Through April 4, Revenants Abroad is on sale for $0.99 at Smashwords. Use coupon code QN94E (it’s not case-sensitive). It’s available in all formats: MOBI (Kindle), Epub (just about everything else), pdf, lrf, pdb, or read it online.
So my latest thing is I’m thinking about doing a newsletter focusing on my book and the upcoming sequel as well as other writing, and offering some exclusive content (backstory on characters, new stuff related to the Revenants series and other projects), contests and giveaways. Yeah I know, like I don’t have enough to do already, right?
If you’d like to sign up you can do so here. Unfortunately with WordPress.com sites you can’t embed the forms so I have to have an off-site page for it. I’ll be moving the blog to a self-hosted site soon, though. I’m not sure when I’ll start sending out the newsletter, and it will be monthly if I can keep up. Otherwise maybe every other month, so you won’t be inundated with stuff every week.
The white flowers below are Oregon’s state flower, the trillium. It’s protected, so don’t pick them if you see them.
We’re still getting a lot of fog in the mornings, as you can see.
I’d like to introduce you to Norwegian-Icelandic writer, Margét Helgadóttir, whose first book, The Stars Seem So Far Away, has just been released through Fox Spirit Books. Congratulations, Margét! Let’s talk about the book.
What is The Stars Seem So Far Away about?
The Stars Seem So Far Away is a story set in a distant future, where plagues, famine and wars rage across the dying Earth. The last shuttles to the space colonies are long gone. Fleeing the deadly sun, humans migrate farther and farther north. The story is told through the tales of five survivors: One girl who sails the Northern Sea, robbing other ships to survive; one girl who guards something on a distant island; one guerrilla soldier; and finally, two siblings who become separated when the plague hits Svalbard.
It’s not a novel, but it’s not a collection of stories either. It’s a hybrid, a fusion of linked tales that together tell a larger story.
What inspired you to write the book?
I think the idea of this alternative future for the northern parts of the world has been dormant in me for many years.I have long pictured a world where humans, due to climate changes, must flee to the northern world, and where places that today are sparsely populated could become covered with cities. I’ve had the image of the skyscraper city on Svalbard in my mind for many years. But mostly it’s the small details of this dark and apocalyptic world I have mulled over for a long time. I have for instance been fascinated by the doomsday vault, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, ever since it was built. Also, the image of the killer whale in Nuuk has stayed with me for a while.
It’s such a beautiful cover. Could you tell us a little about it?
The lovely cover is by the talented Sarah Anne Langton. I am very happy about it because I feel it reveals some of the atmosphere in the book like I picture it. The cover has ice, snow, ocean, a giant bear, a crashed Hercules, an apocalyptic city and the human who longs for the stars. Sarah even made sure it’s the correct star maps on the cover.
What is your relationship to the speculative genres?
It’s more about what mood particular books/stories put me in, rather than who wrote them or what genre they are within. I’m the same with movies. Fantasy and science fiction are always good choices when needing to escape real world and seek comfort.
But I also find that these genres challenge the readers/audience, force them to think in new ways, be it space exploring, new species, new ways of thinking, new technology. They turn the world as we know it upside down, and few things are impossible. I love this. There are of course often used tropes and clichés in these genres too, but still, now and then I can read something or watch something which is so challenging, so brilliant, I almost can feel my brain cells squeal in delight. I love the space opera subgenres and I adore the science fiction classics from 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, filled with optimism and confidence. But my favourite science fiction is the narratives close to contemporary fiction, often about power structures and dystopian societies. They are not new, but we have seen these stories more often the last decades. I am also increasingly fascinated by stories within ‘the weird’, twisted and dark stories, often very surreal and surprising.
Could you tell a little about your writing and other stories?
It was only two and half years ago that I found confidence enough to start writing fiction for publication. A few of the stories in the book are actually amongst the first stories that I wrote. I have chosen to write fiction in English, which is not my native tongue, so working on the book has also been part of a tough language-learning process. Today, when I read through the book, I can see clearly how I have developed as a writer; the later stories flow better and have a more sure voice.
I know my writing and language can’t compete with Hemingway or other great authors, but I’m very concerned about telling a good story, so I hope I have succeeded in this and that people will like the stories and the characters.
My stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including Gone Lawn and Luna Station Quarterly. My fiction has also been or will be published in nine print anthologies, including Impossible Spaces, six volumes of Fox Pockets, and two more Fox Spirit publications. I am co-editor of the coffee table book European Monsters, a collection of fiction and art released from Fox Spirit Books in December 2014. It is the first of an annual monster series. In 2015 I will co-edit the second volume in this series, African Monsters, and I will also edit an anthology of winter tales. Hopefully there will be time to continue writing as well.
