Q&A with Award Winning German YA Author Melissa Feurer
The hottest new author in Christian fiction might just be coming out of Germany. Meet award-winning, multi-published German author Melissa Feurer. Melissa and I were introduced by our German publisher, Francke publishing. I think you’ll agree that Melissa’s heart for great stories that inspire us to deeper faith is something that needs no translation!
Melissa C. Feurer was born in Gunzenhausen in Bavaria. In spring 2015, Melissa’s sixth Christian young adult novel was published. Her seventh book, due out this summer, was honored with the 2014 C. S. Lewis-Award. Melissa currently lives in Würzburg with her husband and works at an elementary school.
Q. When did you become a Christian?
I was blessed to get to know Jesus already as a child. I grew up in a Christian family. My Mom took me to church and I attended youth groups in my home town. Christian friends I got to know there and in school carried me through times of doubt and helped me to grow in faith over the years.
Q. What does it mean to you to be a Christian writer?
For me it means to give God the glory with the talents He has given to me. There was a time I was pretty sure God had just forgotten to give me any talent. But then one night, during an event called 24/7-prayer, He told me to use my writing for Him. So I started to write Christian fiction. And God blessed my work. He opened doors to publishing houses that had remained closed until then. He blesses me with ideas. I don’t only want to write compelling stories, but I want to give my readers hope and set their hearts on fire for Jesus.
Q. What is one trend you see happening in German or European churches today?
I think that the Christian culture is growing. Christian books, movies and music seem to be more present. It’s nothing all new, of course. But it seems like more and more German Christians are getting creative. For example: We’re big Hillsong fans over here. But, in the meantime, there are also very popular German worship bands. I heard the Outbreakband being called the “German Hillsong” and it’s kind of true: You hear their songs (same as Hillsong) all over at the moment.
Very cool. Readers: check out Germany’s Outbreakband here.
Q. What kinds of books are popular in the Christian market right now?
There are so many genres it’s hard to say which really are popular right now. I know many people who love to read christian historical fiction – Lynn Austin is very popular in Germany. But it also seems like theres a growing demand for Christian fantasy books. And the Germans love crime stories of all kinds.
Q. Books take us to new worlds. For readers who have never been to Germany, what is one of the coolest things about your country?
In Bavaria, we have many beautiful little towns with an historic city core, old churches and half-timber houses. Depending on where you are, they’re surrounded by woods and fields (like my home town Gunzenhausen) or vinyards (like Würzburg, where I’m living).
Q. Sounds like a storybook setting. So, what is your book about?
“The Soundtrack of Your Life” is one of my newer books. It tells the story of two teenage girls and their friends who have a still unknown garage band and big plans for the future. But everything is at stake when Lilly’s best friend, Cab, is diagnosed with leukemia. The band, the friendship, their plans, Cab’s life. But he doesn’t give up. He finds hope in his growing relationship to Jesus and he is fighting to win his life back.
Read an excerpt of “The Soundtrack of Your Life” in English by clicking here.
Q. You won the C.S. Lewis Award! Congratulations! What was it for and what did it mean to you?
Thank you! The C. S. Lewis Award is a literary prize, given yearly to a book project that deals with a Christian point of view of life and society in a new and authentic way. I’m the first winner after a break of several years and it means a lot to me. C. S. Lewis is an inspiring example of Christian literature and I’m a big fan of the books of the first award winner, Titus Müller. Besides … if my husband hadn’t talked me into sending in my manuscript for the competition when it was only a few chapters long, I would have never finished it within such a short time, or maybe not at all … it was exactly the motivating push I needed ;).
Q. What is your next book about?
The next book coming out is the one that was honored with the C. S. Lewis Award. It’s a dystopia, taking place in a society that shut out the rest of the world and has very strict rules. All kinds of religion are forbidden. When Mira, daughter of a reputable public official, steals and reads one of the fobridden books, she gets in contact with a Christian underground organization.
Q. Who most inspires you and why?
I work in an elementary school in the second grade. It can be time-consuming and exhausting, but the kids inspire me daily.
Thanks, Melissa! I hope to read your books in English some day soon!
Learn more about Melissa on www.melissa-c-feurer.de.