Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »

 

Category Archives: time-travel

A Fresh Face

time-travel cover for young adult novelI’m happy to announce that I have received the rights to my exciting time-travel adventure, ESCAPE FROM THE PAST, from my previous publisher. From now on, I’ll be doing publication and marketing in-house.

The first step has been updating the three covers that were neither age- nor genre-appropriate. Back in 2015 when the first book was published, I was pretty much unaware of such important details, but since this trilogy is one of my favorite stories, I wanted to give Max ‘Nerds’ a fresh chance of meeting the world.

In addition, I have reviewed and edited the copy, and added a cool medieval map to books I and III.

I hope that teen boys will rediscover this great story of a computer game gone wrong, catapulting fifteen-year old protagonist Max into the Middle Ages. Unlike many time-travel stories, the historical details of medieval German castle Hanstein are based on fact. Max meets a number of important figures such the impressive Knight Werner von Hanstein and his nemesis, evil Duke Schwarzberg who lived in Thuringia, Germany at the end of the 15th century.

Read more about Max’s adventure, watch a trailer, or read reviews on the book page.

Take a look at the new covers of book II, THE KID, and book III, AT WITCHES’ END.

A Few Voices From NetGalley

map of castle hanstein area in 1471“I loved this book. I connected with the characters straight away and felt that I knew each one of them. I couldn’t put it down, and was disappointed when I finished…” Debbie S.

“Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this book from the first page until the last . I was actually transported back in time and felt as though I was living every moment…” Greta H.

“This is a historical novel with time travel and draws upon modern knowledge all interwoven to create a wonderful adventure novel…” Nolan D.

Read more reviews on NetGalley.

After the “Lull”

escape from the past trilogy by annette oppenlanderSometimes after publishing a book, a certain inertia sets in, a kind of lull. Some authors don’t experience any pauses, others take months or even years until they return to writing. For me this ‘phase’ typically doesn’t last very long. Very soon, I’m antsy again and my brain searches for the next great story.

After publishing my seventh novel, and while I’m still researching my next project, I took advantage of the lull by deciding to repurchase the rights to my time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, from my U.K. publisher, Lodestone. Very soon I’ll share the new covers I’ve ordered. All three books will be republished as second editions.

Surviving the Fatherland Interview

Last month I had the honor of being interviewed about my award-winning true story, Surviving the Fatherland, on ManyBooks. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

a young couple standing in a field

Lilly and Günter, ca. 1949

What inspired you to write a coming-of-age love story set in WWII Germany?

Growing up, I always felt there were a lot of stories hidden in my family. I’d hear bits and pieces, brief references or watch my parents nod at each other in silent understanding. As my interest in history grew, my curiosity grew with it. So in 2002 I asked my parents to share their stories. I spent several weeks visiting them in Germany and recording their memories. I remember one afternoon we were in the basement while my mother ironed. I’d ask questions and she’d tell me about the way her mother treated her. I still have those tapes though it’s hard for me to hear my mother’s voice. She passed away in 2004.

My mother always insisted that my father was the better storyteller. And while I agree that his activities were quite adventurous, my mother’s quieter side offered a lot of depth. And so I think the two characters balance each other out nicely.

book cover of surviving the fatherland with awardsWe most often hear WWII stories from the allies’ side. Why did pick the “wrong side” of the war as the backdrop for your book?

Initially, I had planned to write short stories so my children could remember their grandparents. But then I realized there were few if any stories about Germany’s war children and the civilian side of WWII. Of course, we have excellent and moving stories about the Holocaust and the soldier’s war. There is no shortage of battle scenes. Yet, many battles were fought at home. They weren’t drawing as much attention, but they were just as heroic. I wanted to add complexity to the stereotypical portrayal of Germany during the Third Reich.

This photo shows my father, Guenter, around 1940.

Guenter ca. 1940

This book has received multiple awards. What has the experience been like?

Humbling. I’m super happy Surviving the Fatherland has been so well received. I just wish my mother could’ve been here to witness the wonderful response to her life story.

Read more on ManyBooks