If somebody at school had claimed that I would write historical novels one day I would have called him crazy because I never liked history much. It seemed a waste of time to remember facts and data of people long dead. Only twice, I realized how gripping history can be.
The first time, a substitute teacher told us how ancient Egyptians prepared their dead. I still remember particularly lively that they pulled the brain through the nose with a long hook. This fact was so disgustingly beautiful that I am still fascinated by mummies to this day.
The second time in an hour shortly before the summer holidays, our history teacher managed to infect us with his enthusiasm for American history. I had never wasted a thought on why the American constitution was finalized so fast. Now I know that the representatives sat in a former stable and were bothered by horseflies. It is only logical that unimportant arguments received little attention.
I finally discovered my love for history in the course of my own studies. What's so interesting about it still aren't data and facts - it's the stories of the people of a particular time. This I understood when my friend Anke Waldmann rediscovered the family archive in her parents' attic. Every week, she returned to Göttingen with new, thrilling stories from the life of her ancestors. It was only a question of time when I would use this fascinating material for a novel. I still stumble over infectious ideas - ample material for many more historical novels.