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Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with hobgoblins, selkies and kelpies from the tales of her mother country. But she is very surprised when she starts seeing these creatures one day. Is she hallucinating? Before she can ask her father’s advice, he is kidnapped by a woman whose scent seems awfully familiar. Instead of calling the police, Bryanna follows the kidnapper and lands smack-dab in the middle of the adventure of her life. It’s just as well she knows the old legends and myths well. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous. And even if she survives the journey, she is fated to kill her father.
The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time unlike, say, brain surgery Robert Cormier
I love this quote because it describes my favorite part of noveling: revision. Revision is the time when I turn my broken first draft into something I can be proud of. It is the time to see what I have learned during my last project, too. It’s surprising to see how many things I learn while writing first drafts, but I never notice them before revision. It’s also the stage where I get to fiddle around with cover art. Since I’m Indie publishing all the creative (and the boring) stuff is up to me. Three hoorays for independence.
I had meant to publish my next novel “Paralan’s Children” next week. Unfortunately, I fell ill last week and struggled a lot with keeping up to date with all the stuff that needs to be done. Therefore I decided to push publication back for another week or two.
I’m really sorry I have to do that, but it’s better to publish a good product a little late than rushing things and doing a sloppy job.
I am a freak, I admit it. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed going to school (go ahead, laugh at me) — not because I wanted to meet my friends, but because I loved learning new stuff. It hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still delighted if I manage to smuggle facts into my stories without anyone noticing. at this place, I’ll give you access to my twisted mind. Welcome to a Freak’s Fun Friday.
Temperature Scales in Fahrenheit and Celsius
Do you know how incredibly exciting something unimposing as water is? Not only is it the base for life on Earth, it has a couple of really intriguing properties.
Surely, you all know that materials expand when heated and contract when they cool. All materials do that regardless whether they’re solid (like gold, silver, plumb or iron), liquid (water, alcohol) or gaseous (oxygen, helium). Still, water has a strange property other materials don’t share.
Usually, the molecules of a material move closer to each other, the colder the material gets. Only water is different. Its molecules are closest together at 4°C. After that, they spread out again. That’s the reason why ice swims. There are bigger interspaces which fill with air, keeping it afloat.
In my world Paralan, I used this special property to create different temperature scales for humans and Paralan. For the Celsius-scale, scientists took the difference between the freezing point and the boiling point of water and divided it into 100 parts. That’s the reason why water boils at 100°C. That was a purely arbitrary (There are two more temperature scales on Earth: Kelvin, is using the Celsius scale but with a different zero-point, and Fahrenheit, where the freezing point of water has been defined at 32°F and the spread to the boiling point has been divided into 180 parts).
The Paralan took the point of highest density of water as a zero-point of their scale not the freezing point. Thus, their thermometers differ considerably from humans’. Of course, I only hint at that throughout the novel (any long explanation would have been very boring I think) but I kept track of the temperature on both scales in any given scene. After all, Joloran’s bodily reactions depended on it.
I enjoyed it tremendously. How about you? Have you ever played around with the crazier properties of a material? Maybe in school? Please let me know in the comments.
This quote is from one of my favorite films (a hilarious parody on Space Operas like Star Trek), and it motivates me every day. It helps me when I don’t get everything done in the time frame I wanted to do it in, or when I get ill and think I will never get up again. Most of all, it helps me when my kids become troublesome (which isn’t unusual if you’ve got two girls in puberty).
I might get down, but this quote always reminds me that I will find a way to make things work out again, if only I trust my own abilities.
I’m sorry for not posting more last week. I prepared everything, but then, I fell ill (including fever and heavy coughing). As long as the kids were out of the house, I slept. Now, I’m finally feeling well enough to show you the cover for my next release “Paralan’s Children”.
I like the way the picture captures the dramatic surface of the ice planet. I would have liked to add the main characters, but everything I tried looked artificial, so I left them out. The writing is easily visible at thumbnail size (very good for Amazon’s previews). You want to know what the story is about? Well, here you are:
Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it’s anything but a suicide.
When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn’t know he’s facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can’t get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn’t solve many years ago.
Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet’s far side too?
My next release is coming closer and I’m now working on the cover art and the back cover blurb. I will reveal the cover next Monday. Now, I’ll tell you a little about my story. It was the one that got me my agent in Germany some years back.
As I said in my Friday post, it is set on a planet that’s mostly covered in ice. The main species of the planet resemble polar bears but their snouts are much longer and they’ve got tufted ears. Also, their internal organs are very different from polar bears (e.g. two brains, gigantic olfactory nerve-cluster etc.). Humans would have never been interested in their planet if it weren’t for a rare mineral their FTL drives need (faster than light, for the non-SciFi readers). Thus, there is a single human colony under the planet’s ice and a space-port on the ice. The settlement is closely monitored by the Paralans who don’t like humans to be there but are depending on them to deliver an active ingredient for a medicine extracted from a Terran plant.
