When I was born in Plauen, Germany, our street was called Adolf-Hitler Strasse. Then the Yanks came (to conquer) and went (leaving the region to exchange for the US Sector of Berlin).
In marched the Ivans, who stayed a little longer and renamed the street to Friedensstrasse, or Peace Street. After the Soviet Kommandantura people came to imprison my father, we quickly took off back to West Berlin, where all the family were anyway.
Growing up in West Berlin before the Wall went up, was a unique experience. 'Don't go behind that tree', they told me when I was little, 'or the Russians will take you away'. They got me anyway, with their music. In the Sportpalast, where only a few years before, Hitler's lackey Göbbels had screeched 'do you want total war?' I attended a Don Cossacks concert and the first seeds were sown. For my High School graduation, I chose Russian composers in music and the Russian Revolution in history as in-depth topics.
I attempted to study sociology at Free University, but my rather despiccable parents made my life so difficult that I dropped out and took off to Frankfurt where I worked in the Associated Press newsroom. Inevitably, girl meets boy, and yes, he played Russian music on his balalaika.
We made Russian music professionally until it took us to Australia, and six years later we settled here.
We went to a small town in the provinces, because I get migraines from diesel fumes. But what good is it to be without migraines when it means you cannot make a dime? No good at all, was the answer, so we left for Adelaide.
I wanted to be a screenwriter, but in the courses I found out that you have to do your own story development. There was no requirement for a screenwriter who would want to work for someone else's story. That was the point when I made up my mind to write 'La Plevitskaya' as a historical novel. This novel has become the most important thing in my life at the moment.
I do not believe in spending time on my past, but to satisfy that readership segment who finds the past interesting, I dig a little. I have done a lot of things in my life, worked in a supermarket, department store, Berlin main post office, in the laundry of US barracks in Berlin, as a babysitter for a free room, as a music manager, news editor and journalist, an export-import secretary, a festival organiser, a copywriter, translator, and all of that led to playing the bass balalaika in our Russian groups or duo, oh yeah!
I have a rich treasure of experiences to tap into, but to most people who never dared to leave the comfort zone of their home town and clan, my CV may read strange. Well, if you have parents who look best when you see their backs, and live in a country like Germany that you cannot identify with, leaving for far-away shores is what you need to do.
I later became a victim of German government reunification corruption, which is another story altogether. For this CV it only needs to be noted that the German colluding class, then presided over by Helmut Kohl, cost me quite some time and money, plus my belief in democracy. It also cost my brother's life.
After publishing my Plevitskaya book in English, I translated the first part into German before it becomes completely slow and rusty. Why did I do this? Because I intended to publish the whole thing in German. But once again, I had to deal with matters German after my brother's death. After that I needed to give everything German a very wide berth - for a while, maybe forever.
I would like to write more, but life gets in the way.