Brida Anderson

Urban Fantasy

Tag: Hedge Games

The sounds of Urban Fantasy

Research on the Poison Patch front: What is the sound a sword makes that is pushed back into the scabbard? It’s not slid back, it’s shoved in with a decisive push and that makes a nice, short…clattering sound, for lack of a better word.

Googling for possible words brought me to TV Tropes. Love their entry “Audible Sharpness“, with such highlights as:

When weapons with sharp and cutting edges are brandished, a vaguely metallic sound effect will be inserted (along with a bit of Lens Flare) to signify just how lethally sharp the weapon is.The tone of the sharpness, as with musical instruments, is dependent on size.

(…)
Common in animated works, sometimes as a trope, and sometimes as a humorous subversion. Sometimes even non-metal objects make a metallic scraping sound, like a predator’s row upon row of pointed teeth.
(…)

Keep in mind, the creators know that sharp things don’t make noise.

Right at the top of the page I came across a quote from one of my favorite novels. I fell in love all over again and just had to stop work on revising Poison Patch to make a picture out of the Terry Pratchett quote. Hope you like! Here it is to share:

 

Claws make no noise Quote Terry Pratchett
I totally agree. Swords should make a fat ringing sound when pulled from any scabbard, even stealthy leather ones, and claws need a ZING to show their sharpness. ;-) Don’t you agree?
+++

The spam trolls try to eat this blog for breakfast if I leave comments open. I’d love to hear what you think, though, so talk to me on Facebook or through Twitter instead.

tendril_small

brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson writes Urban Fantasy and Steampunk. Hedge Games released in December 2013 and she’s hard at work on its sequel, Poison Patch. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

It’s raining men and Urban Fantasy, halleluja

Hey honeys, I’m so happy I could burst.

And I’ll tell you why. Even though I fear that it’ll jinx the current “yay! the world’s so lovely”- mood ;-)

I found an editor for POISON PATCH, book 2 of Rule of Thorns. I loved her corrections for the sample text (okay: I muttered and blushed and cringed, but then I said “I want that kind of constructive in-depth slaughter for the whole book.” ;o) Her timing is perfect: she doesn’t have time now but on April 20th. Which was my own deadline for working my beta readers feedback into the manuscript. Nice synchronicity. :-)

cover_poisonpatch_2_small

one of the w-i-p covers

 

There’s still some to-and-fro on the title and cover front but hopefully I’ll get that sorted out this week. Any thoughts on “Poison Patch” and “Molten Blue”? The two favs currently. The titles of all Rule of Thorns-books should contain a word that’s usable by an elf as well as an IT-girl like Alanna.  That’s why I love “Patch”. I just don’t like the alliteration, but “Poison Patch” fits the plot perfectly. Any other idea? Or maybe you don’t mind the alliteration?

When I’m not scouting for cover-worthy hunks in stockphoto databases (such a chore, really ;-), I’m reworking HEDGE GAMES. A few of you already know I added a scene which I had cut for the first publication. All beta readers had loved that scene but I was so afraid to run over 100K words that I slashed it. Now, with 2 years’ distance from the manuscript, I went in again and slashed very different stuff, mainly from the first 30 pages, so that I could add back that scene. Mattis and Alanna playing Forest of Fiends. Yum. :-)

Another reason I’m really happy: I finally did some yoga yesterday, first time in months. I know resolutions are for sissies but here goes anyway: I made up my mind yesterday that I will return to my daily yoga practise. Having my second child threw me out of the habit and I have been struggling to get back on board ever since then. I enjoyed the practise yesterday immensely, also because of the Goddess-aspect of the DVD I used. The country we live in now is … ack, I leave that for another post. ;-)

Something else that makes me happy: With Poison Patch in the hands of my lovely beta readers and Hedge Games, edition 2, almost ready for upload, I can plot book 3 of the Rule of Thorns and then write the 2nd draft of Witches of Riverdale. Looking forward very much to returning to Robin’s world of witches, gargoyles and flying magic cars. Diagon Alley for grown-ups. :-)

New Urban Fantasy books 2015

Honeys, I hear you. It’s been over a year since Hedge Games came out and you haven’t seen hide or tail of book 2. I get at least one message through Facebook per week asking me when book 2 will be published. Enormously encouraging — but so far I had to mumble in reply. With the move to Qatar, all writing was on hold.

