is a captivating new epic fantasy book series for adults. Not recommended for the most sensitive readers because of the explicit content, though! But if you don’t mind severed heads and intimate scenes, keep reading.
Everyone who’s ever tried their hand at writing knows it’s hard work. Writers work because they have an inner urge to tell stories, not because they expect to earn big financial profits. Many of us never get noticed by the public. Still, we keep writing because the words are like air to us -we couldn’t survive without them.
However, telling stories is that much more rewarding when you know people read and enjoy them. Sometimes the continuation of a story can depend on a simple question “When will the sequel come out?”. Most published writers are hungry for reviews on their book(s), and though I agree that reviews are important, not just in the sense of them drawing the readers’ attention but also in helping the writer to develop, in many cases, the knowledge that someone is waiting for your story to continue is all that’s needed to ensure that the sequel will come out.
Personally, I owe a gigantic THANKS to the readers who have reached out to me letting me know they’ve enjoyed my story so far and are hungry for more. Without you, the second book might never see the daylight. So, from the bottom of my heart: thank you ❤
PS, the release date of Slavemarked is set at
the 1st of march 2023
Psst, if you haven’t yet read the first book, check out https://jpaspenn.com/ for the direct links to get it!
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’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.