the final day

Sorry for the delay in posting about the final day of the book fair. When I sat down to write it yesterday, I opened my Inbox to 160 eMails with only a very small percentage of spam. Also, I had forgotten about an important meeting I had to go to in my lunch break. So instead of getting things done, I helped my kids with their appointments. Life happens. 😉

Now to the book fair. The final day was less busy than the Saturday. Still, the book fair had a new visitor record. Two hundred and ten thousand people wanted to see what’s new. When I roamed the halls, I had the feeling that at least a third of them came dressed up, although I’m sure it only felt that way.

my FlyerThe Sunday was also the best day for selling books, especially since we were allowed to sell them without paying a commission to the mess after 3pm. Naturally, we didn’t sell quite as many books as we wanted or had taken along, but we did sell some. And more important, we were seen. I managed to give away more than 300 free eBooks (printed and signed, see picture). Since the idea of a printed eBook is relatively unheard of so far in Germany, I’m sure that most people will download the eBook and read it. I already see spikes in my download statistic. I just hope that the readers will move on to my other books as well. 😉

Toward evening, the crowd began to thin out. I saw the best Cosplay costume (Mononoke Hime from the film Princess Mononoke) but couldn’t take a photo because I had left my camera at the booth. Sigh… Still, I can picture it in my mind and it was truly gorgeous.

I was extremely grateful for the two colleagues who stayed to the end with me and helped to empty the booth. We were done in record time and I was home before my kids went to sleep. That was a wonderful conclusion to a great weekend. I hope I’ll be able to repeat that next year.

Over the next few days, I’ll post a couple of the Cosplayers I photographed to showcase how much time and effort some people put into their costumes. I’ll also post the promised pictured of our booth, of Boris, and of my fellow German Qindie-authors.

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choking hazard

There were so many people on third day of the book fair (Saturday) that the corridors between the stalls were choking. Sometimes, it was impossible to move more than one tiny step every other minute. I missed two of the three events I had meant to visit this way.
As recompensation, many people were bored waiting for the cues to move and stopped at our stall to talk, grab some flyers, and buy books. Thus, I’m considering this day as the most successful.
At one point, I thought all my flyers had gone but then found one more cardboard box in my car with more flyers. I was quite relieved knowing there were some more for the final day. I just wish I’d found a spare set of feet in my car as well… 😀

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The second day flew by

It was a whirr of activity. Since more people came than yesterday, it became harder to get from one place to another. However, I managed to get some books I bought years ago signed by the author (Scott MacCloud, photo pending until I’m home).
I visited a lot of discussions about marketing but didn’t hear anything I hadn’t heard before. Essentially what people are saying is that they don’t really know which marketing works. Also, here in Germany, many suggest using traditional marketing tactics (readings, adverts, etc), and as any Indie can tell you, those do not work well online. When I suggested mailing lists, people looked at me as if I was crazy. 😉
The best thing so far were the countless Cosplayer. I saw some fabulous costumes and will present the best ones I managed to photograph over the next week (as I said before, I forgot an important cable).
Now, I need to get breakfast, so I’ll have strength enough for the third day. It’s Saturday, so even more people than yesterday will come.

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start of the book fair and new release

I arrived at the book fair with 250 copies of two fairy tale novellas in tow to give away. Hopefully that’ll build up the buzz in Germany a bit.

So far, the fair has been exciting. I surely walked several miles yesterday trying to get from one interesting point to the next. Unfortunately, I dropped my camera twice, now the display is cracked. Also, I forgot to take the cale along that I’d need to upload the fotos. Thus, you’ll get all the good bits on Monday earliest.

Today also sees the release of my newest fairy tale retelling: The King’s Mechanic. If you like The Beauty and the Beast you might want to check this out.

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New Release: Fairy Tale Retelling #3

This year, I will be attending the Leipzig Book Fair (Germany) where I will display my fairy tale series. The first book in the series already received the Qindie-award AND the B.R.A.G. medallion, both seals of quality for Indie authors.

The third book in the series, also honored with the Qindie-award, will be available as an eBook on March 12th, the day the Leipzig Book Fair opens (for those who are there, I’ll be in hall 5 at stall B302). The German print version is already available, the English print versions will follow soon.

About the Book:

cover of The King's MechanicOnce upon a time in a world where magic and technology collide with unexpected consequences…
After her father is caught in the act of stealing a jeweled rose, Luna and her brother face a penalty worse then execution unless she works as the king’s mechanic. With her brother’s safety in mind, Luna does her best to please the king, trying to ignore his best friend, who is very interested in bedding her. As if these troubles weren’t enough, the king crashes a machine she considered safe to use and nearly dies. Can she keep him alive long enough to avert danger to herself, her brother, and possibly the whole kingdom?
What if Charles Perrault’s Beauty can do more than soften the heart of a beast?
The book includes a bonus story and the original fairy tale.

