Urchin King Interview and Giveaway

Sher A Hart here. As the Fang, Fur, and Fey giveaway winds down, it’s time for the Happily Ever After Giveaway hop, featuring Urchin King. This historical fantasy by Katharina Gerlach will make you feel like you’re back in medieval times, except they’re more mid-evil times when a twin’s first breath might be his last.  Expect some great surprises.

I’d like to thank I am a Reader Not a Writer and Murphy’s Library for hosting the Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop. Before you read my interview with Katharine (Cat) and enter the giveaway, check out the blurb of Urchin King:

For fourteen years, street-urchin Paul’s miserable existence has kept him safe from an ancient law that sentences all second-born twins to death. When he learns he is the younger twin of the mentally handicapped Crown Prince who’s in danger of being killed for his disability, he agrees to play the role of the miraculously healed royal heir. Paul struggles to learn how to act like a born ruler, but finds that his greatest skill, getting by unnoticed, is now his greatest liability. He knows if he is discovered, he will be executed like all second-born twins. (For readers of fantasy from 12-99 years)

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Get Urchin King as Paperback

Now for my interview with Katharina Gerlach. The questions are pumpkin orange. It’s fall, after all. 

Why did you write this book (as opposed to another)?

The idea of a land where second born twins were killed at birth wouldn’t let me go. Add to it my fascination with history, and I just couldn’t help writing what my Muse threw at me.

The concept of switching identities with a royal heir is not new, so what makes your book unique or interesting?

“Urchin King” is a very fast paced and enjoyable read (so I’ve been told) and you hardly notice the thoroughly researched historical background. But when they teach you about medieval Europe in school, you’ll suddenly remember all the bits and pieces.

History coming alive with a fantasy twist to it. What more could there be?

Oh, all right. I know you don’t like history (it comes with age, methinks), but how about knights in (not so) shiny armor, damsels in distress, no, make that boys in distress, a ragtag-group of urchins out to fight for their friend, and an evil sorcerer who learns how evil true Evil can be?

After reading Urchin King, I can tell you Cat is understating how different her book is from Prince and the Pauper. There’s magic involved. So what are Paul’s greatest hopes, biggest fears, or both?

Paul dreams of having a loving, caring family, something denied to him because he grew up in the streets. But when he gets back to his birth family, he has to pretend to be someone he isn’t, or he’ll get killed. Of course, he fears discovery.

No hint on his greatest hopes? Oh, well, for those readers who are romance fans, you’ll find love sneaks up on Paul. But on to the next question. Book trailers have become quite popular these days. Do you have one, Cat?

Of course I do. You can even listen to my voice (you won’t find many Germans with a Scottish accent). Look here:

Watch the booktrailer on youtube: http://youtu.be/Wj1j94uLY0U

Cute accent, if you ask me. So what other books have you written for children (or are writing)?

    already published:
  • “Amadi and the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn” (A story about a strong girl in an Arabian Night setting)
  • “Ann Angel’s Freedom” (YA, historical romance where a German family buys their freedom from serfdom which throws the daughter’s life into turmoil)

    soon to be published
  • “Scottland’s Guardians” (a quest with loads of Scottish mythology)
  • “Chasing the Grimm Reaper” (non-linear fairy tale murder mystery)
  • “Beast Hunter” (a Halloween story about fraidy-cat Tom who has to fight a soul-sucking Beast to save his sister)
  • “Swordplay” (YA, fantasy mystery with a girl who wants to join the magical police but can’t do magic herself who’s hunting a serial killer)
  • “Victor’s Rage” (YA, historical romance with German setting)

Thanks so much, Cat! Now we have a little information to give readers an idea why the author is so uniquely qualified to make a historical fantasy feel like the real thing:

About the author
Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods. She didn’t stop at reading. During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner’s mistakes. Fortunately, she found books on Creative Writing and soon her stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science, she returned to her vocation. She enjoys writing Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Historical Novels for all age groups. At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a dog.

Author website
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Authors can follow the writing related blog too

Now it’s time to enter the giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to comment (it’s the only mandatory entry) using the same ID you used to follow my blog because sometimes I don’t have hours to spend verifying entries. Why Rafflecopter likes to pick people who either forgot to follow my blog or commented with a different ID, I don’t know. But it’s happened in the last five giveaways. Have pity! Click on your comment ID avatar and make sure it shows that you follow my blog so I don’t have to spend hours verifying.

