Peter Prange

Peter Prange, born 1955, did his PhD with a thesis on philosophy and history of life and customs during the Enlightenment. After he had his breakthrough as a novelist with The Amber Amulet (Das Bernstein-Amulett - adapted for television in two parts by ARD), he followed it up with his “The Builders of Worlds Trilogy”: The Principessa (Die Principessa), The Philosopher’s Kiss (Die Philosophin) and The Rebel (Die Rebellin). They all made it onto the bestseller list where they kept their place for months. In 2007 his bestseller The Last Harem (Der letzte Harem) was published, and in 2009 came his great Renaissance epos The Gods of Dona Gracia (Die Gottessucherin). Peter Prange has also made a name for himself outside of Germany. His books have been sold into 26 languages, and up to the present time he has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.
His non-fiction book Values (Werte), a travel guide through the history of Western civilisation, was used by German chancellor Angela Merkel in her inaugural speech as president of the Council of the European Union, in order to explain her vision for Europe. Subsequently, the book was nominated for the „Europe Book Prize“.

Peter Prange in Short

Born and raised?

In Altena, in the Sauerland, an area where the saying goes: “Where manure heaps are steaming, no palm trees are dreaming.”

Place of Residence?

Tübingen, centre of seclusion from the world and at the same time the city with more professors and writers per square metre than any other place in Germany.

Marital status?

I am happily married “against” a Turkish lady for more than twenty years. I have a daughter who refuses to read books – an everlasting challenge for me, as I keep hoping that one day she will at least read my books.

Apart from being a writer – do you have any other profession?

I have graduated as a “certified erotologist” – my dissertation was a thesis about the sexual revolution of the 18th century. But what should one do to earn a living with such qualifications? No, I really had no choice; I had to become a writer.

I do like:

Beautiful women (my own one first and foremost), surprises (happy ones, if possible) good food (cooked the old-fashioned way, with plenty of calories), horse riding (whenever my back allows me to).

I don't like:

Bad entertainment, boredom. And for that reason one of my very first books (but I will not tell you which one)

Describe yourself in three words.

Shy AND megalomaniac.

Favourite author?

When I was ten, twelve years old, I started reading fat books, preferring at times Karl May and then again Thomas Mann. Since then, nothing much has changed …

Which book would you like to have written?

The bible, of course! After all, that was the “book of the books”, the first historical novel in the entire world literature. Besides, it is said to have sold rather well.

Favourite activities?

Playing God, which means: making up people and their fates.

Favourite film?

"That was my life". I hope, however, that filming won’t start just yet.

Which character from one of your novels do you never want to meet and why?

Laura from Stolen from Heaven. I am pretty sure we would fall in love with each other. And what would then become of Harry? No, it would be a shame to sacrifice the pair of them and their beautiful love story.

How should we imagine your daily routine as a writer?

As I am lazy by nature I approach my work with a lot of discipline. Instead of discussing with myself every morning whether I feel inspired or not, I step into my office every day at nine sharp, open the window and politely ask the muse to enter and kiss me. Sometimes she comes in, more often she does not. But she can never claim that she hasn’t found me waiting in the right place.

The best decision of your life?

My decision to be born. I would have missed quite a lot otherwise.

Which (childhood) dream have you not fulfilled yet?

To spend a day in silence – I am simply not capable of doing it!

If you could swap places with somebody for a day – who would you chose?

My wife. A great opportunity to get to know myself better at last.

You have the opportunity to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in three different places around the world – where will your journey take you?

Breakfast I will have in New York – so I can get up six hours later than here. For lunch I will go to Rome, to strengthen myself mentally – with the help of the Pope and my agent Roman Hocke who lives there. And for dinner I will be in Constantinople – so I can quickly drop in at the harem.

Your next goal?

How should I know? After all it was my ambition to surprise myself again and again.