Born 1970 in Hannover, author Andrea Paluch is known for her numerous novels and successful children’s books. She speaks to Discover Germany about the importance of the wolf in Germany, her latest book Ruf der Wölfe, which she wrote with her husband – Robert Habeck, and much more.
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO © PRIVATE
You live with your children and your husband, Green Party politician Robert Habeck, in Flensburg and Berlin. What do you love about these cities?
A. Paluch: I love Flensburg’s border location with Denmark and the water. It’s a virtual paradisiac place in summer. Berlin, on the other hand, is full of culture and input, so that I’m always on the go and feeling astonished. Back in Flensburg, I then can relax and enjoy the peace again.
You studied literature, linguistics and English language, and write great books today. What do you love most about writing? Why could you never live without it?
A. Paluch: I could never live without it because it’s simply so much fun. Writing is something that I can do better than everything else and to constantly develop oneself is very satisfying.
You have written books together with your husband before he went into politics. How is it to write books on your own today? What has changed since back then?
A. Paluch: Writing on your own is lonely, as you’re silent. I don’t discuss and review the texts anymore in a team as I did in the past, and rather think about them now. The quality of reading out loud obviously suffers from that. I have to start speaking the texts out loud again – even if it’s strange on your own.
You have worked with your husband again for the exciting new children’s book Ruf der Wölfe. How did you think of the idea for the book?
A. Paluch: When the iron curtain fell and the theoretic possibility emerged that wolves from the east would soon migrate to Germany, we thought about what would happen. How does society react on the return of untamed nature into civilization? The book developed from these thoughts.
Why is it so important to convey this topic to children?
A. Paluch: As the return of wolves has recently been called a ‘wolf problem’ and the topic is so omnipresent in the media, we believe that it’s important for children to be able to form an opinion on this. For this, our story offers a free space for fantasy, and the factual part at the end offers information.
How important is the wolf to Germany?
A. Paluch: The wolf is a provocation for the clearly structured, modern life which has to be as predictable as possible. For the ecological system, the wolf is an enrichment. Today, people understand that the eradication or extinction of species is disarranging dynamics amidst these systems and therefore jeopardises our livelihoods.
How should people deal with wolves in your opinion?
A. Paluch: Not at all, preferably. Wolves are shy and tend to avoid humans. In order to protect herd animals, one should use the practice of our ancestors and use guard dogs.
What do you wish for Germany and the world?
A. Paluch: I wish that the exploitation of human, animal and nature stops.
Do you have tips for young aspiring writers?
A. Paluch: You learn writing through practice and training – just like in sports or playing instruments. You simply have to do it and let yourself be criticised.
What else do you have planned for this year? Do you have any other news for us?
A. Paluch: I am currently working on three different book projects, which will hopefully get published next year.
Ruf der Wölfe (EDEL KIDS BOOKS) – out now.