I had not checked the Amazon reviews for Moon Daughter for a while and to my surprise I found 20 reviews in all – and they were all five stars! Couldn’t believe my eyes. 15 in Amazon’s UK page, 5 in US page. books2read.com/u/b5OE7p
At the moment I am writing the third book of the series every day. Here’s hoping I’ll get it to my editor soon!
So how exactly did the idea for the series Nephilim Quest come about? What have the Watchers, the Nephilim, angels and ancient Egypt to do with each other? Where did the idea of time travel come from?
I started writing the second part of the Nephilim Quest series on 28th March this year. And today, six months later the first draft is done! Now I would need to gain control of my keyboard again to start editing..
Today I had a chance to go to Helsinki together with my dear husband. I packed the laptop and decided to do something authors do – write in a café.
I could do this because I finally bought the said laptop this spring. The credit card gave a squeal any self-respecting pig would have envied, and tried to escape by jumping to the floor but it had no chance. I walked out of the store with a silly smile on my face. The credit card was mumbling obscenities in my wallet.
So, I was yanking the beautifully designed door handle of the oldest and biggest bookstore in Helsinki at 9 AM sharp. I headed upstairs to the café (because surely a bookstore café is The Place for any author to write their book) and at 9.01 AM I was their first customer. Really, no other author was around, hunting for the best table where the next War and Peace would be born. I settled myself on a quiet table (Oh well, one of them, as there was no one else but me there. I suppose the full-time authors had not woken up yet, having written all night.) I decided to order a latte.
I checked the price on the menu and my eyes refused to go past what was called the “Poet’s Breakfast”. No writer can resist that, I am sure you understand. And besides, if you write with an empty stomach, the result won’t be too good. So for the benefit of the quality of my writing I ordered the said breakfast. Which is here:
With my stomach full, I took my laptop out of my bag, and put it on the table. I enjoyed the moment for a few seconds, feeling all writerly / authorly, hoping the few people who had arrived by then would see the laptop and say to one another that I must be an author. I wasn’t quite sure if the laptop itself would have such an effect and for a while wondered should I have a glass or red wine to underline my creative status, but there is no way I could get wine down my throat in the mornings. So I simply opened my Scrivener file and started typing.
I have to say there really is something to this – if I was a full time author, I’d do days like this just for my own mental health. Other people arrived and their discussions did not disturb the writing in the least. I stayed there for an hour, sipping my coffee, orange juice and water. I took my time with them so the waiters would see I was not done yet and start hovering about. (I did minimise the chance of that by paying when I ordered,) Worked well.
I had plans to visit the National Museum of Finland so once the hour was up, I closed the laptop and rose. But did I make it to the front door? Anyone who knows me, knows the answer. I was in a bookstore, after all.
I navigated to the history section, telling myself firmly I was NOT going to buy a single book. I mean I can easily walk past designer shoes and bags and makeup counters, but just you let me loose in a bookstore…
I think I managed pretty well, despite the foul language my credit card used when I took it out of my wallet and it saw where we were. Only three books this time, and surely that counts as no books, doesn’t it? And I have to keep up with the Egyptology publications, now don’t I? Plus we have a new bookcase coming soon. Can’t leave it empty, now can I?
It had started to rain and I walked to the National Museum trying to shelter my bag (which held the laptop) from getting wet, and noticing that knowledge is heavy. The books weighed a ton or thereabouts. Well, I put it under exercise. At least some of the calories from that brie-cheese melted away.
After leaving my books in a locker (eyeing everyone around with suspicion in case they were after my books and would break into the locker as soon as I turned my back) I went to see the exhibitions I had come to see (photographs of the old private palaces in Venice). And then I suddenly found myself at the Museum café. Oh well. As long as I was there… Out came the laptop and I sat for half an hour, happily typing away, sipping iced tea. (Too much coffee tends to make the characters in the story make sudden movements I have trouble following. Referring to my earlier post here)
I could get used to a life like this… And Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter should get the sequel this year, if all things go well. (I have just spent two days checking and correcting historical details regarding the royal family of the 18th Dynasty of New Kingdom, ancient Egypt. Interesting how many chapters need to be tweaked when you realise you got someone’s birth year all wrong.)
Well, here’s hoping the day will come when I can write full time. And go to cafés to write, should the mood hit me. It was a great day!
I published Nephilim Quest part 1: Shadowhunter as an ebook in January. Many people prefer physical books so I planned to do the print version soon. It seems “soon” is a relative concept… Five months have gone by and other projects took over…
But finally I had the cover made by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics, downloaded the text files to Createspace, and ordered a proof copy of the novel.
It came today, and there sure is something special in holding your physical book in your hands for the first time. Makes the whole writing thing feel more real. (It will take a little while before the print version is on sale on Amazon, but I’ll let everyone know when that happens – in case someone wants to buy the print version). In the meanwhile anyone wishing to grab the ebook, here’s the link to Amazon.
