Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.
Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame, won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award and is a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.
Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a date or number, it turns into a story.
A U.S.-German dual citizen, Annette was born and raised in Germany. In 1987, her business degree from the University of Cologne brought her to the U.S. where she handled marketing and market research for Residence Inn hotels. Three weeks into her assignment, she attended a super bowl party and met her future husband.
Her career aspirations cut short with child rearing, dog training and chicken raising in three states, she dabbled in real estate and investments as a financial adviser before landing at a PR/advertising company in Indiana and then at Indiana University. Finally back in marketing and communications, she discovered how much she enjoyed writing.
After recording her parents’ stories from WWII, she soon embarked on filling in the blanks by inventing dialogue, characters and more adventure. She enrolled in fiction workshops at Indiana University, worked with editors, attended writers conferences, including two amazing week-long Donald Maass seminars and joined critique groups.
Since sticking her first manuscript back into the virtual desk drawer, Annette has published five historical novels. Her latest work, set during the American Civil War, is expected to be published in winter 2017/2018.
Her first historical novel, A DIFFERENT TRUTH, about a boy solving a hazing crime in a military prep school in 1969 was first published in April 2015 and republished in July 2016. The ESCAPE FROM THE PAST trilogy, historical adventure with a touch of sci-fi published by Lodestone Books in the U.K., takes readers to the Middle Ages and the Wild West. Her latest two works include SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND (Adult Historical Fiction), a true coming-of-age love story based on her parents growing up as war children during WWII, and 47 DAYS, a novelette excerpt from Surviving the Fatherland.
New projects include THE ITALIAN’S DAUGHTER, a story about a young woman struggling to survive during the prohibition. Annette recently moved back to her home country, Germany, where she lives with her husband and old dog, Mocha. In the future, she plans to write her novels in English and German.