Saturday, December 21, 2013

part two and three of the Interview


here are parts two and three of the Interview I did with Rick Davies:

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll see/read you all in 2014. Cat

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I write like...


I tried an online tool that analyzed my writing, and I got this result:


I write like
Margaret Mitchell
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I tested Juma's Rain but think results would be different for a different book. I'm quite happy with the result. For one, "Gone With the Wind", Margret Mitchell's best known book, is very well written. Also, it's a love story, as is Juma's Rain. I only tested the first scene, so getting it identified as a love story even though the love hasn't even shown up yet, it encouraging.

Try it with your own writing. It's fun,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

an audio interview with me...

... on YouTube.

This was a lot of fun. Watch it (and it's only the first third). I'm hoping Rick will post the reast too, some time soon. I'll keep you posted.

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

first success


so far, I'm quite surprised by the blog tour. I didn't dare to expect much especially not any sales. Still, a tiny flicker of hope always rides along, so I checked the statistics the last few days. Sales went just like I predicted: business as usual. But I got quite the surprise when I looked at my list. It practically exploded and went from nearly nonexistent to over 100 members. As delighted as I am it also means, more work for me. Now, I've got to get the follow-up messages ready to post as soon as I can manage it -- and that with Christmas approaching much faster than I like. At least I've already got all the presents for the family. ;-)

Have a great time,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blog Tour has started


the beginning are mostly excepts and spotlights (you know the drill, cover, blurb, lings and a short passage from the novel). I thanked the site owners for their time and space on their blogs. I guess that's the right thing to do since they voluntarily do this for me. Now, I'm very interested in seeing whether something will change over the course of the tour.

If you want to help, look at the schedule and visit a site or two. Then, tell your friends on Twitter, FB, G+ or other social media.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My first Blog Tour ever


This is going to be my first Blog Tour ever, and I'll be chronicling it. I'll probably not be able to post something every day, but I'll let you know how it goes. It will start on my homepage on the 9th of December and will go until the 23rd of December. I'd greatly appreciate it if you would let your friends know about the tour. Maybe they'd be interested to learn a little bit about me and/or my book (feel free to grab the graphic above if you need it).

Here's to hoping that I can reach many readers this way.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have you been able to figure out Google+ ?

well, I haven't. But I stumbled over this video and it helped me a lot. Now I'm sure I can reach out some more.

Have a great time,

P.S.: Don't forget to sign-up for my Advent calendar.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Advent Calendar for Fantasy Lovers

Sign up for a countdown for Christmas. The first Advent-eMail-parcel will be delivered on the first of December for all who sign up in time (the others get their parcels later). In total, you will get 25 eMails with stories, Character studies, recipes and original music from six talented authors. And the best is, it's absolutely free.

Check it out and join the fun!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stop Learning, Start Thinking

Jacob Barnett is a very talented young mathematician with an autistic background, and he's all in favor of thinking. I think he's partially right. Of course, you've got to learn before you can think stuff like he does. Not everyone can use their brains this easily. But when you've got the basics down, it's time to allow yourself to think along the lines YOU want to think, not along college/religion/society approved lines. Just make sure that the way you think won't hurt anyone.

Here's Jacob's speech. Watch it and tell me what you think about his approach.

Have a great week,
Cat (still struggling to catch up on NaNo)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNo with obstacles...


I'm sure lots of you do NaNo too this year, so you'll know the basic obstacles (too many words, too little time). When i set out, i was determined to make the 50K, but at the moment it doesn't seem likely. I'm not really far behind (maybe a single day) but there are so many things scheduled for this month that I don't expect to catch up. I need to see the doctor (regular checkup, so no worries there. I would have preferred December but it was the only appointment I could get), have to get my car repaired after a minor crash (three cheers for my insurance or I wouldn't have been ale to do anything at all), all three kids have teacher/parents-meetings scheduled and much more. Of course, I'll do my very best to keep going despite the whining. I just don't expect to make it this year (which isn't a biggie because i already write 126K in 2013).

Hope you're doing better,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My first ever Blog tour


is anyone of you interested in hosting me for my blog tour? I'm presenting my novel "Urchin King", a YA historical fantasy. Please fill out this form if you have room for me.

Thanks in advance,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

marketing for authors... not my favorite


see me struggle? Yup, that's me trying to wrap my head around marketing. I'm not at all good at it. I'm currently working my way through a course that's supposed to help me with it. I do understand the basic principles but still find it hard to tell people: Go ahead, buy my books or (less pushy) join my mailing list (you'll even get a reward for that). I did all the course work and I'm rather proud of the "join my list"-page (have a look and tell me if you like it and why). But there's so much more to learn, and I'm really, really struggling to apply that to my little business. I'd rather be writing, darn.

Since most of you are writers/authors too, what are you doing to get word out about your books? I tried mailing bookbloggers, but if they answer at all, it's usually "Sorry, my TBR is too high just now". Does anyone know some bloggers that I could contact that aren't booked out till doomsday? Would you want to share ideas with me? I'd be so happy.

Have a great day,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm finished (litterally and figuratively)


I just finished writing the last short story for this year. I'm planning to translate and release them early next year in anthologies of 3-5 stories (depending on length). As I had planned (and tracked with the super helpful Write Track by David Gale), I wrote 125,000 words this year..

You cannot believe how incredibly tired I am. But I'm also elated because I managed to reach my goal a month early. That will give me most of October (except for the kids' holidays) to recover and plan my NaNoWriMo novel.

