Brida Anderson

Urban Fantasy

Tag: projects

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. ;-)

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Slipping back into frazzled working mode – Procrastination-Challenge Day 3

I’m blogging this days after the fact — due to working in “chunks”. Some days are for blogging, others for working on my non-fiction projects. Lessons learned from the Procrastination-Challenge so far. As you can see in this post.

Brida's Procrastination Challenge


 

Day 3 of the Procrastination-challenge started with meeting three other women for coffee. I’m yearning to get to know more people here in Doha (dare I say: more people who fit my tribe? ;) and I’m always happy to see other adults :-), so that was a much-needed outing.

Two lessons learned from this day for the Procrastination-Challenge:

  • I need the first morning hours for work. Starting when my brain still feels fresh and, creatively speaking, close to the landscapes of sleep/dreams.
  • Starting after 10 is too close to lunch (even if I ignore lunch and only stop working when I have to pick up my kids at 1:30); after 11 is even less productive. Even if coffee-fueled ;-)

How do you feel about that? What’s your experience today, after 3 days of No-Procrastination?

Today, I kept slipping back into my old mode of working. Just because I kept thinking “oh well, I don’t have that much time for work today anyway”. Which was just the usual bull our inner procrastinator tells us – I had ample time.
Several emails from the publishing house flew in about my Mom-Wellness-manuscript which is currently being typeset. They were urgent but not that urgent — still I repeatedly stopped what I was currently working on to answer the small questions in the emails (about spelling a certain word, layout for the index, and such).

After the third email, I never went back to focussed writing. I answered other emails, connected with new friends on Facebook, lost at least an hour commenting and reading in Facebook, researched a new blog platform for this blog, researched how to transfer the blogposts …

New emails in between, more research for silly workflow stuff, like: “how much does a full Adobe Acrobat version for the Mac cost” — because the publishing house had said that the PDF with my corrections didn’t print properly.
Does that sound familiar?

Only because I had worked for 2 days following the No-Procrastination rules, I realized for the first time how frazzled this way of working makes me feel!

You do accomplish a lot of different tasks in one day and manage to get all the urgent, niggly stuff off your desk. But there is no (or: not much) brain-capacity left for really working on the projects that matter. The projects that require concentration and inspiration.
Perhaps a good mix could be 2 rounds of focussed writing and then devoting one hour to such urgent but non-creative stuff each day. (Or more, if you have more hours at the office than I do.)

During the remainder of the No Procrastination-Challenge I’ll keep trying out different rhythms of focussed writing, different projects and urgent stuff to see which works best.

Day 1 – the first Break (Procrastination-Challenge)

First attempt at doing 3 rounds of focused work, with zero distractions. (For the rules I gave myself for this challenge, see The Procrastination Challenge: Day 0.)

I worked 30 minutes until my husband and son fetched me to lunch.

Man, those 30 minutes were hard!

Brida's Procrastination Challenge

My tablet kept beeping with new Facebook comments and messages. We had just heard that our dog had to be put to sleep (we had to leave him with my parents-in-law because he was too sick to travel to Qatar with us), and had, reluctantly, posted on Facebook about it so our friends would know. I wasn’t in the mood to write my manuscript on how to find inner calm — I was yearning to read my friends’ comforting comments  …

But I only had these 30 minutes alone at the clubhouse, keeping an eye on my oldest while he was swimming, while my husband (who’s sick with a severe cold) wrestled with our youngest.

So I ignored the siren call of the tablet and wrote until my family came over for lunch.
My husband left first, putting our youngest to bed for his nap and I followed when he was asleep. Snuck upstairs and wrote 30 minutes more on the project. First chunk of focussed writing done.
Break time.

My rule says:

Do only empowering breaks. I’ll do a 15 minute-break, but without Facebook, Pinterest. I can do yoga, prepare a coffee, water the plants outside.

Except … I was caught in our new guestroom, with only a desk and bed. Couldn’t risk going downstairs to fetch anything (don’t laugh. You parents can relate, I’m sure ;-)

So much for taking a break that entailed yoga, right?
Reluctantly, I did a few hero-pose variations, looking out the window. I heard my back and neck crack softly from eased strain.

Felt my body take a deep grateful breath — I was doing yoga for the first time in weeks, ever since my youngest ongoing illness had started.
The hero-poses eased into a flow of standing postures without a conscious thought from me. Hero, Forward Bends, Twists, Balance Postures of different kinds.
I didn’t look at a watch, so I’m not sure, but I think it was 10 minutes.
I drank a big glass of water and sat down for the next round of working without procrastination.

I had planned to work on the nonfiction manuscript for one more round, then polish my Aetherpunk Western short story for the third round. But because of the grief for our dog and because today (on the weekend) I’ll only have two rounds of no-procrastination writing, I’ll jump straight to corrections.

Seamus, missing you so much. You were a great dog!

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Brida Anderson and border collie Seamus

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Here you are, a year after we got you from the Border Collie Rescue:

seamus

Time to color in some fairies for Christmas

Fantasy and fairy artist Amy Brown has recently added some more printable coloring pages to her website; you can find them here: Elf / Fairy Coloring pages.
Just download and open in a PDF-Reader like Acrobat; print out in the size you want. Great for children — and fairy-loving moms, too ;-)

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Fantasy Artist Amy Brown’s Website with Shop and Free Coloring Pages
A fairy in my window
Here’s something else you can try: Print out the fairy enlarged, so that the lines are not so fine. It doesn’t matter if it looks somewhat pixellated. Slip the template into a clear plastic sleeve and you or your child can paint it with window-colors. (If the fairy is big, you can paint her in several pieces and later her join her together on the window. It works best if you make the pieces something where you have a black “border” line anyway.)

There are typical “fairy” window colors available in toy-stores and online, like pastels and silver.

After it’s dried, you can carefully peel it off and decorate your house with it.

You can also send the plastic sleeve (carefully wadded) to someone else as a gift. Last year, someone sent me a red-haired mermaid as a thank-you gift – my boys and I all loved her and she has been hanging in our bathroom ever since. :)

Can’t find the photo of the mermaid in our current moving-out chaos; but here’s another one I drew for our bathroom, based on Emily Windsnap (from the books). It’s a scan of the black borders; I later painted her in.

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