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Graduating in Sunshine

Graduate Girl Dress StudentIt feels like this has taken forever, but I can finally write this post. After 3 years of blood, sweat and tears, I can finally call myself a graduate of the Danish Gymnasium and wear my student cap with pride.

Though it has been 3 interesting years where I have been lucky to learn something new every day, either from my classes or from the people I got to know, it was a great relief when the cap was finally placed on my head. It has in many ways been some great years, but it has definitely also been a lot of work.

Surprisingly, even though I have longed to write this post for so long, I can’t find much to say. It’s funny how those things goes.

One thing I can say, though, is that I’m looking forward to being able to focus on the things I enjoy to do. I will finally have the time to read and write, and not put my work as a writer second to everything else. Most of all, I’m looking forward to being able to reply to my emails before I have 50 waiting for me!

Though I have enjoyed being out celebrating with my classmates and friends this last week, I can’t say I haven’t been longing for just being able to relax now when it’s all over. I guess those 50 or so emails(Maybe it’s really 87… Shuuu!) can wait for a little while longer…

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Writing By Hand

Nowadays, nearly everyone uses a keyboard when they need to write something down. Especially writers, when they’re writing their books. It’s logical as well. It’s faster, easier to edit and you will need it typed up in the end anyway. For years, I have always written everything down on my keyboard as well, but lately I have found it incredibly difficult to write on my books as long as I’m near my laptop.

Somehow, writing by hand has fixed that.

I have always carried a notebook with me, but only for writing down ideas until I could get to a computer. Sometimes in class, I would do some actual writing in my notebook as well, but it has never been the way I preferred to do it. After all, it’s a hassle not being able to just delete and rewrite a sentence, and it’s just a bore to have to type it all up later. But actually, writing by hand seems to make my writing flow easier!

Lately, I have had no motivation to sit down by my computer and type. I think it might have something to do with all the distractions it provides me, and the fact that I always have so many things I ought to do while my computer is turned on. I should check my email, get back to the people who have sent me messages, check 117 different social networks, get around to promoting my books and so many other things it makes me dizzy. It’s not really good for the creative process to be at a keyboard!

The times I have forced myself to write, I have found myself staring at the cursor for an eternity, not feeling like writing anything at all. But that never happens if I’m writing with old-fashioned pen and paper.

I don’t have to feel inspired, or even motivated, because as soon as I open my notebook, I’m able to write. My hand just moves and words form underneath the tip of my pen, and I just write. I don’t analyze every sentence, go back to edit while I’m still writing or end up running myself into a corner. I just write, and it’s so freeing!

While having taking a long break from writing Silent Sound because my computer seemed to suck any will to write out of me, I suddenly have notebooks filled with entire chapters just because I started writing on paper instead. I find myself packing my writing tools in my bag everytime I go somewhere, because maybe, just maybe, I will have time to sit down somewhere to write without distractions.

The summer also helps. I don’t have to decide between writing or enjoying the weather. Why not take the dogs with me to the forest and sit down on a bench there while they play in the grass? The fresh air definitely doesn’t hurt the creativity either.

Of course there’s drawbacks too. My fingers always start cramping, but I stubbornly keeps writing until I can’t use my hand anymore. For some reason, it’s more important to me to finish up a part if I’m writing it on paper and I always end up hurting myself.

It’s also easier to forget your surroundings. At the convention I attended in May, I sat down at one point to relax with some writing and I must have been really caught up in it, because at some point I looked up to see a friend of my mine watching me from across the table. He scared the crap out of me! I had not known he was there at all, and apparently he had been sitting there for a while. He thought it was funny that I was so caught up in writing that I hadn’t noticed him sit down at all…

He might have thought it was hilarious, but I kept looking up from what I was doing nervously for the duration of the con. This should be a rule: Never stare at people when they write. Ever. It creeps them out.

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Aggressive Indie Promotion

Book Magic Fantasy—–

Goodreads, Twitter, book forums… They’re everywhere.

I’m talking about the thousands of indie authors attempting to promote their books. And not the ones that send the occasional tweet advertising their books or the ones who have a book cover in their forum signature.

I’m talking about those that try to force their book down your throat at any given moment and have absolutely no interest in anything besides getting you to buy their work.

I’m absolutely sick of them.

It’s no wonder independent writers have such a bad reputation, because many of them are just damn annoying and downright shameless.

