The Story About The Author
We cannot choose the place of birth, our nationality, the language we learn first, or what we come to call ‘home.’ I was born into an authoritarian system, which had cheated my parents out of the future they had hoped for after the war. But as a child, what did I know about it. Despite scarcity, I grew up happy, at the height of the Cold War. It was later, in my teens, when the world around me seemed to become smaller and smaller.
“Books are your best friends,” my mother used to say. Reading was big in my family, and the only real entertainment one had in a large-scale prison. Stories about far away countries carried my fantasy beyond walls, barbed wire and minefields that had still divided the world back then. It nourished the silent desire to be able to go there, to see the Pyramids of Giza with my own eyes, to take a stroll through Paris by night, or maybe, one day, to stand in front of the Statue Of Liberty.
America was a beacon of hope and freedom to us. The bright light behind the horizon stirred our imagination and drew my family westward. But we did not make it further than the next ‘island in the red sea,’ as we called the free part of Berlin. Fortunately, it did not stay an island for long. I witnessed a remarkable revolution and was there when the Berlin Wall fell. It was an exciting time, and the city had a vibe that kept me longer than I had planned. My goal was still to leave Europe and to make a fresh start somewhere else. So I traveled and indeed came to see the Pyramids more than once while working in the area for some time.
Then, instead of seeing America, destiny brought me to Canada first, where I fell in love. What else can I say? It made me stay. I had found a place that inspired me to take up writing again, which I had done on and off since I had been 10 years old. To become a writer had always spooked around in the back of my head. But life, as so often, had other plans. I had to make a living first, and so writing was not more than a hobby initially, a creative outlet of mine after my first daughter was born. It was my partner, the only one reading what I wrote, who encouraged me to go on and, in return, had to put up with me locking myself away for hours without end. And here my many thanks go to you, my most loyal supporter. Without you, this all would not have been possible.
By any means, I’m not a perfectionist, but take pride in my research. I like accuracy, as much as puns, metaphors and scavenger hunts by hiding hints throughout the story. For instance, it doesn’t matter if I describe events over a term of 5 years or just one week like in The Lovers, I always adhere to a timeline. This makes it possible for the reader to establish the day when Claire and John got stranded or the date of their wedding and consequently also the year of birth, which again, later on, will enable the reader to determine exactly what year and month it is within the story that is stretching over more than three decades. Furthermore, I also like to incorporate lyrics and famous quotes, as well as foreign language, just to enhance the authenticity of the story.
But there is a hook to seeking authenticity. It demands honesty. And when attempting to write about sex and sexuality in a wider context, I cannot simply turn a blind eye to the dark side of human nature. May it be discrimination, exploitation, oppression, abuse, rape or genital mutilation, to whatever degree it is experienced, it is a reality for one-half of humanity, primarily women and girls, which is to bring home the scope of what still has to be overcome first before we can even think about reaching for the stars. To incorporate all these less titillating facts associated with the topic, was a sacrifice I had to make on part of the erotism of the story.
Of course, there are limits as to how far I can go in my ‘honesty’ trying to touch on every aspect of human sexuality. Anyway, that isn’t the purpose of the Destiny Series. On the other hand, I cannot leave taboo topics like incest, sex among minors as well as zoophilia completely overlooked either. I just had to find a solution for dealing with such highly sensitive subjects in a mindful, non-graphic but interesting way that it fitted into the story. And here I will give a hint: I hope I’m able to strike a tasteful balance by looking at such issues from Claire’s view as a gynecologist and mother.
While I’m at hinting, maybe at this point I should come right out with it. Although it is the story about women stepping up to regain their proper place in society and consequently are going to change our destiny the last minute, it is not thought to be a feminist novel. On the contrary, it has nothing to do with any settlement between genders. Men have been long enough victims as well, and men like John will be needed in the process. It is plain and simple about equality and a way forward to a time where we learn to see beyond gender, leave behind old dogmas, and in doing so gain true sexual freedom.
Just as a reminder, I’m a storyteller, not an activist. My goal is to entertain. But if at the same time I can help to spread awareness about the challenges ahead, it was well worth the time writing it as much as for you reading it, and this very thought is what keeps me going.
The Story Behind The Story
With the decision to participate in a writers’ competition back in 2010, I began working on an erotic short story. It was supposed to be funny, romantic, in some way different, but most of all conceivable. A man and a woman of two generations, meeting under tragic circumstances, and over time, fall in love with each other. That was the basic idea for the plot.
Needless to say, I didn’t make the submission deadline. But as it is in a writer’s life, the spirits we create, grow on us and refuse to go away. Despite a happy ending, John and Claire were not happy at all with the gloomy state of the world I brought them back to. From their perspective, something had to be done. And they were right. At least in their world, their creator could not just stand idly by and leave them to their fate. They deserved a fair chance to fight for their future and to try to solve the issues plaguing their time and space.
There was only one problem. Since it had started out as an erotic story, I had to come up with a way to combine topics of completely different genres and that as entertainingly as possible. Not only that, I had a ‘Biblical Apocalypse’ in mind, but in a kind of sexy way, while at the same time I felt the need to convey also a message of hope. So with the end of the world out of the question, it instead had to be a story of change. But, what sort of change?
By the time 20,000 words had become more than 200,000, I still had no answer, while Claire and John were not one step closer to saving the world yet either. We needed help, and it came in the form of an enigmatic figure, another restless spirit from a never-published story. By allowing this influential person to pave the way for Claire and John, it suddenly opened up possibilities for a real intricate storyline with unexpected twists and turns, and, of course, a lot of sex in all directions. But, how does sex change the world?
Perhaps I had been looking at sex from the wrong angle. Approaching the topic from a social and cultural perspective, I began to explore the question as to what extent our conventional conceptions of gender, sexuality and marriage might be related to the many wrongs in our world. Once I began to focus on it through this lens, I surprisingly could see correlations in all and everything. I even dare to go a step further and blame those archaic concepts for steering Homo sapiens deeper and deeper into an evolutionary cul-de-sac by continuing to defy logic and nature, and by refusing to acknowledge and to adapt accordingly. In my view, that is exactly what is still preventing this species from rising to its full potential and from demonstrating that it truly deserves the suffix sapiens, the wise.
From there on, an idea took shape that became the foundation of a storyline to which I now just had to add all the other elements like layers, one after the other. Once I had a direction, I wrote on, like obsessed at times, and over the years produced another 750,000 words without thinking of publishing yet. I don’t remember anymore how often I rewrote entire drafts, thinking it was never good enough. And Lust and Loneliness may have never seen the light of day if not for something I had not foreseen at all, that reality could catch up with some of the hypothetical events the story was based on. I began to fear if I waited much longer, history would be telling my story instead. And so, since no sane publisher would take any chances on something so unorthodox, I decided to self-publish, which by itself became a lengthy process because of a few other things I had not foreseen. For starters, my original manuscript of the first book was about 250,000 words and came in three parts that had to be adapted for e-publishing first. And then there was the cover art. It had to be like the book, unconventional and depicting something on several levels. But nothing seemed to reflect what I had in mind, mystery and erotic. That was until I saw the magnificent tarot cards by Carl-W. Röhrig, and I want to thank him here again for allowing me to use the images of his cards. They have since inspired me and have added another colorful layer to the tapestry of the story.
To make a long story short, with history breathing down my neck and in the hope that readers may enjoy ‘an erotic end-time story,’ I have now made a series out of a still ongoing work and simply called it Destiny, because we never know where the journey will take us.