Home of Author and Artist, Robert Ullrich
GL: How about a short bio?
RU: I was born in Marshall, Minnesota, on October 30, 1953. My family moved to Jesup, Iowa in 1957 before settling in Independence in 1959. I was the third of what become the six sons of Ron and Jeri Ullrich. I attended St. John’s for all but half of my junior year when my dad took a job in Storm Lake. His posi
GL: How about a short bio?
RU: I was born in Marshall, Minnesota, on October 30, 1953. My family moved to Jesup, Iowa in 1957 before settling in Independence in 1959. I was the third of what become the six sons of Ron and Jeri Ullrich. I attended St. John’s for all but half of my junior year when my dad took a job in Storm Lake. His position with the company he went to work for was eliminated six months after we moved. He packed us up and moved back to Independence. Fortunately, the house we had been living in on 3rd street NW had not sold. I went on to graduate in 1972 with the friends I had grown up with.
I joined the Air Force at the same time as you, and spent four years in San Antonio before moving to Corpus Christi. I attended college at Del Mar in Corpus Christi before moving to Ft. Worth where I continued my education at Tarrant County College. I majored in a Middle-Management Program while taking courses on writing.
After several moves for work, I ended up here in Stevens Point, Wisconsin after Hurricane Harvey destroyed our home in 2017. My current family consists of my wife, Kim who I married in 2008, three rescued dogs – two German shepherds and one golden retriever – and a rescued cat I named Katsumi after one of the main characters in my Evolution of a Killer Series.
GL: When did you decide to actually put "pen to paper"?
RU: Being a writer was something I began to aspire to in my early teens. My desire to become a writer was a direct result of my father’s influence, though he didn’t know it. He was a voracious reader, to say the least. When I approached him at the age of 8 or 9 for something to read, (wanting to be like dad, you know), He handed me Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I read almost all of them in the next two years.
When I finished the Tarzan series, he handed me a Louis Lamour western, I believe it was titled the First Fast Draw. I consumed all his Lamour’s in less than a year. Next was Earl Stanley Gardner and Perry Mason. The seeds for choosing crime fiction a my main genre were planted by Mr. Gardner.
As a young teen I began to branch out on my own. I discovered Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings at thirteen. I read all three in less than a week, safely ensconced in our formal living room. It was the sanctuary in our home. No one could talk, or hassle one of his brothers, and I took full advantage.
Throughout the years I cannot even begin to count to number of novels I’ve read. In time, my favorites became Stephen King, James Clavell, James Michener, T.H. White, Anne Rice, John Sanford, Herman Wouk, Tolstoy and Dickens.
John Sanford’s Prey Series was my inspiration for the Lazarus Chronicles. I have read almost everything written by Mr. Sanford. I was fascinated by the continuity of his MC, Lucas Davenport. All the novels stand alone, but are also interconnected, as well as the Virgil (That effing) Flowers series.
It wasn’t until after publishing my first novel , “Evolution of a Killer” in March of 2017 that I heard of Lee Child. The very first review likened my main character, Lazarus Solaris to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. I sort of panicked. Fears of unintentional plagiarism or mimicking someone else’s MC (main character, would have forced me to pull my novel). Fortunately, though there are some similarities, their characters are nothing alike.
My first publication was of poetry and musings, “Life and Death in a Single Breath” in 2016. I have been writing poetry for decades, and still do. I never intended to publish. My mother changed that when she asked me to promise I would share my work before she passed in 2010. I still don’t know if I am a good poet, or writer for that matter; simply because I have always been hard on myself. I have received letters and emails from all over the world how one of my poems touched someone’s heart. That is good enough for me. If I touched only one person, and gave them hope, inspiration, comfort or encouragement I can ask for no better judgement as a poet.
GL: How did the character of Lazarus evolve...what is the source of Lazarus? How has his character evolved?
RU: To me, writing doesn't need to be about the author's emotions. When I am writing, it is about drawing emotions and feelings from the reader, not leading or trying to get them to feel the way I may or may not. It's the reason I created Lazarus Solaris. He is a killer, an assassin for hire. He is also a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist trough his Second Chance Foundation.
Hs background, revealed through looks back through time in the first novel, reveal his grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. His parents moved from France to Iowa after the end of the war. His mother died in childbirth, leaving his father devastated. If not for his Aunt Ziva, a holocaust survivor herself and his mother’s sister, his future would have been altered forever. She stayed in Iowa with his father after the funeral, becoming as a mother to Lazarus.
