Shelf Stories

August 23, 2017

Philipp Reinartz: At the Writer’s Home in Prenzlauer Berg

4 min. read on:

The multi-talented German novelist Philipp Reinartz shares his perspective on his many projects with the Tylko Shelf Stories crew.

Crime novel author. Escape narrative inventor. Entrepreneur. Philipp Reinartz wears many hats, but perhaps his favorite is that of keen observer. We learn how the multi-faceted creative finds inspiration in the everyday.

Can you tell us a bit more about what you do?

I’m a writer and journalist for a bunch of German newspapers and magazines. A few years ago, I also co-founded a company which develops game-inspired methods for therapists and strategies for various companies. Oh, and I’ve also been working on the narratives for an escape room business I created together with my friends!

You seem to be a pretty busy man! How do you fit it all under one roof?

Well, I think it’s actually the only way I can see myself working. I can’t imagine being forced to perform one repetitive task every day – over and over again. That would kill me! I like having a couple of different things happening at the same time. It keeps me going and somehow fuels the new ideas as well.

Okay, so let’s go back to the one thing that seems to connect all of your projects: writing. 

Yes, writing is definitely at the center of what I do. Or, maybe in an even broader way –  storytelling. I like working with ideas, developing different scenarios and exploring various creative paths. It’s definitely something I look for in all the different projects I get involved in.

And you just published a book!

Yes! It’s the second book I’ve written, but this one is very different from my first novel. Die Letzte Farbe des Todes is much darker – it’s my first attempt at criminal fiction. Funnily, I was really sceptical about criminal novels before. I always thought of them as those badly-written things you buy on a whim at the newsagent when you wait for your train. But then I really dug into the subject and found some amazing titles that not only tell a great story, but also are beautifully written. So I thought I would really like to try my hand at it!

Where do you find inspiration?

It actually just happens by itself. I know a lot of writers need a certain environment or triggers to inspire them, but I’m really not like that. I like to immerse myself in the things that surround me on an everyday basis. I listen to people, read a lot, watch movies, go to galleries. I like to know what’s happening, you know, out there in the world. This is my biggest inspiration! All these things together somehow develop into curious thoughts in my head – which often lead to new projects or creative ideas.

What does your usual day look like?

Ah – there’s no such a thing as a “usual” day for me to be honest [laughs]! Let’s just look at the next few days: I’m launching my novel this weekend, then I’m going to a conference on Monday and then to a bookfair in Leipzig for a few days. I suppose I should also work on some projects for my clients this week! I’m pretty organized – again, I know, not the typical writer’s characteristic [laughs]! But I really take all my tasks seriously. When I plan to spend a day on writing, I just sit down and really make an effort to make the best use of the time I have.

With your busy schedule, do you actually have time to really be at home?

Surprisingly – yes! I actually spend quite a lot of time at my apartment. I write most of my stuff here at the desk. I have my little working spot, a safe, creative space. I moved into this apartment a few months months ago with my girlfriend, Sophie, and we’ve really enjoyed living here.

What’s your favourite thing about this place?

Did you notice that you can actually walk around it, in a circle? I love the layout! Also, the balcony – it’s the perfect spot to hang out, write, drink a morning coffee. And the view is great! The big windows really open up the space. The building is very modern and has this futuristic wave-shaped façade. And the view from the windows are these beautifully renovated old tenant houses – great contrast!   

Tell us a bit more about the furniture you have in here and the interior in general.

It’s our first apartment together – my girlfriend and I – so, of course, we both brought our favourite things here. But, we also took our time when picking other furniture we want to buy together. Like with our Tylko Shelf. You know, I’m a writer and Sophie is a teacher – we both love books, so we naturally always dreamed about having that perfect bookshelf to store all our favourite titles. I actually already had an idea of how I would like it to look – but couldn’t find the right one. And then I came across Tylko and that was it! We loved designing the shelf together. It really feels truly ours now.

So what’s next for you now?

I have a few months to finish up the second part of my book. And I’d love to work on developing my company. But apart from that – no idea [laughs]! I used to work on a few TV programmes back in the day, so maybe I’d like to go back to that. But who knows! I like to keep my options open.

You can learn more about Philipp’s work and current projects at and get his newest book here.