You think me crazy for going NaNo again? Well, this time, I only need to do it for fun, not to reach any wordcount goals, since I've done everythign already. It'll be a completely new feeling for me. ;-)

How about you? Do you set yourself yearly goals? Do you track them? How?
Share your advice with me,

Friday, September 20, 2013

rip-off: German eBook platforms conspiere against Indies


I am currently trying to get my books into the shops of German eBook sellers -- it's a nightmare. Not enough that an ISBN is obligatory (getting them is a whole different chapter of rambling on my part), most also require me to list my books in a list of books available for sale, the so called VBL. Listing a book there costs 3,40EUR per title per year WITH A MINIMUM FEE of 70,-EUR! I call that robbery.

Then, I found several services similar to Smashwords and contacted them. Most do not accept ePub, only PDFs that they then "convert" to ePub. How can I control the quality of my eBooks if I'm not allowed to upload them myself? Converters are good for those who are no programmers, but I've got a PhD in programming for C's sake.

To top it off, I found out that I have to pay an "upload fee" for some of them of 250,-EUR per title. That's pure rip-off. I am currently of the opinion that those firms do not trust the growth of the eBook market. They try to squeeze as much money out of the Indie authors as they can. I, for one, will stay away from those.

The problem remains. How will I get my eBooks to the reader aside from amazon? I'm still searching.
Keep your fingers crossed for me,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I beg you, webcomic creators


I'm back at translating reMIND, the best webcomic I've read in recent years. It's aimed at children AND grown ups, and combines an interesting story with incredible artwork. I was so taken that I asked the artist if I could translate this story into German. He gave me permission and I started working on the story enthusiastically.

I still am (as you can see by the progress-meter in my sidebar) working on it. The translation itself went fast and was fairly easy, the thing that drives me nuts is putting the translated texts into the speech bubbles and adjusting sound effects. Often, the bubbles are too small, since German often uses more words than English. Worst are the places where the sound effects have accidentally been merged with the background.

So, here's my plea to all webcomic creators who hope to get translated one day: please, pretty please, do NOT merge sound effects into your art. It's a nightmare to adjust especially if the language in question uses a completely different alphabet (like many Aisan languages or Russian).

That said, I'm still as enthusiastically working on the comic and hope to have the second volume finished by the end of October (so I'll be free to NaNo once more this year). Will any of you NaNo? If so, let me know your username so I can buddy you if I haven't already.

Have a great day,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Podcast Interview with me - funny accent for free


Yesterday, I was interviewed by Voice Over artist Katie Adler. Before the show started I wondered, "How will we fill a whole hour? I'm not really that interesting." Man, was I wrong. I even surprised myself with some of the answers I gave. Truth be told, you only get a good interview if the interviewer knows how to ask good questions. I had a lot of fun and highly recommend her site. She has this kind of podcast every first Sunday in the month (mine was a week late due to technical problems).

You can find the short stories I wrote (two 500 word flash stories) on Katie's site:
Short Story Sunday with Katie Adler

and while you're there listen to the replay, or listen to it here:

Have a great day,

Monday, August 26, 2013

Audiobook Production


I decided to try out the ACX-platform to see how my stories would fare as audiobooks. Sure enough, there are many hurdles to take.

The major issue I'm having is the fact that non-US citizens can NOT open an account with ACX (and I don't see anything that indicates this is going to change any time soon). As a German, I have to rely on the honesty of an American friend (waves, hi Will), who allows me to use his account (which is legit as ACX'S guidelines say).

Another bug to swallow is the duration of the contract. I'm signing away the distribution rights for my audiobook for SEVEN years (initial period with automatic renewal for one year). The only good thing is that I don't have to go exclusive (although that cuts royalties nearly by half). I'm thinking of going exclusive since ACX delivers the bigges players out there anyway (Amazon, Audible, and iTunes)who currently cover 90% of the online market.

Plus, ACX doesn't allow you to set your own price. They determine for how much money they sell my audiobooks (I'm sure that's different for bigger publishers), and I get 50% of net. price (for the first 500books, increasing from there to 90% if I manage to sell more than 22,500 copies). The audiobook will probably ten times as expensive as the eBook, but it also cost much, much more to produce (I used a professional since I don't want my listeners to listen to inferior material). I calculated that I'd break even if I manage to sell 160 audiobooks. That doesn't sound too daunting especially since it doesn't come with a deadline.

One more practical problem is that I'm on a very, very slow Internet connection. Although it's DSL, it's barely faster than ISDN used to be, plus it's not reliable. It keeps breaking down. Unfortunately, audio files are huge even if I split them up into chapters. Every time my Internet connection collapses, I can start anew. Argh.

Last but not least, I didn't know that I have to have the eBook published first. So I struggled yesterday to upload "Heroes Wanted" ("Helden Gesucht" in German) to Amazon. Luckily, the two short stories I had selected for the audiobook were already proofread and edited. Just in case you're interested, here's the cover and the blurb:

Life™ – Divisions of Myths and Legends
or How to order a dragon
Mondays are hard in any office. When Siegfried of Xanthen is calling before opening hours the day in Life™ – Divisions of Myths and Legends can only go downhill for Rose.

A Different Perspective
When Romans attack, Freyja flees with the women of her clan while the men, including her beloved Thordal, fight. Can Allfather Odin help Freyja to save Thordal’s life?

You can buy "Helden Gesucht" or "Heroes Wanted" on Amazon for $0.99 (0.92€). Other retailers will follow. Hopefully, I will overcome all obstacles and announce the audiobook soon.

Have you ever thought about trying to do an audiobook? Any last minute tips or tricks for me?
Thanks in advance,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Haters on Goodreads Kill Debut of Hopeful Author

I had scheduled a totally different post for today but can't help it. This is far more important than my minor problems. Please READ THIS CAREFULLY AND SPREAD THE WORD (I know I'm shouting, but this needs to be heard).

