The Meaning Behind The Name Woelf Dietrich

WolfdietrichandTresianA while ago I briefly mentioned that Woelf Dietrich is a pen name. I took it  from Wolfdietrich who is a German hero of romance. I thought it apt given my primary writing interest. Also, there is a hotel by the same name in Austria, but that is another story.

I discovered the history behind Wolfdietrich about four years ago and liked the premise so much I adopted the pen name, albeit slightly altered. One of the reasons for choosing a pen name was that I did not want to write under my birth name in case I ever return to practicing law. The other reason dealt more with not wanting to embarrass myself if my writing sucked. The embarrassment factor still prevails, but having become more involved in the writing community, I now realise that my fear is not unique, and that in order to find any measure of success, I should write through that fear.

Getting back to today’s story, I have now grown quite fond of my adopted name. I also love that it is not some random thing snapped out of the air. The hero Wolfdietrich first appeared in the Middle High German poems of Ortnit, eldest brother of the Haddingjar, called Das Heldenbuch. Wolfdietrich was the son of Hugdietrich, emperor of Constantinople, but life did not start out well for our hero whose father repudiated his existence, believing him an illegitimate child.

He was left to the wolves in the forest, but fortunately, the emperor’s retainer, Berchtung von Meran, found him and cared for the young noble until he grew into manhood. Even then, luck did not favour our hero, for when his father died and he became heir to the sovereignty of Constantinople, Wolfdietrich’s brothers  drove him from his inheritance, forcing the young warrior into exile.

After an extended period spent at the court of King Ortnit in Lombardy and enjoying many splendid adventures that include falling in love, meeting a giant woman, and killing a few dragons, Wolfdietrich returned and liberated his kingdom. This is, of course, the abbreviated version.

And if you probe just  a little further you’ll find the following over at the Mythology Dictionary:

After killing the tyrant Belligan, who adorned the city walls with the skulls of Christians he had killed, Wolfdietrich met a giantess who told him how Ortnit had been killed by the dragons. He met the grieving Liebgart and went off to fight the dragons but was overcome and thrown to the young dragons for food. He found the magic ring of Ortnit and his sword, Rosen, which he used to kill all the dragons. A knight named Gerhart claimed to have killed the dragons but Wolfdietrich was able to produce the dragons’ tongues which he had cut out, so proving his own claim.”

And that, my dear readers, is the history of my pen name. Apparently I’m a slayer of dragons.

Woelf

#Art of Fantasy 32: Even Amundsen

even_Torbjorn-Jotunhorn2-743x1024Even Amundsen is a concept artist, illustrator and self-described alcohol enthusiast, moustache connoisseur and coffee adorer. He currently resides in Prague.

His paintings combine fantasy and the comical–well some of his work, anyway–and I love the soft light and palette that permeate through his work.

Below are a few choice samples. If you click on any image it will take you to the artist’s gallery. Enjoy!

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Let me know your thoughts on today’s artist. My wife mentioned that maybe I should do a post on Steampunk fantasy. I told her I’d think about it. If you have an opinion on this, share it with me in the comments.

Also, remember I have a sister post out over at Kōsa Press featuring Art of Science Fiction and today’s artist is Stephan Martiniere.

Regards

Woelf

Update: The Mercy Giver is officially part of The Nerdist Collection Contest!

Mercy Giver CoverThe Mercy Giver is now officially part of the Nerdist Collection Contest, held in conjunction with Inkshares.

From Inkshares’ website:

“In continuation of the success of our first Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest, Inkshares will publish the top five science fiction and fantasy projects submitted after August 15 with the most unique reader pre-orders by 12:00 p.m. PST, September 30th. Nerdist will choose their favorite from that five and include it in their new collection on Inkshares.

The book selected for the Nerdist Collection will receive promotion from Nerdist, Nerdist branding, an exclusive excerpt feature on Nerdist.com, and an opportunity to develop their work into other media such as movies, TV series, and digital productions. All five winners will have their book published and distributed into independent bookstores, Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.”

The Mercy Giver is standing on seven pre-orders, which is nice, but it’ll need to move faster to stand a real chance against the other titles. Thus, my dear friends, if you would be so kind, please visit and show some love. This novel is begging to be born.

Woelf

#Art of Fantasy 31: Stepan Alekseev

9_finalStepan Alekseev, is a digital artist based in Yakutsk, Russia, as far as I am aware. I had difficulty finding more background information on the artist. Apart from his obvious talent, he seemed to have done a bit of work as concept artist for a few game companies and considering his enormous talent, I am not surprised at his popularity.

