An epic fantasy series that tells the tale of three men, a soldier, a warrior, and a knight, all of whom are forced to take a path they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves, all of whom make unusual choices when it comes to love.
And I welcome her with open arms. Winter equals more time for writing and beautiful sunrises. What more could you ask?
My brain feels sluggish this morning. I haven’t written a word in two days, which is a long time, although I admit that it was probably for the best to stay away from my laptop. I’ve worked intensely with the standalone novel (I think) I mentioned earlier. I started it to alienate myself from Braenduir Chronicles for a while now that the (hopefully) final draft of the second book is ready. I didn’t expect the story to engulf me. It was meant as a way to air out my head, something that I wasn’t sure whether I’ll ever publish.
I still am unsure about it, even though the standalone (it has no name yet, not even a working title) is coming out more reader-friendly than BC was ever meant to be. That’s a smallish miracle because I am writing it in the first person, something I practically never do. And definitely something I tried to avoid simply because “everyone” is doing it nowadays. However, the first person felt like a natural choice for this story.
But so much for rambling about a book that’ll most likely never see daylight. I’ll give you another picture that has nothing to do with anything but the title, and wish you a fantastic new week!
The final draft of Slavemarked that is. The summer was trying to say the least, and I admit that I came close to trashing the whole book project more than once. I wrote the first part in the spring and was extremely happy with how it turned out. However, I struggled a lot with some sections of the second part, and the third part I rewrote five times before I was pleased with the outcome.
Right now, I feel somewhat drained. I’ve already started writing the third book, but it might be I’ll leave it to rest for a while and focus on other projects. I hope to finish the Finnish translation of Runecursed by the end of the year, and I also have an idea for a stand-alone fantasy book that I’d like to develop further.
That’s it for today, I think. I don’t have much to say. I thought I’d feel triumphant after sending Slavemarked to my proofreader, but I am nothing if not hollow. So, without further ado, I hope you guys are having fun with whatever you’re doing!
P.S. If you’d like to become an early reviewer for Slavemarked, feel free to contact me via social media or this site!
I knew I can’t get much writing done with my spouse home on vacation, so I thought I’d read, instead. What better way to spend long, lazy summer days than reading a book? Shoveling dirt, breaking down a porch, and shoveling some more dirt if you ask our dear, old house. Thanks to the leaking water pipe, my summer included no reading and only a little writing.
Now things are back to normal, thank gods. My spouse returned to work and I to my daily routine. Some people need chaos to create, I require an orderly routine. With my spouse home on vacation, regularity is the first thing that gets ditched out of the window, and with it goes my concentration. It’s lovely to have him home but his vacations are also immensely stresful for me. Without routine, my focus is all over the place. I putter around, doing a bit of this and a bit of that and am unable to slow down for even a moment.
So, here I am, contently back to my guilty pleasure (which is writing)! I have two parts of the sequel done, and I am quite pleased with how the story is developing. I’ve probably said this before, but I plot as I go which means I can write a chunk and ditch it the next day when a better idea comes to mind. I’ve tried more disciplined methods, but always return to my own (bad) ways as that’s how I get the best result. Eventually.
I have high hopes of getting the raw draft of Slavemarked done by the end of September which means, the early reviewer version is ready by December. If you’d like to become an early reviewer, do check out the homepage (<- click, click) for more information! You don’t need to sign up blindly. There’s a FREE SAMPLE of the book AVAILABLE via PAYHIP! Downloading intends you to nothing, and you cannot know if you’ll like the book or not unless you give it a chance, so be brave and check it out!
Now, back to writing. I wish you all a magnificent week! May the gods and Fortunes smile at you.
Long time, no blogging. I’ve been busy with summer and the sequel. When one lives in the countryside in an old house with a vast garden, the summertime doesn’t mean lazying in a hammock, binge-reading books. Would that it did!
Despite all the work it requires, I love our house. This is where I’ve finally found the peace of mind to write. When we lived in the town, I was always too stressed by the constant ruckus of traffic and neighbors to concentrate on anything creative. We aren’t utterly isolated here either, but our 1920′ house is a place where the silence dwells.
As said, I’ve been working with the sequel, and it’s coming along nicely despite my protagonist disagreeing with pretty much everything I’ve planned for him. He might be right, though. Maybe I should just let him have his way, but I fear that if I did, he’d end up dead before the series is even half-finished.
