Check out this author spotlight for Ulff Lehmann!
You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
Born in Wattenscheid, now Bochum, in 1971. Went through the trauma of life, school, army, the works. Began taking writing seriously only 15ish years ago, after I realized I am a storyteller. So far there’s been a few short stories and three novels released to my name.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
Autumn, not too hot, not too cold, drinking tea makes more sense than in summer.
Tea or coffee?
Tea. It used to be coffee, but my zombie coffee (stuff that woke the dead) pretty much messed up my stomach.
Library or museums?
Depends on the museum. I love research, I love actually seeing history. So while I LOVE reading history books, I prefer to sit in my own place to read. In the right museum, with the proper guide, things are beyond informative.
Witches or wizards?
Wizardesses and Wizards. I don’t like the term witch in this case, because of the negative connotation. Witches in western/christian mythology are considered something bad, and many a woman was killed because of people accusing her of being a witch. I know Wizardess is a term not commonly, or ever aside from yours truly, used in fiction, but if we have actresses, and sorceresses, why not wizardesses?
Mountains or beaches?
Mountains. I love being surrounded by…landscape. Beaches are usually surrounded by flat land, and I hate flat land.
Plotter or pantser?
Pantser, for the most part. I figure out what the characters are doing while they’re doing it. Plotting comes in when there are big and complex scenes, involving multiple POV characters involved in the same action, with numerous chapters written from each person’s POV, with all of them forming a mosaic. That shit takes planning
Pen and paper or computer/phone?
Computer. I can’t read my hand. lol
Standalone or series?
Reading, I don’t care. Writing, series. Things get out of hand, and expand beyond whatever smallish scope they begin at. I like to thing of a story’s beginning as the proverbial boulder crashing into a still pond, with me taking note of all the ripples that follow in its wake.
Book or ebook?
Depends. Research, I prefer books because I can flip back and forth easily. Reading, either.
Hero or anti-hero?
Heroes are boring.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
I don’t look for tropes. Tropes are boring, predictable. Types of story… anything intriguing. I like to think when reading (currently reading Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op stories, and you aren’t spoonfed what’s going on), so anything that is utterly unpredictable and challenges my preconceptions. For instance, I love A Song of Ice and Fire, because it challenges and destroys so many fantasy tropes.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I write dark, epic fantasy. Some call it grimdark, some grimdark readers don’t. I honestly didn’t know what grimdark was when I began writing the story. As for the latest happenings… well, I just printed out the second draft of book 4, and will start revising, editing it soon. I also tried my hand at a world map, at least a rough map-like thing that goes hand in hand with my world’s creation story.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
The most recent release is book 3 of my Light in the Dark series, Shattered Fears. It continues the story from the prior books, ramping up the action, the drama, and the tragedy, and also providing some answers as to why certain things have been happening to the protagonist. I’m rather proud of this book, because I managed to do something that, even now, upon reading the final ten or so chapters leaves me physically exhausted.
You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google books, Kobo.
Here’s the Amazon link: http://mybook.to/Shattered_Fears-Amazon
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
My world is inspired by Roman, Greek, and Germanic mythology, but everything is my own creation. Roman and Celtic history are my primary sources for both technology and society, with a sprinkle of Dark Ages Britain tossed in for good measure. My world is old, and humans haven’t been around that long. They live in the shadow of once great elven empires, some of which still exist. (These are things that do exist but are, as of now, irrelevant to the story.) Stylistically, it’s Robert E. Howard and George R.R. Martin who inspire me the most. I adore Howard’s economy of language, saying a lot with few words makes for much more dynamic reading. Martin’s division of one chapter per viewpoint character, and his focus on very narrow third person, are a major influence on the structure. In book 1 I didn’t adhere to it religiously, often having cut scenes in a chapter, but book 2 on each POV character has their own chapter. It makes for marvellous storytelling because the reader knows more than most characters, but since everything they know is tinted by POV, they can never be sure what’s what. I love that.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I used to have one, but it was too expensive… going to the café for a cappuccino each morning before writing… was bad for my wallet. I write in the mornings, for an hour, maybe more, every morning, if I feel like it. Sometimes it’s explosions of creativity, followed by slumps of not writing anything.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
Nothing, really. Since I was a fully formed adult when I started writing, I have had rather concrete notions of what not to do for much longer than I’ve actually written. I’ve learned early on how to handle criticism. The one and only writers group I was in treated prose like wolves treat fresh meat. Since I was the youngest in that group, and the least experienced, my stuff was savaged beyond recognition. I learned not to take it personally, but focus on what was being said. I knew what I did not want for a long time (haphazard, cobbled together fantasy worlds; heroes and villains, good and evil) but it wasn’t until I read A Game of Thrones that I knew what I wanted, what I needed to do.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!