In this uneasy truce, both sides harbor prejudices. When fifteen female Paralan children are kidnapped, a male Paralan officer and a human graduate, the only girl in the human Galactipol station on Paralan, have to learn to work together to follow the traces, and with every passing hour the chances of finding the girls alive are sinking.
When I wrote this story, I played around with gender issues. The main female character is facing harassment by her colleagues and the situation only change gradually when she works with the Paralans, and in the Paralan society, the roles of father and mother are reverted. There are even rewards for exceptional breeding success (meaning at least 3 of the six hatchlings survive). I had so much fun developing the world and its inhabitants, I even came up with Paralan mythology.
I’m really interested to see if you’ll enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it.
Now, let me know, if you had to create life on an ice planet, what kind of creature would you come up with?
I am a freak, I admit it. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed going to school (go ahead, laugh at me) — not because I wanted to meet my friends, but because I love learning new stuff. It hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still delighted if I manage to smuggle facts into my stories without anyone noticing. at this place, I’ll give you access to my twisted mind. Welcome to a Freak’s Fun Friday.
A Brown Dwarf with a Ring of Debris source: Wikipedia
The publication of my next project is approaching fast (announcement on Monday), and I thought I’d fill you in on some of the fascinating facts I used for the creation of this world. When I began planning, I knew that Paralan was mostly covered in ice.
After reading several books and scanning countless articles on the web about the possibility of life on other planets, an ice planet seemed out of the question. Then, I read about brown dwarfs. They sound like dull creatures of Fantasy, don’t they? Believe me, they aren’t. Brown dwarfs are planets and orbit around a sun, but they’re not like other planets, they’re glowing balls of warmth and light, just like suns. The difference is that they’re not as hot as a sun is, which means they don’t fuse hydrogen like suns do. Thus they’re not classified as suns. You could call them a sun’s little sibling.
Some brown dwarfs have rings of debris rotating around it (see picture), others have moons. A moon circling a brown dwarf would get enough light and (if it’s not too far away) enough warmth to support life. It would also be tidally locked, which means, the same area of the moon would always face the brown dwarf, leaving the dark side facing outer space where it’s dark and cold. Guess what would happen to the moon’s far side? Correct. It’d be covered in ice.
Now, if the brown dwarf and its moon would dance around a star on an elliptical trajectory, the moon’s surface would have seasons – warmer when planet and moon are close to the sun and colder when they’re far from it. Also, the moon’s far side would get some warmth, maybe just enough to allow life to adapt to its ice area as well.
When I figured all this out, I was delighted. This scenario opened so many options for my word building, my mind reeled. Can you guess what ideas crossed my mind? Leave me a comment and tell me what your imagination comes up with. Next week, we’ll compare notes, yes?
On the World’s Day of the Book, more than one thousand German authors and book bloggers host give-aways for books. I am participating too. I have been planning that for quite a while but nearly forgot. Luckily, you guys overseas wake up much later than we do in Germany.
Now, for my giveaway. I will give one copy of my YA Fantasy eBook “Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx and the Djinn” to anyone who leaves a comment on this post AND who likes my Facebook fan page before midnight today. Amadi is a Trilogy of short adventure books set in a fairytale world resembling the Arabian Nights.
Alternatively, you can get an eBook of Scotland’s Guardians, Ann Angel’s Freedom or Victor’s Rage. Please tell me in your comment which eBook you’d like and which format you need.
I bought The Disgusting Child on a whim a few days ago. Since I finished translating “Urchin King” into German, I decided to take a two day break to read. I wasn’t disappointed. What a pity this book isn’t available in German too. My daughters would love it.
About the book
Lydia’s parents haven’t always been evil; she remembers a time before dark magic changed their personalities. Now storms are forming indoors, lizards are roaming the halls, a priceless treasure has gone missing and time is running out. Eleven-year-old Lydia thinks the key to bringing her parents back to the way they used to be may lie in the section of the library labeled “Witchcraft.” But is she fighting witchcraft or is she herself the witch?
I loved it from the first page. I loved to hate the nasty way the parents treated the child, and I loved the way little Lydia didn’t let than get her down. The characters in this book were very well drafted, and the heroine got through to your heart right from the start. Sure, I knew the final twist almost from the second chapter on (after all, I write books myself), but the story held enough quirky and funny twists to keep me reading longer than I had planned. Very well done. I recommend it to children of all ages and anyone who loves kidlit.