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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Author Interview: Lazlo's Revenge by Glen Thomas Hierlmeier

About the Author:

Glen Thomas Hierlmeier is a graduate of the United Sates Air Force Academy, and has an MBA from The University of Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he helped develop the Manned Orbiting Laboratory and the F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft, and gained a deep interest in world affairs and warfare.

He subsequently completed a career as a banker and real estate executive, serving as President and CEO of various companies for over thirty years before retiring in 2009.

Glen enjoys writing historical fiction and has published three other books including Thoughts From Yesterday: Moments to Remember, We Had to Live: We Had No Choice..., and Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War, the prequel to Lazlo’s Revenge. For more information, visit: http://www.booksbyglenthomas.com/.

Readers can connect with Glen Thomas Hierlmeier on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I create a setting, situation and characters, then let the story flow as I imagine it might in real life. In Lazlo’s Revenge, the setting is Europe, the situation is Max Fischer, retired war correspondent, seeking to find answers to the causes of war by tracing the steps of her ancestors and the significant people in their lives as they personally experienced the two great wars of the 20th century. She tells the story through what she learns of the lives and loves of the main characters as they are caught up in the political and military turmoil of the first half of the century.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

The characters do take over the story. They make the decisions as they are confronted with the circumstances of their lives. They take control early on and never relinquish it.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am definitely a morning person, but when I am fully engaged in my writing, there is no distinction between morning and night. I write when it becomes clear to me what the characters will do next. I listen to my characters.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

My wife and I would love to travel the Danube River through Europe. The river and the cities along the river are prominent in Lazlo’s Revenge. My own ancestry is from southern Germany near Munich. Members of my family fought on each side in both world wars, undoubtedly sometimes fighting directly against one another.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Yes, indeed. Between the first book, Honor & Innocence, and this second, Lazlo’s Revenge, the characters find themselves in America, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Bukovina (now part of Romania and Ukraine), Hungary, Spain, France, Singapore, and Australia, as well as sailing the Mediterranean Sea on two occasions.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Lazlo’s Revenge follows Maxine “Max” Fischer, a writer and Swiss war correspondent, whose parents lived through the tragedies of the Great World Wars.

Max sets out on an adventure throughout Europe to uncover her parents’ pasts and see the very places where they survived on their odyssey to escape danger and death. Stories of romance, war, and traumas are unearthed as she traces their footsteps back to the major sites of World Wars I and II.

During her journey, Max becomes fascinated by the people who influenced her parents' lives. She follows the life and times of Lazlo Floznik, the man who saved her parents and helped them escape catastrophe in Europe by seeking out refuge beyond the reach of the security forces that sought to imprison them.  The years leading up to World War I, the time between the wars, and the experiences of World War II reveal their secrets as Max explores her family roots, in this deeply emotional story tied together by Lazlo’s intense story of love, and that of his father, Miklos, before him.


What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

With 130 million books published worldwide and another 1.3 million in 2015 and growing, publishing an economically successful book is more than a little like playing the lottery. Unless you are a famous person, a person with a large audience already, or you are part of a very newsworthy current event, it is unlikely you will be published by a traditional publisher, or be profitable. There are always some exceptions for an extraordinary book by an extraordinary author, but these are a very small percentage. Also, it is possible to spend a lot of money on middlemen who are willing to sell their advice and give instruction with no guarantee or even a reasonable likelihood of success. The bottom line is write because you love to write, not because you expect to get rich or even make a living.

I love writing. I wish I had started much earlier in my life. I am following my bliss. I am creative, determined, and analytical.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My desire to write was first inspired by my high school English teacher, Ms. Elizabeth Ritzmann, who taught me there is good literature, and that I have the capacity to be a good writer. Though my writing was largely confined to my businesses during my career, I harbored a desire to write in retirement.
       
My curiosity about the causes of war and the aftermath of war, inspired by my time as an active duty Air Force Officer during the Vietnam War, led me to research the history of the great wars, and to tell a story from a perspective not found in history books, and through characters whom readers can love and hate.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

My favorite book is not a novel at all. We Had to Live: We Had No Choice, is a story I wrote based on the life of my family beginning with the immigration of my fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Sewell, to the USA from England as an indentured servant. I tried to write the book more as a novel, telling the family story in a way to make it more inviting and readable. It was also my intention to use the writing of the book as a warm-up, so to speak, for further writing. As it turned out, an experience in World War II first related to me by my eldest brother, who has since passed away, during the writing of the family book, provided the nugget that stimulated the writing of my first novel, Honor & Innocence: Against the Tides of War. I immensely enjoyed the process of researching and writing my first novel, but I believe the first book and the intense and personal look into the family ancestry will forever be my favorite.

The two most absorbing and memorable books and authors have been Out of Africa by Karen Blixen and Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth. I think I have read and enjoyed all of Michener’s books. In high school I devoured Civil War books; Stephen Crane, Barbara Tuchman, and Bruce Catton come to mind. In my later years I tend towards philosophy, theology and mysticism – Alan Watts, Thomas Merton, C. S. Lewis, and politics, David C. Korten. For a couple of decades in mid-life I read only non-fiction, which helped prepare me to write fiction based on historically and spiritually real experiences.

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About the Book:

Glen Thomas Hierlmeier’s latest historical romance novel, Lazlo’s Revenge, is the story of one woman’s adventure throughout Europe to uncover her parents’ pasts.  Stories of romance, war, and traumas both physical and emotional are unearthed as she traces their footsteps back to the major sites of World Wars I and II.  Lazlo’s Revenge is due for release in June 2016 from Xlibris publishing.

Lazlo’s Revenge follows Maxine “Max” Fischer, a writer and Swiss war correspondent, whose parents (Hank and Roberta Fischer, the main characters from Hierlmeier’s previous book, Honor and Innocence) lived through the tragedies of the Great World Wars.

Max sets out on an adventure throughout Europe to uncover her parents’ pasts and see the very places where they survived on their odyssey to escape danger and death. Stories of romance, war, and traumas are unearthed as she traces their footsteps back to the major sites of World Wars I and II.

During her journey, Max becomes fascinated by the people who influenced her parents' lives. She follows the life and times of Lazlo Floznik, the man who saved her parents and helped them escape catastrophe in Europe by seeking out refuge beyond the reach of the security forces that sought to imprison them.  The years leading up to World War I, the time between the wars, and the experiences of World War II reveal their secrets as Max explores her family roots, in this deeply emotional story tied together by Lazlo’s intense story of love, and that of his father, Miklos, before him.

Praise:

“Any reader who enjoys historical fiction, romance, war stories, and stories with action and adventure, should definitely give Lazlo's Revenge a read. I am pleased to be able to recommend this book to any such reader. I am also looking forward to reading more from the promising author, Glen Hierlmeier, as soon as I possibly can!” – 4 Stars, Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite


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