Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Interview with Author Chad Lehrmann

Today I have an interview with urban fantasy author, Chad Lehrmann, who is here to chat about his writing and books. Enjoy.

Interview with Chad Lehrmann


Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself. 

My name is Chad Lehrmann, and I am an independent author from Texas.  I began writing at an early age, but found it difficult to, well, finish writing. In my adult life, I wrote mostly for my career- I was a minister for eleven years, so I wrote curriculum and sermons.  Currently, I am a high school psychology, sociology, and social studies teacher, so I write lessons and curriculum.  I began to blog on education issues in my first year of teaching and started by creating educational parables.  While I enjoyed the discussion of real-life education issues, it was the development of creative stories that most excited me.  After completing my first education book- mostly out of a sense of obligation to finish what I started (see- I matured some!)- I wanted to exclusively devote my writing to fiction.  It was here that I found a release I had long searched for.  The beauty of crafting a character and a world for them to live in was captivating and empowering.  Not to mention a bit therapeutic!  For the first time in a long time, I found an intellectual pursuit that brought me as much happiness as it did challenge.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rites of Passage introduces us to a world like our own, but when you peel back the edge of the curtain just a bit and you are able to find a supernatural (and demonic) threat just out of sight.  Sawyer Shepherd -just coming into adulthood after a tragic loss- stumbles into a small Colorado town looking for an identity, and quickly gets caught up in an epic battle against an ancient demon.  He has support from local “drunk” Eli Romer (who may know more than he lets on) and Mandy Jane, a college intern with the National Parks that quickly catches Sawyer’s eye.  The story deals with themes and ideas that I had struggled with in my late teens and early twenties, but also digs into the power greed has on us- as seen in supporting characters Lucius Furr, Lennox Dupree, and Elena Cordova.  They are big city developers looking for a big payout.  I went with the tagline of “Face Your Demons” in the promotion of the book, and it was a double-edged truth:  Sawyer faces literal demons, but also the demons of his past, and his own internal doubts and fears; demons in their own right.


Who is your intended readership? 

I think the book works for anyone over the age of 13, but I see comparisons with other works of fiction, too.  Fans of Rick Riordan’s Olympus books will find similar characters and humor, but there is also a definite connection to the Supernatural television series.  Fans of these, or of “light horror” will find much to enjoy.  The pace is fast in Rites of Passage, so fans of action and quick reads might also take a look.


Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration? 

My family vacations in a small town in Colorado, Lake City.  Outside of town is a memorial to some miners who died in the 1800’s.  What makes this unique is the lone survivor, Alferd Packer (yep, that is spelled right) was accused and convicted of cannibalism.  That story always stuck with me as a story seed- what if a miner or pioneer was accused of killing people, but the real killer was a demon?  From that grew the story of a demon released on a small town trapped in a snowstorm.  Pretty quickly, I knew this would be the story to launce the series surrounding Sawyer Shepherd as he faces even more evils of the supernatural world.


Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book? 

I have seen writers talk about a character taking on a life of their own.  I always thought that was a load of crap until I saw it happen.  Characters that were just one-offs became key-players, and characters I had long-term plans for faded because they made dumb choices.  I find the organic nature of character growth sometimes makes me put characters into situations I do not like- that even makes me uncomfortable.  It is in the growth of the story and character, though. 


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? 

 I have been writing all my life, but it hit me one day when my students asked me the usual question:  “If you were not a teacher, what would you do?”  I got tired of saying I would write but never doing anything to see it through.  So, I sat down and started writing this story that had existed in my head in some form for over twenty years.  And it just kept flowing.


Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine? 

I write when I can.  As a teacher, that means stolen moments early in the day or late at night.  When an inspired idea strikes, I make a note in my phone’s Notepad app, and go put it down when I can.  As far as where ideas come from, it is random.  Seeing a unique historical marker set off Rites of Passage.  Book two of the series had some key stuff come from a visit to the City Museum in St. Louis.  I mean, how can you see a school bus on top of a multi-story building and not write an action scene in it?  There were nightmares and dreams from my childhood that inspire some things.  I wrote a short story set in the Sawyer universe that was inspired by my desire to write a chase scene set to Carol of the Bells.


 What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies? 

Teaching is my career, but I also love to read.  I collect comic books and action figures.  But I also love to do woodworking.  I do some wood art, but since March, I have built five Adirondack chairs, a raised bed garden, four 8 foot flower towers, and two more flower planters.  The stay at home orders gave me lots of time. 


What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal? 

Book two of the series-Red Hand Rising- is out August 4th on Amazon.  It takes Sawyer & Co. to St. Louis on the trail of a demonic serial killer- who might just have ties to the big bad of the series.  I am currently writing book three, and its title is all I want to share right now:  Origins of Man and Myth.

Author Website

 You can find Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rites of Passage on Amazon

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