Since I can remember I’ve been a dreamer. It didn’t need much to fire my imagination. A glimpse through the window was enough to get me lost in daydreams. Already my elementary school teacher complained that I was distracted too easily. I looked up to the clouds, watched the birds on the twigs and waited impatiently for the sound of the lunch break. On my way home I frittered away time by putting paper ships in the creek and hoping they would reach the ocean.
I had many wishes: a tree house, my own Mr Nilsson, a horse and real parents. None of these desires were fulfilled. When my foster mother took me with her she was as old as a grandma. She was Victorian, snivelling, often melancholic and god-fearing. I wasn’t the child she had hoped for. So she did everything to keep me out of mischief. Neither the confinements to my room, verbal humiliation, nor physical abuse could prevent me from creating my own world. Everything that was forbidden, I did secretly. I hid the comics and horror novels in the basement or in the attic. Instead of attending choir practice I bought myself a cinema ticket and got high on Godzilla and Hammer horror movies. When I was asked what I wanted as a Christmas or birthday present my answer was always: “Books.” James Kruess, Max Kruse, Astrid Lindgren, Michael Ende, Mark Twain, Enid Blyton, Ottfrie Preussler, Edgar Wallace, Tove Jansson, Hans Christian Andersen, Wilhelm Hauff and Jules Vernes – I read everything I could lay my hands on.
At the age
of eight I wrote my first short story. All I can remember is that it
was about a hunter, his dog and a lost hat. Three years later I tried
to write a novel. I didn’t manage to write more than 30 pages.
That wasn’t due to a lack of ambition but ideas. Maybe the true
reason was that my plans for the future changed every few months. One
time I wanted to be a stockman, a missionary or a priest, the next time
I wanted to be a nursery teacher. As soon as I reached my teens I had
just one career aspiration: actor. Indeed I had enough talent to play
small roles at our small town theatre and leading roles in school productions.
Even when my hormones had calmed down I was onstage or in front of a
camera every now and than.
Not till the age of 29, after I had dropped out of two degree programmes, after jobs at the production line, in the geriatric care and in a supermarket, I remembered what my first ambition had been: writing.
Sometimes a blow of fate lets you either lapse into
coma or wake you up. Within a year four of my best friends died - three
from Aids, one from a heart attack. During this time of loneliness and
almost unbearable pain I understood how precious life is and how we
stop appreciating it if we postpone what is dear to us. We have only
the moment to achieve happiness. There is no guarantee for a tomorrow.
With this awareness I sat down and started writing my first novel Santa
(From my musical for children ATLANTIKA)
Alles schläft und schwimmt durchs Traumland
Jeder träumt den selben Traum
Dass die Wünsche Wahrheit werden
Unbegrenzt von Zeit und Raum
Großer Traumfisch, sing mir Lieder
Sing das Lied der Nachtigall
Deren Federn nach dem Regen
Wärme spür'n vom Sonnenstrahl
Sing von Bergen und von Tälern
Nimm mich mit, ich bin bereit
Mit dir in das Land zu schwimmen
Wo es auch im Sommer schneit
Großer Traumfisch, deine Lieder
Sind wie Quallen aus Papier
Sind im Wasser schnell zerfallen
Schon am Morgen nicht mehr hier
Nur an ganz besond'ren Tagen
Bleibt ein Lied von dir zurück
Ich erwache und ich singe
Von Kaninchen und vom Glück
Großer Traumfisch, sing ein Nachtlied
Singe es und denk daran:
Weck mich sanft, indem du flüsterst
Dass ich mich erinnern kann