Something about me
Born in 1952, I grew up in the small town of Kevelaer in the Lower Rhine area, just a few miles from the Dutch border. After school, and a community year in lieu of military service, I studied English language and literature, history of art and classical archaeology at Cologne and Glasgow/UK. My doctoral dissertation on ‘Fantasy: Theory and History of a Literary Genre’ in 1981 was the first full-length scholarly study of this subject in German. In this genre, in particular, I am known as an illustrator, a cartographer, a translator, literary scholar and linguist, a Tolkien expert, an editor – and a writer.
My first attempts at writing fiction date back to the late sixties and to some fan stories in the early seventies, when I was an active member of the nascent German fantasy fandom. After that, I started doing translations and writing criticism and studies. At some time, I felt that I had said everything about the subject I could possibly say from my limited point of view, and that it might be worth a try putting it into practice. The result were five fantasy novels, three of them for young adult and two for general readers, partly written in collaboration with a friend, Horst von Allwörden.
I also tried my hand at drawing maps for fantasy and historical novels, many of which were published in books, and, as a hobby, painting miniature figures. From my time in Scotland as as student, I have retained a fondness for all things Celtic, including music and a decent single malt. I am also an alumnus of a traditional students’ society, and chairman of the board of its student’s hostel. Not to mention the fact that I have been married for more than thirty-five years now, have a grown-up daughter and live on the outskirts of Cologne.
From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas –
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.
Anon., Blackwood's Magazine (1829)