This takes my breath away – in a very negative way. My (so far) favorite review site, Goodreads, allows haters and Cyber-bullys to attack authors like Lauren. In this special case, the hate attack was triggered by a question about the rating system and it went on until the young authoress decided to NOT release her debut novel. She weighed the need to protect her health and sanity against the anger and hate she got from cyber-bullies and decided that SHE was more important than the book.

Only a truly strong woman can make this kind of decision. I applaud her – although I do not like that the bullies managed to push her than way.

The hardest bits about the whole story are:

  • she is not the only one who is bullied on Goodreads, there are others – reviewers and authors alike
  • Goodreads is NOT stepping in. They excuse bullying by claiming “Freedom of Speech” – which is a ridiculously easy way to say, “We don’t give a shit.”

This has to stop, and the ones who can enforce their own policies (see quotes from their website above) are the managers of Goodreads. If you want to support a cyper-outcryagainst bullying on Goodreads, head over to sign the petition. The more, the better. Goodreads needs to see that it will be loosing customers (authors, reviewers AND advertisers) if it doesn’t stop bullying on their site.

Hurry up, do the Good Deed of the Day,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Struggling with the cover


I'm loathe to say it, but the picture I chose as the background for Swordplay (see last post) is crap. I'm not talking about the composition. It's exactly what I envisioned when I started looking for a picture like that. I'm talking about the quality of the vector-file I downloaded.

The background and some of the swirls are well rendered and clear at any size. Others appear pixelated when I scale the picture to the size I will need. I'm extremely annoyed. It would have been such a great fit. Sigh...

But all bad things have a good side. When I searched for another picture that might fit, I found THE perfect match for "Urchin King", a novel I will re-release on August 31st. (Why re-release? The book has been doing well and received some nice reviews, but it didn't have chapter marks or a table of content that you can navigate with the new Kindles. Also, I finished translating and polishing the German version which I will publish End of August too. So I decided to roll both into one release.)

I know I'm annoyed about the picture but I'm also delighted by the one I found (I'll do a cover reveal soon). Has something similar happened to you too? Have you been able to see the good in the bad?

Have a great day,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

help needed on another cover


I'm currently working on the cover for my next release "Swordplay" (a YA fantasy mystery). I decided to make a series out of it (because my wattpad readers encouraged me), so the old cover doesn't fit any more. Aside from the fonts, I liked the first cover well enough, but it would be hard to create a similar look for a series.

For the new cover, I had planned to put several dark silouettes on a white background and combine it with a major plot element (like the sword). Then, I stumbled over this picture (background)which catches the essence of my novels. I like the new cover much better since it shows the chaotic magic that's whirling though my world. Unfortunately, it makes the background rather noisy. I tried to work around this restriction and think this will look nice.

I could use the same cover but with a different color-scheme for the individual volumes of the series (the titles for vol 2 and 3 are still made up. I only finalize the titles AFTER I write the book). What do you think. Does it look dynamic enough or is it too chaotic?

Thank you for your help,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back with a Bang


I'm back from my holiday, as brown as I used to be as a kid, and with the beginnings of a fantasy murder mystery series in my pocket. Despite the glaring sun, I also managed to proof-read the German version of "Urchin King" which I will publish soon(ish). I'm still sweating... ;-)

When I worked through the 350odd eMails waiting for me upon my return, I got a big surprise -- one I'm still celebrating (even if nothing comes of it). An agent who's usually closed to submissions except by referral saw my first page on a competition (I entered it for the feedback) and requested some material. I sincerely hope the agent likes the story well enough to ask for more.

Still, even if the agent doesn't request more, I'm happy. Somehow the fact alone feels like a validation of my writing. I will keep on writing and publishing as best I can. AND I hope I will get better with every novel I finish. Now, if only I had more hands and maybe two brains for simultaneously translating what I'm revising. ;-)

I hope you'll all have a great summer,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

work and pleasure


I've been working my a** off the last year and it's finally paying off (a little). With every book I release, I earn a little money. I'm encouraged enough to actually think about a series I had wanted to write all along.

It's about a young woman who wants to be part of the magical police of her world although she doesn't have much conventional magic. I developed a magical system for the first volume (which will come out this fall) that I simply love. It's modelled a bit after the carbon cycle (for those who are into biology). It will be a challenge because the "longest" series I ever wrote are the two volumes of the Waldman Family Saga (YA historical) and they weren't planned as a series and work as stand alones too.

Since developing a series takes "a little" time, and since my kids insist on a "real" holiday for this year, I decided to take a break. I'll go camping beside the Baltic Sea with my family where there's no Internet access. All I'm taking along work-wise is my series planning. As run down as I feel at the moment, the idea alone is bliss. Since this is a rather spontaneous idea, I have not scheduled any posts for the time of my absence. I hope you don't mind.

Surely, I'll be my usual cheerful self again when I return mid-August.
Enjoy your days,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Some good news (at least for me)


I am doing the happy dance today. My Wattpad story "Swordplay", a YA fantasy murder mystery, made it into the final round in "The Write Awards 2013". This contest is looking for well crafted stories on Wattpad, and the competition was fierce. We started out with nearly 100 participants and have been narrowed down to 10 by now. Mid-August, they will announce the winner.

Also, my novel "Scotland's Guardians" passed the first round of judging for the "Kindle Book Review: Best eBook 2013 Award" and is now a semifinalist in the Young Adult category.

Finally, two of my short stories have been accepted for (paid) publication in anthologies in the US. One story made it into the "Think Sideways Writers Anthology" of writing teacher Holly Lisle, the other will be published in an anthology by Freedom Forge Press.

