J.J. Bidell Guest Post and Giveaway

I am very happy about sharing some information about me in a guest post. My real name is Elke Becker and I am a German author living in Spain, so my English is far away from being perfect. So please bear with me ;-)

After travelling around the world at last I settled down in Spain, to be exact on Mallorca, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. I never felt like home in Germany and for that reason I looked for my place in the world.

I lived alone in Venezuela where I started studying Spanish. Nobody over there spoke English nor German. So I felt very lonely there the first time. For that reason I started writing and never could stop again. The stories of too many funny adventures, curious situations, different customs and very nice people from all over the world has to been told. As it was in a time where not every home had an internet connection nether skype or other systems offered their service, I had to connect with family and friends going in an internet café. So I started writing what happened to me during my stay like a diary. I saved it on a floppy disk and walked to the closest internet café for sending it to my family.
At this time I was far away from writing novels but I never stopped writing for myself. The first three “novels” are still “sleeping” in a file on my computer. They are nice to read … but without a real story or plot … I showed it only to my sister and to a friend – they loved the stories and I know they will love everything I write because they love me. So I took courses in creative and screenplay writing, bought books like “How to write a damn good novel” and some other books about writing – and I wrote a lot. Short stories, longer ones and scripts for short movies.
After another year I tried to start my next novel. I plotted with the “snowflake method”, wrote a crime story – inspired by a true story – and found a publisher in Germany. So things started slowly.
I had a lot of fun during the screenplay writing course painting the storyboard of my script for a short movie and helped a lot in dialogue seeing the written words becoming alive by actors. I will never forget the feeling I had seeing it on the screen. If you wish to have a look – it is subtitled and free:  http://vimeo.com/groups/germanshortfilms/videos/14587417

Well, my nieces are not interested in crime stories not even in mine. Kids are cruel and honest and I love this. But they asked me why I am not writing something for them like an urban fantasy story without werewolves and vampires and I promised them to consider it.
As I travelled to Mexico before I remembered a legend of jaguar people in the Maya era and I started thinking: What will happen, when a young woman in present time will be transformed into a panther in a foreign country living there by her own? What if she fell in love and this love will be in danger? Slowly the plot grew up. I travelled to Maine for finding the right place for the US setting and after a year the first part of novel has been done. I wrote this story under the name J. J. Bidell. (The name comes from my nieces Jessica and Janine and the maiden name of my beloved mother Bidell)
My nieces love the story and other readers in Germany like the story too. So I asked a professional translator in Washington to translate the first part for English readers. Some people asked me, why English spoken people should read a novel of an unknown German author and I was not able to answer. But I don't know the answer to why German readers are reading the stories of authors from other countries … maybe it is only while the story sounds interesting? I will see if they like the story.  Time will tell.
In the meanwhile I am working in the second part which will be finished in December this year (German Edition) and I love how the characters challenge me while trying to live their own live in the story. And the story I have in mind for them.
My only intention is to entertain the reader for some hours. Nothing more, nothing less. If I achieve this I am very happy and if not I'll try to achieve this next time as far as I gain it.

J. J. Bidell grew up in the country-bred of Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Since she was 18 years old she travelled every year like a backpacker thru the North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself like a cosmopolitan with German roots.  After living in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she lives on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, which is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another airplane again.

Under the name Elke Becker she published several short stories with Amnesty International, in anthologies and a novel with Schenk Publishing House. Her script of a short movie “Marie´s voice” has been running in several international film festivals like in the UK and Colombia.

Where to meet:
Twitter: @JJBidell
Link to the novel: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IHDW82


Naomi Roberts finally receives a scholarship for a semester abroad in Maine. When Naomi’s grandmother suddenly claims that Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther, like her great grandmother Romina, Naomi believes it is a final and desperate attempt to keep her from departing to the USA.

Having arrived in Maine, Naomi enjoys her student life with new friends and her first love, Roman. Even though she feels magically drawn to a mysterious clearing in the woods, believes she is being watched and begins to sleepwalk, she does not remember the prophecy of her grandmother. Until her very first transformation. And - Naomi is not alone, which not only exposes her to mortal danger, but also Roman.

J.J. Bidell aka Elke Becker has offered to give away 3 e-copies of her novel to three lucky To Read or Not To Read readers. This giveaway is open internationally. All you need to do to enter is:
  • Read my giveaway policy
  • You must be at least 13 years old to enter
  • You Must fill out the form below
  • Giveaway ends February 1, 2012
  • Click here if you can't view the form.


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