Cornelia Funke biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke

How to pronounce Cornelia Funke: cor-neelia funka -click the link in the bio to hear the author pronounce her own name (funke is German for 'spark')

Cornelia Funke Biography

The German author, Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in Dorsten, in the German region of Westphalia. Following university, she worked for three years as a social worker in an educational project, working with children from difficult backgrounds. Following a post-graduate course in book illustration at the Hamburg State College of Design, she worked as a designer of board games and as an illustrator of children's books. Disappointment in the way some of the stories were told, combined with her desire to draw fabulous creatures and magical worlds, rather than familiar situations of school and home, inspired her to write her own stories for young readers.

During her time as a social worker, she worked with children from deprived backgrounds and discovered the sorts of stories that grasped their imaginations. These were the stories she wanted to write – ones that would appeal to bookish children and to inspire those children who hadn't yet had positive reading experiences.

As a reader, Cornelia has always loved good fantasy, particularly British authors and their books, such as J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, and J. M Barrie's Peter Pan. Cornelia Funke's own success is now international, demonstrating the universal appeal – and power – of her storytelling.

Cornelia Funke researches each novel meticulously. For example, before writing Inkheart, she researched about booksellers, book collectors, book thieves and even book murderers as well as reading about martens and fire eaters. She then imagined the characters and the places they might go, and wrote down plot lines for the first 20 chapters. Then, and only then - after about six months – she wrote the first sentence. A major novel will take her about a year to write. She always does her own sketches – in pen and ink (her grandfather was a famous etcher), she creates a picture of her own characters to help her write about them.

She married printer Rolf Funke in 1981. They have two children, Anna (b. 1989) and Ben (b. 1994). Up until 2005 the Funke family lived in Hamburg, Germany, when they moved to Los Angeles. Sadly, in March 2006, Rolf died of cancer.



Bibliography to Date

Novels
The Thief Lord (2002)
Dragon Rider (2004)
When Santa Fell to Earth (2006)
Igraine The Brave (2007)
Saving Mississippi (2010)
Ghost Knight (2012)

Inkheart Series
Inkheart (2003)
Inkspell (2005)
Inkdeath (2008)

Ghosthunters Series
Ghosthunter and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost (2006)
Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invisible Lightning Ghost (2006)
Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness! (2007)
Ghosthunters and the Muddle Monster of Doom! (2007)

MirrorWorld Series
Reckless (2010)
Fearless (2013)
Heartless (2016)

C.H.I.X Series
The Summer Gang (2012)
The New Girl (2012)

Cornelia Funke's website

This bio was last updated on 10/22/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview



Name:
Cornelia Funke

Born:
1958

Lives:
Hamburg, northern Germany

Where did you grow up?
In Dorsten, a little town in the midst of Germany (not very pretty).

What were you like at school?
Good - and not ambitious (which means, quite lazy) but I loved to write essays, though always too long and not always strictly on the topic, and English.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut, later on a pilot or live with the Red Indians. I was quite serious about all these plans.

What did you do after you left school?
I studied Education (the most stupid idea of my life), because I wanted to work in some way with children, not as a teacher, but as a social worker. I think, I wanted to make the world a better place, but I found out, that you can't live against your gifts. And my gifts are writing and drawing. I nevertheless learned very much about children, when I worked as a social worker. I still have the greatest respect for the ones, I met in those years - and they all had bad, bad things to deal with, and did it so bravely. In The Thief Lord I tried to describe, how much children can care for each other even under the worst circumstances, even if they are left alone by ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Cornelia Funke at BookBrowse
Reckless jacket Inkdeath jacket Igraine The Brave jacket When Santa Fell To Earth jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Cornelia Funke but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Peter Abrahams

    Peter Abrahams

    Peter Abrahams is the best-selling author of A Perfect Crime, The Tutor, The Fan, and Lights Out, for which he received an Edgar® Award nomination; and Down The Rabbit Hole, a novel for children. He lives in Falmouth, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Inkheart

    Try:
    Down The Rabbit Hole
    by Peter Abrahams

  • Author Image Not Available

    N.E. Bode

    N. E. Bode doesn't really want a biographical note -- afraid that it might turn out like the shameless self-promotional grandstanding of a certain former Writing Teacher. Instead N. E. Bode wants to mention the books of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Inkheart

    Try:
    The Anybodies
    by N.E. Bode

We recommend 25 similar authors

View all 25 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Priestdaddy
    Priestdaddy
    by Patricia Lockwood
    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and the daughter of Greg Lockwood, a Catholic priest. While Catholic ...
  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Essex Serpent
    by Sarah Perry

    Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.