All these good news make up for the fact that I don't get much done with the kids on holiday.

Have a good time,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

don't miss it


From today (25th of June) to Thursday (27th), my YA Sciene Fantasy "Paralan's Children" is available for free on amazon.

Paralan's Children

About the book:

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it’s anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn’t know he’s facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can’t get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn’t solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet’s far side too?

It's already rated 4-5 stars on and
Get the English verison here
and the German version here.

Enjoy, and please leave a review,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My trip to Kent and the ideas it spawned


as promised, here are some of the pictures I took when I was in Kent. I loved it there. Wish we had a gulf stream around. My garden would look a lot nicer. ;-) At east, the trip brought back my enthusiasm for gardening. I thought I had lost it, but was wring. So I spend much of the really lovely, sunshiny days since my return in my garden trying to master the chaos. It will take time. Nearly 10 year of neglect don't undo themselves in a few days.

Now, for the photos and the ideas they spawned:

This is Canterbury Cathedral. I loved the symmetry of the view. With the ghost of Canterbury in the back of my mind, my Muse insisted there would have to be a nun's ghost walking these corridors. Since that's rather cliché, I send the idea back to my Muse to mull it over again and come up with something more interesting. She usually does, although it sometimes takes time.

I saw this motorcycle in a shop window in Rye, a small fishermen village. The minute I realized it was all hand made, I wanted to put a witch on it who could drive it around the country pollution free. One day, she'll make it into one of my stories. Promised.

When I took this photo (it might be a mulberry tree), I wondered if the tree snatched people from the chair to send them somewhere (maybe to the fairy queen). It looks rather predatory, doesn't it? I know that when my Muse has figured out where the snatched up people go, I'll have another short story to write.

You see, my trip was lovely. I posted more photos on my author homepage. Now, tell me, does your imagination run riot too when you're visiting new places?
Let me know in the comments,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Break Over -- Blog Blitz


I'm back from Kent and will soon post a couple of pictures (I took 2GB worth of them and need to sort them first). Meanwhile, I had promised to participate in The All Authors Blog Blitz, where authors introduce the work of other authors. My post will be featured on a horror writer's blog (luckily I do have ONE horror anthology published). Find my post here.

Now, let me introduce R.A. Boyd, writer of paranormal fantasy, and book #1 of her Perry Series. Perry is a succubus but has been living as a human. She's has no choice. Once she marries Haines, the hottest and most annoying incubus around, her powers begin to surface. Then an enemy comes to call, but she has to invite him in. She's being hunted. What a way to start out a honeymoon.

Here is an excerpt:

“I do,” I say sulkily, as the minister asks if I take this man standing next to me to be my lawfully wedded husband.
“You could at least muster some kind of joy over this,” Haines says quietly, as he squeezes my hand.
“Shut-up,” I snap at him.
For our friends and family attending our nuptials I have nothing but sweet smiles and kind words. But for this d-bag, I have snark for days.
This is not the happily ever after either one of us was hoping for. And Haines is certainly not the man I wanted to end up with. But if I don’t have a holy union (holy my arse!) with him, all hell will break loose and blah, blah, blah. We’re destined to be together. I despise him. He likes it. He can’t help it. He’s a demon. Figuratively and literally.

You can download Book #1 of the Perry Series, Hunted by Angels, on Amazon for 99ct

R.A. Boyd is a writer, and reader, of paranormal fiction, horror and urban fantasy. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and her massive collection of books. Seriously. Her books have their own room.

She's been published in Tales of Blood and Roses and is currently releasing her novel Hunted by Angels. The Line of Lilith books are soon to follow.

To find her on the web, please visit:
her website
Facebook R.A. Boyd
Twitter @ra_boyd

Find my post here

Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013



I am going on a holiday to visit gardens and castles in Kent, England! It will be the first time since my marriage nearly 20 years ago that I'll be travelling without my husband and kids. I'm scared stiff to say the least.

What if hubby doesn't manage to handle the kids? After all, they're both in puberty and very easily annoyed. What if they have to live on muesli and pancakes for the whole week? What if it keeps raining and our house is flooded? What if my dog stops eating because he misses me so much? What if... But probably not.

My mind knows exactly that everything will go well. It's just this over-active imagination dumping horrors on me. I wonder how people who aren't authors cope with these things. I can sit down and write a story where all the bad things happen increasing the catastrophes until the world explodes. After that, I can set aside my worries because my emotional side finally understands how unlikely these things are. But what do you do (no, not you, author. The one beside you)? Let me know, please. I'm curious.
my signature

Sunday, June 2, 2013



I guess you noticed that my layout suddenly changed to plain white. It took my a whole night to get it working again. Somehow, all the files I used before Blogger's update got deleted from my providers server (not Bloggers fault), and I had to adjust everything by hand. It's been bothering me a while, and with my revision coming along nicely, I thought I'd take the time to set things right again. Now, the layout of this blog resembles that of my webpage (feel free to check).

Habe a great day,

Friday, May 31, 2013

has your muse ever outwitted you?


I've been trudging along revising my novel, "Juma's Rain", and getting some other projects polished for publication some time soon, when my mentor Holly Lisle started a free Flash fiction course. Over the duration of 3 weeks, she made us write 5 Flash stories -- my Muse went crazy. She loved the new format. I know I'm nowhere perfect but it was so much fun, I am thinking of putting them into an anthology and sell them for 99ct maybe with a generous reading sample from one of the other books. As a teaser, here's one of the stories.

