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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Writer's Block

An author's worst nightmare. Inability to write. Fear of a blank page. Blind third eye. Incapacitated muse.
The writer's block. 

A writer who claims never to have enjoyed of this condition, is a liar. We all have to endure it, and find our own ways around the brick wall that sometimes sits in between us and the keyboard. I am no exception. 

How often does this happen? 

Before, rarely. Today, quite often. 

Why? 

A few years ago, I had no obligations, no responsibilities, and no stress whatsoever. Back then, writing was easy. I'd wake up in the morning, open my eyes, all three of them, and look into a realm I'd never seen before. Words came easily, they were my friends, my companions. 
Now, as I struggle with running a business, writing has become much more difficult. Stress and deadlines, the mere pressure of having to make money, often robs me of my ability to look through the hole in the paper. 
Someone, I forget who, said that a woman can only write if she is completely happy. I thought they were wrong, but now I've changed my mind. 

What do you do to get over the barrier? 

I've found that writing by hand is the best way to tackle the obstacle. Nowadays, I most often write in the car when we're going shopping. I write during power-outs and in bars, but rarely in my office. In order to look through my third eye, I've found that I need to distance myself from the whole concept of - the life I'm stuck in. 
I miss how things used to be. I miss writing. I miss seeing people dance in front of me, at my will, by my hand. 
I am, after all, first and before all, a writer. 

A writer who can't write. A paradox in itself. 

Yes. And in every case, only one thing is in common. 
The reason for writer's block lies within the writer. The writer is the only one who can help break that wall. 
The writer. 
The thinker. 
The seer. 
Blinded by reasons unknown. 
No two cases are alike. Reasons for blockage have never been shared. They lie deep within the soul, buried next to unsolved feuds, secrets yet to see the light of day, truths yet to be admitted. 
A writer suffering is the only one who can solve the puzzle. 
Luckily, all writers are good at cracking riddles. 

Unfinished beginnings? 

We all know what that means. You wake up in the middle of the night to the call of a story. You write it out, nod off, and the next day, obligations come in the way. You ignore the call of the tale due to the pressure from our civilised society, and when you return to it, maybe months later, it is cold, dead, unwilling like a wife left too long without attention. 
Awakening it seems futile, so you leave it be. 
It is the syndrome of unfinished tales. A story, like love, needs attention in order to live. Turn your back on it, and it will die. 
A flower does not live without water. In our world, stories are flowers, and we the water. 

If I didn't have work to do, you'd get two new tales within a year. 

Heather Wielding

Friday, 21 November 2014

Dragons

I cannot believe I haven't written a word about Dragons! It's one of my favourite stories, and sheds more light on the Sha-e-Fa- series. Let's take a closer look at it, shall we? 

Cover art? 

Dragons is special to me in many ways. It first came to me as an image. I saw a girl atop a high wall, standing there in torn clothes, holding four black dragons. The image haunted me for many years, and as the tale behind it finally began to unfold, I wanted the cover to portray exactly what I saw. 
Unable to draw it myself, I turned to Husband's younger sister, who is a very talented artist. I was vague about what I wanted, and somehow, she still saw the image in my mind, and made it come true. 
Mazu did two versions of the cover, one in charcoal and the other in oil paint, and gave them both to me. I am still amazed by both her talent, and the way she picked the picture out of my head. 
This is the first cover I've had professionally made, and I love it to bits. I hung the original charcoal-version above my desk so I can stare at it while I write, and the coloured version took its place in my bedroom. 

Sisters? 

Lucy and Linda. Writer and artist. 
Mazu is the sister I wish I had, along with my own blood, of course. She is very much like me, and still nothing like me. I took the liberty of taking some of her and placing it in Linda. She is the crazy artist, the wild-fire, the one who takes the plunge and lives out every moment as she pleases. And I watch her, silent, clammy as the earth, and live through her, painting pictures with words like she paints with everything else. 
I have never written myself, as I truly am, before. In Dragons, I did. I am Lucy, and she, my sister-in-law, is Linda. 
In the tale, naturally, we are bent, seen through the eyes of the spell-master, but in my heart, I saw us. 
If you think you know us after reading Dragons, you are wrong. Most of the sisters comes from my third eye, only the essence of us remains in them. 

