Lutz Kreutzer likes to turn his professional travels and the adventures they bring into exciting novels and stories. He advises one of Germany’s largest media houses, publishes volumes of exciting short stories with a trade publisher, and organizes Germany’s largest congress for independent authors.
How did you get into writing?
There is so much to tell that is only talked about in passing. I write because I can’t help it. The stories are in my head. I always use my adventurous travels as an explorer and manager as an opportunity to turn complex issues into exciting literature. For him, one thing is certain: it has to be exciting. It can be bizarre and mysterious. But it must never be superficial! My thrillers and suspense novels are based on true events. If readers are interested in that, then I’m the right person for them.
You write crime novels, thrillers and guidebooks. Which genre is your favourite?
That depends on the time. I only ever tackle a book when it suits me. That is, when I have something to tell. That goes for fiction as well as non-fiction.
When you start a novel, do you already know the end?
Well, maybe not exactly. But it makes sense in any case to have a plot, to know how the story is structured, and that includes the ending. Of course, sequences and characters still change during the writing process. But the basic idea is clear from the beginning, and of course I have already thought about the ending.
Your most important tip for self-publishers or young authors?
Perseverance is the first thing you need, then you need the ability to take criticism, and you need an open attitude to marketing. But the most important thing is a good book. Without a good book, you won’t get far.
How can you improve as an author?
Read a lot of good books. You have to be interested in things that serve general education, i.e. history, geography, politics. But basic knowledge of the classical sciences is also an advantage in any case. And realise that writing is like a craft that is clearly structured and can be learned. In any case, I recommend reading training, because most authors are simply bad at readings. I recommend the Self-Publishing Day online academy here.
Can you recommend a book that every author should have read?
There are so many. I like to recommend Sol Stein’s “Über das Schreiben”, or Wolf Schneider’s “Deutsch für Kenner”, Elisabeth George’s “Wort für Wort” and of course Ludwig Reiners’ “Stilfibel”. But I also don’t want to neglect my two books “Platz 1 bei amazon” and “Klare Charaktere”.
Have there been any particular challenges for you as an author in the last two years?
You could say that. All the readings have been cancelled. I’ve had enough to do though, as I do publish the short story series “Schaurige Orte“ and “Die gruseligsten Orte“, working with very successful bestselling authors. From 2019 until now I have done a total of seven of them, and just recently the South Tyrol book was published (“Schaurige Orte in Südtirol”).
How do you think the book landscape has changed in recent years, where is it going in the future?
The conquest of new readerships through the e-book is clear. This is where self-publishing comes into play, of course, which was initially ridiculed by publishers about 10 years ago (partly rightly so), then it was openly fought against (because it was successful), and now the publishers are looking for authors among the ranks of successful self-publishers who can switch to the publishers. There are also more and more authors who do both, classic publishing books and self-publishing. This will become a trend for more and more authors in the future. In any case, the e-book has been added as a medium, as has the audio book. It is therefore nicest for authors when their works appear as all three, as a printed book, an electronic book and an audio book.