The good news: Since last September, I’ve been working like a woman possessed on … cough … not exactly (only) book 2 but many writing projects at once. This year will see the release (fingers crossed) of:

German edition of Hedge Games, HeckenspieleThe German edition of Hedge Games, “Hecken-Spiele”. If you’re at Leipzig Bookfair/Leipziger Buchmesse, you can check out teaser chapters at the booth of my friend Anja Bagus.

 

cat doing pushups on keyboard

always important: a little catnastics while you write …

Book 2 in the Rule of Thorns-series. I’m about 50 percent done with the 2nd draft of Poison Patch. Once I’m all done, it will fly out to my beta readers. After I’ve reworked it another … uh … five to ten times? ;-), it will go to my editor, then to a proofreader, then I’ll do the ebook formatting stuff and THEN you’ll finally hold it in your hands. I was asked by a blogger for when she can announce the 2nd book when she blogs about Hedge Games. And my succinct answer was: “uh … oh gee … uhm … let me think”.Depends on how quick my beta readers are, how quickly I can work in their feedback. We’re saying 1st of December 2015 now. But I REALLY hope it will come out sooner than that.

This year I’ll also release the Witches of Riverdale book. You probably remember the short story I wrote for Witches in Fiction last Halloween? “All Hallow’s Morning”  didn’t let me go and I switched NanoWriMo projects at the last minute, turning the short story into a whole book. It’s been slumbering and cooling down since then while I finish the 2nd draft of Poison Patch. But I love the book and really want to see it fly out into the world 2015. To tide you over till then: Did you know I have a Pinterest board where I collect witchy pins? Creatively titled … wait for it … Witches of Riverdale. ;o)

Right now, I can spend more time with fiction because the next non-fiction is a little ways off. But come March, I’ll have to divide my few kid-free hours between fiction and non-fiction again. (Which is what I normally do bec. nonfiction pays the bills.) Bad for finishing the novels, but good for those of you who enjoy my nonfiction. ;-) The project is still hush-hush; you’re gonna like it if you’re interested in losing a few pounds while you balance one kid on each hand. ;-)

+++

I’d love to talk to you. Due to an avalanche of spam, I had to close comments on the blog. If you’d like to comment on this blogpost, please talk to me on Facebook or on Twitter instead.

tendril_small

brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Review of Hedge Games

Woo :-) See me doing a happy dance.hedgegames_brida_anderson1

This message from reviewer of Hedge Games just fluttered in:

Hi Brida,

I really loved your book! I read it very quickly, and then life got a bit hectic, so I just posted the review on Amazon!

Please write more fiction :) You are good at it.

This was my first fiction e-book I read on my e-reader. When you read paper books, you realise that you are coming to the ending, because there aren’t many pages left. With the e-reader it is totally different. I was so surprised when I got to the ending that there wasn’t more! Good cliffhanger :) Looking forward to the sequel!

She already put up her review on Amazon.com and I’m soooo very happy :-) :-) :-)

If you’d like a review copy of Hedge Games, just drop me a message through E-Mail (brida dot anderson at gmail dot com) or Facebook. I can provide you with an ePub or mobi file or PDF – whatever works best for you.

In other news:

Still writing like the wind on my entry for this year’s “Witches in Fiction” Halloween blog party.

A well read witch by Paul Brooker via Flickr / Creative Commons

A well read witch by Paul Brooker via Flickr / Creative Commons

It was supposed to be a little short story that I’d write quickly before diving back into book 2 of the Rule of Thorns. But the main character had other things in mind ;-)

Loving the story and the world so far, a fictional university town in North America, divided in half between magic and non-magic people.