Understand me right, I’m an indie author myself and of course I promote my books. I have to, or no one would ever know about them. But I consider myself above practically begging for others to read my books.

I’m sure everyone who uses book discussion forums have seen the indie authors who pretends to have something to say in a thread, but it turns out they just want to advertise their book.

Yeah, I totally agree!

By the way, I written a book on “almost” the same thing: *Insert link*

And that would be one of the less shameless examples…

Everyday I encounter more and more writers who seem to have nothing else in mind. I can’t count the times I have had someone say that my book seems “really interesting, and by the way, could I read theirs?”. Really, it’s actually more pathetic than it is annoying most of the time.

Many people also uses my Twitter feed, because they see I’m a writer and I have a pretty big following. They merely write @mlouring before their tweets to show up on my Twitter stream. If they’re going to violate my personal space, they should at least buy me a cup of coffee first…

Another example is one time I started a thread on a book forum asking for fantasy book suggestions. The thing about that forum is that it forbids self-promotion in there. What did this desperate author do? Go to my website to throw their book in my face, of course! Because I wanted to read some fantasy recommended by others, so of course I would want to read their book, right? Forum rules shouldn’t hinder me in discovering this wonderful new book they had written,  should it?

I realize I’m ranting… It just makes me wince every time I see another author demean themselves to this desperate behavior. It’s also clear that many readers are getting annoyed by this. For example, despite not using Goodreads to promote my work, many will keep their distance from me when they see I’m a writer. Many refuse to ‘friend’ authors on there, because they know they might be force-fed self-promotion from them. And I completely understand them.

Aggressitivity hurts not only the author in question, but all indie writers. Then so many will do everything to promote their book, the indie community as a whole appears desperate to sell their books and no one have respect for that.

So to all of you who succumbs to this behavior, I can only say: Have some respect for yourself. If your books seem interesting, when you don’t have to force them upon others! And for the love of God, stop trying to promote to other authors. They are trying to sell books as well, they don’t have time to ‘help you out’, if you don’t have time to even say “hi” before you start telling them to read your book.

And if I see anyone start promoting their books in the comments on this post, God have mercy, I will hurt you. I will hunt you down, find out where you live and hurt you.

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Fantasy the Indie Way

The world of Indie books has broadened the fantasy genre in a way that hasn’t been seen since Harry Potter and I have been looking around to create a small list of promising Indie fantasy books!

I will select some of them to read and review here on the site, but for now I would love to hear your opinions of the books you have read:

Dark Waters

Egan Wey is a pirate, a scoundrel and the luckiest son of a… female canine that ever braved the ocean. A scarred past forces his mouth to thebottle and he is drawn to trouble like… well like he is drawn to thebottle. He does bad things for men who would rather not get their hands dirty, but one fateful night, in the corner of a lowlife’s tavern he is offered a job by Finn Fernwick, a young priest, that will not only challenge his skills but stretch his sanity to breaking point.

What begins as a fairytale rescue quickly decays into a nightmare of epic proportion as Wey and Finn combat zombies, privateers and a psychotic, despot prince. Can two men really save the world from drowning around them? Or will they drag every sorry excuse for a scallywag into the depths with them?

Check out Dark Waters

Innocent Hearts

When Bronwen’s parents die she has to leave her home in the wilderness and try to find the elf city her mother told her about, but with little food and no experience in the wild she risks her life just trying.

Liza doesn’t fit into the Nepharil society, she can’t fly, something her father reminds her of daily. She hasn’t given up trying but her time is running out and her father is impatient to have her married and out of his hands.

This ebook has two short stories set in the same fantasy world.

Check out Innocent Hearts

ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion

What does a Sorcerer-Guardian do when his perfect world begins to crumble around him?

As appealing as the thought of being a Sorcerer-Guardian is to Ajay Samuels, the harmonious existence between all Ageronians and Earthlies leaves little reason for him to put his abilities into practice. Abilities that should set him apart from the rest of his kind due to his status as an Altor; the elite and powerful body of seven succeeding families of the original seven Sorcerers elected to oversee and govern Ageron.

His monotonous life begins to change soon after experiencing a strange dream, and following his most vivid of premonitions, he senses a danger he knows too little of to do anything about. The world as he knows it all but vanishes following the most unexpected of confrontations with a new and powerful enemy he has never before had much to do with.

