This week it is my pleasure to interview author Ivan Ertlov .
Me: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Ivan: As children, we all have dreams what we want to be one day. Astronaut, firefighter, professional racer – well, one of mine was writer. We were poor, but an uncle of mine had overseen the liquidation of a community library, so I ended up with 5000 books in our garage, at the age of ten. I read almost a book a day, and I simply couldn’t envision anything else I wanted to do except writing and reading.
Me: How long does it take you to write a book?
Ivan: Between 6 months and 2 years of preparation work and research, between 2 and 3 months of actual working.
Me: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Ivan: Usually 2 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the evening, with some days off in between and some days filled with up to 10 hours.
Me: Do you intend to keep writing?
Ivan: Of course, I should have my 20th book published this years, there are projects with traditional book publishers in the pipeline, and I have several offers for writing more lore for video games and streaming shows. Getting my main work translated to English is the far greater challenge here.
Me: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Ivan: My love for pigs. Whenever possible, I will try to sneak a pig into the storyline. My main series with several #1 bestseller positions and more than 200 000 sold copies as of today, has a talking pig (even with a PhD) as member of the essential supporting cast.
Me: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Ivan: I read, I watch, and, most important, I travel. Every single location in my books that is NOT in outer space, on the moon or other planets, has been visited by me. I walked through Angkor Wat, measured walking and running distances in the Central Park, marched through the Sinai desert. All of that helped me to create more believable, more credible environments. Therefore, 2020 was an extremely difficult year. I hope, I will be on the road again soon.
Me: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Ivan: that open-ended writing, as in “just having a rough idea and starting to write blindly” works as well as following an almost bureaucratically developed and carefully plotted masterplan. Of course, it depends on your writing personality, but for now I am happy to write along vague ideas and let them develop on the run.
Me: What is your next challenge in writing?
Ivan: Getting a foothold in the English book market. I have been an Amazon All Stars author for more than a year now – but in the German Market only. It is extremely difficult to find a good translator who catches the fine vibes of German language, especially when it comes to humor and sarcasm. As I live and work on Aboriginal land in Australia, I have opted to use Australian English and I am very curious if that goes well with the U.S. audience.
Born in the 1970ies in Czechoslovakia, raised in Austria, currently living in Australia.
Creative Writer, CM and Producer on International video game hits like Gothic, SpellForce, Hitman and RISK.
Won 25 Game of the Year awards before he decided to write and publish his own novels. Sometimes trashy, sometimes cheeky, often politically loaded, always fun to read.
Best-selling Author in the German Fantasy and Science-Fiction market.
Bronze winner of the Goldener Stephan 2019, Silver 2020, 3 times winner of the VLP “book of the year” award.
– Ran for councilman in Lower Austria 2000, won a seat, defended it in two further elections. Spent 15 years as elected politician.
– Played American Football in the Austrian National League (Divisions 4, 3 and 2), won a bowl.
– Knows how it feels to get stabbed, shot, and drowned.
– Former medieval full contact swordfighter, won the Marchtrenk tournament (which he organized, so take that with a grain of salt)
– Has a daughter in Germany who doesn’t think dad is “cool”. Mental note: You can produce video games, ride your Harley through the Australian outback and write SciFi bestsellers and your own offspring will still be more embarrassed than proud.
– Speaks 5 languages fluently with a terrible accent, can beg for mercy and ask for a lawyer in 8 more
Other Works by Ivan Ertlov