He was orphaned at 7 when his father died of heart attack. His Aunt Ziva took him back to France with her where he lived until he was eighteen.
As for his character, he has skinned men alive with a bullwhip. He rescued a young girl, Katsumi Tanaka from a vicious sadist, making her a part of his life to the present. He once saved a puppy being beaten to death - killing the abuser in the process.
I didn't use my feelings to create him. I used a lack of them. It is important to me how the reader reacts to his dichotomy. One of the first reviews of Evolution of a Killer ended with, “Who would have thought you could end up rooting for an assassin?” (Not a direct quote, only because I don't feel like looking it up.
The primary focus of evolving the character of Lazarus has been to open his mind and heart to others. I titled the second book “Family Matters.” I chose the title because it can be interpreted two ways. First – the book is about family matters; second – the book is about Lazarus learning that family matters to him. I defined family as far more than our blood relatives. Family, as we go through life becomes far more than that. I have friends I consider as much family to me as my brothers and their families. I have also learned that simply being related by blood doesn’t equate to a close family relationship.
GL: You've written 4 Lazarus novels, how many more do you anticipate writing?RU: I am in the process of writing the first draft of “Compromised,” the fifth in the series. I won’t say much about it, other than Lazarus finds himself in a situation where one of his main identities has been compromised by the head of Interpol in Spain. Lazaru
GL: You've written 4 Lazarus novels, how many more do you anticipate writing?RU: I am in the process of writing the first draft of “Compromised,” the fifth in the series. I won’t say much about it, other than Lazarus finds himself in a situation where one of his main identities has been compromised by the head of Interpol in Spain. Lazarus operates through several manufactured identities. It is one of the reasons he earned the nickname The Chameleon in the first book. Several of his identities are complex in nature. He has given them full backgrounds and uses them to conceal himself as he operates. Right now, I don’t have a finite number of books in mind. I have outlines for two more as of now, but time will tell how far I carry on with the series. GL: What is the stimulus behind interjecting the names of people you've known into your stories?RU: You can thank Becky Zieser for that. When I told Becky, I was writing my first novel she made a comment about being a certain type of character in my book. (My lips are sealed as to the nature of her request.) So, I decided to give her a part in the novel. As I wrote, I developed her character into one those in the group of secondary characters who are woven into the stories. All writers struggle to select names. I have named all the drug lords in my novels after brands of cigars. As for using names of real people, it’s my way of staying connected to my friends as I wander through my imaginary worlds. In Unintended Consequences, my fourth novel, I added a character named Mary as a security guard and dog handler. I used her name because she was a close friend of mine who passed away before I finished the first draft. I put her in the book as a gift to her family and our mutual friends to keep her alive in a way only written words can. I dedicated one of my novels to her as my “Number One Fan.” A bit of a different take from Stephen King’s book, Misery.There are a lot of names of people I know in my novels. There will always be few who know the characters in real life, but most of the people whose names I use know nothing about the others.GL: Can you include a few quotes about your being an author?RU: I will share a few quotes from readers I don’t know. They mean the most to me as an author.Evolution of a KillerReviewed in the United States on July 30, 2019Right from the start the story had me hooked. What made this book so entertaining to me was the perfect balance of graphic depictions of a killer's work with the sweetest heartfelt interactions between said killer and the ones he loves. I can't wait to read more!Action adventure is my genre of choice and this book is that, in spades. A book has to be exceptional, either good or bad, for me to submit a review. This one is exceptionally good. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately acquired the next two books in the series. Good move, because they both are just a good. Buy this book and do so with confidence.While this isn't my normal genre to read, I had no trouble getting pulled into the narrative. Strong action and suspense, well-defined characters that are interesting and thoughtfully created, and a thrilling start to what I'm sure is a fantastic series! Cannot wait to dive into book 2 and see how Lazarus deals with the next twist!Family MattersIt took me two nights to read the first book, Evolution of a Killer, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It took me one day to read Family Matters, and it had me enthralled from page one to the end. Action packed and no stone left unturned. Can't wait to start on the next book tomorrow. Then I will have to wait (im)patiently for the one after that.Another wonderful read. Characters are so special, maybe because they are mostly real. They will always be remembered. Looking forward to