Violence on girls AGAIN? WTF? 

As a girl, I write out many of my nightmares when telling stories. Therefore, many of my books contain violence toward females. I strongly object to men smacking girls around, and wish to make my women strong. Unfortunately life, as well as stories, isn't a fairytale. Bad things happen to good people. 
I don't wish to encourage violence toward women. Instead, I want them to see that there's always a way out. Even if you have to walk through a mirror to find an escape. 

Edric? 

Edric is the high seer in the Temple of the Crystal Hall. Only it's not called that any more, not after the wars. I didn't intend for him to have such an ill fate, but that was beyond my control. I wanted to write him as a wise old man, but the spell-master decided differently. Edric met hardship that broke him in body, but not in spirit, and though he is lost to us, I will remember him with kind affection. 
He was a pain to write, mostly because I lived his agony by his side, through him. What he lost, rises from the depths of my deepest fears. 

Ewyn? 

Ewyn is Edric's servant. He has stood by Edric's side all his life, and has served him in all ways imaginable. Ewyn is not only a loyal servant, he is the only one Edric can trust, the only one he has ever loved. 
There is much pain and torment between them, but also much love. Where Edric brought to me tears of pain, Ewyn rewarded me with his kindness. He is one of the characters that creep into the tale and share different views on events. Where Edric's pain rose from my night-time terrors, Ewyn's kindness was born from the purity of my soul. 

Dragons? 

The only dragon I have written about before this tale was Lindea. She was small, kind, and orange. These ones were quite different from her. They were black and fierce, chained predators. 
Starting the tale, I had only a vague recollection of whence they came from, but as the words formed a clearer picture, I was horrified of what they revealed. 
I couldn't tell the whole story of how these dragons came to be. Their origin must wait for volume four. 

But this is volume five! 

So it is. 
I don't decide the order stories are given to me. I write what the spell-master wishes me to write. 
Right now, it wants me to spend time with Rita and Belinda and a haunted house I just happen to live in. 
After... 
Well, after them, I fear Dragons may fly again.

Love, 

Heather Wielding

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Manflesh

After a long deliberation, I have decided to publish a book written about two years ago. It is called Manflesh. Let's talk about it. 

Man...flesh? We hope you didn't! 

Oh, but I did. 
I blame this on Husband and his band which, sadly, sort of broke. It was called the BoneFleshDolls, and they played wicked cool jazz-inspired alternative metal. One of their songs dealt with devouring human flesh, and, after a long while of rocking with them, I started wondering... what would it be like to eat human flesh? Would it be much different from pork? Would you notice the difference if you didn't know what you were ingesting? 
I've always wondered what man-meat would taste like. If the opportunity of tasting human flesh came along, I would take it. 
Naturally, we must keep in mind that when venturing toward cannibalism, diseases are soon to follow. 

So you didn't do the obvious approach.  

When ingesting human flesh, a human is in danger of contracting an illness called Kuru, among other things. Indigenous tribes practicing cannibalism have that disease, and if we were to intake manflesh as a part of our daily diet, we would most likely develop that illness as well. The reason why I skipped that step is simple: it would have been sooooooo boring. It's been done so many times I can't count that far. I wanted to do something different, to really fuck around with the idea of unwillingly eating human flesh. 
It was fun. 

Hey, isn't this a sequel to the Mousetrap? 

Well, no. Not exactly. We do take a minor detour via a certain TV-game-show called the Mousetrap, and yes, we do take a brief look behind the scenes, but no, this isn't a sequel. It's a story on its own, with a little bit of the blood-scented cinnamon we've tasted before. 
And, naturally, we get to say Hi to Jeremy. Two of them, actually. 

What do you mean, two Jeremys? 