You have an unusual background, can you tell a little about yourself?
I’m born in East-Africa to a Norwegian mother and an Icelandic father. I grew up in East- and West-Africa and in Norway. On my webpage you can find small musings about different aspects of being a third culture and cross cultural child. I moved to Denmark two months ago, where I will stay for a few years due to work. I am a movie junkie and a book worm, and can often be found in the history museums and galleries in the weekends. Learn more about me at my webpage, or on Twitter, where I am @MaHelgad
Thanks so much, D.D., for inviting me to talk about my debut book.
The Stars Seem So Far Away was published by Fox Spirit Books and released on Valentine’s Day. It can be ordered as paperback and Kindle from Amazon. Epub is coming soon.
Amazon UK (paperback): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stars-Seem-So-Far-Away/dp/1909348767
Amazon US (paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Stars-Seem-So-Far-Away/dp/1909348767
Thanks so much, Margrét, and best wishes for the success of your book!
Chapter 26 went live yesterday, sorry to be a day late with the notice! Only two more chapters to go after this so time is winding down to read it for free online. There have now been over 5000 reads of Revenants Abroad on Wattpad, so thank you everyone! :D
Chapter 24 is up now on Wattpad! This may be the longest yet, at 12 Wattpad-pages. If you’re snowed in this weekend, or it’s just too cold to be outside, it might be a good time to catch up on your reading. Four more chapters to go, then I’ll give it about a week and pull the story from Wattpad to get the book up on Amazon. It is still available as an ebook from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo.
Here’s our lonely mountain (sans dragon) at sunset, an eagle perched in the next-door neighbor’s tree, last night’s moon, and a spider web in the power lines under the streetlight.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Welcome to the blog tour celebrating the 1 Year Anniversary of the release of Paranormal Gothic Horror Novel ~STRUCK by Clarissa Johal. Follow the tour (schedule posted below) to read new reviews, interviews with Clarissa, and exclusive excerpts.“The shadows hadn’t been waiting. The shadows had been invited.”
After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend and takes a job at a retirement home. She grows especially close to one resident, who dies alone the night of a terrific storm. On the way home from paying her last respects, Gwynneth is caught in another storm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift–one that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something more sinister… for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.
Bex ‘n’ Books
Bibliophilic Book Blog
Straight from the Library
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
She woke with her cheek pressed against concrete. Paint tubes littered the floor. Gwynneth pushed herself up, but the floor tilted and she slumped down again. Daytime was always more difficult. The filtered gray light burned her eyes, and the sounds from the other artists hurt her ears. Gwynneth dragged one of the canvases toward her. It had been painted on, but it didn’t matter. She would cover it with another layer. She picked up a paintbrush and waited for the darkness to assail her senses once again. Her world slowly collapsed in on itself, and her hand shook…waiting. The tip of her paintbrush touched the canvas, and black tendrils sprang up, capturing it.
“Gwynneth Reese, open the door.”
She was jerked from her trance and dropped the paintbrush. So close.
“I know you’re in there. Open the goddamn door!”
“Go away, Fenten.”
“Don’t you tell me to go away.”
The tendrils that had been lending her power sank back into the canvas. “Go away. I’m busy!”
“You got two choices, girlfriend. You can unlock the door, or I’ll break it down.”
She heard the anger in Fenten’s voice. It took a lot to make him angry, and she reluctantly got up. She braced herself against the wall and opened the door.
“You need to open the windows in here.” Fenten stalked past her to the window and ripped the newspaper from it.
Light flooded into the dark corners, and she squinted. “That hurts my head.”
“You hurt my head,” Fenten replied, hands on hips. “What the fuck, Gwennie? You haven’t showed up at work for over a week, and Seth is boo-hooing in his apartment right now because he thinks he took advantage of his best friend. One that he’s completely in love with, I might add. You didn’t tell me that, did you? It took me two bottles of wine to get Seth to spill that bit of information. And you’re locked in here doing God knows what! You’re messed up, Gwennie. You know that?” He looked down at her, blue eyes blazing.
She tried to make sense of what he had said.
“I’ve taken about all I can from you. I’ve got a good mind to take you across my knee.”
“Leave me alone.” Wandering over to her easel, she collapsed in front of it.
“What the fuck is going on?”
Gwynneth picked up her paintbrush. Her hand shook, and she tightened her hold. “Nothing’s going on.”
