How Otti’s Escape, a debut novel, came to be

As a single parent in London making a living as a child minder, a normal day went something like this:”Holy nightmare, Batman!”

“Let’s go, Robin!”

Wroom! Whack! POW! Bam!!

-at the end of which I’m sure you can imagine I felt sorely in need of some adult ‘head-space’.

There was only one way to get it; I had to grab the only time that was free, and so started to go to bed early – my son often still playing in his room – in order to get up in the early hours when the rest of the world was still slumbering. In this magical, quiet space, between 5 and 7 in the morning, with the blissful absence of phone calls, visitors and superheroes, a fledgling Otti’s Escape started to emerge.

Many years later, after resting on shelves, being rewritten, being reviewed, resting on shelves some more, moving house, having an airing on ‘Authonomy’ and finally being reviewed by a bona fide editor , I felt Otti’s Escape had finally gathered enough weight and strength to stand on its own two feet. On July 15th she was stepping out into the world, published as an e-book on the Matador imprint, a post war, love triangle, psychological drama. I hope you enjoy the story!



Sound of 1988

In a bedsit in London with a Commodore64 computer called Paula (yes, that was her name…), a keyboard and a Steinberg (Yamaha) interface 3 music and song tracks were invented, arranged and recorded onto 8 track reel to reel tape.
The 3 tapes sat on my shelf for 30 years, through my son growing up and several house-moves. 8 track reel to reel machines disappeared from the songwriting scene and the tapes could not even be played ‘for my grandchildren’. (Well, havn’t got any yet 🙂 ).
Last winter I heard of someone in London who converts music tapes into tracks on CD and sent the tapes off thinking it would be fun to hear them again. The music came back as editable CD-tracks, and after a bit of editing – here is the result, as good as these tapes will ever sound:) :
The spacious electronic sound of the 80s and a 25 year old singing her heart out.
Hope you’ll have some fun listening to these quirky tracks. Click on Arabian Nights and It Goes Around here:

-and if you like these, please take a look at my Author’s Page: The novel ‘Otti’s Escape’ will be out as an e-book on July 18th. You can read more on Marianne Wagner Author on FaceBook and Marianne Wagner, Matador (Publisher)
I won’t give up my dayjob just yet, Ha, ha, – but if you enjoy please like and share! 🙂
xx Marianne

The Swedish – Norwegian War and Nazi invasion

This year, on the 17th of May, Norway celebrated 200 years of the Norwegian Constitution. So why did Norway need a new Constitution? Well, as it happened,  Norway had previous to 1814 been annexed by Denmark. As part of the settlement to Sweden at the end of the Napoleonic wars,  Denmark-Norway being allies with Napoleon and on the losing side, Norway was given away to Sweden.

Did the Norwegians take this swap of ruler lying down? Of course not! Nationalistic feelings blossomed and on the 17th of May 1814, the Norwegian Constitution was created.

Where the Sweden happy about this? Not at all! And as Norway was a lesser military power than Sweden and with no support from other European countries Norway eventually had to concede defeat. Not however,  until they had fought to created a better bargaining position for the country; the compromise was a union with Sweden that lasted until 1905 when Norway finally became fully independent.

Now, poor but free, as most of the rich people had been Danes and Swedes, a strong workers movement gained momentum in Norway laying the foundation for a fair and egalitarian society. But what was waiting around the corner, so to speak, only 35 years later? Nazi Invasion!

The Capital, Oslo, home of 10 year old Otti, was taken over by German troops in a matter of hours. Before lunch on the 9th of April 1940 she was in the car with her mother and sister, on her way to hide out with relatives in the country:

Excerpt from Otti’s Escape, ebook out on 18th July

A car was waiting at the gates. There was Ellen, too! The three of them squashed into the back seat with their bags. Then they were out on the road. Father was not coming. Mother watched him standing at the gate and started to cry again, now quietly, her breath slow and jerky. Neither was waving goodbye.

            As they approached the Sinsen crossroads the car stopped for a minute, hesitant. From the ground came a soft rhythmical drone. Coming towards them, slowly ascending the long main road, the Trondheims Road from the city centre toward the north, was a long rolling, marching snake. Only a few 100 yards away were the military green of foreign tanks and soldiers!

            The stranger in the front seat swore. He backed the car and turned it around. They would take the dirt-roads through the industrial plants, which would bring them out at Ulven. Then make a circle to the north before turning eastwards, avoiding all the main routes out of Oslo. He would get them out, Mrs Risen needn’t worry!

Otti’s Escape ebook out 18th July

Otti'sEscapeFrontPageTroubadour51-1Otti’s Escape, Contemporary Fiction (1950s – 70s). When the German troops invade the city, Othilie escapes unharmed – or so it seems. 30 years later, with her daughter missing and her husband lost to alcohol – can Otti again escape her fate?