As you know, there's always a Jeremy in the Mousetrap. He is tall, white of hair, and he has an impeccable smile. As we all know, human beings aren't built to live forever. Game shows, however, are. Therefore, Jeremy must occasionally be replaced. In Manflesh, we get to see the changeover. Someone in the studio changes the reel at a cigarette burn, and nobody in the audience notices 
(a nice big dick) 
a thing. 

So once again, Manflesh? What is this Manflesh? 

Manflesh is a corporation specializing in meat products. A pretty basic consumer based company. But one must keep in mind that times are very different. The world has changed, and food is not easy to come by. Manflesh Co has risen to fill the need for meat, and the consumers greet it accordingly. 
The name gives the company away, but the consumers don't seem to notice. 
Or maybe they just don't care. 
Who knows. All I know is that Manflesh offers food, and the people eat. It's all very simple, the basic law of demand. 

You're sick, you know that? 

Yes, I know. All writers are a bit off in the head. We get a strange notion and feel the need to flaunt it. We're like kids who made their first poo-poo in the potty: look, Ma, I made an icky! 
Admit it, you love it. We're all funny that way: we see something ewwy and we just have to poke it a bit to see just how ewwy it really is. Come on, you've seen the rotten, maggot-infested mushroom in the forest and paused to push it around just to see the maggots squirming inside, haven't you? Don't lie, you have. Did it give you nightmares? Did it make you wake up in the middle of the night with a film of sweat covering your skin? 
If it didn't, did you hope it would have? 
SteveO once said something I really liked. I shall quote him now, though it won't be word-for-word. 
We read horror to learn not to be afraid of death. 
Stephen King is one of my favourites, as you may know by now. I have a book that contains several interviews with him between the years 1979 and 1987. I leaf through it occasionally, and find little things, halves of sentences, that make me feel I'm doing something right. 
Manflesh felt like that from beginning to end. It was born in six(ish) months, and, like the Mousetrap, was a ridiculously easy birth. 
I hope you enjoy it, you sick bastards <3

Heather Wielding

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Sha-Nazen

The third volume of the Sha-e-Fa -series offers answers to many questions. And brings just as many new ones. Let's talk about it for a bit. 

What is this Sha-Nazen? 

Like spoken earlier, there are stones in the Universe that hide great power. Sha-Nazen is one those jewels. It is the dark twin of Sha-e-Fa, as eager to malevolence as its bright sister. It can offer great gifts to its bearer, but none of its blessings comes for free. The price is high, and most who have touched the heart of Sha-Nazen, have ended up dead. I don't know if Sha-Nazen ever left the Universe, like Sha-e-Fa did, or who its original master was. All I know is that the stone is not to be trusted. 

Jonda? 

Jonda is half toleen, and half dr'chen. She bears the beauty of the toleen, and the war-like blood of the dr'chen. In her, the finest qualities of both races are combined. She has the power to heal, and the fire to fight. She is chosen by the storm, and the legacy of her name follows her on the path of her life. 
I wanted her to be happy, but unfortunately I could not force the tale to take her to a safe haven. Instead, she will have to live out the misfortune that is her existence. 

Mermaids? What's next, fairies? 

Well... maybe. A writer can never tell where the story leads. I first wrote the scene about mermaids in a bus, half-asleep, and after reading it the next day, I got chills. 
Legends are often born from truths half-told. I believe mermaids may well exist, along with fairies. 
If you believe hard enough, they may become true. 
I am almost convinced we'll meet fairies in part four. If it desires to be written. 

Death is unstable at times like these? 

When the Universe trembles on the verge of altering itself, many things become unstable. Death is one of them. 

Hey, this thing ended very aprubtly! 

It did, and I didn't intend it. There is more to the story, though, and I wish I will be given the chance to see it. 
The fourth part of the tale has been gnawing at me for a few years now. 
I fear that when it is time, it will bind me for months. 
Fear, I say, like I didn't long for it to happen. 

The one you left out? 

Aradim. 
I left him out for a reason. 
My tall, dark elf has much, much more to say, and I do not yet know him well enough to discuss him. 
I do see him, sometimes, older than time itself, crushing a blossoming branch of a cherry tree in his hand... 