Pre-order it on, or any other amazon shop. Other retailers will follow asap.

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more Liebster questions

I’ve been nominated again by Elizabeth McCleary, but will not post everything again that I’ve already posted. I’ll just answer her questions.

What color shirt are you wearing right now?
My jumper is bright red and the T-Shirt blue.

Have you traveled outside your native country? If so, where’d you go?
America, Scotland, France, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Austria (for five minutes 😀 ), Switzerland, Netherlands
I think that’s all; at least it’s all I can think of.

You’re all writers. Tell me your primary genre, any secondary genres, and what genres you prefer to read. (Not all writers read in their own genre.)
I love to READ anything Fantasy and SciFi and some Romance as long as it is well written with interesting characters, plus I love good Non-fiction especially all things history.
I write mostly Fantasy with some SciFi and Historical novels on the side. At the moment, I’m writing Fairy Tale Retellings (that reminds me, I’ve got to put up the page about the next release on March 12th)

Who or what has been the biggest inspiration for your writing?
My overactive imagination 😀

Computer or longhand?
Computer, longhand hurts after a while.

Location of your ideal writer’s retreat. Where would you go to just write? Would you take someone with you, or go alone?
I don’t need to go away to work. I would go to my tiny office (2.5sqm) and I will need my family in the afternoons but not while I’m working.

Aside from writing, what other creative pursuits do you enjoy?
I used to make dolls, but haven’t done so since the kids were born. The last toy I made was a donkey with a music box inside for my baby (which is now 13 years!).

If your life was a movie, who would you want to have play you?
Roseanne 😀
She’d have the right size to do it.

If your book/story was a movie, who would you want to have play your main character and/or antagonist?
I’ve written many books, so this is a tough question. I’m going to answer this for my novel “Paralan’s Children“. For the antagonist I’d like to get either Merryl Streep or Jamie Lee Curtis (obviously they’d need to wear a wig), and for the protagonist, I’d like Kirsten Dunst.

Coffee? Tea? Soda? Wine? Water? Double bourbon, no rocks? What is your beverage of choice?
Plain water, unflavored

Roller coaster or carousel?
Roller coaster — I love the mixture of speed and safety

What interesting writing rituals do you have? Include anything you want… music you listen to, habits you have, whether the TV is on in the background, whether you pour coffee and let it sit there getting cold while you’re working (like I do). Whatever. The question is wide open.
I write from 7:30am to 1pm. First I’ll answer my eMails, go through the forum where I’m moderator once. Next, I’ll write 1500-2000 words on a new project. If I’ve got a new release planned or need to write a new blogpost, I’ll work on that next. If I’ve got nothing scheduled, I translate. I need silence for working but can listen to music when doing other stuff.

Thanks for the questions, Elizabeth.

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Liebster Award

I was nominated by Juneta Key for the Liebster Award. Sure, this blog already got it once, way back when I was starting out, but these questions are new, so I’m going to give it a go.

Here are the rules:

Who is your favorite author?
Diana Wynne Jones

If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
Health for my family.
A remote control that allows me to pause my live on hold while I write.
Compassion and tolerance for all people lacking in that department (because I think if every person in the world would think a little more about other people and be tolerant of their way of live, our species might, with a lot of luck, manage to survive).

If you were given a free round trip ticket to anywhere, where would you go?
Scotland, Canada, Kamschatka – and I’d take hubby and the kids

Would you rather live near the ocean, forest, mountains or the fourth option?
Forest – isn’t that obvious? I’m a studied forester 😀

What is your favorite genre of music?
Classic, Blues, Rock, and Heavy Metal (yes, I know the mix is a bit strange)

Plane, Train, Boat, Car or other for vacation travel?
Travel? What for if I can sit in my garden typing at my next novel and enjoying the sun?

Where is your favorite place to escape from the daily grind to?
That’s my office – I’m fleeing RealWorld(TM) when I write.

What is your best memory?
I was a small kid of maybe 2 or 3 years. My mother took me to bed, as always. The one bit I remember vividly is her long, brown hair tickling my cheek. It’s an extremely strong memory that I love a lot even though it’s only short.

