The Writer's View: Gerhard Gehrke

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gerhard Gehrke will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The View Inside My Writing Space

My writing space is an exercise of compromise.

My wife has two adopted cockatiels. She swears they're mine. They regularly find their way to my desk in search of almonds. Recently Jasper (the young boy bird) decided he likes the taste of my computer cables. It took me a moment to realize my backspace and period key were no longer working as he chewed most of the way through the keyboard's cord. He's a rescue project that we took on as a neighbor kept him in a dark room for about seven years with little human contact. When he's not biting me, he loves getting his head and neck scratched, writing deadlines notwithstanding. The girl bird has been with us for seventeen years. She doesn't like the boy.

So almost everything that's in my desk space has the tell-tale signs of hostile avian lifeforms. It's a crowded few square feet where I do both my writing and try to run a business. My first edited manuscript sits tucked by the monitor, yet someone has tried to turn it into nesting material. I have three notebooks in play for my writing. Random ideas go into one. A second is a current project notebook where I'm putting down research which pertains to a fall-of-civilization novel I'm working on. My most recent page therein is on safe-cracking and picking locks. The third notebook is a binder with printouts from editors, writing tips, grammar guidelines, and things of that nature. All three notebooks are nibble-notched.

Food and water is a necessity at my desk. I'm constantly hungry, and it's a distraction if I have to get up more than necessary. I keep raw almonds and sometimes a box of cereal nearby to keep away the grumblies. Both birds know this. The birds are evil, and they covet my food. Birds don't have lips. Thus there are crumbs around my keyboard. Crumbs get into my checkbook. I've placed the checkbook as a bulwark against the invaders getting food in the keyboard, but it's not much of a barrier. I have to blow the checkbook out before I write checks.

Other random papers include a tax binder, a copy of PC Gamer, and a clipped magazine article on fusion that need to be filed. Scraps of paper have notes on them. One flier from our local sanitary district has a rough short story outline and a brainstorm list of alternate titles for my second novel which might see the light of day in 2016.

The final compromise around the workspace is my spine. I sit forward at an awkward lean, typically with a leg crossed. There's often the girl bird on one foot that's sleeping, and I usually don't want to wake her up. The other one when not roaming is in its cage where the little demon belongs, but he will no doubt find his way back up here soon. With the current situation, I might get some work done, if I'm quiet. And if I'm lucky, the almonds will be all mine.

What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

MediaKit_BookCover_ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarthA science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.

Enjoy an excerpt:

First contact with the humans wasn’t going as planned, as was obvious by the rank smells that choked the air of the alien visitorsʹ craft. But no one called them aliens where they came from.

Seven little Greys, short bipeds with large heads and big eyes and delicate limbs, sat in the flight seats of their ship’s crew compartments and listened as the Mission Commander lectured them from the Command Module. The harangue lingered in the air, not as words or even sounds but as a smell, a ripe one replete with pheromones and scent packets that the Greys used to speak with one another. A new string of curses from the Commander’s glands smelled of licorice. The Mission Commander composed itself. It wiped sticky sweat from its hairless frontal lobe.

The lights and displays in front of the seven crewmembers blinked and flashed. No one would so much as touch a button until the Commander was finished addressing the crew.

“I’ll hear no more of it,” the Commander said. “We’re on the human world. We go forward. Probability calculations for success show at 100%. The computer will be trusted.”

About the Author: Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

You can connect with him at

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Blog

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Thanks for hosting!
Gerhard Gehrke said…
Thank you so much for having me today. Since we're talking about workspace, is there anything in yours that you're incapable of working when it's not there, something non-essential, yet vital?
Betty Woodrum said…
I enjoyed reading The Writer's View! It's quite impressive that you're able to write under those circumstances. I guess your next book will be along the lines of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds".
patrick siu said…
I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.
Gerhard Gehrke said…
Thanks Betty and Patrick!
@Betty...Maybe less The Birds and more Willard, except with birds. Birds 2. Except that was already done and it was horrible. We'll have to come up with a better title.
Gerhard Gehrke said…
Thank you, Judy, for hosting me today!