+++

If you’d like to leave a comment on this blogpost, please leave it on the Facebook page or through Twitter instead. I’d love to talk to you.

tendril_small

brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She writes nonfiction under the name Nina Weber. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Finding inner calm … on vacation with the kids

A reader sent me a lovely message about “Hedge Games” through the Facebook page and today posted the book’s first review on Amazon.co.uk. So wonderful. I fairly danced with joy. :-)

Especially wonderful and motivating because the deadline for my next book is looming up. Nonfiction. “Finding calm inside yourself” (rough translation of the German title) is due at the publisher in the middle of August.

We’re on vacation, we all got sick with a stomach bug (no writing for a week), we had to gather together supplies for a week-long medieval-LARP event next week. (Still organizing stuff like sleeping bags and food that won’t spoil without a fridge.)

I was tearing my hair out the past weeks, muttering “How do you actually find the calm to write about inner calm when you have two kids racing around you?!”.

Since we arrived at my parents-in-laws’ place, a little transformation has occurred in the kids. In us.

Detail from the garden

Detail from the garden

 

My in-laws live in the middle of this beautiful landscape, right in the middle of Germany, in a house with a large garden. Unlike in Doha/Qatar or in the city where we stayed for vacation before, you’re not woken by cars revving up just outside or by motorbikes screaming out their pent-up power when the light changes to green. Here, you’re woken by birdsong (or one very insistent dove, right now). The kids sleep in forever, for the first time. Yay!

What’s even better: I fall out of bed, feeling refreshed, at 6 or 7. I could snuggle up and read or do yoga outside, but for the sake of the deadline I sit at my computer and write.

Today, only 2 guided meditations are left to write and the affirmations that will go on every page. Space is quite limited in the layout, that’s why I am still polishing the meditations. They could go on for 7 pages without any problem, but all I have is 1 page for each. Too bad, because one meditation is “Taking Flight” … in a soap bubble balloon; one is “Bathing in Gold” – you imagine yourself under a waterfall with golden sparkling water … Believe me, you don’t want to leave after just one page ;-)

If you’d like to leave a comment on this blogpost, please leave it on the Facebook page or through Twitter instead. I’d love to talk to you.

Blog Hop: Women Writing

Leanne Chapman from Claim Your Treasure asked me to participate in a Blog Hop that features new women writers and celebrates why we are writing. The torch is passed on every week and I feel honored that I can take part.

((I recently moved this blog and the images got shot in the process. Currently working to replace them all.))

I published my first fantasy novel last winter (“Hedge Games”) in a leap of faith, after years of hiding behind my non-fiction writing. The same change takes place in my blogging. I’ve blogged for years about mom-topics, now I am starting to blog about fantasy/fae-topics for my readers.

How the Blog Hop Works

Write a description of yourself as a writer and answer the 3 questions below. Then invite 2-3 other women writers/bloggers to participate.

 

 

A description of me as a writer

Even as a kid, I was already fascinated by fantasy and adventure stories. The stories that capture me most are those that create a breathing, real world and then run with it. I don’t much mind whether that’s paranormal/Urban/elfpunk/Steampunk/pirates … Just give me a world I can jump into along with the characters; make me believe, make me care. Make me smile about dialogue and funny moments. Make me fret by letting the character walk through darkness. Oh, and give me a loveplot. ;-)
That’s what I love to read – and that what I’m striving for in my fiction.
If I had to name common themes, it’d be: Finding magic in the everyday life that surrounds us. Finding out you’re special and there’s a place / a chosen family where you belong after all.

What am I working on/writing?

When our move abroad (to the Middle East) and my kids give me time enough to write, I’m working on the sequel to HEDGE GAMES. Or I’d love to be writing that. Mostly, I’ve been working on non-fiction these past months.