Do you have a hobbit? if not, what would you like to do for a hobby? ROFL @ SELF  okay this error was too good to correct—go ahead tell me who is your favorite hobbit?
My favorite hobbit… Sigh… I wish I had more time for the poor tyke. 😀
I love to go for rides on my motorbike, but have not been able to do this often in the last few years. First because the kids were still too small, then because there was a bug in the electricity that took my brother and me nearly a year to find. But the machine is running again now. I’ll see how much time I can make this year.

What is the most memorable book you have read, or movie if not a big reader?
I couldn’t say. I’ve read way too many, and a lot of them still stick in my mind.

Would you travel around the world in 80 days if you could?
As long as I have access to the Internet and a laptop for writing, sure. Why not?

11 random facts
I’m a dog person but cats like me
I’ve got a PhD in science
my two younger kids hate me (they’re in puberty 😉 )
I hate household chores but most of all laundry
hubby and I have been an item for 30 years this year
I’ve got three nephews and one nice, three daughters, one husband, and one dog
most people get along with me
the ones who don’t don’t know what they’re missing 😀
I regularly get lost in strange worlds, but don’t worry, people there know me well
I love all things fantasy (except for most of the current Epic Fantasy tales)
My muse likes shiny, new, but I force her to finish stories before starting something new… sometimes I fail

I will only nominate 2 Blogger, since most of the ones I would have suggested were already nominated by Juneta. Also, half of the blogs I nominate will be in German. After all, I’m bilingual. 😀

William L. Hahn
Marny Leifers fantastische Bücherwelt
Please answer the same question I answered.

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Disasters and Other Minor Complications

You might be wondering why I start the blogging year this late. After all, January is all but over. Truth be told, I just didn’t have the nerve to sit down and tell you about the boring things that happened, so I decided to wait for something worth talking about.

I should have known better… Since disasters are more newsworthy than most other stories, it stood to reason that I would be struck by it. And I did.

During January, I wrote most of the first draft of an eBook about coding eBooks by hand. Last week, I dove into the Bells&Whistles chapter that I had been looking forward to. Over three days and a weekend, I wrote several thousand words. Since I’ve been a programmer for quite a while, I made sure that my backup program was backing up according to schedule, and thought nothing could happen to me and my material. Fat chance!

When I opened the file on Monday afternoon to add a link to a resource I had found, half the file was missing all of a sudden. No explanation, no reason. Word hadn’t crashed and neither had my PC. I still don’t understand what exactly happened to the rest of my file. Relaxed, I called up my backup which had run the night before and searched for the file — it wasn’t there.

Argh… This hadn’t happened to me in years. I actually cried about losing that much work. But I recovered. By now, I’ve recreated most of what I lost already and made it even better than it was before. My stubborn mind insisted that the would not keep me from finishing the manuscript.

And then… my eldest lost her passport, and I got a cold and needed to see the doctor, and my other two kids got two days off of school… It seems as if someone has conspired against me. 😉

But I will get this manuscript done, no matter what. It just might take a little longer than I had planned. And (I think) it made for a good blog posts.

And the morale of the story?
Never give up, never surrender!

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William L. Hahn Bloghop

I’m a little late in posting this — actually I’m quite late in posting anything recently. There seems to be so many things that need to be done before Christmas and not enough time. 😉

My good friend, Will Hahn, is preparing for his next release. The third part of “Judgement’s Tale” will be available soon. His books are published one novella-length part per 3-4 months which I love because it means readers won’t have to wait so very long. Epic Fantasy usually makes you wait for ages for the next volume. So, if you haven’t started reading the story yet, the price of volume one “Games of Chance” has been reduced to a $0.99 bargain price. Read it. Although the beginning shows a lot of people, which can be confusing at first, the prose is beautiful. And believe me, not a single thread of the story is superfluous.

And since Will’s narration is highly unique, here is his reasoning for using

Unusual Narrators

William L. Hahn

William L. Hahn

(oh, and if you read all the way to the end, you get the chance to WIN a printed copy of Judgement’s Tale volumes one and two!)

The protagonist of Judgement’s Tale is someone nobody gets to know. I understand their difficulty — Solemn Judgement won’t talk much to me either. Of all the beings in the Lands of Hope, his is the only mind that remains closed to me (the sole way to evade the block is too horrible to mention — I did it once and never again! See the first chapter of Reunion of Souls.). So I have been forced to rely on second-hand information, namely, the witness of others. And since hardly anyone he’s met comes off liking him, my difficulties are multiplied many times over.

