Navigation Writing in Germany News & Events
Diane & Peter
  Writing Career
  Writing in Germany
  Writer's Thoughts


Writing in Germany

Obviously, writing in Germany is different from writing in the U.S. For one thing, Germany is a much smaller market. But that is just the peak of the iceberg. Take a moment time and close your eyes. And now imagine a country that buys in the mass markets over 90% American books, translates them, often badly, and then wonders why they have in these markets only rarely own writers and those they have move soon to Ireland, the U.S. or Australia or settle in other countries. In fact, German Publishers are rarely real publishers. The biggest German publisher "published" in 2009 four own books in the genres of thrillers, mystery/suspense, romance and fantasy together. Rather, they are mere reprinters.
This maybe explains why there are only three kinds of publishers. Publishers bought a long time ago by one of the big foreign publishing groups, Random House (which is on the paper German but basically has forgotten about Germany execpt for the purpose of reprinting) and broken independend publishers who still wonder why there is no money earned with a decision process of two years from sending them something till the book is in the shelves.
Don't get me wrong here. Germany has a long and rich tradition when it comes to writing. Most of the writers and thinkers for whom Germany is known today, weren't treated better by their German publishers in their days. And the dictatorship of the Nazis did also a lot to drive out a lot of freeminded writers out of the country. Nowadays, it's rather the dictatorship of an over-energized political correctness doing the same. You want to write something, the Catholic church maybe doesn't like? Then, your only publisher of choice was a publisher owned by the Catholic church. All allegedly free spirited publishing houses would never touch something that would be even on only one of eight-hundred pages slightly political incorrect, not even for the sake of truth. And the Catholic publisher gave in the meantime publishing up and changed to a pure reseller and reprinter. However, it is maybe already telling, that the Catholic church was the most liberal publisher of all there. Don't drive that over the top, however, they had their own moments as well. I really loved the work instruction to write war novels without war ... yeah!
Still, Germany produced a number of writers and some of them produced truely awesome works. Frank Schatzing with THE SWARM for example or Eschenbach with THE JESUS VIDEO. But all, Schaetzing could get was a contract that prohibits him from writing more than a book all two years. I don't know why, maybe an U.S. publisher can tell me why a publisher would prohibit the publishing of a book that would bring him some guaranteed millions of bucks. However, I would suspect, there are not many Americans who can find a reasonable explanation for not earning that kind of easy money. But in Germany, that's normal. A movie company, once known for projects that caused international attention on a regular base wrote my agent once: "Thank you for offering us this material, but this is on an international level and we don't do international in Germany." Those were not my words, whose were theirs. But hey, they also rejected Harry Potter with the same argument.
So, at the end of many days, what can I say about writing in Germany? I made some money there and admittedly, I sold some books there. But seeing the tendencies and especially the in-programmed fear of success haunting German publishers, there seems to be no future there. It's just no fun to work with people who want to lose and if writing is no fun anymore, better go to a place where it is fun again.
But, I admit to it, there is still a tear of sadness in all of that. That nation built a long tradition of writers since the 8th century - and it needed only twenty years to break with it and become a mere reprinting mill. The readers there, they are as intelligent and as great as readers in other countries, but the publishing industry has lost the view on their customers. Now, they are like a big watertight doors between writers and readers and the readers have to go to other places to find what they want. Sometimes and very rarely, there is a wild success like the girl kicking a hornet's nest, sometimes, there is a local success like the wandering whore (which by the way is a great medieval narration) and no German publisher or agent will ever offer the rights to other countries. But technically, it is again the old parole: "The last one switch off the light, please". Good Night, Germany!

The pictures on this page: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (left Germany for Italy for some years), Thomas Mann (left Germany for the US to never return), C.W. Ceram (left Germany for the U.S. to never return), Friedrich Schiller (left for France) and my not so humble self (I know, bold, am I?). Leaving Germany is a long and popular tradition under German writers.
Tue, May 17, 2016
12:00 AM CT

Daniel Lee Siebert
Daniel Lee Siebert is now also in our serial killer collection. A more or less garden variety strangler type who got away longer than necessary bacause some big PDs dropped the ball ... and left it to smaller ones, to get the job done.

Fri, Dec 18, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Christman Genipperteinga
THe legendary robber along the wine road Trier-Cologne made it finally into our collection. With a total of 970 victim, including six of them his own children, he is currently the most prolific serial killer in the Collection.

Thu, Oct 22, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Gerard John Schaefer
The allegedly most prolific Florida Serial Killer, "Killer Cop" Gerard Schaefer, finally also made his way into out collection.

Thu, Sep 24, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Royal Russel Long
Long was quite messed up in the investigation of the Wyoming Rodeo Murders, but details show, he was another kind of animal, y typeless pedophile serial killer. Now his file is in our collection.

Mon, Aug 17, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Wyoming Rodeo Murders
A story of misperceptions and midnless cabinet cleaning by police authorities that ended up with someone getting away with at least two murders on young women. Now in our collection.

