Journey to the Novel in 180 Days

To finish my novel "My Mother's Feathers", I want to follow the protagonist's route for half a year: From Barcelona, I will travel along the Mediterranean coast to Croatia, do research, get inspiration - and write a lot. This way, I want to finish the first draft by November. I want to tell you about Agnes' quest for her mother: a European story and the story of a liberation.


The Idea

I've been working on my novel "My Mother's Feathers" for about two years. With my job in film, progress was slow, but steady. Then I left for Southeast Asia. One evening on the back of a moto in Phnom Penh during rush hour, I was flooded by all the impressions -the noise, the smells, the flying colours-, so much that I felt I could swim in them. In this crazy traffic, suddenly everything seemed possible. An idea popped into my mind: there is a way to finish my novel before I start a new job. Within half a year and without funds. I realized two things in Cambodia: 1) I don't need a lot, but I need to write. 2) People are so generous. So here's how I want to grow the "Feathers" from 50 to 250 pages until November:


The Plan

"My Mother's Feathers" is a European story - so I want to go on a writing trip from May to October, following my protagonist Agnes' route from Barcelona / Catalonia, via the south of France, northern Italy and Slovenia to Croatia. I want to do research on the spot, get inspiration and write a lot. Six hours a day, ten pages a week - for these six months, it will be my fulltime job. Along the way, I can stay with twelve different generous hosts for two weeks each. According to the couchsurfing principle, I want to be a good guest: I will help around the house wherever it's needed, I can cook or plant flowers or read the papers to grandma (EN/SP/CAT/FR/IT/DE); I eat anything my hosts will eat (another thing I learnt in Asia); I won't ask for much, I just need a quiet spot to sit down and write.



To cover transport and the inevitable costs of travel life, I will try to raise 2400€ on the German crowdfunding platform Startnext (also available in English). Of course, my supporters will be rewarded with exclusive insights into my work-in-progress. If the novel is published, I will donate the amount raised on Startnext to the Cambodian Organization for Learning and Training, an educational NGO near Phnom Penh. There will be a few readings in Germany and the funding phase begins April 15th. Shortly after, I go to Barcelona, and if the funding works out, I will continue the Journey to the Novel. I just want to write and write and write, and finish the first draft by October 31st. Hopefully I can then give something back to my supporters and many more people. For now, I write in German. Whether the book gets published internationally or I do it myself, at some point I want the "Feathers" to be translated so you can all read the whole story.

***UPDATE: The project was successfully funded. It  is no longer possible to contribute via Startnext but you can still contact me.***


My Writing

"My Mother's Feathers" is a personal project, but I don't write for myself only. During several public readings, I realized how much other people can take out of my stories. I want to do the same with my novel. The book is supposed to capture the atmosphere of its places, so that reading it will also become a sensual experience. I want to write about feelings and relationships in a sincere, absorbing and precise way ‒ between mother and daughter, but not only. "My Mother's Feathers" is the story of an artistic awakening. Certainties crumble. I will try to perceive contradictions and also write about what cannot be explained. If this has made you curious and you like to travel while you read, this book might be for you.


My Mother's Feathers

As a small child, Agnes was abandoned by her mother. Now she is studying and has settled into her small town life in Germany. She's not in touch with her mother and thinks she's over that woman. Only when Agnes is informed that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she doesn't know a thing about that Magdalena Blau who is not only her mother, but also a painter. So Agnes gets her camera and sets out to Paris; she follows her traces to Barcelona and further along the Mediterranean coast, and finds much more than what she was looking for. It is the story of an awakening, a story of longing and liberation.



1st May - mid June: Barcelona / Catalonia

Mid June to end of July: South of France

August to early September: Germany 

September: Northern Italy

October: Slovenia and Croatia

You may ask: Is that the way you approach literary projects today? Is there a scene? In this combination (support from different hosts plus a crowdfunded writing grant) - not that I know. Yes, the plan creates pressure. But pressure also makes me create. I really want to write this story now. I need to try. If you want to support me in any way, I already thank you.

If you want me to keep you updated, just give me your e-mail contact.