So. Until next time, like I often say. Remember to keep an open mind. It's the secret that will lead you to great adventures. 

Love, 
Heather

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Writer's Eye

As all writers know, there's a thing called "writer's eye". All those who write know this phenomenon well, but to the non-writers, a bit of clarification may be in order. 
Let's begin. A journey. Into the deep, dark place where nightmares are born.

1. When something unexpected happens, time seems to slow down. For ordinary people, the instant moment of an accident happens within seconds. For a writer, the seconds it takes to get your car wrapped up around a tree seem like a decade. Usually, when you have an accident, the details of it are erased from your memory. It's the way the human mind works: to spare itself from trauma, it removes things that could be regarded as harmful. 
When a writer has an accident, all of its details are eternally trapped in his/her memory. 
That is what the writer's eye is all about: we see things that flee others, experience things that escape you. We live deeper, and are eternally tormented by the things we see. 
Or at least until we write them out. 

2. We look at others differently. Where you see features, clothing, expressions, we see behind it all. We look at others, squint our eyes like cats often do, and try to see beyond the exterior. We like to look at the real you, the you hidden behind clothes and make-up and accessories, the things you think you keep hidden. The nightmares you have, the memories you hide, the stories you have to tell. 
To a writer, a stranger passing by on the street is a story, not a faceless fellow-human. To us, you are all important. To us, you are all words to share, memories to write, beauty to capture for generations to come. 
To a writer, everything has value. Even the smallest detail can hold the greatest importance. The way you pick up a penny, the way you throw back your head and laugh, the way your eyes darken when someone mentions a word that takes you back to your youth. 
To a writer, everything you do is a story. 

3. When something is about to happen, we sometimes see it in advance. You pour milk into a mug, turn, and just before your elbow hits it and sends it flying to the floor, we cry "nooooo", and make a desperate attempt to catch it. Sometimes we make it, sometimes we don't. If you live with a writer, don't push them off as they're making an unexplained leap for something you can't see. There's something there, and the mad leap may save you from cleaning up the floor. 
Or something worse. 

4. As the writer's eye has a tendency of messing with the imagination, writers tend to panic a bit easier than the so-called ordinary people. We see the possible consequences of your actions, we know what may happen if we say the words struggling to be freed, if you take one more drink, if your hand reaches for that piece of cake located just beyond that container of juice. We know what will happen, we can tell. And the consequences terrify us. To us, the smallest symptom is the beginning of something deadly. 
We feel beyond this world, these containers of the soul. We feel the future, taste it, and it leaves us trembling in fear and exhiliration.

5. We remember everything. Every word you've said, every piece of clothing you've worn, every time you've frowned. Forgetting is difficult when your mind wants to turn every moment you've ever lived into a story. So, we don't. Instead, we store all the details of our lives into our minds, and if we don't get the chance to write it all out, it starts to suffocate us. 
When we write, we breathe out the lives we've breathed in watching it all pass us by. 
When we write, the world around is lost and forgotten, and another struggles to be born. 

6. The process of writing varies greatly between writers. One thing, though, is common to us all. 
When writing, we stare through the paper or screen, and see not the words pouring out, but a world beyond this one. It's like dreaming while you're wide awake, falling into a rabbit hole. 
Don't poke us while we write to see if we're still alive. Don't come in asking if we'd like a refill on coffee. 
Don't bother us, you'll break the spell. 

7. No writer writes because he/she wants to. We write because we have to. Stories in our heads demand attention, and if we don't give it to them, they drive us crazy. 
If you've ever had a writing woman throw dinner plates at you after you've asked them what they were thinking about when buying that super-sexy dress, you'll know what I mean. 
Writing is our heroin. We need our daily fix, and if we don't get it, bad things happen. 
A writer is only happy when a story is flowing out smoothly, without force or effort. Sadly, it happens only so often. 

The writer's eye is a peculiar thing. Somehow, it isolates us, makes us watch the world turn around us, dotting down all of its petty details. And somehow, it allows us sights no mortal man has ever seen. 
Being a writer is most times a painful, awkward existence, but when the story runs like a river... 

