Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween


over here in Germany, we don't celebrate Halloween. At this time of the year, a lot of kids go with their lanterns. In some areas, they go around "trick or treat"-ing in November but not where I live. In my little village, the kids visit the houses for sweets in February during "Karneval" when they dress up as gaudily as possible to scare away the winter. It's been said to help. ;-)

Still, I got into the whole pumpkin carving business when I lived with my adopted Scottish family. My brothers always wanted a pumpkin, but (back then) weren't allowed to use a sharp knife. So, it became my duty to carve the pumpkin when I was around. I loved it so much that I carved pumpkins for many years. Only the last few years have been so busy that I never found the time for it.

This year was different. With my yearly goal nearly reached (only 2300 of 324.000 words left), I took half a day off and asked my kids what kind of pumpkin they want. They insisted on a friendly cat.

May it ease you into the season of darkness and spook.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


I've been nominated The Next Big Thing by fellow author Peter Cruikshank (thanks for this). I put up my answers on my homepage blog since I thought they might be interesting for reader too, not only for authors (and this blog is primarily aimed at authors). Feel free to go there and leave a comment.

You'll get a first glimpse of all the books I translated this year and that I'll be publishing from December on. If you want, you can tell me which one you'd like to see in shops first.

See you over on my other site,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NaNo, here I come


I'm participating in NaNo for the 5th time this year, and I will try to finish writing a project I started last year during NaNo. It's tentatively called "Juma's Rain".

During a drought, apprentice witch Juma needs to wake the rain-goddess before her suitor is sacrificed to heat-daemon Mubuntu and with him her only chance to become a tribe leader.

Juma joins the young women in the tribe's main village's training camp. She's determined to claim her right to become chieftess, a "job" her mother declined when she followed Juma's father to the border of the tribe's land. Of course, her cousin Kandra, the current chieftess' daughter, will do her best to stop her. And it doesn't help that Juma is slowly falling for Kandra's brother.

During one training session, Juma discovers that she is magically talented. To get her out of the way, Kendra arranges that Juma is apprenticed to the aging village witch. While the two witches desperately try to call rain, Juma discovers that heat daemon Mubuntu has captured the rain goddess in an eternal sleep, and she's the only one who might be able to wake her.

Things get really desperate when neighboring tribes invade and the water-deprived tribe members request the sacrifice of the chieftess' son to appease Mubuntu. Together with her love, Juma sets out on a journey to wake the goddess before things get out of hand.

I'm writing this one in English first and will then translate it back into German because it's much faster that way. For this story, I've got a small imprint of a medium sized publisher in mind where it would fit perfectly. But first, I need to get it finished.

Good NaNoing to all of you who will take part too.
Enjoy November for allof you who don't. ;-)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Givaway and Interview


I'm giving away five copies of "Urchin King" over on Sher A. Hart's blog. All you need to do is to leave a comment on my interview with her.


Monday, October 8, 2012

How comes...

... I can still cry over Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel?

Some songs jut touch my heart. It doesn't happen with many songs but this one sure qualifies. Ever so rarely it happens with books to. I cried over "Joe Jacoby" by Junius Watson, where a mistreated dog is rescued by a young boy who gets into deep trouble over it. To me, it hardly ever happens with films. The only one I can think of was a version of Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol, and I'd cried over the book before.

So what makes a son, a book, or a film cry-worthy to me? I think it's the way the author pulls me into the story, the way I can identify with one of the characters in the story. I truly believe that the most gifted authors are those that manage to pull their readers in so well they forget the world around them.

And I think, true sorrow and humor are the two emotions hardest to write since the triggers for either are different for every single reader. I bet you cried over other books, might not even have heard about those I read. I am always happy when a reader tells me (s)he couldn't put down my book because that means I managed to make the real world disappear for a while. For me, that's the greatest compliment I can get.

How about you? Do you cry over books, music, or films? Do you think that stories affected you more in your youth than they do nowadays? I'd love to know, so leave me a comment.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Harper opened its doors


Harper Voyager, publisher of authors like George R.R. Martin, has opened its doors to unsolicited manuscripts. You can submit as many as you like but they need to be finished. They are looking for speculative fiction for adults or YA only. The doors are open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012. Accepted manuscripts will be published as eBooks.

I know, it's short notice but if you've got something ready and feel like trying the traditional route, go ahead. Good luck,


P.S.: I might try, but I'm not sure. After all, I won't be able to publish some stories before January anyway, and they said they'd read all submissions till then. Hmmmmm