... when all I want to do is return to the forest for book 2 ... :-)

… when all I want to do is return to the forest for book 2 … :-)

 

I just finished a book with selfcare-tips for moms, it will come out in September. Mid-august is the deadline for my next book, my first “Aufsteller”. What do you call these books in English? A spiral bound book that you can prop upright. One side of the displayed page shows a beautiful photo and quote or affirmation. The back of the page gives a weekly instruction. I love these books when they’re nicely done and I’ve always wanted to create a book like that. So I felt very honored and happy when I was asked by Südwest publishing house to create one on the topic of “Finding Peace inside Me”.

I also experiment with different topics for blogging. It’s easiest for me to blog how-to – giving instructions, DIY topics, tips. But I want to branch out from that and share more about fae/fantasy related stuff. I’m collecting shops with elfwear, beautiful fantasy Pinterest boards, … to share on my blog. I’ll also talk more about the backstory to my elfish characters, because that’s what most questions I got from readers were about.

How does my work differ from other writers in my genre?

Since I aim to write what I’d love to read, I’m not really trying to be different from other writers in my genre. :-) But there are, of course, a lot of different styles in Urban / Paranormal Fantasy.

You’ll love what I write if you enjoy fantasy stories with romantic elements that have darkness where necessary, without ever degrading into torture porn (for lack of a different word, I use it here to encompass all sorts of very dark stuff that you can come across in fae books).
Having said that, I think there should be real danger and real struggle and the loveplot shouldn’t be an end in itself but a side product of two interesting characters meeting and battling toward their goals.

Hedge Games Urban Fantasy

Buy on Amazon

One difference could be that I find old legends, especially German ones, about elves and fae folk very fascinating and have read a lot about them. So my elves might be a tad more Germanic / central European than the ones from authors who come from an Anglo-Saxon background.
We’ve travelled in areas in Germany where the hills are considered dragons sleeping, every second village has a name with the old Germanic word for “elf” in it and local people still warn you about the lakes because the White Lady could grab any children and pull them under, replacing them with a changeling. (That this is a warping of Mother Goddess cults in the same areas could be a topic for another time, hm?) I take all these stories and add my own spin and my own ideas.

View of famous Frau Holle Lake in Germany

“Frau Holle Teich” in Germany

Why do I write what I do?

We have a right to — and a need for — fairytales for grown-ups. I can’t thrive if not at least my reading material brings a touch of magic. The magic that adds sparks to our lives can come from actual conjuring, sexy elves, bare-chested highlanders or watching struggling families reconcile and find their Happy-Ever-After in contemporary books.

Next Week’s Blog Hopper

… is Eilish Bouchier of http://eilishbouchier.com. Until her Women Writer’s blogpost is up, read “I do yoga to do life” from her instead. Highly recommended.

+++

If you’d like to leave a comment on this blogpost, please leave it on the Facebook page or through Twitter instead. I’d love to talk to you.

tendril_small

brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Faerie’s Warriors of Faeruna

istock_000011375808“I want to know why they keep calling you the Judge. And a Warrior of Faeruna. Oh, and about that whole Silvermeadow thing. That’s a place in Faerie, right?”

“You hardly stop once you get going with questions …” Mattis chuckled, but his expression was serious. Would he try to brush me off again?

Apparently yes, as he didn’t say anything.

“Don’t you see how stupid I feel, running around with you and everybody goes ‘aha, Pix here, haha’ and ‘oh, the Judge? I’m going to piss my pants’, and I have no clue what they’re talking about?”

Mattis sighed. “Yeah, you’re right.” He looked into the distance.

“So?”

“So, the long and short of it is …” Mattis took a deep breath as if diving into a murky pond. He looked about as thrilled, too. “I did something that displeased the Queen. Since I am a Warrior of Faeruna, she couldn’t sentence me to death. The warriors are a precious commodity. So instead she gave me … a new job, as you’d call it. She made me Judge of Silvermeadow. It’s the only place in Faerie comparable to one of your cities. It isn’t allied to one of the Courts. Absolute freedom — and absolute chaos.”

