Tirza Schaefer, it is great to have you at my Creekside Café, this is my virtual café where I meet the most interesting people from all over the world. If I ever win the lottery it would be my dream job, a place to write, drink coffee and talk to other writers and readers.
Tirza: That sounds absolutely beautiful! I’ll be a regular guest there!
Sherri: Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from?
Tirza: I am from Germany and live outside of Cologne in a small city with a name no one who isn’t German can pronounce. It’s like a suburb here, lots of green, gardens and cats and dogs and children. I like to post my coffee quite often on my Instagram or on Facebook. I love to sit on my patio, overlooking the garden with my laptop, coffee and often the cat beside me and work there. I call that my summer office.
I am a mother of 3 wonderful children, a boy, 20, and two girls, 17 and 12. My son left for university already and will study history and archaeology. We also have a cat, an Arabian Mau that was flown in from Dubai. Taani is very talkative, spoilt and loved to abandon, but she is also so loving and devoted herself. We are so blessed to have her as part of our family, and I am so blessed with my children whom I’ve raised all by myself from birth.
Sherri: Have you ever been to the United States, especially the east coast? My imaginary café is on the Inner Banks of the Pamlico Sound which is in eastern North Carolina. We just dodged a hurricane though our neighbours on the Outer Banks weren’t as lucky. There is something beautiful about a storm though after being through several very bad hurricanes, it is difficult to separate the destruction from the beauty. How is the weather where you are? I always think of England as raining but that’s not true, is it?
Tirza: Last things first, England does have a lot of rain and clouds but when the days are sunny and bright, it’s beautiful! I love the UK, anyway. I used to live there in the 90s and studied at university. Tourism related. I never actually worked in that field as I had my children straight after and moved back to Germany, mainly being a full-time mum with a few stints at various offices before I started my own business.
Sherri: Oops, I misspoke, I thought you were from England. I’m sorry. But you studied in England, I cannot even imagine. I dropped out of college after my first year to have my oldest son.
Tirza: I’ve travelled to the US twice in my life and if I had the money, I’d go a few times more. It was beautiful each time and the country is so vast, you really have to travel around to see it all. I also have friends in Canada I’d like to visit one day as well. When I was 16, I was on a student exchange to Snowqualmie, near Seattle, WA, and when 2 of my 3 children were born already, my middle one still being a baby, we went to visit a friend in LA, Long Beach. I didn’t see that much as I had young children with me, so we spent most of the day at the playground, which was lovely, as everyone was so nice, but we did see some things and it was a perfect visit of relaxation which I needed after giving birth and the first few months of sleepless nights.
Sherri: I’ve never been to the west coast of the US but have a grandson in California and a niece in Seattle, Washington area. I’ve not travelled very much myself and especially not after having children.
I remember those sleepless nights after babies. I raised six sons, gave birth to three. I tell my daughters-in-law to sleep when the babies do, the house will wait.
Tirza: My current partner is a US Army veteran who lives in Germany. He is originally from Pittsburgh and by far the most mature, most responsible, caring and attentive, gentlemanly man I have ever met in my life! They don’t make them over here! I am so lucky, he decided to stay after he left the Army and our life paths crossed eventually. I smile every time I think of him.
Sherri: I have been to Pittsburgh, for a writer’s conference. Its beautiful but the traffic is scary. I’m from the country where a traffic jam consists of three cars and a tractor.
Tirza: The weather in Germany where I live is pretty muddy in general, rainy and cloudy, but lately, we had a dry spell and it’s been sunny, so the summer was quite lovely most of the time.
I love thunderstorms but ours are not as destructive, so we can concentrate more on the beauty of it all. I hope you didn’t suffer any damages.
Sherri: We were blessed this year and suffered only some wind damage and power outage. My deep freezer died, and I lost a lot of food but all in all, we were so lucky. Our neighbours to the east had a lot of flooding as well as wind damage.
Germany weather sounds a lot like North Carolina, a lot of rain and mud, a dry sunny spell then more rain and mud. This week has been fantastic, sunny with a bit of a breeze, not much humidity.