Love, 
Heather

Monday, 1 September 2014

Sha-e-Fa

The Sha-e-Fa -series (well, most of it, we're still lacking volume Four) is available as ebook and paperback, so I figured I'd shed some more light upon the second part, Sha-e-Fa. 

What is this Sha-e-Fa? 

In the Universe I created for this series, magic still lives. Some of it lives in gems. Some gems are minor in might, some withhold secrets that should remain lost, some of them conceal power beyond the dreams of mortal minds. Sha-e-Fa is one of the stones of power. It hides the power of creation, the bright side of might. 
One could imagine such a treasure to be pure and good, but in my realm, nothing is as it appears. 
Sha-e-Fa is a deadly prize, eager to consume those drawn too close to it, and the might it offers can make all dreams become a reality. 
One must always be careful on what one wishes. The wish might come true. 
And we all know that when all of your dreams are made real, shit hits the fan. 

Two young brothers? Is this a children's book? 

No. Definetely not a kids' book. The brothers sent to find the jewel of power may be young in age, but not in spirit. They are men grown, warriors of heart. These books are filled with blood, pain, and adventure, and I wouldn't recommend them to young children. 
Then again, I am over-protective of the young. Read it, and make up your own mind. But be warned, I do not tell tales of children. 

The dr'chen-race? 

The dr'chen are a warrior race. They co-habit a warm planet with a healing race of toleen. The dr'chen are tall, strong, and blond. The women cut their hair for war, but the men only shave their heads when defeated in battle. 
The dr'chen-race is actually a personal treat for Me: I have a thing for blond, long-haired men, and I wanted my warriors to be utter eye-candy. Also, an ex may have had a little bit to do with the birth of the race. If he happens upon this, love at you, sweet thing. 

Wasn't J'dra a woman? WTF? 

J'dra was born a woman. She is a shape-shifter who took the form of a man to protect... well now, I almost let out a spoiler. We can't have that, can we? Anyway, J'dra lives as a woman, in her true form, in the WizardWars, takes the shape of a man in Sha-e-Fa, and returns to her true nature in Sha-Nazen. Confusing? No, not really. Don't we all have a masculine and a feminine side? 

Portals? Like in Stargåte? 

Portals, yes, but not like in Stargåte (in the series, they put a little circle on the second A, unwillingly forming a Swedish letter Å, which I find an unquenchable source of amusement). The portals in my Universe are forged with magic, back when time was young and wizards still roamed the realms unfeared. They forced might to their will, and formed Portals which open into other worlds. The Portals open to those who seek them, to those who bear the power to summon them, and can be used as a means of transportation. Some races, like the elves, have mastered them, some, like the dwarves, fear them, and some, like the dr'chen, take advantage of them. There are devices through which one can create new Portals, and command existing ones, and sometimes, some of them fall into the wrong hands. 
Might is a treachorous thing, and often has a will of its own. 

For purchase links, please refer to the Books-page. 

As befits a Monday, I've edited this thing fifteen times. If you still catch typos and such, pls remember that Husband's laptop has a Oblivion-related injuries. 

Until next time
Love,
Heather

Friday, 29 August 2014

Quirks, pt 3

1. I'm not the safest driver. I don't speed or anything, I just have a tendency of... drifting. Not on the road, in my head. On a long stretch of road, my eyes lose focus as I stare into another world that's somehow there, just in front of me, only no-one can see it but me. And then I wake up, startled by a corner. Someone really should take away my license. Or get me a personal chauffeur called James who also does the shopping, the cleaning up, and the cooking. 

2. I am prone to minor burnouts. When I'm under stress, I start feeling like I have to work around the clock to get everything done before deadline so I can do some more work. Relaxing is overwhelmingly difficult for me when I have orders to fill. I stop sleeping and eating, and then a song catches me the wrong way, and I think "yeah, it would be really easy to walk through the window". After that, it's Oblivion for a week, TYVM. 
Daily schedule would probably be a very good idea to keep things from getting to me but... well, I have issues with schedules. 

