A Brief Biography - David Fermer

Writing about yourself is always the most difficult subject to address, but here are some facts: I am British, although I was born in Luzern, Switzerland, in 1973. My father was working there at the time. My parents are both British. When I was 4 years old, my family moved back to England. I couldn’t speak any German at the time. I spent the rest of my childhood living in a small village called Cookham Dean, not far from London. I used to like it there a lot. It was green and hilly and beautiful. The River Thames was never far away. It was idyllic in many ways. But when I finished school, my parents moved away, so Cookham Dean stopped being home for me.

I moved on to London to study. First ‘Art & Design’ at Central St. Martins School of Art, then ‘Film & Video’ at the London College of Printing. Film was always my passion. I started making films with my friend, Anthony, when we were eleven. We made dozens of films together, acting ourselves and doing camera. It was fun.

In the middle of my studies I moved to Berlin, where I finished my degree at the Deutsche Film & Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB). When I came to Germany, I could hardly speak German at all. “Wie komme ich am Besten zum Bahnhof?” and “Ein Bier, bitte!” was about all I could say. After the DFFB, I worked as an Aufnahmeleiter and Produktionsleiter in film. I was a terrible production manager. I’m not very organised and I have a habit of forgetting things, so I wasn’t ideal for the job. Still, I managed to survive for a few years in the film business, but most of the time I was in a bad mood because I didn’t like the stories I was working on. I always thought I could do better. It was time to stop talking and start doing something about it.

I decided to try. The only problem was I needed money to live. I got lucky and someone gave me a job as a teacher in Peru, where I started writing parallel to teaching. After a year in Peru, I didn’t want to stay in South America anymore, so I came back to Berlin, working again part-time as a teacher, writing and translating with the rest of my time. When I moved to Cologne in 2003 and got married here, I started writing full-time.

And then in 2004 a friend of mine who was writing for Thienemann helped me get my first break with the Thienemann Verlag. And I’m still writing today.