Daniel Carinsson

Born in Berlin in ’68, I already lived a number of professional lives. Graduated sound engineer, later music producer and copywriter, then again hiker and bandleader in the US, later PR-professional, event-organizer and owner of a music label in Vienna, the metropolis on the banks of the Danube. In 2011 my first novel was published, other books and short-stories followed.

My life led me to a small village on the Danube, near the Slovakian border, where I live and write in the light studio of a turn of the century mansion with an eventful past.
It turned out that literally beneath the surface of my garden there is even more history that caught my attention and to which I have devoted myself intensively for several years now to write the story that I am kind of digging out of the ground, word-by-word.

In 2015 I was elected to the board of DAS SYNDIKAT, the association of German-speaking crime writers, from which I withdrew in 2018 in order to concentrate better on my current projects.

A guy who wanted to go west and arrived in the east

It is certainly not a particular unique selling proposition that since my teenage years, which I was allowed to spend in a green and peaceful corner of Bavaria, I have dreamed of some day seeking and finding my happiness in the land of unlimited possibilities, but at least I belonged to the kind of people who kept their dreams even after graduating from school. And so, after completing my studies and twelve quite successful years as a sound engineer, music and advertising producer - fuelled by a four-week crossing of the USA - I quit my well-paid job, broke down all my tents and set off with sackcloth and baggage to the city of my desires, Los Angeles. Confident and without any doubt, to find there my destiny and a glorious future.

That was at the beginning of the year 2000. Today, about two decades later, and a series of unexpected, sometimes almost neckbreaking turns later, I live on the easternmost edge of Austria, directly on the borders to Hungary and Slovakia, at the foothills of the small Carpathians, on the bank of the Danube and my eyes have turned eastward. Whether Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania or Russia, Eastern Europe seems to me today at least as exciting, attractive and promising as the Golden West once was. Meanwhile I know many of these countries better than I know the beaches between Venice and Santa Barbara, I have gained insights into the history, culture and nature of the Central European region, which continue to fascinate me.

A nearly failed existence

I celebrated my first "literary success" in the first grade in high school. I had to write an essay about an exciting Christmas adventure and I managed to put down on just three pages and with our pet Cecilia as the main protagonist, a thrilling adventure that brought me the first A's of my school career and swept my then teacher to storms of enthusiasm. At that moment I decided to study literature or journalism and become an author. Then I forgot again. I had discovered music and had been seduced by it. For over twenty years I tried to achieve something with music. As a sound engineer, as a singer, as a music producer, as a music manager, as owner of a recordlabel. Often to the brink of exhaustion, often by bending and breaking and again and again a few sweet breadcrumbs of success - one time a golden record, another time a respectable music prize - gave me the deceptive feeling of being on the right track.

In between I had always written. Be it advertising or press texts, concept drafts, travel reports or internet articles. It was always well received, had almost always worked. But it had been so inconspicuous, so uncomplicated, that I hadn't noticed it at all. Only when I was almost at the end of my rope - physically, mentally, financially - did it dawn on me that I was chasing the wrong determination all these years.

Writing by the stream

Since fall 2008 I have been living in the immediate vicinity of the Danube. And while she already became a familiar acquaintance to me during my first 10 years in Vienna, she is now something like a companion, a muse, inspiration. She appeared several times in my first novel "Baro Drom". As Femme Fatal almost, sometimes a deadly threat, sometimes admired beauty. In the novel "Rain of Gold" then, she was the place of the plot and the red thread on a boat trip up to the Black Sea.

And also in my current work, the great European river has a central role. Though in a different time. In the fifth century after Christ, during the migration period, the Danube is literally at the end of the world. In a time in which all borders and all certainties seem to dissolve, it becomes a constant for the protagonists. And at the same time it is an elemental force that brings destruction with its floods as well as the basis for new life. 

For me, the long hikes to both sides of the river always are time travels to me. With fresh ideas, not just literary ones, which I catch on the way, I would like my audience to join me again on some of these journeys. I hope there will be many to come.