I Am Moving to Germany

Yep. I’m moving to Germany, sometime this summer, for one year. The most likely schedule is that I’ll leave in late July, after finishing the US tour for THE HOLLOW CITY, stay for a year, and then return to the US sometime in August of 2013. My wife and kids, of course, are coming with me, and we’re all incredibly excited.

Why are we doing this? Why not? My wife and I are both very adventurous, and we’ve wanted to move somewhere for a while, but we didn’t know where. We’re not tied to a physical location, because I’m fully self-employed, so we started looking all over the world; we considered England for a while, but slowly shifted to Germany for a lot of reasons. First, of course, we love the country: we’ve been there a few times and adore it. Second, as many of you know, that’s my biggest market. My books sell better in Germany than any other country, probably any other two countries, and living there will allow me to do a lot of the stuff my US fans take for granted, like readings and signings and con appearances. I’ve also long been tempted to write a book set in Germany, or a made-up place very similar to it, and living there would be the perfect research opportunity. The third reason we chose Germany is simply that we love to travel, and we want to give our children a cool cultural experience outside of the US. Travel is the single best way, in my opinion, to widen your view and gain a new perspective on life and the world and the people in it, and we want our kids to have that. Living in a new culture, eating different food, speaking a new language, and making new friends are going to be things they look back on and love for the rest of their lives.

The process of moving to Germany is tricky, and we’ve been working on it for a while. We hired a relocation agency to help with the arrangements for a residency permit, and so far that’s gone much better than we expected. All the preliminary stuff has gone through now, and all that remains is an in-person interview where I’ll have to fly over and prove that I’ll be earning plenty of money through my writing; since I won’t be getting a job there, they want the very reasonable assurance that I won’t be a drain on their economy. This shouldn’t be an issue: we’re not rich, but we earn enough to support ourselves handily. After the interview they’ll stamp the permit and we’ll be in.

My interview will likely happen in late April, which means I have about a month to figure out which part of Germany we want to live in. We honestly don’t know. My publisher’s in Munich, so we’ve looked at that, and I really like how central Frankfurt is–it would be easy to spread out from there to take small trips all over Europe, which is definitely a part of our plan. We’ve also looked at Hamburg, since my wife has a lot of ancestors from there, and it would be a good place to explore her family history. I’ve even looked at Essen, just because I’m a boardgame geek. Honestly, I don’t know: I am open to suggestions. If you live in Germany, or have lived there in the past, PLEASE take some time in the comments to sell me on your particular part of it.

In fact, let’s open this up to even more comments. Tell me where in Germany you think I should live, and why. Tell me about the book fairs, bookstores, and SF/Fantasy conventions you think I should go to. Tell me about your local reading group, or gaming group, or whatever. Help me decide exactly which part of Germany will be best for me and my family.

And for everybody not in Germany: don’t worry. I’ll be back in November for a conference, and again in March for the PARTIALS 2 book tour, and probably at least one other trip. I want to connect better with my readers in Europe, but I definitely don’t want to forget about everyone else.

56 Responses to “I Am Moving to Germany”

  1. Andreas Ettwig says:

    What a great plan to get new experiences and to break the daily routine!

    HAMBURG is the most interesting and exciting city. Creative people, the harbor, the beautiful lake Alster with upper-class villas, occupied houses like the Röte Flora and a strong international atmosphere. The Magazine TIMES called Hamburg the “Content City” behause of the many publishing houses in the city. The most important magazines like SPIEGEL or STERN or DIE ZEIT are produced in HAMBURG.

    Come to the north to get inspired of this many-sided and cool area!!!

    Andreas

  2. Wes says:

    I lived in Darmstadt(just south of Frankfurt) for a few years. It is a decent city, but there are better places out there. One cool thing of note for you though being a “horror” writer; Frankenstein Castle in on a hill in Darmstadt. Yes, that Frankenstein Castle; the one Mary Shelley got her inspiration from.
    Frankfurt is of course Frankfurt, and if you like large cities, than there you go. Not a bad place. The Weihnachtsmarkt is AWESOME. And huge.
    Heidelberg is beautiful. I saw someone else suggest it as well, and for good reason. Nice city, and in a pretty part of the country.
    All in all, good choice. I loved living there, and miss it to this day. The food is awesome. I miss doner kebabs and beer/schnitzel trucks(yes, they are as awesome as they sound).

  3. Melissa says:

    I’ve been a writing excuses listener for years now, and I myself, just moved to Vienna. Am so excited that you’re coming to Germany. I might be able to come and see a book signing sometime. How fun. I think you’ll love living in Germany, and you just might end up staying longer than a year. :)

    Yay!
    -Melissa

  4. Christoph says:

    Permit me to express my delight here…
    —–
    OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE IT HOW AWESOME IS THAT???
    —–
    All right, with that out of the way, excepting some all too probable but really unmanly squeals of delight now and then, I would recommend Franconia. I myself am from the Würzburg-area, where parts of the latest three musketeers was shot. It is beautiful here!
    Also recommendable is Nürnberg (Nuremberg), which is a beautiful city where every step takes you to something historic, the food is really good and the people usually are super friendly.
    I would advise not to relocate to Munich or Berlin. They are both really great cities to visit, but are incredibly expensive to live in. Hamburg, which I would go so far as to call one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful city of the world, is also expensive, but have I mentioned it is really beautful there? You should go there at least for a few days.
    So, if this is a tl;dr, I would recommend somewhere around Franconia. It is pretty central, offers some great opportunities in itself and you can go anywhere by train (German fast trains connect most of Germany and the surrounding countries) or by plane (Frankfurt is not too far, and Nuremberg has a smaller, but international airport).

    Aww yeah, I still can’t believe it!
    Greetings from right now sunny Germany!
    Christoph

  5. Eva says:

    Hello Dan,
    we met in Leipzig in 2010, you introduced “Mr Monster” in a Goth-Club (I can’t remeber the name of it), that was really a nice evening. Thats great news, really cool. I’am looking forward possibly to see you again and I hope you will hold a lot of readings in Germany. I will be there. So, what place could you live in in Germany? You haven’t considered to live in my hometown Cologne, but you should. It is a beautiful city, not as big as Munich or Berlin ( almost 1 Million inhabitants) but full of cultural activities and more phantastik events than in any other german city (I assume..). Last Weekend we had the Role Play Convention. You can explore everything about Pole Play, LARP, Pe&Paper etc there, you see lots of funny people in costumes (medieval, Lord of the rings figures, star wars, zombies and many other creatures). And they organize good Fantasy/SF readings. What else? Cologne is almost in the middle of Germany, 160 km from Frankfurt, 50 km to Essen, 500 km to Hamburg. Cologne is expensive too, but not as Hamburg or Munich. Some say we have “mediterranean” weather. And don’t forget the famous Cologne KARNEVAL :-).But the most important advantage of cologne: the people are very open minded, friendly and tolerant. Dan, thing about it to move to cologne. :-). But whereever you stay, have a great time in Germany. Best wishes, Eva

  6. David Payne says:

    I lived in Germany for a year in high school in a small city close to Cologne. To be perfectly honest, Cologne is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. It’s an old city with lots of history, though I guess lots in Germany are. The architecture is stunning. I can’t say much that hasn’t been said about other cities but you shoulddefinitely give Cologne a look.

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