Anyway, I’m happy with how the second book is coming along. I’m prone to think that it’ll be miles better than Runecursed. There’s more action, and the overall atmosphere is many a shade darker even though this
is what I’ve been listening to while writing. I don’t usually listen to music with lyrics when I write as I tend to get distracted by the vocals, but FAUNis an exception to that rule. I don’t know German (at least not enough to understand but a word here, another there), and their singing voices sound more like some otherworldly instruments than human voices, so it remains in the background, inspiring me.
I could rambble about music as an inspiration forever and link a dozen bands that I’ve listened while writing but the time is limited -although, fortunately, it seems it’s going to rain again today which means I can remain inside and work with the sequel instead of having to go mow the lawn- so, I wish you all a great day and fantastic Pride Month!
I still ask myself on a regular basis; why do I write? I always come up with three reasons (besides the fact that writing is the only thing I’m any good at), three authors whose works have inspired me so much that I wanted to become an author myself.
!Runecursed, the ebook, is FREE WORLDWIDE on MAY 7th and 8th on Amazon!
Before we get to the first of these three gentlemen who are to thank (or blame) for this obsession of mine, I must give credit also to my mother, who read tons of books to me when I was little. She’d take me to the library, we’d pick up the books together, and she’d read them to me in the evenings. So, I was already more than familiar with the written word when I went to school and learned to read and write myself.
I started writing stories as soon as I learned the alphabet. My first “book” is written with hyphens which means I was in the first grade of elementary school when writing it. It’s about ponies. I was obsessed with ponies back then.
At this point I wish to point out that this is not an author nor book review. This is rather a part of the tale behind a tale.
So much for the rambling. The first man to thank (blame) for my decision to become a published (fantasy) author is none other than John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. His work has inspired tens of thousands of fantasy authors, artist, and musicians, so I’m just one fish in the sea. Still, his books are the reason why I write fantasy.
I read Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was around 12. I loved it. It was amazing, inspiring… The best book I had read so far. It was also disheartening. I wanted to write a book as brilliant one day but was convinced that I could never do it. I wasn’t good enough. (Well, obviously. I was twelve and just finished my second “novel” about ponies and ponygirls.
(Un)Fortunately, I was damnably stubborn already back then, and instead of ditching the pen and finding another hobby, I kept writing. I didn’t write much fantasy, for I knew I could never be as fantastic as Tolkien. I created imaginary worlds, though, drew maps, and invented creatures and characters. I also weaved stories in my head but rarely put them on paper.
During the three years of junior high school, I read every Tolkien book I could find in the local library and bookstore, most of them twice or thrice over. I read tons of books from other authors, but Tolkien remained the one to whom I kept returning. I’ve re-read my copy of LotR, so many times its cover has been broken.
Then I went to high school, and we make a time jump to the present. I still don’t think I could one day write like Tolkien, but it doesn’t keep me from writing fantasy anymore as it did when I was a kid. Still, his influence is evident. It lances through my world-building, plotting, wording… When writing, I catch myself rambling page after page about small things that even I’d find irrelevant and tedious as a reader. And that’s saying a lot, for I love, love, love details! It’s more than a little irritating, and though I was determined to write like Tolkien when I was twelve, today, I struggle free of his influence. Not all of it -I enjoy myself in a Middle-earth type of world and like the archaic language- but I could definitely jabber less.
Nonetheless, I owe John not just my passion for writing fantasy but also my interest in folklore and mythology. He showed me the door to a world that I might not have discovered otherwise, at least not at such an early age. Of that, if anything, I’m grateful.
Lastly, to close the circle in a way, something else Tolkien-inspired that has inspired me (Yes, there’s a lot of music behind my writing even though I cannot play a chord myself. I will be returning to the subject at some point, for music is the fuel that keeps me running.):
I decided that I hate marketing. It snatches an immense amount of time away from what I’d want to be doing, which is, obviously, working with the second book. Besides, spending all those hours in creating and posting ads on social media (which is pretty much the only way for me to market as what audience I might have is reachable only online and I can’t afford any costly ad campaigns on any platforms) has turned out quite fruitless.
So, instead of hammering my head to the wall for any longer, I’ll stop selling the book and give (force-feed) it for free on this side. I’m doing this mostly to regain the peace of mind needed for creating. The constant pondering of how to market gnaws my concentration making it impossible for me to keep writing though my head is swarming with ideas.
I did some editing on the book this week. I followed my own advice, rearranged the chapters, most of which were way too long, and chopped the longest paragraphs in shorter sections. Now that I got it done, I realize I should’ve seen to it ages ago. The book is definitely more readable now. I also edited the contents though with the lightest of hands. I do have a (bad) habit of writing lengthy descriptions of things that, despite of being relevant, aren’t necessarily interesting to the reader. I’ve tried to shed it (in some measures, at least) and think that I’m doing much better with the second book in that sense.
