Höllenhund / Piloten des Zorns / Tempel des Leids
I have had the pleasure of working with fantasy author Lew Marschall on several occasions. The first project – Höllenhund (“Hellhound”) (June 2019) – is an epic story about tolerance and mythology with a touch of a modern hero’s journey.
The next project was Tempel des Leids (“Temple of Sorrow”) – a philosophically inspired short story at the interface of science fiction and political activism.
Soon, Lew will be back with Piloten des Zorns (“Pilots of Wrath”), providing a second insight into this world. Here, too, we have already worked on the story.
I wouldn’t have expected so much by far. Florian’s coaching is great and his book tips were a complete hit. I am very much looking forward to more feedback from him.
Ära des Verrats (“Era of Treason”)
S. D. Foik
My collaboration with S. D. Foik was short but intense. In several phone-coaching sessions, we revised individual passages of his first novel, Ära des Verrats (“Era of Treason”), which was published in June 2020.
I love novels that reach into the real world and his work does just that. You’ll quickly notice this if you follow S. D. Foik on Twitter or Instagram, where he shares not only news about the novel, but also about political developments.
Currently, the homepage is still under construction. But you can already find some news, podcast episodes, and background information there.
Since May 2017 I was addicted to the world of podcasts. It started off in a classic way with “Fest und Flauschig” by Böhmermann and Schulz, continued with “Gemischtes Hack” by Felix Lobrecht and Tomy Schmidt and continued with tough podcasts by Ulf Buhrmeier and Philip Banse on the “Lage der Nation”.
At some point I thought there must be podcasts in the literary field after all, and came across Rudolf Schäfer’s podcast, which bears the fantastic name “Bookywood”. In one of the episodes he interviewed the “writing and story coach Florian Führen”.
At that time I was looking for an editor for my novel “Ära des Verrats” (“Era of Treason”) and what Florian said about his approach on the podcast sounded totally plausible to me. Of course, he also offered the classic editing service, but his work went beyond just editing. He worked on the strengths of the novel, on the author’s skills and tried to improve them.
I also found that Florian was very likeable, humorous and analytical in the podcast episode. I was impressed by his ability to approach a novel, to take it apart, to check for weaknesses and improve it. And so I decided to work with him.
I found Florian on Twitter, contacted him and inquired about the process of his work. We started talking very soon and his openness, transparency and background knowledge encouraged me to definitely hire him as a coach.
The best decision of my life.
I sent my manuscript to Florian and we agreed to talk about certain passages with which my test readers and I had difficulties. Florian sent me back detailed feedback and we agreed to a phone call, whereby we went through the weak points of the manuscript in parallel on the computer.
Florian’s analysis was of course hard for me at first. He found so many fundamental errors that I was really afraid to talk to him on the phone. But the more I thought about his comments, the more comprehensible they seemed to me.
He also took care of the problems in his calm, relaxed and funny way and immediately gave me a feeling of security.
It wasn’t a matter of stomping everything to the ground, but of turning small screws, which could have an immense effect. What I found great about Florian was his concrete tips for improving the text passages in question.
True to the motto: “There’s something wrong here, but here is a concrete instruction and a specific hint how you can do it better”.
Great. For every question I asked, Florian always had a precise and analytical answer – or a specific example of how to improve. Usually even several.
I know that during the first coaching we talked on the phone for almost two hours. I was pretty exhausted from my day as a teacher and the coaching was also exhausting.
But Florian’s ideas and suggestions for improvement didn’t leave me any peace. I almost immediately got down to the manuscript and implemented everything we had discussed. When I went to bed at 1:20 am, I was more satisfied with the novel than ever.
Florian discovered aspects of the novel that I didn’t even have on my screen. He gave life to lifeless, clichéd characters; he gave the story a new drive. And he encouraged me to write again, got me thinking about my heroes and the plot, which I would not have thought possible.
This also continued in the other coaching sessions. Again and again we looked at critical passages of the manuscript, analyzed them, unscrewed them and put them back together in a much better way. Suddenly, spaces in the novel developed that were to become important for the other volumes as well as making a prequel possible.
But Florian’s coaching did not only relate to the manuscript.
We talked about marketing, linking the characters and the plot to my website, we worked on ideas for advertising and also considered how to make the book more visible.
In conclusion, I have to say that Florian offers an all-round feel-good package in his coaching, which shows you new ways and layers in the novel, improves it and also offers marketing strategies on the side.
I am so happy to be able to work with him. He has turned “Era of Betrayal” into a great work of art.
After I had nothing more to do with my old passion from university for a long time, I was allowed to let off some medieval steam again with Birgit Constant. Her upcoming novel Oswulf will be set in early medieval England and will turn the world of a young Anglo-Saxon during the Norman occupation upside down.
I would love to reveal more, but first of all that wouldn’t be fair and secondly I cannot predict what Birgit will make of my suggestions. If you want to stay up to date (or if you already want to read up on her world with the Bretonisches Mädchen (“Breton Girl”) which will soon be filmed), you should visit her site. There Birgit also provides contributions on author marketing, plotting and the Middle Ages.
Florian’s author coaching is very comprehensive and detailed. He pinpoints technical writing problems in a manuscript, explains his constructive criticism with the help of concrete passages and many examples from other books and suggests a broad potpourri of solutions with individual, easy-to-implement steps to eradicate the errors. In doing so, he addresses the novel genre and its specifications very specifically, but also the author’s wishes and intentions.
My medieval novel and I felt that we were in very good and competent hands with him.
For Rudi Schäfer’s podcast, I was already able to interview Peter in the past. And I’m glad that a long-term cooperation has grown out of it. Peter has, as he himself would say, already got a few miles on the author’s clock. That made the coaching all the more exciting for me because I was able to observe which routines have already proven themselves for him.
In his tech thriller Claire we dissected his plot and writing style. Peter was a great sparring partner. It will be a while before the thriller is released because he will be working on his third fantasy novel from his Feywind series first. Follow Peter on his blog, where he fires from all cylinders. There you will find the endless catalog of novels he has already written and his newsletter.
No matter if you are a beginner, advanced or professional – Florian’s comments hit the nail on the head for everyone. He delivers a remarkable package, which is entirely in line with the author’s wishes. Florian’s notes go deep into the text by making stylistic improvements and polishing the plot. More than once they have opened my eyes to why some of my texts work well. And some just don’t. With Florian’s help you can expand your repertoire. And that is exactly what you want as an author. I value his work immensely!