What is your name and where are you from?
Woelf Dietrich is the pen name of an ex-South African lawyer now living in new Zealand with a wife and three kids and a dog. That is me.
What made you want to become a writer?
At age 12 my teacher asked us to submit a one page short story for class. I handed in eight pages. I discovered I like writing then, which made sense, given that I was reading ferociously at the time. I also got into trouble at school a lot for not paying attention. My mind wandered easily and I would constantly daydream and so I started writing down those flights of fancy. Looking back, at the time when I was writing the most, I had thought writing was the only thing that suited my personality. Then a whole bunch of life happened and I never took it any further. Now, a few careers later, I am more than ever convinced writing is my calling, but unlike my young self, I won’t stop writing or change careers again.
What is the first book you ever wrote?
Many years ago, before the Internet functioned properly, I started a book titled Grotius. It had a duel story timeline, taking place in the present and in the past. The main character was a loser dropout who failed to graduate from law school. His father was a successful lawyer. Upon his father’s death, the main character discovers he could only inherit his father’s estate if he either finishes law school or somehow find a solid career. My character then decides to write a historical novel about one of his father’s icons, a legal scholar from Holland called Hugo Grotius, who had lived during the fifteenth century. My protagonist travels to Europe researching the life and times of this Grotius while every other chapter follows the actual Hugo Grotius and his political and legal adventures. I never finished the book and have a thickly stuffed paper folder somewhere in a box in my garage.
What are you working on now?
The Morrigan (Guardians of the Seals, book 2), The Spirit Bow (Land of Giants, book 1), The Last Devil (Novella for an anthology), and Pied Piper 2.0 (Novella for The Collective). I have a few other projects in the pipeline, waiting for things to happen and decisions to be made.
I’m busy editing The Morrigan at the moment, which is the second book in my Guardians of the Seals series. It’s a modern tale about demons and gods and the thin veneer that separates our reality from the unknown beyond. The Seals of Abgal is an introduction to this series and can be found here.
I’m not going to say too much about The Last Devil (science fiction), or The Spirit Bow (heroic fantasy), but they are both active projects.
Pied Piper 2.0 is a retelling of the fabled tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Only, this version takes place somewhere far into the future on another world in a galaxy served by The Collective.
What advice would you give to new authors in today’s publishing world?
Keep reading a lot and keep writing a lot and if you can, start a blog. Do not underestimate the power and function of a blog. It allows you to connect and share with potential readers. And it does not need to take up much of your time. Think of it as a writer’s journal where you have to watch your grammar. Keep writing. Just keep writing no matter how shit you feel your writing is. Trust me. The first draft must be crap for the final draft to shine. One last point, both Hemingway and Gaiman copied authors they admired and by having done that, they discovered their unique voices. Keep that in mind.