I dedicate this story to my writing teacher Holly Lisle. If you haven't read her books, go and get one. They're very good (I recommend the "Cadence Drake" series)

Alot, the; no pl.
The Alot hopped off the page and stretched. When it shook, tiny blue droplets floated through the air and settled on the desktop. The Alot looked around. No one was here wherever here was. It stomped forward, sniffing the table as it went. Where was it? What was it doing here? When it reached the table's edge, it turned back to where it had come from. Aside from a few words and a strange blue twinkling, the page was empty. Beside it sat a thick tome. The Alot turned its head sideways and spelled out the title: Foster's Etymological Dictionary

The Alot trampled onto the page whirling up the blue dust. It sneezed, shooting blue particles at one of the words: gryphon. The page trembled and the Alot stumbled backwards. Its tiny heart beat a rhythm of fear in its chest. It hid behind the giant tome of the Dictionary and peeked around the corner. An animal the size of the book with four legs, wings, and the head of a bird of prey stretched, ruffled its feathers and flew away. Cautiously, the Alot returned to the page. The word it had sneezed on was missing. Could it be? Had it been sneezed off of the page too? Had it been a word?

The Alot pondered. If it had been a word earlier, what was it now? With its tiny trunk, it touched all of its blue fur it could reach. The plump body with the stumpy legs didn't look one bit like the gryphon. It wondered what it was good for. It had to have a purpose. Why else had it come alive? Its gaze fell on the Dictionary once more. The book contained words. Thousands of them. Surely it'd be possible to find an explanation in there. It stood on its hindlegs and lifted the cover with its trunk, and then it wriggled and jumped until it managed to crawl under the cardboard. Turning the pages was easier.

al… ala.. alo… It found aloe, aloha, alone and aloof, followed by aloud, Aloysius, and analog.
I'm not in the book. It blinked away a tear. When I'm not in there, I must have been a mistake. Mistakes are bad, aren't they?It decided to erase itself.

It climbed down from the book and back to the page, looking for an eraser. When it passed over the page, the blue residue tickled in its trunk, and it sneezed again. A creature, slightly longer that the Alot but less compact rose from the paper. It wriggled its trunk.

"Hi, I'm an Adn. What are you?"

"A mistake."

"Great. Can we be mistakes together." The Adn grinned.

The Alot's heart skipped and jumped. Maybe being a mistake wasn't so bad after all.

--The End--

Did you like it? Has this happened to you too, I mean that the Muse just wouldn't stop bothering you with idea after idea after idea?

Have a great day,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013



for the last two days, it's been raining so much, we were truly rained in. In the valley where we live runs a small river. It rose so high that all bridges were several feet under water. Hubby had to race around making sure that the sewage system didn't collapse under the onslaught of water (which would have been a major catastrophe for my hubby as well as for nature). He managed to keep everything running smoothly (I think his employers don't appreciate him enough).

For me, it was a peaceful time. I wrote much more than usual since the dog didn't want to leave the house for more than was absolutely necessary. Also, the kids were home late yesterday because their buses had to take a different route over a rarely used bridge on a road barely more than a dirt track. It was an adventure for them and another 1/2 hour for me.

Just so you know what I'm up to:
1. I'm still writing and posting a YA fantasy murder mystery named "Swordplay". If you've got a Wattpad account, please vote for it and/or leave feedback. I'll leave the first draft up until I finish revision, but I'll take it down before publication.
2. I'm translating "Juma's Rain" into German while typing in the changes I made to the manuscript during revision.
3. I'm translating reMIND Volume two
4. I'm preparing "Urchin King" for publication in German in July

and the garden is sxploding, demanding more and more of my time. Sometimes, I wish I were two people. One for the house and family and a second one for writing and marketing and all the rest.
How about you? Where could you use help?

Tell me,

P.S.: Luckily, today was a sunny day before the rain is supposed to come back until the weekend (according to the weather forecast)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Release: Paralan's Children


Here is my latest release, "Paralan's Children", a YA soft SciFi story. Hopefully, you'll like it. It's available for 99ct as a special introductory price until tomorrow, 23rd of May. Then, the price will go up to $4.99 for good.

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it's anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn't know he's facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can't get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn't solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet's far side too?

Get your copy while it's cheap.

and enjoy the day,

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I am giving away three printed, signed copies of my novel "Scotland's Guardians". Anyone can enter, I'll ship worldwide.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Scotland's Guardians by Katharina Gerlach

Scotland's Guardians

by Katharina Gerlach

Giveaway ends June 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with hobgoblins, selkies and kelpies from the tales of her mother country. But she is very surprised when she starts seeing these creatures one day. Is she hallucinating? Before she can ask her father's advice, he is kidnapped by a woman whose scent seems awfully familiar. Instead of calling the police, Bryanna follows the kidnapper and lands smack-dab in the middle of the adventure of her life. It's just as well she knows the old legends and myths well. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous. And even if she survives the journey, she is fated to kill her father.

Please spread the word,

P.S.: Please be patient. I made a mistake and now, the giveaway needs to be re-approved. That might take another day or two. So sorry. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Do you like Vikings? And Zombies? How about Viking zombies?


Thea, a friend of mine, is currently writing a novelette with Viking zombies, and she has an Indiegogo-campaign running to fund cover art, editing, proofreading and the lot. Many people help her to reach her goal (which is a truly modest one, I've seen much higher prices). One of her loyal supporters is Sarah, and this is what she's got to say about Thea's campaign:

Every so often  you come across a writer who can explain something so perfectly and beautifully that you instantly fall in love with everything they do. My friend Thea is that kind of writer. Words to her are like magic to a wizard; she waves her wand over her writing pad and WOOSH! The world is left with a distinct feeling that something important just happened.