Without further ado, if You are looking for something new to read on Easter, the Prologue of Runecursed is available until April 20 on THIS SITE. I’ll update to a new chapter every Thursday, so, it’ll be one chapter per week and every chapter is readable only for one week. Comments are allowed and I would be over the moons if you gave me feedback.
I’ve got so many ideas for new posts, but I’ve been too busy with making a paperback of my book to do anything else. I snitched a few moments to doodle a map of the places mentioned in the book, though. It’s very sketchy and shows only a part of the Torn Continent, but it gives you some understanding of the world in which my story takes place.
I’m a big fan of maps in fantasy books myself and somewhat ashamed of taking so long in publishing one of Braenduir. When I was starting to write Runecursed, I drew a pile of maps only to realize after the first draft of the story was finished that none of them was valid any longer. The outlines have remained much the same since the beginning, but I rewrote the book four times, and the world grew more detailed by every round, I changed some of the names half a dozen times and so on.
As I’m now intending to start rewriting the second book for the third time (I had it done by the time I published Runecursed, and for a while I actually imagined it was finished and needed only some light editing but have realized lately that the story is going to a completely wrong direction…), I didn’t dare draw let alone publish a map of the lands east from Naer Heigir yet as it’s bound to change for many times over still.
PS. I submitted the ebook on LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers, so, if you’re interested, there’s now 30 free copies available for the favorites of the Fortunes!
In my first post, I wrote about what inspires me, and as there are more than one such thing, I thought to return to the subject today. Besides the nature, I’ve always been greatly inspired by music. I can’t make any music myself, none whatsoever. I was a nightmare to my music teachers with my utter lack of the gift of playing any instrument or singing back in the days I went to school. Still, I love to listen to music, mostly rock and heavy metal, but when writing, I often got something instrumental playing on the background.
The lyrics tend to draw my attention away from the work, so, ambient and electric are my choices if I feel the need of background noise. When just listening to music, however, I like it the better the more complicated and profound the lyrics get. I’m inspired by the tone and lyrics both and listened a lot of the Nordic ambient and folk music while writing Runecursed.
It’s the type of music I think could be played in the taverns of Nortenmoor or at the Conflux Nights’ celebrations in the north. I can easily imagine myself sitting in a corner table at the Three Widows with a tankard of mead, listening to the scalds playing something comparable to these songs.
I’ve worked with my book for two years, almost night and day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed every moment. I love writing and am forever grateful that I got this chance of dedicating myself to it for such a long time without needing to do anything else, and hope from the bottom of my heart that I could keep doing so henceforth, too.
However, now that the book is out, I’ve taken some time to do other things. Marketing Runecursed is one of those things, obviously, but I’m glad that I’ve also found time to make art, as well. I’ve always loved drawing almost as much as I love writing. Back in the day, I dreamed about becoming an illustrator, but life doesn’t always go the way you’d wish. Be that as it may, I never gave up drawing and painting though unlike writing, making art requires a stroke of inspiration.
This week, I dug my pencils out of the drawer for the first time since very long, and made this picture of Aelrinder, a character in my book. He’s one of the gods that still dwell in the Torn Continent, the Antlered One who’s worshiped in the Green Halls at Aenerhjelm. It took me a few attempts to get him right. He kept coming out way too cheerful at first, and I was already giving up with him, until today I managed to make him look rather grumpy and sorrowful, as he should be, than kind and joyful as he seems in the first two or three sketches I made.
Though I’m already itching to resume writing the second book of The Gods’ Drum, I definitely try to take time to draw more often than I have during the past couple of years. It is, after all, immensely relaxing and even quite rewarding at times.
One of the things that inspire me on my creative work, is the northern nature. I never cease to be mesmerized by the subtle beauty that surrounds me when I go out of the door. I’ve always been a bit of a “tree hugger” and besides inspiration, the nature gives me much strength and solace.
Though in Runecursed, the influence of this particular source of inspiration isn’t quite as strong, as the events take place mostly at the western parts of the world, it is there to be found. When writing the book, I often felt that the world I’m creating is quite barren and dismal one, environment-wise, that is, but after much second-guessing, I decided that so be it. The Torn Continent as it is represents a world I’m familiar with and feel at home.
I’m hoping to put more of the north I have in me in the oncoming books of the series as the road will take my characters away from the Kingdoms, toward the northern parts of the continent where the sky is high and veiled with the skirts of frolicking maids of Faennulath, the goddess of night, as it was in our world last night.