Please join me in welcoming, Christoph Fischer, author of beautifully written novels, filled with layers of lyrical prose, history, family dynamics, real life challenges and love.
Thank you for sharing a part of your writing journey with us, Christoph for the kind words about my blog and writing. Coming from a talented and established writer as yourself, I am humbled.
Thanks for inviting me, Selena. I’m grateful to be here on your beautiful blog. It’s wonderful to come to a place that is open to a variety of genres and writers without restriction. It is this openness and genre defying that I want to talk about.
I’m an impulsive writer and work best when I follow the direction which my ‘muse’ or inspiration takes me to. This comes as both, a blessing and a curse. Readers may get to like a certain aspect of my writing and be disappointed when the next book takes a different direction. Having a label could be very helpful to establish a sound reader base as it offers a reliable and predictable brand.
At the same time, this could turn the writing into something formulaic and repetitive and in extreme cases to a soulless and uninspired affair. I have deliberately avoided labels and niches, mostly because of the impulsiveness of my writing in the hope to keep it genuine, fresh and interesting and hope that readers will like the underlying current and personality of the writer of the stories.
I wrote my historical novels out of a curiosity and fascination with the chosen times and places. “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” and “Sebastian” covered the World Wars and allowed me to mentally process topics related to my family roots in Czechoslovakia and Austria.
Since then, I had the ideas for a medical thriller (“The Healer”) and for another historical novel (“In Search of a Revolution”, set in Finland between 1918 and 1950). Both will be released in early 2015.
When I write a new novel, I encounter a similar impulsive pattern. I come up with plans and strategies for my characters, locations and key scenes but the plot will not always yield to my demands. The novel (and the ‘muse) itself will determine pretty much the way the story unfolds on their own terms. I would love to construct a great series with a fool proof formula but sadly, I don’t think I could pull it off (unless it ‘just happened’). Again, I hope this adds something personal and genuine to the books.
So coming to your blog today is visiting a good friend with a similar outlook, a woman for whom writing seems to be an expression and whose writing comes directly from the heart – a quality shows in all of your work.
The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)
In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.
Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)
Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.
The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)
The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen. Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.
Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.
Time to Let Go
Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives. The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.
When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.
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 hamlet, not far from Bath. 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. In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
Where to connect with Christoph: