Tag Archives: novel

Writing a vampire story online

I decided to write a story online. I am writing Nephilim Quest 3 almost daily, but sometimes I need to give my brains a day or two of rest so my subconscious can work on the plot.

Still, I want to write every day. And so I decided to write a story just to relax. I like fantasy and so this is a vampire-fantasy story. Written more or less pantser-style, and unedited. So the typos are all mine… ūüôā

Pop in to Wattpad and read The Death of a Vampire РLeena_Maria РWattpad 

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What inspired the series Nephilim Quest?

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?

Read more here.

 

Read my NaNoWriMo novel as I write it

So I decided to take the plunge. I’ve never taken part on NaNoWriMo, but now I thought I’d try.

And not only try, but also share the story as I write it. If you wish to read it fresh from the “press”, typos and all, check out:

http://www.leenasbooks.com/national-novel-writing-month.html

So far I have planned it will involve ancient Egypt (Is someone surprised?), magic, sci-fi, a little dystopian sprinkle there too… An impossible mix, but I love challenges LOL ūüėÄ

And the work name of the book is Space Witches. 50.000 word target in a month.

Yep. I must be mad. Publishing Nephilim Quest 2 at the same time. And writing and illustrating the sequel to Mummific’s book (How I Became a Mummy). But I have to live up to my reputation. Which is something along the lines of “the odd Egyptologist geek writer”.

A Writer’s Day

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 Рwrite 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:

poets_breakfast

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.

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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?

egyptology_books

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 caf√©. 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 caf√©s to write, should the mood hit me.¬†It was a great day!

writing_national_museum

 

When Characters Just Won’t Behave…

So. I decide to write a book. I have it all planned out to the extent of knowing exactly what is going to happen in each chapter.

I begin to write, all writerly, holding a cup of coffee as any serious author would. Feeling all important, and excited about finally getting to the writing stage after all the planning. The story flows nicely and I tut-tut myself for not making such pre-planned stories before. This is so easy!

toystore

Then, almost at the beginning, a surprise characters hops into the story. Ok, I say, when I see my subconscious knew better and the character is actually needed to move the story along believably. Good job, subconscious, for writing him into the story.

Then another character – again at the beginning chapters of the story – announces he won’t be playing by the book. Now that would be the First Vampire, and his plan is… scary. Insane, would any psychologist say, but then again I’m sure not many psychologists have had the chance to evaluate the dark depths of a vampire’s mind. ¬†There were hints to his motives in the first book, so his plans fit those. Ok, thank you, subconscious.

All right… Nothing major… ¬†I tweak the plot accordingly, not much tweaking needed… Change the order of some chapters… Add some necessary details to some… aaaand… done!

I sigh, content that I have the project under control again. A sip of the all important coffee that keeps me ticking, and I resume writing. Only there is no place to put the coffee cup anymore. The desk that was rather neat when I started is now under a pile of Egyptology books, as historical details need to be checked. Not to mention the cats who do their best to help in writing.

kitty_on_keyboard

And then another main character suddenly develops a skill I did not expect. It just wrote itself into the story. And of course this veers the plot into unexpected directions. This would be Shuet, who can only go out at night when the sun doesn’t¬†touch her. I stare at the sentence that appeared on the screen and say WHAT THE HECK did you just say you can do? Why, oh why? But then again I realise my subconscious knew exactly what it did when the sentence just flowed into the story. Of course, of course it has to be there. Subconscious knew it all along… (I mumble under my breath that it could have told me this earlier…)

Tweaking, planning, sighing, removing, adding… Ok, finally the rest of the book¬†is planned again. My hair is standing up from me pulling it while staring at the chapter plan, and I am having symptoms of caffeine overdose.

Seriously, characters Рand my subconscious mind. Would you please start behaving and follow my nice plan for the story? It took me a month to make!

Sometimes writing a book and trying to make the characters follow orders is like herding cats… The subconscious remains nice and quiet when you analyse and make timelines and chapter plans. It gives a few nice tips what might happen, when and where. And when you start writing it begins to behave like a kid in a toy store. “I don’t want that after all! I want that! Oooo, and that! And that one from the upper shelf as well!”

Oh well. I continue with the story. Resigned to the fact that no matter how much I love calendars and careful planning to stay of top of my projects, the sequel to Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter just snorts at such plans.

But I have to say I can’t wait each day to start writing again, to see how the story develops.

Back to the old keyboard (Shoo! Get off, cat!)

 

 

That feeling of holding your book in your hands…

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 ūüėÄ

 

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So what’s with the dream world and buffer zone?

Embed from Getty Images

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  Рthe 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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter at Amazon