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Andreas Wagner

Hello! Welcome to the Author of the Week Page, where I interview Indie Authors, This week's Author of the Week is the interesting and wonderful Andreas Wagner, Andreas talks about his book Happily Ever After. Hi Andreas, so we know your book is called, Get Rid Of Your Small Addictions: How To Feel More Fulfilled And Live Happily Ever After. Tell me a little about yourself. I was born in Romania, raised in Germany and now at home in London. I've lived here for twelve years now and I love the opportunities such a big city offers (except when we're in lockdown). I have a very unusual combination of hobbies: On the one hand, I dance salsa and on the other hand, I love playing poker. I have been a semi-professional player for a while, playing big tournaments including the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. Also, I'm trying to learn to play golf and tennis, which is so much harder than it seems when you watch Rory McIlroy or Roger Federer do it. And I worked in football for most of my adult life, first as a journalist, then as an interpreter for managers like Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, and then as a consultant for a football betting company. What a wonderfully varied career! What got you into writing? I have been writing ever since I can remember. I became a correspondent for one of Germany's top national newspapers at the age of 19 and obviously that was a massive boost for my writing career. I remember I was still in school when the newspaper's editor called and asked if I could attend a press conference. I didn't want to tell him that I had to sit in my maths class, so I told him I was really busy with writing other articles. And I always had the idea of wanting to write books, but I only had my first attempt at it two years ago and I didn't even finish that manuscript. It was a dating guide for men. I might still continue writing on it one day. Practise makes perfect! What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing? I love that as a writer you can be very precise in what you want to bring across. In any other form of communication, you are rather vague. Of course, you could memorise a few paragraphs that you crafted before saying them out loud, but that would also mean that you wrote them down at first. And I just love when a sentence pinpoints exactly what I wanted to get across. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction in that moment. What I don't like about writing, is that my mind is often quicker than my fingers. I have a thought and I would love to just chuck it out but I can't type quickly enough. A first-class problem ; ) Who is the worst villain you’ve ever written, and why? Addictions. As a non-fiction writer, I don't have classic villains, but mine are real-life villains who make real people's lives miserable. Addictions are exactly that, even if we are only talking about addictions like social media, Netflix, pornography, coffee, or sugar. Most people don't even imagine what these small pleasures actually do to their brains. That is true, what is next on your list to write/publish? I have five book ideas at the moment, so I need to figure out what I really want to do. One of the books would be a biography about a football manager I have worked with, but that would be a complete change of genre, so I'll probably leave that one for a bit later. In line with my first book, I would like to go more in-depth into the topic of addictions and show what a dopamine detox can do for you. And then I have started working on the manuscript for a book with the working title Ugly Truths About Men And Women, in which I will concentrate on human evolution and what this means for our behaviour. That will be a psychology book. I expect it to be very controversial and it is something that is close to my heart. That sounds amazingly interesting, who is your favourite author, and why? If we stay in the non-fiction world, I'll say Jordan Peterson. He writes about very similar topics and he has that phenomenal background knowledge that stems from his long career as a psychology professor. It's not so much about his writing style, but about the things that he has to say and his wealth of knowledge. On the fiction side, it's Agatha Christie. She was my favourite author when I was a teenager. I just loved her books and the films based on her works. And now in London, I live very close to the Isokon Building, where she lived in the 1930s. It's just a coincidence but that has solidified my admiration for her. Agatha Christie is a truly timeless author, it's wonderful how her books are still valid today, who encouraged you the most to write? It was my very first editor at a local newspaper when I was 18. He just sent me to an event and said: Don't worry about anything, just talk to people and then write a few lines about it. Subsequently, he taught me how to structure articles and how to make them interesting. This was the foundation for my writing career and I still benefit tremendously from those words of advice even when I write books today. Good advice is hard to come by Andreas, but when you get it, it stays with you. Are you as avid a reader as a writer? Yes, definitely, but again mainly non-fiction. I consider myself a realist and I just don't like escaping into fantasy worlds. Even when I do read fiction it has to be something realistic. But I prefer to learn things, which is also why I stick predominantly to non-fiction. And I read loads of newspapers. Thankfully, there are epapers now because in the past I would amass newspapers in my house. They would be everywhere and I would be hiding behind one of them most of the time. Andreas, is that a secret! The original hoarder! What’s your favourite genre? Non-fiction self-help or psychology books. I love books that teach me something that I don't know. If we talk about fiction, then it would have to be mystery or whodunits. That's probably the German in me. My countrymen love solving murder mysteries so give me Poirots and Miss Marples. I'd hate to be on a murder mystery weekend with you, do you listen to music when you write? Not directly music, but ASMR videos. That stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and I find it super relaxing. It's usually girls with cute voices who whisper and make very light noises. I find those videos are the perfect background sound for being productive. That said, recently, I discovered my love for the noise of the jackhammers that are tearing off the pavement outside my house, 8 hours a day, every day. Oh my, that would be distracting, if you could interview any famous author who would it be and why? As a history fan, I would pick someone like William Shakespeare. No, actually it would be Mark Twain. He said a few really cool things and I love his humour. But if we stay on a more realistic level, we're back to Jordan Peterson. He has so many great theories and explanations about human behaviour that we could talk for hours. Tell me a secret that none of your fans know!  One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I never drank any alcohol until the age of 37. I was just never interested and I witnessed people around me who misbehaved when they got drunk, so I wanted to never become like them. But then my long-term partner and I broke up and I realised that I wanted to make new friends so I decided to try wine and cider. But I'm still proud to say that I have never been properly hung over. That's a wonderful secret! Tell me what your main character would say about you! They would say that it took Andreas a long time to realise what actually makes him happy. And that he is working on living the life that he really wants. I'm glad you have that realisation, so many wait until it's too late! Finally, any words of advice? This is something aspiring authors won't like to hear, but I have to say it: learn marketing! I've always had a latent interest in marketing, but I never really learned it. When I published my first book, I had to read up so much on this topic and my knowledge improved tremendously within two weeks. In those two weeks, I barely did anything else than read books and articles about book marketing. If you have a basic knowledge of marketing, you will still have to dig into book marketing specific tactics, but it will make your life so much other. And if you ask me general life advice: become aware of your small-scale addictions. Do you use social media a lot? Are you someone who binges Netflix series? Do you watch too much porn? Once you've identified those, try to reduce these things and create new habits. You will thank yourself for doing this. Thank you, for talking with me today, I hope everyone enjoyed the interview as much as I did, now if you want more Andreas, find him at: Author Website: Instagram: AndreasWagnerAuthor Twitter: Andreas03235025

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