3. Having someone (even me) tell me what to do and when to do it, pushes me to a spiral of "fuck this, I'm going to wonderland". In other words, if I have a schedule, I'll do anything humanly possible to avoid fulfilling duties. 
Charming, yes? And I have a business to run. Stupid ideas never cease happening in my head. 

4. If I can't have cheese and jam with my pancakes, I'll pout. I look cute pouting, but you should still be prepared. Because

5. Being hungry makes me throw things. Low energy levels affect my mood drastically (yes, I know I'm not the only one), and standing in between me and food can cause serious damage. 

6. I'm not a very social person, and when I'm upset, I lose the ability to communicate. The worst things happen when someone asks me what I'd like to eat when I'm hungry and upset. So if you're around when this occurs, bring something, anything to eat, accompanied with a takeout menu. Actually, a bunch of them so I can just point at what I'd like. And you have to order because

7. As mentioned, I'm not a very social person. Small talk with a stranger is a nightmare to me, and making a phone call is to be avoided at all cost. I'd gladly drive an hour if it gets me out of calling someone on the phone. I'm very happy email and customer contact forms came to rescue me from telephones. I do have a phone, but it's most often running out of charge or misplaced. If you called and I didn't pick up, pls send email so I can reply without feeling the pressure of coming up with something witty to say before the other person loses interest and goes away. 

8. Like every introvert, I need me-time after being around people. Quite often I wish I was more social. It would be nice to be able to have friends to go shopping with, or partying, or anything. I guess some of us were made to talk to cats and trees and feel utterly and completely lost. 

I've made myself sad now. And hungry. Must go point at something and hope Husband catches the drift and feeds me before my world collapses. 

Heather

Sunday, 17 August 2014

WizardWars

It's Sunday. I like to take Sundays off, and do nothing but play games and watch films and knit. 
Today, we're moving my clothes upstairs to our new bedroom. So instead of chilling, I've gotten a wicked thigh workout carrying my skirts and dresses and blouses and corsets up the stairs. Husband's friend (mine, too) came to help with the furniture, so I'm taking a breather. 
So. Sha-e-Fa -series is now available on Amazon, and I'd like to share some more light on the first volume, WizardWars. It was an absolute joy to write, and I'm hoping readers will enjoy it, too. 

Ingold? 

It is always a good time for afternoon tea, Ingold often says, sitting in a soft chair by the fire in the hall of the castle upon Wizard's Peak. He seldom enjoys his tea in the afternoon, but takes comfort in it at odd times. 
Ingold the Great is the mightiest wizard in all of the Universe. He is kind of heart, lonely, and burdened with old age. In a way, he reminds me of Gandalf the White. They are both white-haired, long of beard, and wrinkled. And they both hold a might stronger than the foundations of the earth, like Galadriel once said. 
Ingold is the saviour of those in need of saving, keeper of many things secret, healer, protector, father to a dragon, highest member of the Council of Wizards, and, in all, a very nice guy. He has done much good in the Universe, and most of his deeds have gone unnoticed like good deeds often do. Still, he is respected, loved, and looked up to. 
In a way, he is a perfect being. 
But like we all, he has his flaws. 
Loneliness has always kept him company, and in his old age, Ingold decides to take on an apprentice. Someone he has watched for many years. Someone dear to his heart. 
Someone who will alter his world. 

J'dra? 

J'dra is a woman of mixed blood (I do love my half-breeds). She is half dr'chen, half elf, and some part of her blood remembers the ancient ways of the weizen. Might is strong in her, but she is not one of the chosen one. Born to a dr'chen-woman, she is regarded as an abomination, and sent to the elven world to learn the ways of the ones blessed with near-eternal life. 
Fitting in does not come easily to her, and by the time Ingold the Great summons her, she has managed to make herself quite well hated in the world of the elves. Where they are bound by etiquette, J'dra rebels against all their rules, hiding her secret of magic. She becomes Ingold's apprentice, not out of her own will, but because might wants her to. 
And after... 
After, nothing remains the same. 

Kaim? 

