Dear Paul David Brazill, revered master of the blog –
I am flattered that you asked me to write a guest blog for you and I rush to reply. Well, after doing the puzzles in the ZEIT magazine (our Times equivalent), I rush to reply. Well, after doing the puzzles and making a fifth cup of coffee and, ah ja, travelling through Germany for my spring readings – from rural villages in the Black forest to rural fishing villages at the Baltic sea -, I rush to reply.
So, only half a century and many extinguished species later, here I sit. But what am I to write?
Maybe I should say a few words about myself as we‘ve never been properly introduced. I am a full-time crime writer which amazes my friends without end because everyone assumed I couldn’t solve my way out of a crossword puzzle. Moreover, I’m a German crime writer, specialized in humourous crime fiction.
Wait a moment, I hear you say – humourous crime fiction in Germany. Okay, I’m half Swiss but that doesn’t exactly make it any better, does it? Anyway, my passion is the cultivation of optimism. My books have no socially redeeming values whatsoever. I just find writing crime quite fun. And I want to make my readers smile.
Of course, being a crime writer is only a kind of in-between job until I find a man who makes my heart flip-flop. A billionaire who looks exactly like George Clooney. As soon as I’ll find him there will be no more books from me.
In Germany, there still exists a distinct difference between the right kind of literature and the not-so-right kind of literature. Crime fiction is definitely the wrong kind of literature. Even if it sells better. Probably because it sells better. If one does admit to reading crime fiction it has to be Henning Mankell oder Donna Leon or Simon Beckett, but never – repeat: never – a domestic author. However, it’s best not to admit anything and always to carry the latest Michel Houllebeq or Paul Auster with you. We‘re talking Germany here. Anyway, there is a bunch of us writing funny little books about murder and mayhem. Hun Humour 101, so to say. Ralf Kramp, for example. Or Peter Godazgar. And me, of course. Trust me, for us guys it is even worthwhile to learn German.
And you would have to learn German because most of us are not translated in any known language. I myself can be read in Russian, Bulgarian and South Korean – and of course, there is the unavoidable Chinese pirate edition. But English? Or Klingon? Nada.
My medium-boiled detective fiction series centers around an ex-police commander with a bullet in his hip who loves to embroider cushions and when he’s not embroidering cushions he loves to outwit criminals – with the help of his harem (spinster sister, career daughter, freakish niece) and his dog and his buddies from the all-male-community-college-cooking-class, in a hair-raising approximation of contemporary Germany. My hero is a lovable old bloke, a multitasker, with the ability to screw several things up at once. And he is old, even older than me, and believe me, I am older than God (I got my jokes from Sokrates on open-mike night at the Acropolis as you will have guessed by now.) It was no love marriage between my hero and me, the marriage was arranged: my publishing house wanted me to write for a new target group: old agers. And I did. So, in a way you could say that I am a contract killer.
I do make a living from my writing, but it is a frugal living. Earning it is good but it would be so much easier if it would just fall into my lap. That’s where the George-Clooney-lookalike billionaire comes into play. But apart from that my life is thoroughly delightful.
Well, that’s it from me for today. Please excuse my rusty school English and the thick German accent that goes with it.
Ta ta for now. God bless and cheers. Maybe we can raise a glass together in Germany soon –
p.s.: Never mind what I wrote. I do not want a rich George Clooney Doppelgaenger – I want to keep on writing till I drop dead (which I expect any minute now, old as I am).
And so to bed.
Best to all and their loved ones.
Tatjana’s website is here: