
I started working on my novel three years ago, out of sheer boredom while supervising the detention room at the school where I was teaching the Theater course. I don't remember making a conscious decision to do so, but I wrote it in English. I’ve always seen myself as writing in English. I knew my settings would never be in Germany. Germany is a small country, and I wanted space in my book. I wanted my characters to be international, savvy, world-wise people, not restricted to one place.
My story takes place in Geneva, a small fishing village on the Norwegian coast, London, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles.
I’ve taken care to pick locations I have actually visited, with the exception of LA, but I have many friends there and had them check my details. I will soon be going there to verify what I’ve described myself.
Choosing English over German was gut instinct.
It is, for me, a more poetic language. It seems to flow differently, and the music in it speaks to me. More than anything else, the rhythm and tune make me want to hum along.
My characters speak to me in English. There’s not a German word lost among them, even though my female protagonist at one point reveals that she is indeed quite fluent in German. I find declarations of love in German embarrassing and cumbersome. In English, they are a song.
And, from a purely commercial point of view, the chances of my book being picked up for a Hollywood movie are far better if it is written in English from the start. I know this sounds preposterous, but who knows. After all, I found a publisher in the US. I’ve made it this far, why not go all the way?
But, wherever I go from here, it will be in English.
The Distant Shore released two weeks early by Amazon and SOLD OUT in a few hours!
There’s nothing like finding a letter on your breakfast table telling you there’s a teenage son you knew nothing about...but this is what happens to international rock star, Jonathon Stone. He drops everything he is doing to find the boy and his mother, Naomi—the girl he loved so many years ago and who left him when his rock ’n roll life became too much for her to bear.
Seeing her again means falling in love all over. For a while they hide in Naomi’s hotel in a Norwegian coastal village and celebrate their reunion. But Jon’s life soon calls him back, and once more Naomi follows him to Hollywood. Everything seems perfect, but there are always jealous fans, and one of them is out to get the rockstar’s wife…
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Other NEWS:Mariam Kobras signed to a new two-book deal!