I was born on the 22nd of May 19XX in a backwater town somewhere in western Germany and I left it at the first available opportunity after graduating from German high school.
I moved to Munich to study English literature there but found myself in a “crisis” after a while, since I had no clue what to do job-wise with an MA in English literature without wanting to become a school teacher. For an odd combination of reasons that I might one day write a memoir about ;-), I decided to study Japanese Studies instead and that was one of the major turning points of my life so far.
I managed to get a scholarship for one year and stayed in Japan’s Fukuoka and fell in love with the country. I returned to Germany for a while to graduate and started working, but when an opportunity presented itself in the year 2000, I was quick to move to Tokyo. I’ve lived in or around Tokyo ever since and still love the place.
My second life happens in books. I’ve been inventing stories as long as I can remember and at the tender age of 12 wrote my first stage play about a ghost – that’s all I remember about it.
As a teenager and in my early twenties I wrote two novels in German, whose drafts I still have somewhere and tried in enormous naivety to publish them and sent them to a few German publishers. Of course, they were rejected. Then Japan occupied my mind and I didn’t write in a couple of years. Finally, I started writing screenplays and got as far as one of them winning second place at the Slamdance Festival one day. I managed to get a (one dollar) option for the thing, and thought I had “made” it. But alas, from there, things went downhill. The guy who liked my script and who had optioned it got fired, as happens frequently in Hollywood, and his successor wasn’t thrilled to take over the “babies” of his predecessor. I quit my job and went to Hollywood for three months, trying to mend things, which was my second life-determining decision so far. During those three months, I learned that the Hollywood gauntlet is not for me. I returned to my safe haven, Japan, and decided to try my luck with prose. I have never regretted that decision for a single day.