Author of the Month: M. Ullrich
This has been a massive year for M. Ullrich. She released her first novel Fortunate Sum, in March this year followed closely by her second novel Life in Death that came out in October.
Fortunate Sum was a great debut novel that I personally loved and gave it 5 stars without question. Quoting my own review…
“All in all I really enjoyed this novel. I could feel what the characters were feeling through the way M. Ullrich explained it with her powerful descriptions. I am anxious to see what comes next from M. Ullrich with such a great first novel.”
The Romantic Reader Blog Reviewed Fortunate Sum and one of the many great things they wrote was…
Life in Death was Les Rêveur Book of the Year for 2016. Which I was honestly surprised about because I had put it in the too confronting basket due to the subject matter and was about to move on and then I thought of the first novel M. Ullrich had written and how much I loved it… so I submitted my request on NetGallery and the rest they say is history…
Quoting my review:
The Romantic Reader Blog wrote:
So like I say, it’s been a massive year for M. Ullrich and I thought it would be a good time to check in with her and ask some questions that I know Les Rêveur readers want to ask. Some questions are just for fun and others are because after two books we all want to know what makes a writer write two very different novels and what’s coming next…
Hi Megan, thanks for doing our first ever Author Q&A! Les Rêveur made you Book of the Year for 2016 so I just thought what better way to start the New Year than to find out more about you and your wonderful writing! So here we go…
LR: What inspired you to write Lesbian Romance Novels?
MU:Simply put, reading Lesbian Romance Novels inspired me to write them.
LR: Was becoming an Author always an aspiration? And if so what originally drew you in
MU: Yes, absolutely. The moment I started to appreciate fiction, which I’m ashamed to admit was a little later in life, there was an instant spark. It took me awhile to put aspiration into action however, but when I did? I knew I found something that fit. Experiencing firsthand the effect of a good book; getting lost in a story and willing to give up a night’s sleep just to get to the ending? That was something I wanted to consume as well as create.
LR: What’s your writing kryptonite? And how long can it take you away from your writing
MU: I’m the type of writer that has to write my book in order, so if I’m uncertain about something early in a story, but force myself to push through (it is the first draft, after all!) I’ll inevitably come to a road block because of it. I will not be able to move forward again until I’ve fixed it. Also, Law & Order SVU.
LR: Do you use people from your life to make up characters or do they come directly from your imagination?
MU: I use fragments of people I know or I have met, personality quirks and the like. Especially with couples and relationships. I’ll add a little bit from my own relationship and it’s really fun when my wife goes, “Hey! That’s like us!” With my next book, “Fake It Till You Make It”, a lot of the main character was fashioned after a very good friend of mine and her very unique brand of luck. It was a very, very fun book to write.
LR: What’s the hardest scene you’ve written? And why?
MU: In “Life in Death”, I had a very hard time writing Marty’s infidelity. I don’t like writing bad guys, I want all of my characters to be loveable creations, but that wasn’t possible for Marty. So when it came time to write that scene, I struggled for quite a while. I actually got to a point where I contemplated changing the entire story just to avoid her actually cheating. But I stuck to my guns and wrote it. I’m glad I did.
LR: You wrote two very different themed romance novels, which novel was the harder to write and why?
MU: “Fortunate Sum” was very difficult to write because it was my first novel-length story that I was writing with the hopes of it being published one day. But “Life in Death” was more challenging because of the way I had chosen to tell the story. I had to make sure the past and present flowed well and told a cohesive story. It was also the most taxing emotionally, for obvious reasons. So I’m inclined to say “Life in Death”.
LR: I can’t ask you which one’s your favorite of your novels because that’s like asking to pick a favourite child. So instead I’ll ask which of your novels is your wife’s favorite and why?
MU: They’re her children too! But really, I did ask her and was a little surprised by her answer! She said that her first thought was “Life in Death”, but “Fake It Till You Make It” could potentially dethrone it.
LR: Will you make either of your novels into a sequel or novelette? And if so what direction would you take the characters from the novel next?
MU: I’m in the planning stages of a spin-off as we speak. I can’t say too much about it right now, but it’s about a secondary character from “Fake it Till You Make it”.
LR: Which of your characters from your two books would you say is most relatable to you or your life and why?
MU: The relationship between Marty and Suzanne from “Life in Death” was built from a blueprint of my own marriage. Their banter, insecurities, and codependence are very relatable. For us, infidelity and a child are not relatable however.
