Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:
Katharina Gerlach
Title of book and/or series:
Treasures Retold: The Dwarf and the Twins
Brief summary of the story:
Martin, a dwarf with a magical beard, helps a pregnant woman to escape the king’s soldiers. Little does he know that the twin she bears will change his life forever.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
My (still nameless) world is changing. While in most areas magic is on the decline, xxx by steam engine technology, some areas remain untouched and full of strange happenings. The first book in Treasures Retold is set into one of the remote places. The Forest Kingdom has not seen any technology yet and fairy godmothers are still an everyday occurrence in royal households. However, magic is dangerous, which my characters must learn the hard way.
If we were to visit your world as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you like technology check out the stream driven machines in the more advanced kingdoms (like the SEC, a steam engine chariot). If you prefer magical creatures, make sure to visit the Old Forest. But beware, you might not leave it the way you entered it.
What dangers should we avoid in your world?
Both, magic and technology, are sometimes dangerous. You might want to avoid annoying anyone who’s an expert at using one or the other.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in my world?
Truth be told, I haven’t thought about that yet since so far it hasn’t been important for the stories I wrote. However, that’s going to change during November when I will start writing the first draft of the 4thnovelette in the series, a retelling of “The House in the Forest” by the Brothers Grimm. It is one of those tales hardly anyone knows, but it has a lot to do with food and eating, so I will have to think about that some more.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel?
Most common folk still walk wherever they need to go. Farmers use carts (pulled by a man, a donkey, or an ox) or chariots (horse drawn). Rich people in more advanced kingdoms own SECs, steam engine chariots. However, their design and reliability varies greatly.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in your world that we don’t see on Earth?
Right in the first book, you will meet a fairy (not the Tolkien kind) as fairy godmother. Of course, there are mechanical creatures, usually small ones like birds, in the technologically advanced kingdoms. I’m sure there are unicorns in the Old Forest but I haven’t been able to coax them out yet. The Old Forest is hiding a lot of creatures that are still unknown to this day. Maybe, an explorer will go there some day to find fear… I mean to find out.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic comes in a variety of forms. The Old Forest is filled with it and affects everyone who can’t travel through it fast (and it’s a huge forest). A person might change into an animal by drinking water from a brook. Also, there are humans who have the talent to use magical energies. Wise women, witches, sorcerers and the like might use different techniques but they all share the same source, the world’s magic. Unfortunately, magic and technology are like two poles on a magnet. Where technology advances, magic declines.
What is the political or government structure in your world? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
My world houses thousands of small kingdoms. Some are so small, you could travel through in a day – on foot. But each one is unique in a way, and people are usually very proud of their little (or big) nation. The king in the first episode of my fairy tale retelling is middle aged and has a son he loves very much. And he makes mistakes…
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve always been a great fan of fairy tales. I’ve read so many that I don’t count the fairy tale books on my shelves by numbers but by meters. Even after cleaning out a lot (mostly picture books because my kids are too old for those now), I still have 3m of fairy tale books left.
Author Autobiography:
Born and raised in Germany with a “spare” family in Scotland, I’ve always felt at home in the English language. When I couldn’t find a publisher in Germany, I began writing my novels in English. Twice, I was really close to getting a publishing contract. Once, the publisher folded and the second time, the editor left. After that, I decided to go Indie and have never looked back. By now, I’ve published seven novels and countless shorter works. I won two awards and got the German quality Indie publishing label Qindie for one of my books.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? 
All my novels and short stories are available on amazon.com (or .de, .co.uk etc)
Some stories are also available through Smashwords and other retailers.
Where can readers connect with you online?

I have a homepage (both in Englishand German), a facebook author page, and a Twitteraccount. I’m also reasonably active on Goodreads and less so on Wattpad.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to this world.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another fantasy world, in Realm Explorers Part XXXII!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Thank you for having me on your blog. I am Katharina Gerlach, a German author with a Scottish “spare” family. Ever since I learned to read, I loved fantastical stories and especially fairy tales. When I started writing my first fairy tale retelling, I never thought it would grow into a series. But I was not surprised when my Muse (that’s the personification of my creative side – yes, I am crazy) assaulted me with one idea after the next. 

So far, I’ve written variations on “Snow White and Rose Red” (Brothers Grimm, just released today under the title The Dwarf and the Twins), “The Beauty and the Beast” (Joseph Jacobs, due January 2015), and “Little Brother, Little Sister” (Grimm again, planned for April 2015). Currently, I’m working on “The House in the Wood” (Grimm). It is my mother’s favorite fairy tale and quite unknown even in Germany.

The most interesting thing about this series was when my Muse insisted that after the first story, which is filled with traditional magic, the second book would have to be a steampunk novelette. When I began asking questions about that, I got the plot for the third book in the series. It seems that in my world magic is declining while steam engine technology is on the rise. The two don’t seem to go together. The more I learn about this world, the more I long to write in it. The good thing is that there are as many tiny kingdoms (and a few bigger ones) as there are fairy tales to be re-told.

The Dwarf and the Twins eBook contains the retelling, a bonus short story, and the original story by the Brothers Grimm. It costs less than a cup of coffee in your local coffee shop. I sincerely hope you will like the book.