Kaim is a dwarf, small and grey like most of his kin. But unlike most of his race, Kaim is not content with the simple life of his people. He leaves his home, a small village, and ventures out in seek of adventure. 
His adventure turns out nothing like he expected. 
Kaim finds his fate bound to that of Ingold the Great, and as the most powerful wizard in the known Universe offers to take the dwarf under his wing, something changes. For the first time since the dawn of time, might looks kindly upon a dwarf. Why? I do not know. Maybe Ingold had something to do with it. Or maybe Kaim was just to magic's liking. 
Maybe it was time for a new streak of might to be born, a small streak, grey and unnoticed. 

Lindea? 

Lindea is thought to be the last of her race, the last dragon born into the Universe. Ingold the Great finds her as a child, and saves her, like he has saved so many others. The castle upon Wizard's Peak is a safe haven for those lost, for those abandoned and in need of rescuing. Lindea comes to Ingold burned, wounded by her own fire, but it is someone else who saves her. 

The Oracle? 

The Oracle first appeared in Sha-e-Fa (I wrote the series in a funky order), and was one the characters I thought to have a minor part to play. She returned in Sha-Nazen, and in WizardWars, I got to look deeper into her life. And she returned in Dragons, to my surprise. 
The Oracle (like many others, I have forgotten her true name), comes to Ingold in need of salvation. Only she doesn't need a place to stay like the girls who remain in Ingold's castle cleaning, cooking, dusting, cooing, no, she comes with a demand. She is one of those blessed by might, but instead of embracing her gift of foresight, she wants to be rid of it. 
I am completely in love with the Oracle. She is tough, she is a survivor, she is the ultimate girl-power-character in my realm. Not even Jonda comes close to her. 

The castle upon Wizard's Peak? 

Ingold the Great has built his home upon a great mountain. It is called Wizard's Peak only because a wizard dwells there. His home can be a cold, dreary place, but most times, Ingold lavishes his might upon it, making it warm and inviting. No-one knows how many rooms and chambers the castle withholds: it seems might forges new ones into the stone when needed. 
The castle upon Wizard's Peak is a safe haven for those in need of rescuing, and has offered a home for many in need. In Ingold's castle, no-one is judged, no-one is truly punished, no-one has to go hungry. All those who remain there are loved, cared for, and kept safe. 
The castle is, in many ways, much like Ingold: loving, caring, comforting, a bit scatter-brained, but home to those who need it. 
I'd like to live there. 

For purchase links, please refer to the "Books"-page. 

Until next time
Love, 
Heather

Thursday, 31 July 2014

On writing

Every author, I know, is to write about the process of writing, about acquiring the skill to write, and about what it feels like to write. 
Being just an ordinary freak with a pen (and sometimes a computer) who claims herself as an author (having written and published several novels to this date, I see it as my right to call myself just that, an author, though I still find it hard to believe I can, you know, call myself that), I will do this now. 
Drunk, so nevermind the typos. Let's go Q&A so I can keep track of my thoughts and not leave you with a load of rambling nonsense. 

How did you start writing? 

I started writing when I was about six. That's when I learned my ABCs, see, and as I did, I started putting the letters in straight lines to form words, and the words in straight lines to form sentences, and so on. I like straight lines. 
When I was about six, I remember telling Mom I wanted to be a writer. And a teacher. And a princess, and I'd like a violin, please. Mom said "yes, yes, whatever", and I never got my violin. Nor did I get to be a real princess. 
Stories, however, stayed with me. 
The first ones born were the stories of a little girl, and everyone probably thought I'd grow out of my desire to create strange dreamscapes. I didn't, though, and somehow I still feel I am that child, struggling to form straight lines with words. 
Ever since I was a kid, I've written out my dreams. I take what I see in the land of never-there, and transform it into stories. If you read it, I've dreamt it. 
Or better yet, lived it. 
Writers are seen as nerds and geeks, but in my opinion, we are the ones who really live. 
We see things you dare not imagine, live things you dare not dream of. And through writing, we take you there. 

Why do you write? 