LR: Writing two novels in one year is a big goal that you smashed. What’s your next big goal?
MU: I’d like to have another three to four novels released over the course of 2017-2018. I’m also aiming to master the art of describing my books aloud. Right now, I’m terrible at it! I sound like I’ve never heard of the novels before, let alone actually wrote them!
Ok some questions for fun…
LR: Who inspires you in your non-author life? And why?
MU: I think Madonna and Ellen Degeneres are inspirations for many women and human beings out there and I’m no different. But in my own life, I’d have to say that my wife is a continuous source of inspiration. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. She has this great “don’t sweat the small stuff” attitude that I envy, and she loves endlessly and unconditionally. What greater inspiration is there?
LR: What writers/novels inspire you?
MU: Aside from the talented authors I’m surrounded by at Bold Strokes Books, a lot of my inspiration comes from songwriters. It’s a different medium, but the same art. Writers such as Madonna, Darren Hayes, and Sara Bareilles continuously amaze me and inspire me with the way they tell stories with their lyrics.
LR: Do you have a favourite book/novel?
MU: “All that Matters” by Susan X. Meagher is on a pretty high pedestal for me. When I first finished the novel I thought, “Wow. How did the author manage to do that?” I can reread that book over and over.
LR: What is your favourite film?
MU: My all-time favorites are “Dirty Dancing” and “Little Shop of Horrors”. Catchy music, dancing, man-eating plants, and Audrey’s boobs. So many reasons! A more recent favorite is “Imagine Me & You”. It’s the perfect romantic-comedy, in my opinion.
LR: What is your favourite motivational phrase, positive saying or quote?
MU: Have you ever listened to the Madonna song “Over and Over” from her album “True Blue”? That whole song is a motivational quote for me. It’s pretty simple, but sometimes simple is just what you need to keep going. Same goes for her song “Jump”: “There’s only so much you can learn in one place. The more that you wait, the more time that you waste.” I guess you can tell I’m a Madonna fan, huh?
LR: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in the LGBT Community?
MU:Write continuously, read plenty, and turn to your peers for advice. No matter how different our subject matter, we all need each other. Every new writer helps our community grow into something greater and stronger than it was the previous year.
LR: What has been the best part of your first year as a writer?
MU: All of it! But I do think opening my very first box of printed books, and holding my first copy of “Fortunate Sum” in my hands was an experience like no other.
LR: Where can you see yourself and your writing in 5 years time?
MU: Honestly, it’s hard to imagine! I’m so focused on one to two books at a time, I struggle to see beyond that. I hope to have a steady stream of releases and the reputation of an unpredictable author, because I’d like to tackle different subgenres throughout my career.
LR: Can you tell us a little bit about you new novel “Fake It Till You Make It” that’s coming out in June 2017?
MU: I’d love to! The story follows Genevieve Applegate as she blindly applies for a job listing that’ll take her from Pennsylvania, to a hip town in New Jersey. When she realizes that the journalism job is with an LGBT publication, straight Genevieve decides to pose as a lesbian for the sake of career (and life) experience. But her female boss, Harper, is incredibly charming and attractive, which leads Genevieve to wonder how much of her new life she’s actually faking. “Fake it Till You Make it” is a fun, light romantic comedy that was so much fun to write! Like I mentioned earlier, Genevieve is loosely based off a friend of mine and her odd brand of luck. So some of the mishaps that happen to Genevieve along the way, may be based off a true incident. After all, isn’t that the biggest threat of being friends with a writer?
If you want to know more about M. Ullrich, please follow the links below or read her Bio at the end.
M. Ullrich Bio
M. Ullrich has always called New Jersey home and currently resides by the beach with her wife and three boisterous felines. After many years of regarding her writing as just a hobby, the gentle yet persistent words of encouragement from her wife pushed M. Ullrich to take a leap into the world of publishing. Much to her delight and amazement, that world embraced her back. By day, M. Ullrich works full time in the optical field and spends most of her days off working on her writing. When her pen isn’t furiously trying to capture her imagination (a rare occasion), she enjoys being a complete entertainer. Whether she’s telling an elaborate story, a joke, or getting up in front of a crowd to sing and dance her way through her latest karaoke selection, M. Ullrich will do just about anything to make others smile. She also happens to be fluent in three languages: English, sarcasm, and TV/Movie quotes.
To Buy any of M. Ullrich’s works please click the link below: M. Ullrich @ Bold Strokes Books