Leaving the universe

For some time, I have been thinking about something, so I’d like to touch on that topic today.
Many authors stick to one universe, one world they build for their characters. And incidentally, they stick to their characters too.
I never really understood that. I liked it – because I liked the characters – but I didn’t understand why.
The books I have in my “pipeline” are all over the place: thrillers, history romance, science fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries, dramas. The characters are all over the place too. And this is because the stories just come and they don’t decide to sit in the same basket either. So how is it that for many other authors they do?

I will come back to this.
 
I am currently “setting up my new universe”.  And when I say setting up, I am really just researching what had happened some 300 years earlier. 
Unlike the Uni world 5000 years in the future when I could simply imagine things, in my new story, this “universe” actually existed. I can’t simply make things up.
I can (a little bit) walk out of the truth in order to propagate my plot – and I will –  but I do need to stick to the major guidelines. I cannot swing it too far. 

Another bit that I need to “set up” are my new characters.
These are not Dora and J, or Jane and Sam. These are all new people. The people with histories, sorrows, triumphs, doubts, passions and needs. People with families and friends. People whose minds are closed or open, superstitious or scientific. People who are governed by things they were told by their parents when they were small. People who are changed by the things they lived through which shaped their character.

Real, living people you could almost recognize on the street – after reading the book – 
 if you saw them. This is how true these people have to become.

People I. Don’t. Know. 

Yet, at least.

So I think I understand now. 
Authors stick to the same universe –  the same characters – because they know them so well. Old friends they don’t want to let go.

In one of the beautiful reviews of “The Vision” one reader wrote the following: 

“This is one of the finest Science Fiction series I’ve read in years. I will deeply miss the characters, I’ve come to love them. The ending was unexpected and glorious but I’m not ready to go.“

I know what they mean. I am not ready to let my DOE characters go either.

But, as you have heard me saying many times before, the stories I write just come. They don’t knock, they don’t wait for me to open the door either. They swing through and settle in the middle of my living room without me even inviting them. 

So, I have to write these stories and I have to write these characters. Fighting it is futile. 

But –  I will always miss my time with Dora and J 🙂

Why write at all?

For the majority of authors, the money coming in is just a small, tiny, micro fraction of the expenses a writer needs.

The book editing, the cover illustration and design, paperback formatting and the necessary – and much needed – marketing all writers need to do in order to get any screen time on retailers and book shops (otherwise, though the book is officially there, it might as well be invisible!) make a large chunk of the expenses every writer needs to do.

So, you might be wondering, why do I and my fellow writers, write at all? Because let’s be brutally honest: For most authors, writing is a financial suicide. But here’s a little detail that most non-writers aren’t aware of, and that makes all the difference.

“The Vision” is finally out!

It is time to celebrate. Not only is one book out, but the whole “Descendants of Earth” trilogy is finally complete. Yeey! I am so happy to have it finished. Clearly, the story was roughly there from the start. Those of you who finished the trilogy will know that I sprinkled clues from the beginning on, and they all, hopefully very rewardingly, wrap up in the end.

Considering that “The Senthien” took 6 years to write and “The Mind” 2, “The Vision” was surprisingly faster, only one and a half years from start to finish. (I have author friends who publish 3 books per year, I know, but this is my best timing!) Knowing my pace, I anticipated the book will be out February or March 2022, but I am really happy that the first draft was done pretty quickly and also that the post-production eg, editing process, was done within the “usual” 6 months I had anticipated. No bad surprises there 😉 Which means that “The Vision” came out before Christmas!

I wish I could celebrate this with you, my readers. Especially those of you who read “The Senthien” when it came out, 6 years ago (Ouch! So sorry for the delay). I really do appreciate your patience and your determination to stay with the story and find out what will happen to Dora and J. And not only that, but what will happen to the whole Uni galaxy!

To tell you the truth, when I was writing the first book, I didn’t know this myself. I had a very clear picture of what will happen to Dora and J, including the whole Monica trajectory. And I was so thrilled with the plot line there! I can even tell you that this particular story bit happened while I was driving, with a snowstorm racking the windows of our car, as we were going to see friends in France, some three hours away. I consciously wasn’t thinking about the plot line at all at this moment, but somehow my subconscious did, because all of sudden I had an ending for them.