The dark tones and muted colours in his paintings hide a fiery energy underneath the surface that ripples with barely contained thunder and violence. You know what I’m talking about, right? They remind me of those haunted paintings that come alive when you turn your back on them.

Stepan is yet another artist whose work seem so dark, you convince yourself they are snapshots from the underworld.

Below are a few samples. If you click on any of these images it will take you to the artist’s gallery. Enjoy!

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A bit of a gloomy post today, but nevertheless powerful in theme. Don’t forget to jump over to Kōsa Press for the third edition of #Art of Science Fiction. I’m featuring another legend today.

Woelf

The Mercy Giver: Origins and Inspiration

68562As an addendum to my previous post, the idea for The Mercy Giver came out of nowhere, really. I started writing randomly one day and as I wrote my words an idea formed in the back of my mind. At first I intended the story to be just a straightforward crime thriller about a psychopath on the loose with a warped sense of destiny, but then I wondered how he would deal with his demons if ever faced with what he had done, but in a way that would make him feel something. What if he discovered that life is only the beginning of the journey and there are far more terrible things lurking in the afterlife?

I’ll admit, here Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, partly inspired me. Thus, my plan is to let my protagonist arrive in a dusty little Mexican town where he will meet a man dressed in black with a top hat and long white hair, and this man will introduce himself as Death. And Death will take our protagonist on a supernatural adventure he will never forget. Maybe not even survive. At this stage it is unknown even to me what will happen, though I do have an inkling.

So, If you’re in the mood for a modern tale, loosely based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where, instead of a bitter old miser, you’ll get to meet a murdering psychopath, you’ve come to the right place.

Woelf

The Mercy Giver is on Inkshares

Mercy Giver CoverI’m experimenting.

I never planned to do this, but last night I followed a link on an article which took me to Inkshares, and after exploring the website for a little while I decided to take the plunge.

Their setup is really awesome. You submit a proposal for a story and the first chapter or whatever you’ve written so far, and if you get a certain amount of preorders, Inkshares will publish your book with editing and cover support, which is not a bad deal. I even like their royalty structure, which is 50% for the print version and 70% for the e-book.

From the Inskshares website:

Our process is simple: authors pitch, readers pre-order, and we publish. Any author can submit a proposal for a book. Once the project goes live, readers support the project by pre-ordering copies of the book. Readers are charged only when books hit their goal. Once the pre-order threshold is hit, we start publishing: we assign authors an editor, a designer, and we handle all aspects of printing, distribution, and marketing once the manuscript is finished.

So, I submitted the first chapter for The Mercy Giver. If enough people support it, Inkshares will produce and publish the story. Please check it out if you have a chance. Like it if you find that you do. Share it if you want to. (Preorder it if you feel like it. *Hint* *Hint*) Whatever you can do, trust me, I’ll appreciate the heck out of it.

If this goes well, I might consider submitting The Dead God and even The Spirit Bow. Oh, and don’t mind the current cover for The Mercy Giver. It’s only a placeholder I put together until a proper one can be created.

If you click this link it will take you to my Inkshares page where you’ll find my first chapter and humble proposal.

Woelf

#Art of Fantasy 30: Ruan Jia

93fec87296f21409b6f705da8047c48283f12eb7Ruan Jia is of Chinese origin and lives in the Unites States where he works as a senior concept artist for 343 Industries, creating sci-fi concepts for Halo 5. Before that, he worked for game companies like ArenaNet and Volta.

I love Ruan’s use of color and light. It exudes a pureness that is almost too good, too fragile for this reality. You experience a sense that his work belongs in some other world where innocence and light endure, untarnished, uncorrupted. Ruan’s talent is such that I find myself fixated on his paintings. Choosing today’s selection was hard because I found so many new things each time I circled back to select an image for inclusion.

Below you’ll find my humble attempt at balance. I think I failed for there are just too many awesome works to contain in one blog post. Remember, each image is linked to the gallery where I found that image. Enjoy!

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ea89f8a0c8cc2a6edb87936a1fd06c8f1ed34295And there you have today’s artist. Yes, his talent is amazing. You’re welcome. Remember to jump over to Kōsa Press’ blog where I have my second Art of Science Fiction post up. See you there!

Woelf