When I read her first book Dreaming of Her and Other Stories I spent about two days in a post-reading-the-book trance. Everything looked different. It was my favourite sort of book – books with stories that stay with you, that linger. The ones that shake up something inside of you that can’t quite settle back down again.
That’s why, when Thea announced she was writing a new book, The Illuminated Heart, this time a novella based on a fairytale, I got excited. My insides got nervous, anticipating a new shake-up. Then I read how it was based on a Norweigan fairytale, set in Iceland and uses a Japanese story structure called kishotenketsu. By the way, it will be the first ever novella written in the English Language to use the kishotenketsu story structure. That made it sound even more pretty damn awesome.

But those points, although very cool, aren’t the most excellent part about The Illuminated Heart. The best bit is: Thea is using crowd sourcing to help make it the best possible book it can be. Complete with extremely cool cover art (trust me, she showed me a sneak peak of the mock up cover art. The picture I’ve used for this post is cool – the picture she’s going to use is perfect.), paper back copies and professional editing services. So it’s not just going to be an awesome book about polar bears, princesses saving princes with Viking Zombies in it, it’s going to be a fully awesome novella that’s funded by people who are already in love with it.

The Indiegogo Campaign has just one week left to complete its funding goal of C$500 (around £320) and it’s still got half way to go! You can read the first two chapters of The Illuminated Heart here and once you’ve done that you can contribute to the book on it’s Indiegogo campaign. And in a few years time when Thea is a famous author, you can say “I helped fund her book”. It’ll happen.

I second her plea to support Thea. She's a really talented author. So if you can spare a dime, donate -- and if you haven't, at least spread the word.


Monday, May 6, 2013

feeling better


I've been quite ill the last few days and didn't get much done, but now I'm better. I expect to catch up on the things I didn't get done soon. First and foremost is the compilation of an anthology with extremely high quality stories that I'm in charge of, as well as the preparation of my next publication "Paralan's Children".

I'm still not entirely happy with the cover blurb, so I'll keep working on it. Proofreading for the English version is done, and will be finished for the German version too in a few days. I hope to release it around Pentecost/Whitsun (wich is the correct word? My dictionary doesn't say).

Here's the cover. The title and author name are clearly visible even at thumbnail size, and I like the way the ice planet glows. It's very much like I picture Paralan.

 Paralans Kinder 

Now, you're probably curious what the book is about.Well, here it is:

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it's anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn't know he's facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can't get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn't solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet's far side too?

I hope you'll love my story as much as I did when I wrote it.
Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guaranteed free eBook, today only


over on my authors blog, I'm giving away free eBooks to anyone who comments and likes my FB page. If you haven't already, it's your chance to grab a copy of one of my books.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Back to Normal


if I've ever been normal, I'm back to it. Tired like hell, I was wondering about the worth of KDP-Select free promos. I only noticed AFTER the campaign ended that amazon has changed their algorithm again. Now, the copies I give away for free don't affect the books overall ranking any more, which means I do NOT get more visibility. I'm questioning the wisdom of participating in this kind of promo again. It is very draining on me to sit there +- all day and push the link on twitter and FB. It's an emotional drain (because I hate to post so many links. It feels like spamming). The only hope I have is that enough of the more than 7000 people who downloaded "Scotland's guardians" will read and review the story.

How about you. Do you think it's worth participating in KDP-Select, now that the ranking algorithms have changed? Have you ever put a book through there? Are 7000 copies a lot these days or should it have been more (an indicator if my story-blurb is good enough or not)? Should I do this again with my upcoming release "Paralan's Children"?

Please help,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Working again.. and an announcement


I've been quite busy the last few days, and today, I released my novel "Scotland's Guardians" as a print book. I got really, really angry with createspace when it found bug after bug after bug in the cover-pdf of the German version. It's so annoying that there isn't a tool that'll test requirements BEFORE they review the files. In the end, I managed to publish the English and the German version, although they will take a few days longer to reach Amazon's distributions channels.

As a surprise for everyone with an eBook reader or an app (for PC or Smartphone), the eBook of "Scotland's Guardians" will be free from tomorrow till next Wednesday. So if you always wanted to read one of my books, feel free to grab a copy. And tell your friends about it, please.

From tomorrow on, I will finally return to writing. I just started revision on my novel "Juma's Rain", and I'm close to finishing the line edits on "Chasing the Grimm Reaper" and "Paralan's Children". I haven't decided yet which book to publihs first, but I set myself a deadline: end of April.

Stay tuned, and gab a copy of "Scotland's Guardians",

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

cat's Easter greetings from a dog lover

cat's Easter greetings from a dog lover
(photo: White House Photograph Office)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do you want to win a paperback?


you can win a paperback copy or one of 3 eBooks of my YA Fantasy novel "Scotland's Guardians" in either English or German. Give it a try and tell your friends about it too.

Also, I am close to finishing the files for my next release. Watch out for more information on this site in April .
(See I told you I'm busy behind the scenes, but with the kids on holiday, it's so very hard to get things done).

Enjoy your week,

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do you need a writing course that'll change your life?


How To Think Sideways ULTRA: Career Survival School For WritersI've been telling you about Holly's course "How to Think Sideways" often enough. It's the biggest and most thorough course on writing I ever took, and I don't feel the need to look at any other courses ever again. As I said in my last post, Holly reopens the gates with lots of new, cool material included in the price (Yes it's a lot of money, but 1. the payment options are wonderful, 2. until Friday, you will get a great discount, and 3. at an university you'd pay much more for less). So, here is a call from Holly (in her own words):

How to Think Sideways Ultra: Career Survival School For Writers , my (Holly's) flagship course, is back, expanded, upgraded, 100% money-back guaranteed, VERY discounted for just less than three days, and live NOW.

