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Oliver Pötzsch: As a descendant of the executioner’s dynasty Kuisl, I have been fascinated by their history since my childhood. Engaging myself with the Kuisls makes me feel connected to a greater lineage. In addition, executions are a fascinating topic often treated with undue prejudice. In this respect my books are a defense of my ancestors’ honour.
Question: What authors or books have influenced your writing?
Oliver Pötzsch: Regarding historic novels, my writing has been influenced by Paul Harding, Robert Harris, and the fantastic novel Terror by Dan Simmons. But I also look up to many authors of the fantasy genre such as Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, and the almost forgotten Fritz Leiber.
Question: What research did you do while writing your book?
Oliver Pötzsch: My grandmother’s deceased cousin was a passionate genealogist. In his life he built an enormous archive of information about my ancestors and the hangman profession, and I have been allowed free use of this resource. Also, during my career as a journalist I made several radio programs on this topic, talking to herb women and guardians of cultural heritage and searching in many archives of Bavarian cities for my ancestors.
Question: Is there any character you most identify with? Why?
Oliver Pötzsch: I am a cross between Jakob Kuisl and Simon Fronwieser. I am sometimes ferociously melancholic like Kuisl, and I have his stubbornness and his grumbling taciturnity which can drive my wife crazy. But also, like Simon, I am curious, I can be charming and at times even loquacious, and I love great coffee!
Question: Have you considered trying your hand at other genres?
Oliver Pötzsch: In March 2011, my new book, The Ludwig Conspiracy, will be released. It’s about the mysterious background of the death of King Ludwig II, the Bavarian fairy tale king. The novel is set in the present day; it is a contemporary thriller which I took great pleasure in writing. And one day I want to write a fantasy novel. As a child I couldn’t get enough of them.
Question: Have you always wanted to be an author? What other careers have you pursued?
Oliver Pötzsch: As a child I wanted to become a soccer commentator, actor, and yes, as a matter of fact, I wanted to become a writer. I always made up stories and wasted my youth on never-ending fantasy roleplaying.
Question: What's it like to have a book published for the first time?
Oliver Pötzsch: The first book is like the birth of a child, a long-cherished dream come true. Apart from that, every novel is really hard work! But I can’t think of anything else to do.
Question: What's next for you?
Oliver Pötzsch: After the thriller about Ludwig II, I am writing the fourth novel in the Hangman series. Later I will fulfil another childhood dream of mine and go live in Iceland for a while. Without my mobile or laptop. It is something I promised my family. Well, I might take a big notepad for a few new ideas...
(Photo © Dominik Parzinger)
This book was very interesting and kept me guessing until the end.
The story was a very simple 'who did it' mystery with too much time looking for the bad guys and not enough time on historical details or character development.
This story is very interesting from a historical perspective and has very good character development.
kept my interest through out the entire book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense.I will read the next book.Published 1 hour ago by Gail McMath
Good read. Interesting historical info. I don't know how accurate it all is, but seems like it is judging by the author's letter about researching it. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by MiaJay
A terrific mixture of historical fiction and ancestral curiosity. Terrific historical detail mixed with plot twists and surprises. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by E. Demskis
It brought great imagination because of the excellent descriptions but it took a lot for me to "get into it" & finish the book. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Tric
A great read-a historical thriller. It kept me intrigued and fascinated throughout. I will be reading future books in this series!Published 1 day ago by Brett Carter
There were things and ways of life that I had never realized. This book brought a vivid understanding of what some people's every day's routine was and how they tried to cope as... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Pat Clay
Best book I've read in a looooong time, translates perfectly into English with very little lost. This is a book you cannot put downPublished 3 days ago by rb1294
This book was so interesting I couldn't put it down. A must read !!! I'm really looking forward to the following books.Published 3 days ago by valerie yudice
Good characters, evil small-town politics, a bit of history, lots of danger and intrigue. True, the story is not completely centered around the daughter, but it is a good story... Read morePublished 3 days ago by E Witt