Tell me about your books. According to your bio, you cannot be contained in a box. You write in more than one genre, what is your favourite style of writing? Do you consider yourself a romance author?
Tirza: I would definitely consider myself a romance author – amongst other things. Fact is that out of my 24 books, 20 are romance novels and one is a collection of romantic poetry. So yes, can’t deny that part of me. However, I can’t really say I prefer one over the other. If I had to always write in the same genre, I’d be bored and uninspired, I am sure. I love that I can write a romance novel and hop over to do some research online to write an article on a Goddess or a Power Animal. So I’d say, books are romantic fiction mainly and articles and blogs are mostly spiritual.
However, one definitely touches the other. When I write a romance novel, I work in a Goddess archetypal scenario so the spirituality is mostly hidden beneath the layers of storyline. You can only really see it when you know what to look for but at the same time, it teaches you without being a teaching manual, through the story alone. Other times, my spirituality is more blatantly exposed, as in Snake Goddess Rising, or in Balcony Above the Sea, where the female MC tells a gay man how exactly being gay is absolutely natural and divine. It’s quite logical.
Sherri: It sounds very loving and reaffirming.
Your website is very interesting, but it isn’t just about your books, tell us about your meditation. How does your meditation and beliefs factor into your writing?
Tirza: Meditation in itself is a practice that helps you ground, focus, heal and calm yourself. To write on archetypes like Goddesses, Gods and Power Animals or even Tarot cards, is something that helps me personally a lot to explore, understand and heal my own psyche and through writing about these archetypes, I explain how it can work to others. Archetypes are personifications of certain aspects of your psyche. For example, Ganesha, the Hindu elephant God is the symbol for your inner strength, Aphrodite teaches you femininity and self-love, and so on. Tapping into their specific energies can connect you to them within yourself and show you where you still need to work on yourself.
I am also an Usui Reiki Master and founder of Goddess Reiki. Reiki is an energy healing modality that works with laying on hands but can also be projected across time and space. Furthermore, I am an intuitive reader, I work with oracle cards, tarot, pendulum, my own Goddess Oracle I made myself and I also channel messages straight without any “tools.” It all depends on the mood of the day and circumstances. I allow my intuition to guide me and follow it without question. I’ve learned in a painful manner that not listening to your inner voice can have terrible consequences. It is important to cultivate a good relationship with and to trust your inner voice, your intuition unconditionally.
Sherri: While our religious beliefs may be a bit different, there are similarities in our core. I agree, it is important to listen to your inner self, we often know what is best for us but sometimes we want what we know isn’t good for us. As my grandmother would say, hindsight is 20/20, too bad you didn’t know it first.
You don’t care to cook, or you only like to cook when you have something else to entertain you? I love to cook but it is more fun with an audiobook or YouTube interview going, or someone else to cook with. I enjoy cooking with my sons and daughters-in-law. I have six sons, four enjoy cooking. Do you cook with your children? Do you have a favourite recipe?
Tirza: I definitely like cooking together a lot more than doing it alone. However, our kitchen is unfortunately so small that only one at a time can comfortably prepare anything there, so it is very anti-social. In the old apartment, we had a bigger kitchen, which I loved, but there was a bedroom less and no garden, so we sacrificed on the kitchen for the many benefits we gained. But I do miss having a large kitchen.
Favourite recipe? Probably pasta or rice with vegetables, seitan and spicy tomato sauce. You can vary it according to which vegetables you have and as long as you season and spice it nicely, it’s always a delicious treat. We’re a vegetarian household and we love seitan a lot more than tofu. It is made from wheat protein and harder, as well as stronger in taste, as it is usually marinated in vegetable brine. Very tasty.
Sherri: I’m not familiar with seitan but my oldest daughter-in-law is Cambodian, and she has introduced me to many different types of food, including tofu, which I am not a fan of.
I cooked a lot of pasta meals when the boys were all home and still do when they are in for visits.
Do you have other hobbies? Do these show up in your writing?