On his quest for further information, Ajay is confronted with more than he could ever have envisioned, and he knows everything about his life is about to change; for the worse.

Check out ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion (The Chronicles of Ageron)

Origin(Legends of the Known Lands)

A young heroine’s journey, initiated by a violent attack upon her only family, thrusts her into a world filled with death, deception, desperation and ultimately, a new beginning.

After a savage attack upon her only known relative Elwyn, a sheltered village maiden of sixteen is forced to embark upon a journey to the city of Findara in the land of Silvendil, to seek protection from the father she only recently learned existed. She is catapulted from the safety and security of her small village into a world full of assassins, dangerous creatures, and political intrigue. She discovers allies in the morden, the drakenhawks, the werecats, and her newly discovered uncle. Elwyn and her companions quickly realize that, unless they can find the answers to some key questions regarding her mother’s death, reaching Findara may place her in even greater danger. Some of the answers they seek are found in an old diary left to her by her mother, some are pieced together by her allies, but others still seem to elude them. As the journey nears its end, Elwyn recognizes she is being called to a destiny that is only just beginning.

Check out Origin (Legends of the Known Lands)

The Firestone Crystal

Agathea Fulstropp is a lonely 11-year-old girl, a bit on the moody side, and more than a little spoilt.

She is looking forward to a luxury break in the Caribbean with her parents, but is livid when they announce
that the trip has to be cancelled due to work commitments! So instead of spending six weeks sunning herself on a tropical beach, Thea – as she insists on being called – finds herself unceremoniously packed up, and sent off to stay with a grandfather she barely knows for the entire summer!

But it turns out to be the best summer of her life when her grandfather has a strange reunion with a mysterious childhood friend, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime.

To visit a world beyond the stars, and become Earth’s first student to be enrolled in an experimental Inter-Planetary Education Programme at the Firestone Academy, where lessons in telepathy, mind-reading and astral projection are the norm.

Things, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. One of her fellow students makes no secret of the fact that he despises her, and will stop at nothing to make her leave…she is having increasingly disturbingly vivid dreams…and just who is that hideously deformed cave creature, and more to the point, what does it want with her?

Check out The Firestone Crystal

Hearth: Exile

A man awakens to find himself half-in, half-out of a trashcan in a back alley behind the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park, New York City. He has no idea who he is, where he is, or how he got there. He doesn’t even know his own name, except that it begins with a ‘Br’ sound. In Book One of the Hearth trilogy, this man wanders the streets of New York in search of his identity, his memories, and his name. He is joined along the way by two companions, an orphan
girl named Page, and a similarly memory-challenged woman named Lauren. Together they seek answers to an unfolding and ever-growing mystery, watched over by Sister Regina, the head of the Convent where they are staying . . . and as they
begin to find answers, as they begin to discover more and more clues to Lauren and Brinn’s predicament, something stalks them – an ancient and deadly Evil from before the dawn of recorded history. A clock is ticking now, and they better solve the mystery of their origins and who they are soon. For it is not just they and everyone around them who are threatened; the entire fate of humanity and of two worlds depends upon them.

Check out Hearth: Exile

Breath of Air

Her name was Capri, and she was Air. She was born with a gift she didn’t understand. A gift so strange, so remarkable that she had kept it secret for as long as she could remember, despising that it made her different when all she wanted was to be normal, to belong. As an orphan, belonging to someone, anyone, would have been an incredible blessing, one she would have given up all that she had just to get a taste of. But the truth was that she didn’t belong in the orphanage in Virginia, or even in the United States. In fact, she didn’t belong with human beings at all. Because she wasn’t one of them, not really. She was something much more extraordinary. She could shift the direction of the wind, create billowing clouds out of nothing, and charm birds into dancing on her open palm. She belonged to an elite group of beings, responsible for preserving the balance of nature and the safety of Earth from an underworld that deserved to be feared, and needed to be controlled. And after years of being lost, she had at last been found, and now the truth of how she had ended up so far from home was becoming horribly clear to her. But there’s someone who doesn’t want her to return; someone who knows Capri was the only witness to an act of heinous treason and violent murder. And when she begins to search her memories for details of the night she was taken from her home, details that will implicate a killer, she finds herself the unwary target of an otherworldly dark force intent on silencing her by any means possible.

Check out Breath of Air

If you want your fantasy book added to the list, throw me a comment with a link to your Amazon page!