in this installment of Author Showcase we speak with M. Ullrich. M. Ullrich is a four-time Goldie Award finalist and a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, and she has been featured in The Advocate magazine

Q  What was the first thing you wrote that made you feel accomplished as a writer? 

My second novel, Life in Death. The book was shortlisted for two awards but more than that I received such intense responses from readers. That’s when I knew I did something right. 

Q     The world seems to be getting more cynical, does that make it harder to write romance? 

Quite the opposite actually. It either feels like a necessary escape or an opportunity to borrow from real life and add realistic depth/conflict. I don’t know. I like writing complexity and angst so when life hands you cynical lemons…

Q     Have any of the characters you wrote been more reflective of you? 

No, none specifically. I think there’s a little of me in several of my main characters but none that come close to hitting the nail on the head. 

Q What are your favorite and least favorite tropes in the romance genre?  

I love a spicy and angsty toaster oven, friends to lovers, or enemies to lovers! Tropes that don’t really sell me on a book are May-December or the one that seemed to be insanely popular years ago where the character’s previous partner had died. I’m not saying it’s a bad storyline, it’s actually super emotional, which I love, but I feel like 5-10 years ago every other book had that trope.

Q Are you a pantser or a plotter writer? I’m definitely a plotter. I love outlining. The only time I dislike the plotting stage is when it comes to research. Research is the bane of my existence as a writer! For my latest book, The Laws of Magic, I had to do a lot of research into herbs and witchcraft and even reading tea leaves! It sounds so fun but I struggle through it. 

Q What kind of prep do you do before sitting down to write a novel? 

I need a solid outline and excitement for the story. If I get to the end of the outline and I’m no longer excited to write the story then I know it either needs more work or the idea has to be tabled.      

Q   What is your next book you are working on? 

I’m scared to answer this one but I’m actually not working on a book at the moment! I have some ideas rolling around but I’ve been enjoying deadline-free living while chasing that creative spark through painting and photography. 

Q} if people want more info about you or to pick up your books where should they go? 

MUllrichAuthor on Instagram is where you’ll get to know me and see what I’m working on. The Bold Strokes Books website is the place to go for all things book related!

Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be? 

While I do believe I have great problem solving abilities, I am also confident I lack survival skills. So I’ll probably be at home with a cup of coffee like that dog meme: “This is fine.”

Q )  What is your favorite Fandom? 

Wynonna Earp. There’s no other group on earth like Earpers and I’m dang proud to be one. E4L!

Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die? 

The definition and experience of art is so subjective I struggle to answer this! On a more traditional note, last summer we visited The MET and I love Van Gogh, but what stopped me in my tracks was a painting of a pelvis by Georgia O’Keeffe. An extraordinary piece. But art on a more personal level would be music I listen to every day. Music is an art form that has always affected and inspired me. So whether it’s vocal art like Over My Head by Fleetwood Mac or musical perfection like Someone Else by Betty Who or Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (no judgement!) the music is like a full body experience and everyone should feel and enjoy that. 
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you? 

I live in a near-constant state of moderate to severe anxiety. I am not exaggerating either. More of my day is spent with anxiety than not and when people learn this about me they are SHOCKED. I’m always told I look so calm and collected, but I’m telling you now my insides are in shambles!

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