At any rate, while I knew exactly the story lines for my characters, the whole social and political ending, with millions of Descendants and Humans in Uni galaxy, didn’t have a clear future until only a few months before the first draft of “The Vision” was done. I had various possible futures for it, just like with Dora when the current situation is not clear, many future scenarios are possible as well. I didn’t want to do a book-genocide, but I also didn’t want to let them off the hook either. In the end, with many extremely useful discussions, probing questions and intriguing feedbacks, mainly from the two people, I found my ending. So, to Tom Brown and Jade Phipps, thank you for helping me find the future for Uni 🙂

The trilogy is done.

And as for me? It is time to say goodbye to “Descendants of Earth”, to all my lovely imaginary characters I spend 12 years with, and it’s time to move on. Time to start writing another book, setting up another adventure, getting to know my new characters.

I am so looking forward to my new adventure! I’m sure you will love it too 🙂

How to deal with bad book reviews

Every author will face it: bad reviews. Some more, some less, but in all cases they will hurt. Bad reviews come mostly because your book came into the wrong hands: that reader wasn’t supposed to read your book but based on your cover or summery they thought they are and they read it. So, a large part of potential bad reviews can be avoided with careful considerations when deciding on your metadata: genre selection, book covers, blurbs and such. But even if your metadata is spot-on, you will still end up with some readers that were never meant to pick up your book in the first place. Here is how I dealt with mine.

Michelangelo’s Captives in the Writing World

Michelangelo allegedly said that in every block of marble there is a hidden statue. And I believe the same is true for the blank piece of paper. There is always a story to be told. And as we, writers, put our words down, more and more of the sculpture gets revealed.

The draft for the final DOE sequel is done!

The last few months of finishing the first draft of the novel, I focus so much on the writing that I almost completely disappear from the social media world. The good news is that the draft for final sequel of “Descendants of Earth” trilogy is finished and I am super happy about that. Still some work ahead before it´s ready for publishing but the ending is near and within a few months, I´m happy to tell you that the book will be available.

The Senthien is a Number 1. Bestseller!

There are 48 million books on Amazon.
Let me repeat that.
There are 48 million books on Amazon.

So as you can very well imagine, it is difficult for a not-well-known author to be discovered. Sometimes, a promotion helps. And every now and then, my free kindle deal for “The Senthien” helped me found some new readers.

This time, however, when I did my free-promo, something quite amazing happened!

“The Senthien” climbed up to a number 1 spot on Amazon USA, UK, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Australia, France, India and Germany in sub-genres of hard science fiction, genetic engineering science fiction, space opera, sci-fi romance, sci-fi adventure and dystopian science fiction.

Which was just WOW! I couldn’t believe it. And needless to say, it made me so incredibly happy.

12 years since I first started writing “The Senthien”, it is now a bestseller.

The adventure, of course, continues. “The Mind” sequel to “The Senthien” was published in April 2020, and the final sequel wont take too long either. The first draft is finished, and is now in the process of post-production, which means edits and re-writes until I finally have it in the form I want.

For all who are curios as to when the final sequel will be out, please join my newsletter and I will keep you in the loop.

Take care and stay safe!

Interview: The magic of audiobook narration

If any of you were wondering who is the mystery person behind the amazing honey-colored voice of my audiobooks “The Senthien” and “The Mind”, it is an actress, Corinne Davies.

And today I’m bringing you the interview where she explains what -or who- inspires her voice choices, where does her voice-shifter talent come from and what is the process in auditioning and narrating the books.

The link below is an abridged version, but if you want to see the full version of this interview, please check out https://youtu.be/RtUjWyCKbP8

And if you would like to hear more of her voice and enjoy the sci-fi romance story at the same time, write me an email. I still have a few freebie codes I can send you 🙂

Take care all and stay healthy and sane!

The book that changed my life

For many life changes, one can point to a specific event that was pivotal for that change in life’s direction. In my case, it was a book I read more than ten years ago, and also something that the author mentioned in one of her interviews.

Check it out!

How many of you like “Twilight”?

Take care and stay safe!