Getting To Know the Author: Annelie Wendeberg
I had the privilege of interviewing Annelie Wendeberg, author of the well-recieved crime novel The Devil’s Grin which features the great detective himself, Sherlock Holmes! I knew Annelie through the vast web of Sherlockian’s but hadn’t, of yet, been able to have a talk with her about her work. That has changed, and it was great fun to be able to get to know her a little better, learn more about her background, plus talk about her great new book, The Devil’s Grin!
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us about yourself: Other than a crime writer who IS Annelie Wendeberg? What does your daily life consist of?
Alarm goes off at six, we let the chickens out of the coop, make breakfast, throw a bucket of cold water over the kids to get them out of bed. No, wait! We cuddle too long and then end up being late for school. We are chaotic and live on a construction site. Our house is about 500 years old and we slowly fix it up with historic building material. Ok, kids at school, me at work, hubby builds house. Now you might want to know what my day job is. I’m a scientist. Usually, that would mean I’m in the lab a lot, or at sea, or somewhere drilling holes into the ground taking samples and measuring stuff. Sadly, I ended up with a professorship and now I sit in my office throwing paperwork around like an old bureaucrat.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in an East German village just North of Berlin.
What do you consider fun?
Learning new things, getting to know people, doing crazy stuff no one else would think of.
What do you consider NOT fun.
Doing what everyone else does, being ignorant, not seeing the beauty of all life around us, not appreciating what we have, wasting resources or time.
How long have you been writing? Does it run in the family?
I have been writing science papers since a long time now. Fiction happened to me a year ago. My gypsy grandma wrote a book for kids, so maybe that’s where I got it from?
Do you have a favourite writer?
Not really. I like a lot of books and writers for different reasons. Louise Penny for her lyric description of light, Joanne K Rowling for the marauders map (among other things), John Steinbeck for how he writes about frying pancakes (among other things), Nancy DeMarco for the crazy old Gracie (and how she says “balls!”). But these are just a few examples.
Do you have a favorite film or television show?
No, I have no TV.
What is the writing process like?
The characters are doing their own thing in my head. Everything that happens between them isn’t really of my making. At least that’s how it feels. I let them play for a while, then gradually provide a plot, a few murder victims and the thing starts to roll by itself.
Do always know exactly what you want or do with a story or do you have a lot of room for experimentation when writing?
Fiction writing has its own life. I do a lot of background research, much more than I need for a story. But it’s like feeding my characters with knowledge and creating a world for them to act in.
What is your favourite part about writing?
Sex scenes. Haha, no wait! Killing people! No wait! I don’t know. I enjoy almost every part of the writing process. But the thing I came to dread the most is reading my old stuff. I can see all the things I could have done better and it’s embarrassing to have it published before it was absolutely perfect. The problem is, back then it was perfect. I just learned to be better in the meantime. With “old stuff” I actually mean The Devil’s Grin. Sometimes I wonder what mediocre scribbler could have possibly produced such a thing.
Where do you get your inspiration from while writing?
I get a lot of inspirations for crimes and plotting from historical accounts. At the moment I’m reading about Anton Dilger, the first to use pure cultures of deadly bacteria (anthrax and glanders) in germ warfare. I don’t think one needs to come up with extraordinary crimes – it has all been done before. Just read history books and you’ll get a shock for life
Do personal events ever affect your writing or find their way into a story?
Certainly! I don’t think one can tell stories without having experienced some of life’s joys and downfalls.
You have a book out now called The Devil’s Grin which features Sherlock Holmes. It’s getting positive attention! Tell us about the book!
The book is about a bacteriologist in a time when the germ theory has just been accepted. It’s the time of Koch and Pasteur and just after anatomical research had caused a great scandal, because surgeons had procured a lot of murder victims to study anatomy. They had even placed orders – malformed people, pregnant women, children. The medical establishment was exclusively male and quite powerful. And now throw an intelligent woman into the mix, a woman who has to disguise herself as a man to practice medicine. This story is about Anna Kronberg, turning Dr Anton Kronberg. He/she is regularly consulted by Scotland Yard when corpses are found that could have been victim to dangerous diseases, such as cholera, which was still a serious threat in the late Victorian era. On one occasion, she meets Holmes who immediately sees through her disguise. They end up solving a case together because Holmes needs her expertise as a bacteriologist. But they have their issues. She isn’t behaving the way a woman is supposed to (shut up and look pretty) and her lover is a thief. Much for Holmes to get rubbed the wrong way.
How did the story come to being?
I have no idea. One fine day it showed up and wanted to be written
What made you want to write a Sherlock Holmes story?
During the time the story grew in my head, I read A.C. Doyle for the first time. Holmes kind of glued itself into the plot. I tried to get rid of him, throw him off some cliff or waterfall. It didn’t work.
How long have you been a fan of the great detective?
Can you guess?
What’s Next? With The Devil’s Grin out now what are your future plans? Anymore future adventures for Sherlock Holmes/Dr Kronberg?
It’s a trilogy. Now, I’m half done with the sequel (titled The Fall, obviously). It will be published this summer.
Thank you, Annelie, for taking the time to chat with me! It was a pleasure to do so. I hope everyone else enjoys this conversation as much as I did! If you haven’t picked up Annelie’s book or checked out her blog, do it now! I am certainly looking forward to more Sherlock Holmes and Dr Kronberg stories!!
Check out The Devil’s Grin here:
Also take a moment and visit Annelie’s blog!
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From Luke Kuhns:
OUT NOW The Untold Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is available in paperback and ebook from all good bookstores including in the USA Barnes and Noble, Amazon & Itunes. In the UK Amazon, Waterstones, Itunes UK. For fans outside US and UK can get free delivery from Book Depository. Alternatively you can order straight from MX Publishing!
OUT NOW Fragile Words: A Collection of Verses and Short Stories on both ebook and paperback! Go to amazon.com& amazon.co.uk for ebooks! If you are old fashioned and wish to have a physical copy go to lulu.com!
This entry was posted on February 10, 2013 by lukebenjamenkuhns. It was filed under Uncategorized, Sherlock Holmes, Books, Getting to know the author and was tagged with SHERLOCK HOLMES, UK, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, interview, USA, AMAZON.COM, Literature, Barnes and noble, Victorian Era, self-published, indie author, Annelie Wendeberg, Anna Kronberg, Dr Anton Kronberg, Crime Novel, bacteriologist, germ theory, Koch, Pasteur, Germany, The Devil's Grin, amazon.co.uk.