Wolfgang Hohlbein (born 15 August 1953 in Weimar, Bezirk Erfurt) is a German writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction who lives near Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia. His wife, Heike Hohlbein, is also a writer and often works with her husband. With more than 200 published books and more than 43 million sold copies he is considered among the most successful German writers in the fantasy genre.
|Born||15 August 1953|
Weimar, East Germany
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction, horror, thriller, children's literature, movie tie-in books, pulp fiction|
|Notable works||Magic Moon series|
Wolfgang Hohlbein was born on 15 August 1953 in Weimar, Bezirk Erfurt. When he finished school, he took an apprenticeship as industrial clerk. After the apprenticeship he worked in this profession in the following years. To bolster his income, he also worked as night watchman. It was during this time when he started to write his early works, to pass the time faster. In 1971 he met his wife Heike Hohlbein, whom he would marry 3 years later. Together they raised six children. In 1977 their daughter Rebecca Hohlbein was born, who became a writer herself too. In 1982 he quit his job to work as a full-time author. Shortly after he and his family moved to Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia, where they live until today.
In 2014 the German TV channel RTL II launched a reality show called Die Hohlbeins – Eine total fantastische Familie (The Hohlbein's, a fantastic family), which aimed to show the life of the Hohlbein family in the a docusoap format. The show garnered about 910.000 viewers during the first episode, but after a fast drop-off in viewers and negative criticism of being too trivial and boring it was cancelled soon after.
Writing short stories since young age, Hohlbein was first recognized as an author after sending in a manuscript he and his wife had written at a fantasy and science fiction writing contest in 1982. They won and their book, Märchenmond (English title: "Magic Moon"), was published by Ueberreuter Verlag, soon becoming a bestseller and winning several awards. In the following years the Hohlbein's wrote two sequels to the book, continuing their success. The trilogy remains their greatest success until today and sold more than 2 million copies. He's also a writer of pulp fiction, including the series Der Hexer (The Wizard), which he conceived in 1984 for the magazine Gespenster-Krimi (Ghost Thriller) published by Bastei Lübbe, mainly based on H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, and of which he wrote the majority of novels initially under the collective pen name of Robert Craven. Later the series was reedited and republished as paperbacks, which collected the stories of several pulp magazines, including a prequel, and as e-books both under Hohlbein's own name.
Hohlbein primarily writes in the genre of fantasy, horror and historical fiction. Since the success of Märchenmond Hohlbein had published more than 200 books. He sometimes cooperates with other authors like Dieter Winkler or his daughter Rebecca Hohlbein. His most important source of inspiration is his wife Heike Hohlbein, who is credited as co-author on more than 30 of his books. In his early days, Hohlbein also wrote a lot of paperback stories for various magazines and also often used a pseudonym. Later he focused more on stand-alone novels as well as some long-running book series, like the Enwor saga or the still not finished Chronik des Unsterblichen (Chronicles of the Immortal).
Many of his books are translated and published internationally in various European countries as well as outside of Europe in countries such as South Korea. For many years none of his works had been translated into English, not even the eight Indiana Jones novels he wrote. His only works to be translated into English were his three Märchenmond novels, which were published by Tokyopop from 2006 onwards, now titled Magic Moon.
Hohlbein's books also have been adapted into other media such as radioplays. His work Märchenmond was translated into a theatre play, which has been presented in places like the Westfälisches Landestheater or the Theater für Niedersachsen. The German progressive metal band, Vanden Plas, recorded and consecutively released two full-length albums, Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld (Path One) in 2014 and Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II in 2015, that were adapted from Blutnacht, a theater production based off the author's Die Chronik der Unsterblichen.
Throughout the years, various propositions have been made to turn some of his works into film, for example for Das Druidentor or Azrael, but none of these projects were realized. In September 2016 however, Constantin Film announced they will create a feature film based on his book Hagen von Tronje.
- "Wolfgang Hohlbein biography on his official webpage" (in German). Hohlbein.net. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Ullrich Wegener. "Schöne Sünde" [Review of Hohlbein's work by Ullrich Wegener in Die Zeit] (in German). Die Zeit. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Sabine Magerl. "Der Chronist des Grauens " [The chronicler of horror] (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Morgane Llanque. "Die Hohlbeins eine leider total fade Familie" [Welt.de Article about the Hohlbein reality show] (in German). Die Welt. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Anna-Lena Roth. "Fantasy-Autor Hohlbein bei RTL II: Entzauberung des Magiers" [Spiegel.de Article about Hohlbein and the reality show] (in German). Spiegel Online. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Dieter Winkler; Uschi Winkler. "Official page for the Märchenmond Novels". märchenmond.de. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "List of Hohlbein's creations on his official webpage" (in German). Hohlbein.net. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Christine Sommerfeld. "Geschichten von Trollen und Elfen entstehen in der Nacht" [Interview with Wolfgang Hohlbein with the Rheinische Post] (in German). Rheinische Post. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Uwe Janssen. "WLT bringt "Märchenmond" auf die Bühne" [Westfälisches Landestheater brings Märchenmond on stage] (in German). Ruhr Nachrichten. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Daniele Giustolisi; Jessica Will. "Das Theater für Niedersachsen zieht ins Theater am Aegi" [Announcement to play Märchenmond among others at the Theater für Niedersachsen] (in German). haz.de. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Frontiers Music srl (December 13, 2013), Vanden Plas "Chronicles of the Immortals - Netherworld" (Official Trailer / New Studio Album 2014), retrieved October 9, 2017
- "Neos Film verfilmt Hohlbein-Roman" [Neos Film films Hohlbein novel] (PDF) (in German). Film News Bavaria by the Bavarian Film Fond. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Constantin Film Press release. "Constantin Film verfilmt HAGEN VON TRONJE" [Constantin Film announces Hagen von Tronje film] (in German). presseportal.de. Retrieved September 10, 2016.