Oh, and part two of Nephilim Quest (Amarna) is soon at 90.000 words… It will be a long story again, but as the first part has 550 pages, I am sure no one is surprised. I certainly cannot make a long story short 😀
Oh my goodness – my first review…
A stunning and magical debut novel!
Length: 561 pages Publishing: 31 January 2016
Dana’s best friend Kitty has died in a car accident, and the only ray of light in the misery is when her grandmother appears in her spiffy red sports car to cheer her up. At the same time a nightmarish shadow appears to hunt Dana and she has to flee from her ordinary life with grandma, who turns out to be something quite different than what Dana had thought – a Huntress of Shadows.
The truth about her ancestry is not an easy thing for Dana to accept – she was deliberately created to perform a task, to find something that should stay hidden, or it might threaten the world of humans as Dana knows it. Her existence is tied to the myth of the Nephilim, the descendants of angels, and her…
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Ok, so some people who have read my book Shadowhunter asked how I came up with the idea of the buffer zone around our world, and interacting with the “other side” through dreams. Not to mention life continuing after death.
Well, I have often seen precognitive dreams and even received information on how to do things – information I did not have read about before.
For example if I see a dream where fish or seals are swimming in the air, I know someone is about to make their transition from this physical existence. I have seen beforehand events that happened the next day – the exact place and event, even though everything was a mirror image.
And once I had a dream where I walked in a forest and came to a little hut. I knocked on the door and an old man opened it. He welcomed me in and said he would now show me a special painting technique. He showed me a black and white painting he had made, and then how he layered thin layers of color on top of it, bringing it to life with vibrant colors. I tried to technique the next morning with a horse painting I was working on in acrylics, and to my surprise it worked perfectly. Only later did I learn the very technique is called the grisaille- technique. I had never heard of it before.
People who have died often come to my dreams, and the fun thing is that they are younger and more vibrant every time they appear. The encounters are brief, but I always feel good after such a dream.
When I was younger I studied interpretation and translation at the university, and by accident ended up doing interpretation in a rather surprising environment – an English medium had arrived to where I live, to give a public demonstration, and the lady who was supposed to interpret for her caught the flu and had no voice. Someone knew me and asked if I could help them out. Well, I have to admit I was pretty curious about mediums, and so I agreed.
I was expecting a dim-lit room with a skull and a crystal ball and the medium wearing a turban, but instead I found myself in an ordinary lecture theater with a completely normal looking lady and ordinary people filling every seat. The medium began to talk and deliver messages from the “dead”, and I was totally surprised on how exact the messages were.
I interpreted for her and other mediums as well a few times, and they did not fish for information. Actually they told the clients were not to tell them anything, it was their job to deliver the information. I also got a message from someone I had known and the medium told the exact way this person had died. There was no way she could have known this beforehand. And all the messages from the “other side” were loving and encouraging, never dictating what the one still living here was supposed to do with their lives. The messages emphasized the fact that we are to make out own decisions in life. And that life continues after the doorway of death, and those who have already walked through it are still obseving our lives, and loving us.
So, these kind of experiences from my own life had an impact on Shadowhunter when the story began to form in my mind years back, and so this story has a buffer zone where the dearly departed can come to interact with us, and where dreams can be used for these interactions. The actual visiting this buffer zone in physical form is all imagination, though.
A week’s holiday was in order. Hubby and I decided to go sit by a pool in a sunnier climate for a week. The idea was to do nothing and get rid of work-related stress. Only eat, drink and be merry.
Guess twice did I succeed…? Well, a writer’s mind never stops working on the plot of the next novel. Which will be the second part of the Nephilim Quest series. And of course it happens in ancient Egypt (at least half of it does, as the story moves on different time levels). And Amarna is the place of choice in the second book. I admit it – I’m hooked to the New Kingdom period, and the royal house of Amenhotep III and Akhenaten (and yes, Tutanhkamon).
You would expect me to know my facts after studying Egyptology for five years, but it seems the more I read about the period, the more I realize I need to research more. Which is what I spent my holiday doing – reading about Amarna, making detailed notes (notice the little notebook), knowing I have several more books waiting at home on the same subject. Well, as I am the merriest when I can read and write, I had good fun.
And I got an idea for another book completely, not a fantasy novel, and thought the plot through when I wasn’t researching for Nephilim Quest. Or rather let my mind develop in on its own when I put down the Amarna research for short moments. (The good point about siesta is that you are relaxed and lazy enough to let your mind wander) Explained it all to hubby dearest when we were sitting at a romantic little restaurant. His smile widened as I explained the whole thing and when I finally realized how amused he looked, I asked the famous “What?” question.
Apparently it was fun to watch me talking about ancient Egypt (don’t ever get me started by asking something about the subject or you’ll have a full lecture). He asked when will I start lecturing about Egypt to others. Don’t have the time, I answered – with a full time job and writing and painting I have enough on my plate. Let’s return to the subject if I ever can survive with the income from my writing and can use my days as I please.
Now comes the question of where to get the time to write all those stories… Anyone have any spare time to sell?