“And the Judge upholds the peace?”

Mattis grinned. A vicious glitter had crept into his eyes. “The Judge’s ruling is indisputable. So every fae with a shady agenda has one goal once a new Judge is appointed: to kill him as quickly as possible. Because when he is dead, it might be a few decades before the next Judge is appointed.”

I gulped. “So what’s the average life expectancy of a Judge of that city?” It might not be so bad — we were talking about immortal fae, after all.

“One year. The Queen sent me to Silvermeadow to die.”

(from “Hedge Games“, Chapter 26)

One day, Mattis – oh, sorry: Mattis, Lightdefender, son of Dagani and Tyla, Judge of Silvermeadow, a Warrior of Faeruna – just stepped into my head.

While I wrote the story he and Alanna told me (which eventually turned into “Hedge Games“), I kept nibbling on that job description Mattis had so casually thrown out there. “A Warrior of Faeruna”. What the heck were they? Apparently precious enough that even if they pissed off an elven queen they were only banished … And who’s that Faeruna chick anyway? A goddess, perhaps?

Some months later, I was writing a fantasy short story together with a friend. And up popped another Warrior of Faeruna – Harcos Sunblade. (Harcos is Hungarian for knight.) Where Mattis lives in our times, an elf faced with urban cityscapes, Harcos lives in a medieval fantasy setting. When we first meet both men/elves, there is something sad and dark at the core of both characters, connected to their “job” as Warriors of Faeruna.

These warriors are chosen (nobody knows yet how, some say by the Goddess Faeruna) while they’re still in the womb. As children, their parents have to give them up, to be raised together, trained to be the fighting machines they are.

Each warrior has at least one special talent, often more than one. Harcos is a shapechanger (man and hound of the Wild Hunt), Mattis can switch between what he calls “dark form” and “light form”. What that is exactly, you can find out in autumn in the sequel to “Hedge Games“. ;-)

When a Warrior of Faeruna is fully trained, one of the Courts of Faerie claims him or her. They are that Court’s last line of defense. Originally, a Warrior served the Court he was born into — since the Goddess Faeruna obviously chose that court for him. Over time, this custom was changed and Courts exchanged their warrior for contracts with other courts. Since the Warrior belongs to the Queen of a Court she can deploy him wherever and however she sees fit.

As Harcos finds out when he protects his friends: disobey the Queen, and your life’s forfeit in Faerie.  The short-story “Three Days of Christmas” finds Harcos after he fell in disgrace and the Queen sent the Wild Hunt after him. Because for a Queen, a rogue Warrior of Faeruna is the ultimate threat, even more so than the fear of a vrall-invasion.

Giving you a fae-short story for free

Guys, a little update from Doha:

I’ve wanted to give you my short-story “Three Days of Christmas” for free ever since I wrote it. But Amazon changed to the minimum-price shortly before I first uploaded it there, so I stayed with that and set it to 0 Dollars whenever Amazon allows me to.

Recently, I came across a way to set it permafree in the Indie-Author-Survivalguide. Yay!

Have been battling all of this morning to do this. The eBook platform Neobooks was recommended to me for extended distribution and I signed up, uploaded all my stuff for “Three Days of Christmas”  and “Hedge Games“. Only to realize (duh!) that they don’t distribute to the English-speaking branches of known ebook retailers. So I signed up with Smashwords and put “Three Days of Christmas” and “Hedge Games” on there. So far, it hasn’t worked. Just minor tweakings are needed, but the parents among you know how long “a few little things” take if you’re working AND taking care of children. And a new cat!! :-D

Yep. She just arrived out of the blue to this household of dog-lovers. (We had to leave our dog in Germany because he was so sick with cancer and he died 2 weeks ago, very hard to bear. :-/)

My son and I found an almost skeletal kitten right outside 3 days ago. I knew the kitten didn’t at all fit in our plans for the summer or for living in Doha, plus we were still grieving for our dog. But what’s the alternative? I couldn’t walk away and leave her to die.

