Bellingham.
Born: 1960
In Washington, USA

Brothers and Sisters:
5
Bellingham is in the extreme northwestern corner of Washington State.

Mainly, it rains.
My mother and father lived traditional values - when I was young, that made me impatient, but now I understand how true the things they believed still are, despite the changes the world has gone through.
Hawaii.
1966.

Best story ever about my Dad.
When I was six, my father's business partner took the money and ran, and Dad had to close his lens-making shop. He said to himself: "I can be broke here in cold, rainy, gray Bellingham, or I can be broke in Hawaii." So he scraped together all the money he could find, put his six kids in a plane, landed in Honolulu, opened the telephone book and started looking for work.
Kailua.
Growing up in
Hawaii.
Do I look like I surf? Lots of movies, lots of Conan and Lord of the Rings, lots of books about the Middle Ages and King Arthur, lots of dreaming of Europe, where an intellectual would finally feel at home. But it wasn't all just wanting to be somewhere else. There was Li Hing Mui, Aku, the school newspapers Surfrider and Ke'Alakai, beautiful girls, beachcombing at dawn and the sound of the ocean.
The Mission.
I came to Germany for the first time in 1981/82 on a mission for the Mormon church in 5 cities near Düsseldorf ... and fell in love with this strange exotic country. What's it like to be on a mission? Knock knock.
"Hello, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we'd like to talk..."
Slam.
Knock knock.
"Hello, we're from..."
Slam.
Knock knock.
"Hello, we're from..."
Ex-Pat.
I returned to Germany
to marry a German girl in Krefeld.
Don't be so surprised
we got married so young.
Love is a dream
that's worth more than life itself.
In my first Krefeld summer my brand new wife said to me: "Let's go eat fresh strawberries! I look forward to strawberry season all year." I couldn't understand her excitement.German strawberries seemed tasteless and anything but sweet. I was used to frozen and sugared strawberries: That's how they are imported to Hawaii, like so many things. Even today real strawberries for me have to be over-sugared and have an icy core.
Master's in Medieval German Literature, Munich, 1989.
What I know about the Middle Ages: 1. Europe was born on Christmas day in 800 from the convergence of Roman statehood, the Catholic church and the Germanic tribes.
2. The modern age began on April 18th, 1521, when European man took command over his own soul.
3. The Nibelungenlied is not about rings and dragons, but a feminist masterpiece about the escalation of conflict between nations.
4. Wolfram von Eschenbach is the greatest poet of the German language.
Journalist.
1990.
Divorce. We sat in the Munich subway that Sunday and I said, "I'm leaving the Church," and she said, "Then you're going to leave me too." I didn't believe her, but she was right. A divorce is like the collapse of all dreams.
Berlin.
1994. Some guy calls himself a monk and his coffee shop becomes a monastery. Christo wraps the Reichstag and all Berlin comes to party. A bunch of guys in Kreuzberg play the theme from Titanic on nose flutes. The Zoulou Bar. Slumberland with sand on the floor. The ruins of Tacheles. The amateurism, the purity of anti, the Schnauze, the wanna-bes, the fakery, the die-hard punks, the mutant women and lost boys, the cafes in summer, the art of the ugly. My most intimate place in this city is a bridge in Schõneberg.
Driving Through the Dark Ages.
When I turned forty I said, "It's now or never."
I used my savings to travel around Germany for a year in search of the Middle Ages and write my first book about it.
I relived the lives of eight medieval heroes, from Stõrtebeker the hard-drinking pirate, to the bloodthirsty Nibelungs along the Rhine, to the cross-dressing knight Ulrich and the great poets Walther and Wolfram in the South. What did I learn?
1. The Middle Ages are still with us.
2. Germany is bizarre and beautiful.
3. You really can realize your dreams.
4. When you have realized your dream,
everything afterwards is different.
Just Shoot Me.
The Berlin Marathon 2005. What I learned 1. It doesn't make you thin.
2. Afterwards, you get fatter if you don't keep running marathons
3. The marathon itself is nothing like the training
4. It helps if your girlfriend makes you a shirt that says "Author on the run."
5. And if she eggs you on for the last 10 kilometers.
6. If you make it, you won't believe it was that hard. But it was.
Now I write books.
I figure I have time to write 25 books before I die. How far am I?

Eight and counting.
I'm supposed to tell you: All the good gags are from her.
My co-writer
Astrid Ule.

I write no book
without her.
Screenwriter, copywriter, editor and satirist Astrid Ule and I met at a Halloween party in 1996, where we discovered that we both love storytelling.

Oh yes, she also draws.
FAQs
What does the "T" stand for?

"Terrific"
Do you two live together?

Where?

Do you have children?

Is it a good cat or a bad cat?
Yes.

Berlin.

No, but we have a cat.

It is a bad cat.
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