The Man in Grey, as most people know him, has taken to wandering the Lands, methodically visiting every village and town for reasons that are unclear. He can never hope to finish, should he live to be a hundred. He seldom stays long. If there is a significant Healer in the area, Judgement visits him or her, and stays perhaps a single night in their house, within the protective healing circle. He has a terrible knack for showing up where something dangerous is happening, leading to gossip that the Man in Grey brings trouble with him. His manner, though civil, is often cold and intense, doing little to dispel this notion. This is the only way I saw him, for the first twenty years or so of studying the Lands of Hope; as I viewed the great deeds of one of the adventuring bands, such as the Candidates or Tributarians, there he’d be in the midst of battle or at the edge of a great conflict, walking through and perhaps staying long enough for a conversation or to lend a hand.

If it had not been for Cedrith, I don’t think there would be a Judgement’s Tale.

A Friend in Need

I don’t exactly recall when I first realized how Judgement came to the Lands, though it was always clear he was not born in the kingdoms. But it was through the writings of Cedrith Fellareon, an otherwise obscure Elvish Sage, that I began to nail down the year and the place. Thrown together by a chance of fate on Judgement’s first day in Conar (see Games of Chance), Cedrith was unaccountably interested (maybe fascinated) by Judgement’s upright character and frightful maturity, and became very committed to protecting, tutoring and understanding him. This kind, erudite, domestic Elf was able to show me through his dogged persistence that the Man in Grey was indeed the hero I suspected he might have been. Through his interviews and letters (to Kia, his fiancée) I was able to build a picture of the horror Judgement endured as a youth, the relentless drive he felt to learn and fulfill a higher purpose.

But Judgement is not always with Cedrith. So it became necessary to find other narrators to complete the tale.

And there have been many;
– The Gypsies who found Judgement on the beach his first day in the Lands, burying his father. When they tried to force him to play a game, he had to leave the clan.
– Guardsmen and magistrates, from whom I would never have compiled an accurate picture. One sergeant in particular has sworn to kill him.
– Various employers such as Nador the silversmith who taught him metalwork, or Till the groom when Judgement briefly kept the stables for a noble house.
– Frightened villagers, fellow adventurers, a postal courier, ferrymen and a future king or two, who generally greet him with apprehension and see him off with relief.
– In The Eye of Kog (publishing in 2015) Judgement reaches one of the few remaining unsettled areas in the Lands, and his narrators are not, um, strictly speaking, human. In point of fact, they are trying to eat him; but I’m not sure Judgement detects much of a change in attitude from what he’s previously experienced.

And probably the most interesting narrator I’ve ever used is just four years old.

Eyes of a Child

Riddy sees “the Ash Man” in Strength of Conviction, when his fisherman father sells Judgement his old unused boat which Riddy had been keeping as a fortress. It seems our hero can never get off on the right foot, as he belatedly realizes the hull he wants to patch up had another owner. I figured “here we go again”—what could a little kid feel except hate and fear for the unspeaking, unsmiling, staff-bearing intruder who’s stealing his castle? But instead I watched in astonishment—Riddy’s young life goes from carefree through tragic, to adventurous and finally just a touch miraculous all in the space of a few days. And Solemn Judgement—perhaps the only man in all the city of Conar willing to listen to everything a four-year old will say—hears an interesting tale about a man who walked into the sea, which proves of great value to him.

All in all I was pretty pleased with how that portion of the story went. Imagine my surprise when a reader praised the section and said how they looked forward to hearing about Riddy again! I’m still flabbergasted. Isn’t there such a thing as a one-time character in this tale? He’s a kid, he’s living in the safest city in the Lands of Hope. What conceivable reason… no, wait. If watching Solemn Judgement has taught me anything, it’s that everyone has value. And as I look ahead into The Eye of Kog, there is one young girl who touches the tale briefly. Even Anteris, the young scribe’s apprentice of Trainertown, is destined for more adventure than you might think (certainly more than he does). And perhaps years from now the world will hear of famous deeds by those who are now among the least important.

I cannot imagine who will narrate their tales to me.

Will’s Weirdly Whimsical Website is where he posts news about upcoming releases and blogs about writing, classic fantasy works you’ve never read and the unique photo-based series “It Figures”.

The Lands of Hope Facebook page contains a chronology of the Lands.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and then, you’ll have to go and buy the third installment “Reunions of Souls” because you’ll be just as hooked as I am. I can barely wait for part four. Thankfully, it’s only going to be 3 months!

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Advent Calendar

I think by now, nearly everybody knows about the Indie Advent Calendar that I organized. If not, here are the details:

1. six authors = six serialized stories and one song plus one German artist = two pictures

2. all nicely hidden behind numbers on a beautiful calendar page.

Indie Advent Calendar 2014

Indie Advent Calendar 2014

Those who sign up for the alerts (even if they do it on the last day), will get the calendar bundled into an eBook. Come over and join the fun.

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