Free short story :)

My short story, Snowflake in the Tea, is FINALLY free on Amazon!

It’s an old piece I initially wrote for a creative writing assignment, back when I was a student. The task was to write a short story containing the following elements:

– Falling out of touch with an old friend
– Finding refuge from the outside world in a blanket and a steaming cup of tea
– Some third element I no longer remember 😐

It’s a magical realism tale set in the gloomy winter of northern Germany, featuring a (possibly magic!) cat. The story is a super quick read that you can finish in minutes, even if you take your time 😊

After I published my first book, I thought I could dig out some old stories, dust them off a bit, and share them. I picked this one, did some editing, and quickly put together a cover and the internal design out of stock pictures. I put it up on Amazon, planning to make it free for everyone.

Easier said than done…

You have no idea how difficult it is for an author to make a book free on Amazon! Honestly, I don’t know where all the free books are coming from and what authors and publishers go through to get there, but it took me close to three years.

Long story short, you are not allowed to set the price below 0.99, and only Amazon can decide to lower it to match prices elsewhere. Well, this story has been free on every other marketplace from the very beginning. Which I had been reporting to Amazon multiple times in the past three years, but they only reacted recently.

While I’m really happy, the fight is far from over. In fact, it’s only beginning! While the book is free on Amazon.COM, it’s still paid on Amazon.[anything else]. So if you live in a region where you can’t shop from Amazon.com just use a VPN and get it for free anyway, you can use the Amazon feature to report a lower price, and if enough people do it, hopefully, they’ll take action and match it. Otherwise, you can always get it for free from Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and literally everywhere else!

Happy reading! 💖

In the Footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen

Yesterday I managed to do my first post-lockdown trip, which also doubled as book research 🙂

The quarantine has been weird for me for more reasons than the usual. While most people got stuck in their hometowns, I had just relocated and got stuck in a city (and country!) where I’ve never lived before and knew hardly anyone. Can’t complain though; Copenhagen is far from the worst city to get stuck in, and I was able to work from home, so my job was fine. Still, now that things in Denmark are stable, it felt good to hop on the train and leave the city for a day, and combining the trip with book research made it even better!

street

Now that I’ve completed the Throne of Blood draft on my side and can’t do much more than wait for editorial feedback, I’ve started work on a brand new book.

It’s a historical fantasy based on several of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales and personal life. And while the novel is set mostly in early 19th-century Copenhagen, with a few detours into the Swedish wilderness, I thought it also made sense to visit the author’s hometown, Odense:

monument

Everything in Odense is connected to H.C. Andersen!

You can see the house where he was born: Continue reading

Where do we go in Throne of Blood?

We can’t travel in the real world right now, but we can still travel in books! Each Nightfall book expands the setting, in both space and time, and in Throne of Blood we see periods and places we haven’t visited before.

The earliest scene in Throne of Blood is set in 222 BC. The latest is in the present day: our familiar 26th century post-apocalyptic world.

But where do we go? Of course, today’s countries no longer exist under their current shape and form in the Nightfall universe. Still, people, cultures and languages are to some extend the same in the same regions, and we’ll see more on how exactly that works in the coming book.

This map shows which of the current world countries have Throne of Blood scenes set in their territories:

ToB_map

Wow, so many colors, what do they all mean? In a nutshell, blue means present day (26th century) and green means flashbacks. As most chapters are from the point of view of centuries-old (often millennia-old) vampires who have seen lots of periods in history, the book is very flashback-heavy, though not nearly as much as Men and Monsters.

Some flashback are very brief, a quick paragraph or a few sentences in the middle of something else. They are colored in light green. Others are full scenes, sometimes an entire chapter: these are dark green.

We also see some dark blue here. This indicates territories where we have both present day action and flashbacks.

Can’t wait to be able to share the book with you, so we can all travel together ❤

Larger resolution map here.

Free signed paperbacks for Berliners!

I recently shared that I extremely spontaneously decided to move to Denmark. And, as expected of a quick relocation, my last two days in Berlin were extremely hectic. Finishing packing and shipping stuff, selling and giving away furniture, repainting the flat, running around the city on different errands. But on top of all else, there was one more thing to take care of: I found out I still had four Kingdom of Ashes and one Men and Monsters paperbacks.