I'm mentioning it because for the next three days, it's at 2011 prices (20% or MORE off), and I don't want anyone who might have been interested to only discover this after it's too late. The discount closes on Friday, because I hate angry emails, and "I missed out on something I wanted and it's all your fault" is not the thing I most love to read. If you want to check out the course, today would be the best time.

Oh! QUICK tip so you don't end up in line. If you sign up for the course, check your email for your login and password completion email before you try logging in. We're seeing a fair amount of this. You won't be able to log in without it. If you're already a member on the new site, this does not apply to you.

-------End Holly---------

Go and grab your copy today. It's so worth the money. It not only made me a better writer, but also a more prolific one, and I met many, many wonderful authors in the forums where I go for feedback at least once a day. So, if you've ever been interested in taking a writing course, grab this one. It works for any genre, any target age group and any kind of writer because it's so flexible. Lessons you paid for will be there for you for good, and you can quit any time if you discover that the course isn't your cuppa after all (but I don't think that'll happen).

I think I'd better mention, that I'm an affiliate for this course (it's the only affiliate thing I'm supporting because I believe so strongly in this course's quality), which means I'll get some money if you sign up through my link.

Thanks for considering.
Now, go and grab your copy of How to Think Sideways Ultra: Career Survival School For Writers ;-),

Monday, March 11, 2013

Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways re-opens with a BANG


I know that most readers of this blog (if they read it at all) are writers, so I thought I'd share the big news. Holly Lisle decided to re-open the popular How to Think Sideways course with additional material and new additional material. I am a graduate of the preceding HTTS course, and it increased my creativity as well as my productivity. Should you decide to take her up on her offer, there will be a big discount if you decide to sign up during the 3-day launch. But the offer I want to tell you about below is available for free.

Holly Lisle has publicly released the first of 29 writing mini-workshops she is doing for the How To Think Sideways ULTRA: Career Survival School for Writers course.

If you've ever sat staring at the blinking cursor, trying to find the right, the perfect, the one and only way to start your story (or your chapter, or your day's writing), trying to will words onto the page...

...Discover the PERMANENT five-minute fix for this problem---the technique Holly uses to get words quickly on days when SHE'S having a hard time getting started.

The five minute fix is free of charge, but if you decide to take the full HTTS-Ultra I'll get part of your payment as a reward since I'm an affiliate. Holly's courses are the only ones I'm recommending, and I only do it because they helped me a lot. Also, her fees are acceptable and her payment options are great.

Feel free to just grab the freebie (it's available for another 22++ hours), HTTS Ultra Quick Fix It's a five minute fix. Lose the agony. Just copy the link into your browser and get started.
Then, let me know if this was helpful, becaue I'll then post additional links should I get more.

Enjoy your day,

----------COPYRIGHT NOTICE----------

Workshop audio, transcript, and worksheets Copyright © 2013, by Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved. Posted with permission of the author.

----------End COPYRIGHT NOTICE----------

Friday, March 8, 2013

Battle at the Harzhorn


one of my stories will be published in a Tarot-related anthology by a small German publisher. When I got the Hanging Man as a prompt, I knew exactly what I wanted to use as setting: the Battle at the Harzhorn.

Roughly three years ago, hobby archaeologists with probe heads found a twisted metal shape they took for a medieval candle holder not too far from us. The item in question turned out to be a horse shoe used by Romans. After a while, archaeologists were able to determine that a battle occurred at the Harzhorn, and that it most likely took part in 235 aD as part of Maximinius Thrax big Germania Campaign. This was ground breaking since scientists had assumed Romans never ventured into Germania again in great numbers after Varus’ defeat (9aD).

For more information see my homepage-blog.
I hope you find this just as fascinating as I do. I'm a real history buff these days, although if anyone would have told me when I was in school, I'd have laughed my head off. How about you? Do you like history? Any specific times you prefer over others?

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Nightmare


two weeks ago, my middle daughter (11) broke her thumb. Last week, we found out that the bone slipped. Now, the top digit is skewered to the side, and it won't return to its original position because kids' bones heal too fast. It's already partly grown to the new place. Grrr

Then, this Monday, she get her other thumb smashed in a door. The nail will fall off some time soon because the nail bed was badly hurt. She's quite brave about it, but writing is really difficult for her these days. So I lend her my Alpha Smart. That way, she can keep up with her studies.

On a more cheerful note, my short story "Wild Rose" was accepted for publication in an anthology of Freedom Forge Press and should be out some time in July. Another short story will be published in Germany in an anthology based on the traditional tarot. I had the hanging man as a card and worked in the recent finds on a Germanic/Roman battle field they discovered around the corner from where I live. And I wrote nearly 40.000 words already since the 1st of February. So all in all, I can call this a good start into the new year, right?

How about you? Are you all OK?

Friday, March 1, 2013

I know it looks as if I'm lazy...


truth is, I'm working like mad behind the scenes. I'm currently translating "Urchin King" into German for a release shortly after Easter. Also, I'm getting another edit on Amadi and Urchin King, since the previous editor missed a couple of things. Then, I'm working my way through my editors comments on my non-linear novels. As much fun as it was writing this, it's a terrible nightmare to revise and edit. Finally, I'm putting the finishing touches to the files for the print version of "Scotland's Guardians" which I'd like to publish around Easter. Plus the marketing stuff I need to wrap my head around, I am just too busy.

