Sunday, December 25, 2011

Guest Post by J.J Bidell

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do a guest post on your blog today. My real name is Elke Becker and I am a German author living in Spain, so my English is far from being perfect. So please bear with me ;-)

After travelling round the world I settled down in Mallorca Spain, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. I never felt like home in Germany and for that reason I looked for my place in the world.

I lived alone in Venezuela where I started studying Spanish. Nobody over there spoke English or German. So I felt very lonely there at first, that’s why I started writing and realized I loved doing it, and never wanted to stop.

The stories of too many funny adventures, curious situations, different customs and very nice people from all over the world just have to be told. As it was in a time where not every home had an internet connection, I had to connect with family and friends going to the cyber café.

So I started typing out all the things that happened to me like I was writing dairy, then I would send it to my family.

I had not yet thought of writing a novel, I just kept writing just for myself.

The first three books I ever worked on are in a file in my computer. They are nice to read … but without a real story or plot … I showed it only to my sister and to a friend – they loved the stories, but I know they will love everything I write because they love me.

So I took courses in creative and screenplay writing, bought books like “How to write a damn good novel” and some other books about writing – and I wrote a lot. Short stories, longer ones and scripts for short movies.

After another year I tried to start my next novel. I worked on my plot using the “snowflake method”, wrote a crime story – inspired by a true story – and found a publisher in Germany. So things started slowly.

It was great fun during the screenplay writing course, I worked out the storyboard of my script for a short movie and it helped a lot in dialogue seeing the written words come alive by actors. I will never forget the feeling I had seeing it on the screen. If you wish to have a look – it is subtitled and free:

Well, my nieces are not interested in crime stories not even in the ones I’ve written. Kids are cruel and honest and I love this. But they asked me why I am not writing something for them like an urban fantasy story without werewolves and vampires and I promised to consider it.

As I travelled to Mexico before I remembered a legend of jaguar people in the Maya era and I started thinking: What will happen, when a young woman in present time transforms into a panther in a foreign country? What if she fell in love and the one she falls in love with is in danger? Slowly I developed the plot.

I travelled to Maine to find the right place for the US setting and after a year the first part of the novel was completed. I wrote this story under the name J. J. Bidell. (The name comes from my nieces Jessica and Janine and the maiden name of my beloved mother Bidell)

My nieces love the story and other readers in Germany like the story too. So I asked a professional translator in Washington to translate the first part for English readers. Some people asked me, why English spoken people would read a novel of an unknown German author and I was not able to answer, maybe because the story sounds interesting?

In the mean time I am working on the second part which will be finished in December this year (German Edition) and I love how the characters challenge me while trying to live their own life in the story. And the story I have in mind for them.
My only intention is to entertain the reader for some hours. Nothing more, nothing less. If I achieve this I am very happy and if not I try to achieve this next time.

J. J. Bidell grew up in the country-bred of Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Since she was 18 years old she travelled every year like a backpacker thru the North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself like a cosmopolitan with German roots.  After living in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she lives on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, which is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another airplane again.

Under the name Elke Becker she published several short stories with Amnesty International, in anthologies and a novel with Schenk Publishing House. Her script of a short movie “Marie´s voice” has been running in several international film festivals like in the UK and Colombia.

Where to meet:
Twitter: @JJBidell


  1. Ooh me like. This was a fascinating read.

    Thanks so much for this! ^_^

  2. What a wonderful guest post. I think the cover of this book looks fascinating. Also- I really enjoyed reading about the author and her life. She has travelled to many amazing places!



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