Kristina Dunker is one of Germany’s top authors for teens. She published her first novel at age 17 and has since won many prestigious prizes. Her books have been turned into musicals by fans and been set to music by the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Düssledorf. She has lectured widely in Europe and South America on writing for young people. A bestselling author in Germany, Dunker makes her U.S. debut this month with the publication of Summer Storm, a thriller for teens centered on the hard truths of friendship and trust.
Question: How did you come to be an author at age 17?
Kristina Dunker: I spent the summer when I was 17 with my parents in the Alps. For me, it could not have been more boring. There were no other young people around and I wanted to be with teens rather my parents’ friends. A beach holiday would have been much better than the mountains. There were no discos and I was far from the boy that I loved... so my first book became a dream of the perfect holiday and also a long love letter to that boy who happens to be my husband today.
Question: Did you always know that you wanted to write for teens?
KD: Yes, there was no doubt that I wanted to write for teens. Their problems and adventures were naturally ones that I had too. Extreme feelings, the special importance of close friendships, trust, and the power of falling in love for the first time gripped me. I was full of crazy ideas and was open to the endless possibilities of life. Even the experience of making mistakes was great because I had the freedom to laugh about it.