You see, my days don't have enough hours to get everything done that I'd need to do.
Enjoy your time,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

tired but happy


I found a really great way to track visitors to the amazon pages of my books. Finally, I'm able to test strategies (pricing, formatting, changes in cover text etc) because I can see how many visitors come and how many buy. It was a revelation. Now, all I need it guinea pigs *muhahaha*

Have a great week,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Help me please


I entered my latest release to an eBook competition in Germany. On the individual book pages, friends of me (or my book) can vote with a click on the Like button. Can you please like my page? The more likes I get the better.

Thank you so much iun advance,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Short story competition


Holy Lisle announced a Short Story Competition. Eligible are all members of her courses. The best stories will be published in an anthology, and the winners will receive a cash price. If you're a member already, check out this thread in the forum. If you're not a member, why wait? Holly has the best courses in the world. Grab one of her clinics (and the premium membership for the forum), one of the How to Think Sideways Lessons or the extremely helpful How to Revise Your Novel course.

My favorite course is HtRYN. I was so impressed with the really detailed advice on how to make a novel (whether good or completely broken) into something great that I agreed to become an (unpaid) moderator of the forum. I've got to say, the forum is the best writing community I ever encountered (aside from my critique group). Join us. It's worth every penny you spend.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I just discoverd Pinterest...

... and now I'm addicted. It is so much fun and so easy to share the interesting things I find. If you're not on it, you should give it a try. You can befriend me if you want. here's a link to my profile.

Other than that, I started writing something new (a short story this time), and began revision on Juma's Rain. Also, my daughter is urging me to translate Urchin King, so I'll get started on that one as soon as the short story is done.

How about you? Busy with anything?

Monday, February 4, 2013

and here's the trailer

Hi, I finally got the trailer for "Scotland's guardians" done.
Spot a mistake in the credits, and you will get a small reward,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I nearly forgot to tell you...

...that I finally published my YA Fantasy novel "Scotland's Guardians".

Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with hobgoblins, selkies, and kelpies from the tales of her homeland. But she is extremely surprised when she starts seeing these creatures one day. Is she hallucinating? Before she can ask her father’s advice, he is kidnapped by a woman whose scent seems awfully familiar. Instead of calling the police, Bryanna follows the kidnapper and lands smack-dab in the middle of the adventure of her life. It’s just as well she knows the old legends and myths well enough. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous. And even if she survives the journey, she is fated to kill her father.


All right, I played around with the cover some more, but I didn’t like the way the letters obstructed the lovely picture. I think it’s better now. Hopefully, you think so too.

I got the idea to this story during one of my numerous visits in Scotland. Beside the unbelievably beautiful nature, this country has much to offer particularly one thing: the supernatural. Every region has its own mythical creature, and every Scotsman knows at least one haunted house or Loch monster. No matter whether on the mountains, at the coast, or in the valleys, there are as many stories about brownies (household sprites), Boobries (giants birds), and kelpies (waterhorses) as there are grains of sand by the sea. Fascinated, I decided to put at least some of these creatures into a novel. It took form after a woman appeared in my mind whose eyes mirrored the Scottish moors and not the garden she looked at.

I very much hope you will enjoy the book. Please leave a review if you do. It helps me so much to sell it. Also any likes or tags are very welcome, and you can even do that without buying the book. Just follow this link to amazon and like or tag.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Every Year -- Alle Jahre Wieder...


what can I say? It's THAT time of the year again. I'm doing my taxes...

Have fun (I'm trying to...)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cover Reveal "Scotland's Guardians"


I've been struggling with this cover for a while. My biggest problem was that I got terrific art by a guy called Bramasta Aji, but I just couldn't fit the title or author name in without blocking out the most interesting part of the picture. In the end, I decided that the picture is more important. The title will still be readable enough in a thumbnail, but the picture will be the main focus. What do you think? Will it draw readers?


"Scotland's Guardians" tells the story of Bryanna, a young girl with few friends living in Edinburgh, Scotland. When her father is kidnapped by a woman with a strangely familiar scent, Bryanna follows them instead of calling the police. It's a choice that will change her life forever. Luckily, she does remember some of the old Scottish tales she loved so much as a child. Now, she needs all that knowledge to survive, especially with a Kelpie on her heels bent on murder (I'm still working on the cover-text).

Scotland's Guardians will be available on Amazon before the month is out. Other retailers will follow soon.
Let me know what you think of the cover,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Finished another WIP!


at the moment, everything is running the way I wont (except for my household which is less tidy than I like). I finished my latest project "Juma's Rain" today. Although it's a good 7.500 words shorter than I had planned, I know it will be easy to add those during revision. I'll put it aside for now (because like a good coffee, a good novel has to set before revision) and concentrate on publishing my backlist I've so ardently translated last year.

In the coming months, I will publish the following stories, starting with Scotland's Guardians (cover reveal next week):
  • Scotland’s Guardians -- an Urban Fantasy story about Scottish myths and legends
  • Paralan’s Children -- a Science Fantasy story set on an ice world
  • Chasing the Grimm Reaper -- a non-linear fairy tale murder mystery
  • Swordplay -- an Urban Fantasy murder mystery, first in an of yet unwritten series
I hope you'll have a look at a couple of them when they're out.
Have a great day,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Finally back at work


I love Mondays in general (my kids and hubby are all gone until 4pm., so I've got a full working day), but the first Monday of a new year is something special. I feel like I have cleared all the slates, the kids are back in school, and writing life can start again. My WIP is drawing to a close. It turned out shorter than I had anticipated, but that can/will be remedied during revision. I managed to come up with a workable Marketing-Master-Plan (hihihi) which I will adapt as needed in the months to come. And I'm so ready to publish my next novel.

Stay tuned for the cover reveal next week, and have a good time until then.