Please come back to read my book review on Thursday, October 11th. I hope you’ll consider buying Urchin King. Then you can write your own review.  Readers are the only advertisement for indie authors, so if you like a book, don’t be stingy with your praise. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Great interview Sheryl & Cat! I’m super excited to read your review Sheryl. I would have loved to read this book, but alas, it was not to be (not for review anyway). Best of luck Cat & another great post (even all the way from the west coast) Sheryl:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

    • You can always read it for fun when your TBR pile shrinks. πŸ˜‰
      Thank you two for hosting this, and I’m really looking forward to the review too.

  2. The Happily Ever After Hop… what a super idea. Great interview Sher and Cat. The cover looks very majestic. Happy marketing.

  3. Thanks for the good wishes.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway I post with BLHmistress(I follow by) but rafflecopter is under my real name.

  5. Feel free to spread the word

  6. I can’t believe that Katarina published another book. I can’t wait to read it. My congratulation and Cat I’m still waiting for the paperback English version for Witches of Greenwitch

  7. I can’t believe that Katarina published another book. I can’t wait to read it. My congratulation and Cat I’m still waiting for the paperback English version for Witches of Greenwitch

  8. I can’t believe that Katarina published another book. I can’t wait to read it. My congratulation and Cat I’m still waiting for the paperback English version for Witches of Greenwitch

  9. Awesome!
    Urchin King sounds like something I would like to read.

  10. It sounds so good that I can’t wait to read it πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  11. Hi Cat!
    I enjoyed the interview and the book trailer. It raises all kinds of questions about your story that makes me want to read it!
    And you’ll have to tell us where you picked up that adorable Scottish accent!

    I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m a winner. πŸ™‚

    • I’ve got an adoptive second family from Scotland which I visited for three weeks every year for 16 years. Then, I spent a whole year studying at Edinburgh University and had a couple of friends who thought I’d needed to be Scot-ialized. Result: one German with an accent her own teacher didn’t understand. πŸ˜‰

  12. I just stopped by to say my book review of Urchin King is now posted. It won’t answer many questions because I don’t like spoilers. I hope it makes you want to read the book even more!
    Here’s the link: http://sherahart.blogspot.com/2012/10/urchin-king-book-review-and-giveaway.html

    Happy reading!

  13. Loved reading your review and then readinging the interview. This book sounds great. I like that the story is so interesting. I would love to read this book as I think the author’s background is so great (I have always wanted to go to Germany). Thanks for the giveaway. πŸ™‚
    GFC: Jessica Haight/DMS- old follower.

  14. I love the medieval time period! Sounds like a great book, and thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC: Darlene
    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  15. Ooh, I’m glad I finally had the chance to stop by in these final few hours of the giveaway!! Seriously, you had me at the top of the page with the book cover and two of my favorite words: HISTORICAL and FANTASY!! Truly, my top two favorite genres – they go back and forth switching between 1 and 2 – are historical fiction and fantasy! So this book sounds great to me. Plus, I love that the author is from Germany and that we can participate in this giveaway so many miles away! Who says a global society is a bad thing?!

    Cat, I lived in Germany from age 6 to age 10 (a long, long time ago, 1981-1985). My father was in the US Air Force and we lived in Weisbaden. I absolutely loved it. I would dearly love to make it back there to Germany someday. I’m not sure I appreciated it enough while we lived there, but living in a foreign country at such a young age (and we lived in the mountains, NOT on base) was a formative experience for me. I think I am a better person for having had that opportunity! OK, I’ll stop rambling now… Just wanted to let you know how much I love your home country πŸ™‚

    Thanks to both of you, Sher and Cat, for the great giveaway! Cat, I wish you all the best with this book and all future writings!

    • You’re welcome, Holly! I loved visiting Germany a few years ago when my husband went TDY after he retired from the Air Force. He still works for the government, and I had a great time visiting the real castle Heidelburg of the same name as a restaurant we ate at for prom as teens. Good luck in the giveaway!

    • I’m glad you like my country so much. I do as well. πŸ˜‰
      My grandfather was born and raised in Wiesbanden, btw. It’s a lovely city but way south from where I live just now.

      I’m also glad you like historical fantasy (separately and as a joint genre). I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Good luck.

  16. I would love to read this book because I love fantasy. I always love reading about the poor who make something of themselves.

    megnate at telus dot net

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