I had initially ordered all of them planning to run more Goodreads giveaways as I’ve done in the past. But then Goodreads changed the giveaway rules, and this was no longer possible. And so I stuffed them in a cupboard to wait for the time I find a way to run a giveaway or find interested bloggers, and I almost forgot about their existence until it was time to move.

But what was I going to do with the books? I couldn’t possibly take them with me; I didn’t have an extra molecule of space in my luggage. And there was no time to mail them around. And so, I came up with an idea: I would sign them and donate them to open phone booth libraries around the cityAnd so I spent half of a crazy day running around the city, dropping off books, but I hope it was worth it!

Read on to see how to get them in case you have trips to Berlin planned soon!

Continue reading

Off to Vikingland!

You might have noticed I haven’t been posting as many writing updates as usual in the past few months. Three major things happened recently that have slowed down my progress, but hopefully things will get back to normal beginning of next year:

1) First, my computer broke

Completely. And because of some other events that happened at the same time, it was a few weeks before I could buy a new one. Computerless for weeks 😦

Also, I couldn’t use the computers at work for writing Throne of Blood because the work I do is theoretically “strictly confidential” so I can’t send files to external emails or use USBs or transfer data in any other way. Everything I write on the work computer stays on the work computer and is checked by numerous departments to ensure I am not leaking strictly confidential data. Needless to say, bad idea to write fantasy books on the work computer :-/

What’s worse, the last two chapters of Throne of Blood were on my old computer, and I hadn’t backed them up, so I was panicking they were lost forever and I had to write them again from scratch. I checked some data recovery services around where I live, but they were all insanely expensive. In the end, I managed to recover all my data by myself, with the help of a screwdriver and a 2-Euro cable I got on ebay. Perhaps I should quit my day job and become a data recovery guy.

Oh wait… I did quit my day job.

But more on that later.

2) Next, I spontaneously went to Iceland Continue reading

Where am I? Solve this riddle to win a SIGNED Men and Monsters paperback

Throne of Blood, Book 3 in the Nightfall series, is approaching completion, and I can already tell you a secret…

Chapter One, “Legend” will be the first chapter in the series from Vlad’s point of view. While we have seen his story in Men and Monsters, we hear it through Myra and through what he chooses to tell her. Now, for the first time, we will properly get inside his head.

I have two questions for you, and if you answer correctly, you’ll enter a lottery to win a Men and Monsters signed paperback!

  1. Where is Vlad in the opening chapter of Throne of Blood?
  2. What is he doing there?

How on earth should you know that, you ask. Simple! You just need to guess where I am:

me

Read on for more clues and details how to enter!

Continue reading

Throne of Blood: One Chapter Left!

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to share that I have just one more chapter left to write, and the first draft of Throne of Blood, the third book in the Nightfall series, will be complete!

It’s the third to last chapter that’s still missing (the last two are complete) and it’s from the point of view of a baddie. I guess depending on how you view the vampire characters, a huge part of the book could be considered to be from the point of view of the bad guys. In the current version, out of 37 chapters, I have only 2 from humans’ points of view. All else is vampires though I think of some of them as good guys. Hopefully you will too!

I have to add a disclaimer: even if the first draft will probably be complete soon, it doesn’t mean that the book will be. I still need to do a lot of editing myself before I start sending it out to beta readers and editors. But the road to the end looks much clearer now. As I did with Men and Monsters, I’m planning to use my Goodreads “review” to give writing and publishing updates. It’s pretty empty right now, but I’ll soon start populating it with behind-the-scenes info and news.

Nightfall Book 3 Has a (Working) Title!

Now that Men and Monsters has been out for over a month, it’s time to start giving updates about Book 3!

The title changed multiple times during the writing process as the story itself evolved and previous titles no longer fit. But now that I’ve written a large part of the first draft and the plot is mostly finalized, I’ve finally come up with a title that works.

men and monsters - artwork

And the title is… Continue reading