Astrid Christine Donaubauer – pleasure!

I don’t normally use my middle name for any purpose whatsoever, but I thought that two initials look better on a book cover than just one. And thus, after more than 30 years of being either ignored or a nuisance when I had to fill in forms, my middle name has finally turned out to be useful for something.

I was born and raised in Austria (not Australia, mind you – no kangaroos!) and still live there with my husband. You might have heard of that small country somewhere in the middle of Europe; we are known for Sound of Music, Lederhosen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and, lately, Christoph Waltz. Another recent claim to fame: In The Big Bang Theory Austria was mentioned as one of the countries that look like a Wiener… Isn’t that lovely. I haven’t managed to look at a map without giggling since.

I would call writing a hobby, yet I am not sure if hobbies are supposed to drive you crazy and haunt you at night if you don’t give in to them. Calling it a vocation sounds a bit grand for my liking, so let’s just say it’s what I spend a lot of my free time on.

In real life (I like to consider my writing activities as kind of a double life; not quite as grand as Batman’s secret identity, but you get my drift) I earn my keep as a freelance trainer and translator, pursuing the quest of helping people to improve and develop their communication and language skills.

I have no wish to make writing my primary occupation – I am convinced that in my case sitting down and letting my fingers type what is going on in my head has so far only worked because I am not bound by any deadlines or financially dependent on producing anything halfway enjoyable. That’s how I would like to keep it.