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I had two childhoods. One was as a kid in Germany, the other as a teen in California. Now, my husband and I live in Seattle, WA. I was passionate about reading and wanting to be a writer from early on. Growing up in post-WWII Germany, I wrote poetry and short stories, and I read everything I could get my hands on, no matter if it was the classics or dime-store novels. I learned to appreciate Schiller and Goethe, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, and, finally, Shakespeare. He says it all! In college I also discovered contemporary writers and learned to tell good from bad. I earned a B.A. in English from California State University at Los Angeles, where I studied literature, poetry, novel & short story writing. To earn a living I worked as a press agent at a few Hollywood PR companies until I experienced major burn out. Hollywood stars are sooo narcissistic! I traveled & worked at too many jobs to count. In Seattle I worked in banking administration & human resources. I kept writing. I kept learning, attending workshops and writers' groups. Finally, I published my first novel, Irretrievably Broken, and now I'm a full-time writer. What a long road it’s been!
Irretrievably Broken had many inspirations, but ultimately it was a newspaper clipping from my hometown in Germany. A neighboring property had been torn down and a mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath, was unearthed. Experts speculated that a synagogue would most likely be situated beneath the foundations of the house I had lived in as a child. I read the clipping and promptly forgot about it. Or so I thought! But this discovery must have been burned into my subconscious. I was almost finished with the novel when I rediscovered the clipping and realized how these facts had informed my writing. There, at the heart of a tale of adventure and travel, of love and loss, was a Holocaust story, come to light after years of concealment, very much like the mikvah that had been unearthed so many years later under our former neighbor's house in a small town where no one in post-WWII Germany ever spoke about such things.
Because of my work experience here in Seattle, my new novel-in-progress is a humorous exploration of predatory lending: Christy and Megan move from small towns in Eastern Washington to the big city of Seattle. They have their finance degrees from WSU and jobs as mortgage loan officers. That is, if they can pass the training class! The year is 2006 and they have $$$ signs in their eyes. Everyone knows you can make a fortune in mortgage lending. Will they? Or will they lose everything, including their souls?
While I'm still at work on this second novel, I'm in the process of publishing a series of short stories about death. Eventually I will collect all of these stories into a book, called The Angel of Death, which will be available on Kindle as well as in paperback. The first in the series, Cigarette Break, is now available as a Kindle e-book. C.J. and Crystal might be a typical young couple vacationing with their three small children. If it were not for the fact that C.J. suffers from PTSD. He's an American soldier, on leave after three tours of duty in Iraq and with orders to deploy to Afghanistan. When they cross the border into Canada, C.J. says he'd rather kill himself than go back. The family stops at a remote B & B where they're the only guests. Crystal decides it's an idyllic place for the kids. For C.J. it's the place where he plots his suicide. What happens when he decides he can't leave her behind?
Irma Fritz (Irma5) joined Amara on May 7, 2012