Tirza: I used to dance quite intensely for years when I was younger. Ballet, jazz and modern dance mainly. Once in a while that shows, and sometimes a female MC will do a special sensual dance for the man she loves in one of my books. I find many things interesting, I’m a bit of a nerd and so like to read up on things I come across that I want to know more about. I cycle and walk a lot more than driving in a car, too. Once in a while I feel like painting, colouring in or crafting, but that happens maybe once or twice a year and I am not good at it. However, it’s about the feel-good-factor and it certainly serves that purpose then.
Sherri: I used to do a lot of crafting, painting and sewing but it seems writing has become a second job and there is little time for anything else.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your writing?
Tirza: Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. When I lived in London back in the 90s, I read Pride and Prejudice and just when I’d finished the book, having mental orgasms over the language, the way she writes, the BBC showed the 4-part version of it with Colin Firth. What a man! Swoon! I was done for. I bought the video and watched it several times a week for years. I had to buy a couple of new ones before I got it finally on DVD and the tape could no longer wear out. It became less with motherhood, but I can still talk along most of it.
From Jane Austen, as well as William Shakespeare, I learned that the most important thing in writing isn’t even the most eloquent language, even though both authors’ works possess it, but that you have to touch people’s hearts with your writing to make it immortal. I don’t want to be remembered for the most eloquent language expert. I want people to remember how I made them feel when they read my books. I want to touch their hearts and find a place there for good. To me, that is what a truly successful writer does.
Sherri: That is a great way to measure success. I like it.
If you could help someone else on the journey to be a published author, what would you tell them?
- Take pride in your work and make sure you deliver great quality.
- Don’t let anyone tell you it won’t work. Follow your dreams always.
- Seek to touch people’s hearts.
- Dare to put yourself out there.
- Never ever give up.
Sherri: That is fabulous insight Tirza. I need to print it out and post it on my mirror in my bathroom so I will see it every day.
Like me, your family is an important part of who you are.
Tirza: Yes, family is very important to me, so I decided to have a family alliteration, all starting with T to ensure my children grew up with a sense of belonging and family loyalty. My son’s name is Tajun, my daughters are called Tarjani and Tarini. It worked, too.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel in my quest to find and voice the truth, not agreeing to keep quiet about dysfunctional patterns or avoiding taboo subjects. It wasn’t always an easy path, but it has, ultimately, been a rewarding one. I have not only gathered knowledge but gained wisdom. Ultimately, I am forging my path ever more along the lines I want it to travel.
One thing I would never change is my love for writing. My youngest daughter has inherited this passion and talent from me and writes stories already. This year, in January, I have suffered a burnout and subsequently had a long journey of healing that is by no means at an end. I found it quite challenging, not to be able to write, focus and retain information in my mind, forgetting and confusing more, the more I struggle against my condition.
It took me months to surrender to the healing process and first I was able to read again, not only watch TV and listen to audiobooks, then I started to write another article and managed to finish it. With all challenges, giving up has never been an option. I love what I do and how I make people feel. I’ll never give up on shining my light and encouraging and empowering others to shine theirs.
Tirza’s Amazon Author Page
Divine Writings by Tirza Schaefer
Creations from The Heartspace
Tirza’s Spiritual Advertising Group
Tirza on Instagram
Tirza on Twitter
Tirza on YouTube
Tirza on Tumblr
This is my only published children’s book and it was inspired by a conversation I had with my youngest daughter Tarini when she was 8 years old. Knowing that children learn best when having fun and enjoying themselves, I brought the humour I teach her with into this book. So don’t be surprised when you are being catapulted from the racetrack to a cave and into the kitchen with a stopover in Rome.
Romance Books with Mature Content
The following books contain mature content of a sexually explicit nature, some contain mild graphic violence. HEA (Happily Ever After) is guaranteed!
This is a biker story with some very funny scenes and some surprising twists en route from NYC to Tennessee.
Working with opposites was so much fun! Not only in opposing characters, but individual characters being at war within themselves, because human nature is so complex, nothing is really straightforward…
Band of Brothers
The Dark Duke
This book was inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I turned Lizzy into more of a freedom fighter, however.
In the Event of Love
Dating A Hero
Snake Goddess Rising
Christmas in Montana
The Navy Seal’s Nanny
Love in the Sky
The Right Kind of Wrong
Kisses in Darkness
A New Family for Christmas