German born but English writing author, Ulff Lehmann, was raised reading, almost any and everything, from the classic Greek to Roman to Germanic myths to more appropriate fiction for children his age. Initially devouring books in his native language, he switched to reading English books during a year long stay in the USA as a foreign exchange student.
In the years since, he has lost count of the books he has read, unwilling to dig into the depths of his collection. An avid fantasy reader, he grew dissatisfied with the constant lack of technological evolution in many a fantasy world, and finally, when push came to shove, he began to realize not only his potential as a story teller but also his vision of a mythical yet realistic world in which to settle the tale he had been developing for 20 years.
I can’t do anything else. I am a storyteller. Without it, without having figured out that writing, storytelling is what I need to do, I would not be alive today. The Light in the Dark series has been with me since, well, early 1990s, I did write some short stories, but they never came out the way I wanted. The first version of the first book was done sometime in the late 1990s, but it still wasn’t what I wanted. It took me two nervous breakdowns, a lot of soul searching, and the help and encouragement from my therapist to finally get it done.
2.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
I’ve always been fascinated by mythology, not so much fantasy, because I read a lot of other books before I came to fantasy. Fantasy to me is a natural extension to mythology.
But I don’t like to be bound by the conventions that tie far too many authors down in fantasy. I don’t subscribe to the entire good vs. evil thing that came with Lord of the Rings and has been codified by D&D. Roman, Greek, Germanic mythology is full of heroes and villains, sure, but none of them are evil or good. They just are.
What appeals to me in fantasy… the freedom to do anything I want, break the rules that work in our world, and yet tell stories that are relevant for us, without pointing a preachy finger.
3.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I’m a head person. I live mostly inside my head, my thoughts, jumbled as they are. I look through the eyes of whichever person I’m writing POV, trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads. I know them pretty well by now, and it’s easy to slip into their skins so to speak.
4.Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds them back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
Netflix, and my own laziness. But once I become too cranky, too grumpy, I know I must write.
5.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
You’re a writer, it’s not a fucking hobby, it’s who you are, don’t try to get our father’s favor, he’ll never give it. And don’t start smoking! Dumbass!
6.Describe your workplace.
It’s a desktop PC with Windows XP, it’s not connected to the internet, totally old school. Next to that, in front of the window, is an old rickety monitor, flat screen, sure, but at least 15 years old, it’s tiny, one of those plasma thingies. There are numerous books next to the computer as well, two thesauruses(wow, that’s actually the plural, I thought it would be thesauri), a dictionary, and my trusty book on names. Then there’s my keyboard, and mouse, and a sheaf of papers with notes and shit.
7.Describe your muse.
Bastard comes for me in the worst places usually. Toilet, shower, bed, at the most inconvenient times. You catch my meaning. Other than that, when I sit at the computer, it just happens. It’s always there anyway, but then, at the computer, it just happens.
8.If you could live anywhere other than where you are, where would it be?
Iceland, or Scotland, or Ireland. I have a thing for the lands… hehe.
9.Since you published your first book, do you have any dreams you have not reached? Goals for new books, series beyond this publication, or anything else that can tantalize the fantasy public?
It’s three books now. I need to finish the second draft of book 4, regain my mental equilibrium, finish the series, and then… a spy/war series set in the same world, basically continuing plotlines I had to park in order to continue the current series.
I also have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck I want in CT Phipps’s Lucifer universe, so I might just do that as well. We shall see.
10.Can we expect an audio book from you, and if you had the ability to choose anyone to narrate it, is there someone in particular you would hire?
Yes… if I could choose. Richard Armitage… one can dream, right?
11.What are the things you’re most proud of in this book or series?
That I actually managed to help one reader through a really tough time in her life. Well, me, as in I wrote the book that helped her.
12.You are forced to pick a fist fight with one of the characters in your book. Who would you choose and why?
Would you think bad of me if I said a frail old man? LOL Most characters are hardened warriors, or capable of dismembering me via magic, I would stand no chance. So I choose the old geezer, because I would at least not lose within the first few moments.
13.Do you have a celebration that you embark on when you finish a book, be it a release party, a trophy, or even a shot of whiskey?
To be perfectly honest, no. I save the document, shut down the computer, and try to forget about it for a few weeks, so that when I print it out to read/edit, I can approach it with fresh eyes. Yes, I print my books out, two pages to a piece of paper, I’m oldschool that way.
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