So, new kitten in the house, 4 or 6 weeks old … Gives new meaning to the joke on the internet: “I’m not easily distrac – oh, look, is that a kitten?” ;-)

She’s quickly adjusting to life with an author, though:

cat puzzled between keyboard mouse and ipod

Cat Puzzle (look at that perfectly fitting ear!)

We’re currently looking for someone in Doha (Qatar) to take good care of her while we fly back to Germany for 3 weeks. At the moment, that takes precedence over writing or tweaking files for Smashwords. ;-)

Until I resolve the file-tweaking with Smashwords, “Hedge Games” isn’t available as ePub on Kobo. On the up-side: Through Smashwords, it’ll be available and many more book platforms than I could manage on my own.

While you wait, you can entertain yourself with some eyecandy ;-) – Mattis’s very own Pinterest board. Or the nice photo a friend suggested for the new cover of “Three Days of Christmas”, tweaked to look medieval, of course ;-)

Mattis board on Pinterest

Organic goa elf bio eco medieval hippie Zipfel ethno

Just came across this heading on ebay: organic goa elf bio eco medieval hippie Zipfel ethno. (That’s just one jacket :-D)
Made me smile to find my description all in one place ;-)
I tried to find something comparable on ebay.com for you, but it seems sellers there actually make up their mind if the article is targeted to LARP or goa or hippie types. ;-)
In Germany, you can often find titles like this:
Sometimes with: wicca psy bohemian gypsy or yoga/om thrown in the mix. :-)
I have a feeling Alexandra Franzen or Kristen Lamb would know how to turn clothes-shopping into a keyword-exercise for the author-bio. ;-)
Is there a nice, universal word for “Zipfel” in English?
It’s a pointy end of a garment (lappet, tail) or the pointy end of a hoodie / soft hat.
In German, “Zipfel” has connotations of mischief, elves, gnomes, fairies, kiddie wear. In more recent times of Goa or Psy clothes.

I hadn’t seen anything in the style until I was in the first draft of Hedge Games, looking for something elfish to dress Mattis with while he was hiding out in plain sight among the humans. He’d wear a natural fibre, something elfish looking and something that wouldn’t restrict his movements if he had to conjure or fight. On a fair, I came nose to lapel with a gorgeous green goa shirt for guys … The rest is history ;-)

The following is a Psy shirt. In the first draft of Hedge Games, Mattis lived for years among humans and dressed more Psy/gamer than elfish. There’s unfortunately more Psy stuff for guys than Goa/elf wear.
If you come across shirts for guys, please let me know so I can add them to my Faerieland-board at Pinterest. :-)

Psy men shirt Shaman Electro Hedge Games elf wear

Liquid Dragon men’s shirt in green/black from Shaman Electro
Brida Anderson in elf wear goa yoga hippie shirt with om skirt

Me in a “yoga om elf zipfel goa hippie” shirt. Don’t even get me started on the skirt ;-)

Hedge Games (Urban Fantasy) – the printbook is coming

The proofs for Hedge Games arrived in the post. My boys were almost as excited as me — they couldn’t understand how mom could “make a book” and then it was something untouchable in her Kindle. Now here was the “real book” they had been waiting for and they were thrilled. Until they discovered it has no pictures inside, only text. ;o)

So in my boys’ eyes, it’s still “unfinished”. But for us grown-ups, having a pretty cover should be pictures enough (I hope) so I pushed “publish” on CreateSpace.
It will take 5 to 8 days, then you can order the print version of Hedge Games through Amazon — and through your bookstores as well (at least in North-America).
It’s still an exciting journey, publishing my first indie-book. Thank you so much that you’re a part of that journey!

Edit December 11th:
While I was out of the country (and offline) Amazon finally connected print and ebook version of Hedge Games, yay :)

Bild

Mom’s book is finally here: Hedge Games (Urban Fantasy)

© 2018 Brida Anderson

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