reading the next book.Rogue AssassinJust as it happens usually, I was drawn to this book once I spotted the cover. I love reading thrillers and this one seemed to be a perfect match. The novel starts with a girl, Michelle, who has been taken away from her friends at a disco under false pretenses. Everything is fast moving with an addictive pacing revealing a perfectly crafted network of trafficking.Not my usual genre, but the author Robert Ullrich knows how to deliver a complex and detailed plot, with enough thrills to keep you engaged. The subject of modern-day slavery was well researched and presented in such a way that although this was a work of fiction, it felt like it was based on a true story. It was harrowing in parts. Ullrich also knows how to present the mode and method of assassin execution really well. If you like gruesome, then go no further - the hero of the piece Lazarus delivers. There are a lot of characters, as the work is about gang families at war, and the story spans several countries, which is handled well. However, the characters are well rounded, not just the males and I must congratulate the author on his portrayal of females in his work.Unintended ConsequencesLove this book and would highly recommend the entire series to anyone. This is a great author. Enjoy!Unintended Consequences is a novel with two storylines. One has Lazarus dealing with the Israeli Mossad, the other is tied to Benito Grasso, the rogue assassin Lazarus helped bring down, and Rebecca's testimony helped put him away for life. Both stories deal with unintended consequences. The way the storylines cross each other keeps you wondering who is going to pay in the end.Well, I went on a bit more than planned, so feel free to pick and choose what you want. Thanks, George for doing this for me. I’m looking forward to seeing you again, hopefully soon.
My style of poetry can only be described as eclectic. As a writer, rhyming is optional and I rarely use punctuation. Some, I have been told, read like song lyrics while others. Others have been described as dark or depressing while others are filled with a message of love. In essence, I write poetry on the spur of the moment. Rarely hav
My style of poetry can only be described as eclectic. As a writer, rhyming is optional and I rarely use punctuation. Some, I have been told, read like song lyrics while others. Others have been described as dark or depressing while others are filled with a message of love. In essence, I write poetry on the spur of the moment. Rarely have I sat down with intent. I write when I am moved or motivated to try and capture a moment or feeling in time and space. I also write to vent, hence the observations that some of my poetry is dark or depressing. If it is to you, that is what you took from it.
One reader wrote me she enjoys reading one of my poems in the morning and then again at night. The result, in her words, can be amazing as to what she takes away from the piece.
My crime novels are best described as a crime fiction/thrillers. The "Evolution of a Killer" series titled "The Lazarus Solaris Chronicles" features two novels with a third due on April 15, 2020.
I now have eight books available through Amazon, "Life and Death in a Single Breath", poetry and musings Volumes one and two; "Evolution of a Killer" March 1, 2018 The first of the Lazarus Solaris Series of Crime Fiction/Thrillers. The second novel in the series, "Family Matters" was released on March 15th, 2019. "Rogue Hitman," the third novel the Evolution of a Killer released April 15, 2020. "Unintended Consequences," the fourth in the Lazarus Series released on October 6th, also in 2020. Consequences is tied to the "Rogue Assassin" story. I'm currently working on the first draft of "Compromised," which will be the fifth Lazarus novel.
On January 31, 2021, I released my first collection of Lazarus novels. It features the first three, Evolution of a killer, Family Matters and Rogue Assassin.
I've written only one short story short story, "Radar Love." It's written from the perspective of a dog I rescued off the streets of Corpus Christi, Texas in 2014. It was accepted without editing and published in an anthology "One Hundred Voices - Volume 3." The original publisher was replaced by Snow Leopard Publishing. All royalties go to charities from this book.
On August 17th of 2018, I released a novel titled "Memoirs of the (Not-so) Grim Reaper". It was a serious departure from the crime fiction genre. The best way to describe it would be religious humor. It was greeted with several 5-star reviews, and a warning or two. "Sarcasm isn't for everyone & It could easily be seen as offensive." I note that in the forward. It's not offensive, but some will take offense. Give it a read, you might be one of the many who found the message hidden in the humor.
As of March 27th, 2021, I began working on an outline for another "Grim Reaper" memoir set in the Andromeda System where the cantankerous servant of the Gods, Mamagal, aka Zachary Bartholomew Winchester, (since 2015), is sent to work with Lucifer to deal with a brutal dictator who is in the 2601st year of his reign. I got the storyline from a very bizarre dream I had on March 26th. Bizarre may be a bit of an understatement.
I'm also considering a non-fiction novel, though the subject matter is a very difficult one for me to address. I'm not sure when, or even if it will ever come to pass.
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