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

Self-Publish Like a Pro: Manuscript Editing

If you decide to self-publish, editing your work is the single most crucial step you cannot skip. You can get away with a self-made cover, website, blurb, and interior design, but editing is one area you need help, no matter how good and experienced you are.

Every author benefits from a fresh pair of eyes, but many indie writers skip editing because of budget constraints. Others want to edit their books, but have no idea how. Traditionally, this has never been something authors had to worry about – agents and publishers were the ones to guide writers through the process. However, if you are self-publishing, you are in charge of the whole production process – from the rough draft, through all editing and formatting stages, and up to the final product.

In this post, I will cover the different kinds manuscript editing. Continue reading

Seeking Inspiration: The Victoria and Albert Museum

What inspires you?

This is perhaps one of the more frequent questions writers get. What gives you an idea for a new character, new scene, new book? Inspiration is a tricky thing and can come from the most unexpected sources – reading a news article, watching a beetle crawl, hearing a stranger say a random word. When you go seeking inspiration, it is hard to say where you’ll find what you are looking for, but there are two main sources that are a great starting point – Art and Real Life.

Art could be anything – a book, a painting, a movie, a sculpture, a song. Real Life could be simple everyday conversations with the people in our life. Perhaps someone you know has an intriguing personality and you want to base a character on them? Or perhaps their past experience gives you a story idea? You can also get ideas from observing nature and from traveling and interacting with various people and cultures.

Museums are one place where art and real life meet. Here you can travel to distant lands just by taking a few steps. Besides inspiration they are also great for research – if your story is set in the past or in a place you have never been to, there is only so much you can learn from books. A trip to the museum can be a step into a different world and can give you a better glimpse into your character’s life and surroundings.

neptune

Since I’ll be living in London for a few more weeks before leaving the UK, I decided to make the best of what’s left of my stay and revisit some places that inspired me. The Victoria and Albert museum holds a few objects that influenced my writing. This post is about how you can use a trip to the museum to help you shape your story.

Continue reading