“Nothing’s going on. I need to get these done.”
Fenten squatted in front of her so they were eye-to-eye. “I’m going to only say this once. You can ignore or mouth off to me all you want to, Gwynneth Reese, because I’m your friend and I don’t give a shit. But Seth is another story altogether, and if you keep up with this, I’m going to disown you.”
She took in the fact that he was flushed red with anger…and returned her attention to the canvas.
Fenten grabbed her chin. “There’s only one time in our lives that our soulmate comes along, and if we don’t grab the opportunity and treat them like gold, they will slip away forever.”
Soulmate. A wave of emotion bubbled up from inside her, sucking the air from her lungs. What’s happening? Heat surged throughout her body, and she cried out. Bright, flashing lights filled her vision.
“Shit,” Fenten murmured.
She felt Fenten’s hands on the back of her head as he eased her to the floor. She heard him talking, and she shut her eyes tightly. The heat ripped through her again. Bright, flashing lights flickered under her eyelids. She fought against something that threatened to pull her away. Suddenly, it all came in a rush, the feelings she had been fighting the past few weeks. Pain ripped throughout her core. She bit her tongue, tasting blood in her mouth. Seth. A light went on in her soul and scattered the darkness that had been in there moments before. It was a moment of clarity, and she seized it.
January 1: Tour Kick-Off http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/
January 2: Exclusive Excerpt http://ifeeltheneedtheneedtoread.com/
January 4: Review http://www.carolynspearromance.com/blog
January 5: Review HorrorMade.blogspot.com
January 7: Exclusive Excerpt http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/
January 9: Exclusive Excerpt http://aliciajoseph.com/
January 12: Review https://twitter.com/peach83352
January 15: Exclusive Excerpt http://darcnina.wordpress.comJanuary 17: Review http://mullenarmyfamily.blogspot.com/January 19: Exclusive Excerpt http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/January 20: Exclusive Excerpt http://www.babsbookbistro.net/
January 21: Interview http://ifeeltheneedtheneedtoread.com/
January 23: Exclusive Excerpt https://fillingspaces.wordpress.com/
January 26: Interview http://karengreco.blogspot.com/
January 28: Review http://neutiquamerro.wordpress.com
January 31: Reviews (by 3 different tour hosts)
In which our hero takes matters into his own hands… Neko and Anne-Marie are off to Greece, leaving Andrej and a couple of hired thugs free to do what needs to be done.
Chapter 21 can be read free on Wattpad (and yanno, chapters 1-20 as well…)
So here’s a thing. I’ve been contacted twice by people on Wattpad looking to swap ‘votes for votes.’ Maybe this is how some of them reach the rankings they get, by ‘buying’ or swapping votes. My sense of fair play was offended. I won’t do it. I’ve heard of this being done on other sites, a “you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours” set up. The corollary I fear is that if I don’t, will these people feel snubbed and try to keep people away from my story(ies)? I don’t know. I’m still learning my way around Wattpad and discovering the “clubs” (discussion boards). It seems there’s still a great deal I don’t know about the site. I’ve been disappointed not to even receive any comments on the book, although people have contacted me outside that venue to talk to me about it.
I’m nearing the end of it on Wattpad. There are 7 chapters to go and then I’ll give it a week or so and pull it so I can upload it to CreateSpace and make paper copies available. Amazon’s terms do not allow the book to be available for free elsewhere, or they’ll make it free, too. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it on Smashwords or move it to the Kindle platform and other resellers directly (Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, most notably). I’ll have to see what’s involved.
So anyhoo, here are a few shots from this morning’s commute. Lovely to have a break in the rain. Happy Wednesday!
A small thank you to everyone who’s come by the blog, subscribed, read my stories, bought the book, and been a friend! Please click on the photo below:
And Chapter 15 of Revenants Abroad is up on Wattpad now! Thanks so much for reading. I wish everyone a safe, happy start to the New Year!
I went ahead and posted chapter 14 today. It’s a short one, just a couple pages. That’s halfway, there are 28 chapters all told. I’m planning on posting chapter 15 this Wednesday. I seem to have several in a row that are quite short, so I don’t want to go too long between posting them. I hope you’re enjoying, if you’ve been reading, and thanks bunches to those who have.
A couple pics from today. Got some blue sky which was nice after all the rain and gray we’ve had lately.
And the eagles were enjoying it, too
And first quarter moon tonight:
Kind of baffles me that I seem to be able to get clearer pictures of the moon than I can of those eagles.