I was born in Fairfax, Virginia in the United States of America in the year of 1978. During the months which preceded my birth my mother never dreamed, as Virgil's did, that she was about to bring forth a laurel branch. Nor, I must add -- however painful the admission to my vanity -- did she imagine she bore within her a flaming brand, like Olympias the mother of Alexander. This is extraordinary, I agree, but it is true. I came into the world quite normally, unheralded by any of the portents in use in poetic times to announce the arrival of those destined for glory. Can it be that our age is lacking in poetry? (Brownie points for anyone who can correctly identify the lengthy quote!)
After being told by my high school German teacher that the person I considered to be best in the class could "play with the orchestra," but I could "sing solos," I was set on a path that lead to Germany. Naturally, once I got there, I lost my heart in Heidelberg … to a Georgian. This caused much consternation on the home front, since I had difficulty explaining to almost everyone I knew that she was from the OTHER Georgia. My fellow countrymen and countrywomen, God bless them, don't excel in geography. When we finally got that straightened out, I proposed to my love by telling her that if she married me, it would be one of the best decisions she ever made.
My wife being the most attractive woman I know by quite some, it did not take us long to accumulate three children, who are now my reason for getting up every morning. You may interpret that last clause as you see fit.
I have chosen to damn myself and my family to a life as outsiders, as those who never quite fit, who are not from around here. We live in Mannheim. (Attention American readers: Mannheim is not in America.) It makes every day just that much more challenging, and challenging mostly means fun.
For a long time, I spent my professional life hunkered down in the perfect and always explicable world of computers. Once I decided to move into management my talent was immediately recognized, and securing a promotion was a walk in the park. Universally loved by bosses, coworkers, and employees, I now make a very respectable amount of money by spending my day insinuating to everyone that I could do their jobs better than they do. It's a living.
Bärbel Kiy, immediately smitten with me after our first conversation at her husband's 25th anniversary at work (did I mention that I have a way with women?), presented me with a birthday present when she asked me if I would translate her first book into English. I believe her words were: "you're the only one who could possibly do my book justice. Please. I'm lost without you!" Being chivalry in person (and after demanding a substantial cut of the profits), I assented.
One more thing: if you all demand an audio book from Bärbel in English, you may be lucky enough to hear my masculine, resonant, dreamy voice. It makes women swoon and men weep.

Andrew Rucker Jones