It has always been the mountains that magically attracted me. And so I hiked across the Alps three times on foot, climbed the highest mountains there and wandered through the deepest gorges, countless climbing tours were added to this.
In Canada, I learned to survive in the wild backcountry, to set traps, to hunt with bow and arrow, to skin, gut and prepare animals. I have hiked behind the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland and climbed the Brocken Mountain fifty times because it is on my doorstep.
I am passionate about canoeing and kayaking, especially on rivers, but also on the Baltic Sea all the way to the Danish South Sea.
Born in Lower Saxony in December 1968, I was not born into a career as a writer. I come from a family of craftsmen and learned a trade, that of baker and confectioner.
But even as a teenager, who was always poking his nose into books, I had the desire to tell stories. But first I served as a regular soldier with the pioneers and learned how to survive in nature. After my time in the army, I studied sports and worked in the fitness industry, drove a taxi, sold insurance, worked in a honey factory and taught myself the craft of writing in endless night sessions.
In 2007 my first book was published, others followed, so far, I have published 23 books, many of which made it to the Spiegel bestseller list, I even managed to reach number 1. I publish as Andreas Winkelmann with Rowohlt-Verlag and RandomHouse, as Frank Kodiak with Droemer Knaur and as Hendrik Winter with Bastei Lübbe. My books have been translated into 15 languages so far.
It all started on my 11th birthday with the survival book "SOS - Survival in the Wilderness", after that nothing was the same. The longing for outdoor adventure was awakened and is still a motor that drives me today.
In 1984, I went on a three-week tramp tour through France and Spain, which took away my fear of the unknown, and less than four years later, after completing my community service in Munich, I went to Australia and Tasmania for half a year. There I hiked through the legendary Cradle-Mountain Lake-St-Clair National Park, among other places. Back in Europe, the Alps, the GR 20 on Corsica, the volcanic island of La Palma, Namibia, South Africa, various national parks in the U.S.A., the North and South Islands of New Zealand and, most recently, treks in Norway and Sweden were dream destinations for my passion for hiking.
Besides hiking, sea kayaking has become a great outdoor passion. From our weekend home on the German Baltic coast, I regularly go on micro-adventures to the Danish South Sea.
Born in Essen in the heart of the Ruhr area, I moved to Munich in 1985 to do my civilian service. In 1988, my passion for acting was awakened by my work as a permanent extra in the celebrated Ruhr multi-part series "Rote Erde". I started my training in 1990 and finished it in 1993. Immediately afterwards I had the great fortune to start directly with a leading role in Polizeiruf 110 - SAMSTAGS WENN KRIEG IST. This was followed by other television feature films and continuous leading roles in series, including AUF ACHSE and NOTRUF HAFENKANTE.
Then in 1996 my first cinema film, KNOCKING ON HEAVENS DOOR, followed by DAS MERKWÜRDIGE VERHALTEN GESCHLECHTSREIFER GROSSSTÄDTER ZUR PAARUNGSZEITTER.
But my absolute favourite projects remain the Ruhr cult films BANG BOOM BANG and DOPPELPACK.
In the meantime, I have worked in about 100 films and series episodes and I hope there will be a few more to come..
I started writing screenplays in 2010 but it wasn't until I met my hiking friend and writer mentor Andreas Winkelmann in 2015 that concrete projects emerged. Together we published our hiking travel book "WILDER WIRD’S NICHT" with Rowohlt Verlag in 2021.