Wed, Jul 15, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper
Now new in our collection: Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper. The first case, blood spatter analysis was used in a court trial world wide!

Sat, Jun 20, 2015
12:00 AM CST

No new addition in June
Usually, we try to bring another case up in our serial killer collection every month, but this month, we simply had no time. Between working open cases and other activities, it was just not possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sat, May 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Beauty Queen Killer
New in the serial killer collection: Christopher Wilder, the Beauty Queen Killer. A case that shows how nonsensical the disctinction between serial and spree killers really is.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Burton W. Abbott
Abbott killed only one victim, a case that caused some public attention in 1955. But he showed all hallmarks of a fledgling serial killer and thus, we added him to our collection.

Mon, Mar 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Darren Deon Vann
Ha is basically the usual garden variety strangler case if it wouldn't be for the early warnings statistical data cretated about serial killer activity in Gary/Indiana. Now he is in our collection.

Wed, Mar 4, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Due to technical problems, the March article was up late. Take my apologies for this glitch.

Mon, Feb 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Affaire of the Poisons
We have added the infamous Affaire of the Poisons to our collection. With more than 80 offenders, it breaks a little the format, but well, it's one of the biggest cases of "organized" crime ever, so how can we let it out?

Mon, Dec 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Bryan
Once he made the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, now nobody remembers the case anymore. Nevertheless, the father of all allegedly schizophrenic serial killers has entered our collection.

Fri, Nov 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Trailside Killer
David Joseph Carpenter has now become also part of the Serial Killer Collection ... complete with profile.

Tue, Oct 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Vampire of Duesseldorf
Peter Kuerten aka The Vampire of Duesseldorf roamed the city at the River Rhine for more than two years and left behind a trail of bodies-

Fri, Sep 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Grim Sleeper
Lonnie Franklin aka The Grim Sleeper has been added to our serial killer collection

Thu, Aug 14, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Michael Lee Lockhart
... and with a little delay, another serial made it into the serial killer collection. Michael Lee Lockhart, not so much interesting for his "achievements" but because his case appears as if he became a psychopath only after a serious head injury.

Tue, Aug 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

A Game of Daggers
Diane's new novel A GAME OF DAGGERS is now available at Amazon for Kindle. A story of murder, mayhem and political intrigue set up in the year of the Lord 1096.
Pope Urban II has called for a crusade, but this news has yet to reach Cornwall. And people there have anyway to deal with other problems from storms to wreckers on their coast and when some murdered men are discovered on the beach, nobody guesses, this is only the prelude to much greater events coming to the so remote shores ...

Sat, Jul 5, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Ivan Hill
Ivan Hill, as the first of the many serial killers, who haunted Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s, is now added to our serial killer collection.

Sun, Jun 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Raya and Sakina
The famous Egyptian serial killers have become part of our collection. And as so often, things are not as simple as the urban legend tries to tell us.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Dagmar Overbye
The infamous Danish baby farmer has been added to our Serial Killer Collection.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Djoser added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add a new pharaoh to our collection: Djoser, 1st Pharoh of the 3rd Dynasty.

Fri, Apr 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Green River Killer
This month, we added Gary Ridgway to our serial killer collection, a case, not so much interesting for the profiling but for the lessons about case organization to be learned from it.

Tue, Mar 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Manson Family
The "Manson Family&quo; has been added to our serial killer collection. Especially interesting for those who think, brain washing isn't possible.

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Hans van Zon
Dutch serial killer Hans van Zon joined our serial killer collection. Not entirely voluntarily though.

Mon, Jan 6, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Syracuse Dungeon Master
John T. Jamelske aka the Syracuse Dungeon Master has been added to our Serial Killer Collection. While not a seria killer but a serial rapist, Jamelske represents a similar psychopathology as some OCD type serial killers, for example Dahmer and therefore is some valuable object for studies.

Thu, Jan 2, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The last of the 2nd dynasty pharaohs, the man who re-united Egypt, is now also in the Egyptian collection.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Sekhemib added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add Pharaoh Sekhemib to the collection, the sixth of the 2nd Dynasty. So, with some luck, I can finish this year the 2nd dynsty, only one, Khasekhemwy is left.

Tue, Dec 10, 2013
12:00 AM CT

The Riha disappearance
In 1969, Dr. Thomas Riha disappeared and in the subconsequent series of events, Gloria Tannenbaum was arrested for forgery and under suspicion of two other homicides. She plead not guilty by reason of insanity and got away with it. The case has now been added to our serial killer collection.

Mon, Nov 4, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Richard N. Clarey jr.
Clarey is one of the lesser known serial killers, skirting the definition a little. Still, for some reasons an interesting case.

Wed, Oct 2, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Now in the collection: William E. Cosden
A garden variety sexual predator, notable only because his existence shows, how wrong the idea of 1 monster at 1 time in 1 area is.

Copyright if not otherwise mentioned Peter and Diane Brendt 2010-. All copies, also in parts, demand the written consent of the copyright holders