I write because I have to. If I don't write, my dreams and nightmares suffocate me. Writing, in a sense, is a form of therapy. Through it, I process the things I want, things I need, things I can't have, or fear losing. I write to escape reality. I write to gain entrance to the worlds I long to live in. 
I write to keep myself sane. 
Writers don't go to shrinks. Instead, we write out what's bothering us. 

BTW, quirk n:o 666: my head only aches under a thunderstorm. Hurting now, need moar beer. 
Why am I making you read a drunken rambling? Because it's fun for me. Not making you read it, but writing it. Many things can't escape under the control of soberness. After four pints, hidden doors are opened, and secrets pour out, and let's face it, everybody loves secrets. 
Not that mine are especially fascinating. After all, I'm just a geek with a pen. 

Can one learn creative writing by taking a course or what-not? 

I am of two minds about this. 
One can learn to control the flow of the unconscious mind through classes. One can learn editing through classes. One can learn to form a storyline through courses. 
But. 
One can not learn to create by having a teacher tell one what to do. 
I believe that those who write are chosen for it. We don't make up the stories, it's more like having a muse, or a demon, hang over our heads who sometimes decides to take a dump on us. It's our job to sort out the mess, and translate it into words. One can not learn that. 
I believe that taking courses on anything that has to do with anything artistic is one sure way to kill, to utterly and completely destroy the power to create. 
In order to make something beautiful, in order to create art, living, breathing art, one is to remain naive. 
In my opinion, only a child can challenge the boundaries of this world. A child is uneducated, unformed, free of all limitations. 
As we take courses and classes, and subject ourselves to the opinions of others, as we force ourselves to think the way we trust others to want us to think, we lose the ability to look at the world through a child's eyes. As we do, we lose the ability to create. 
In order to write, one must remain a child. 
So no, you can't. 
Don't take the course. Instead, take a pen and a notebook, and go out. Sit in the swings, and remember what it was like to be a kid. Find the child within you, look through its eyes, and write what it sees. 
They can't teach that in any class. If they did, we'd all be writers. 

Can one make a lot of money real quick by writing? 

In theory, yes. In practice, maybe not. 
One shouldn't write for the money. One should write out of passion. After all, we are born for this. 
A writer writes because he has to, not because he want's to make a shitload of cash. 
Books are born of desire, not the need for green. So if you want to get rich, got to school, and become an IT-nerd. I hear they're in demand. 

Did you quit your day-job? 

I never had a day-job. So technically, no. 
Actually I do have a job, sort of. I run a small business in fashion, I make patterns for sewing, knitting, and crocheting, and also make make one-of-a-kind garments along with custom orders. 
I'm a seamstress, to put it short, and yes, it's getting in the way of writing a bit. 

Are you proud of yourself as a writer? 

A few days ago, I accidentally said "fuck" on twitter. I'm going to say it again on blogger. 
Fuck yes I'm proud of myself as a writer. 
I've been going over my books during the hot, sweaty July, and I'm amazed at what I've made. Six of my babies are now available on Amazon, and two more are to come. 
If an author weeps reading her finished work, the reader is guaranteed to fill a bucket with their tears. It is both known, and written. 

So you only write books, no Gothic poems and that shit? 

Yes, I only write books. I tried the Gothic poems-thing as a teen, but it just didn't feel right. I'm not a poet, nor do I really get the whole poem-thing. Mr. Poe is the only poet I understand, everything else is just strange words in misshapen lines trying to form a disorganized line. 
As mentioned earlier, I want my words in straight lines. 
It's not that I don't appreciate poems, I just... well, there's people who like tea, and people who like coffee. 
I do write lyrics sometimes. 'Cause, you know, I make music, too, sometimes. 
Like, once every three years now. 

So. Time for quirk n:o 667: I talk to myself. Like, all the time. This is what it sounds like. 
Welcome to my world. 

Love, 
Heather

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Mousetrap

So. Along with fantasy, political satire, and vampire stories, I've written one piece of splatter. The Mousetrap. Let's talk about it, shall we? 

The what? Mousetrap? Are there mice involved? 

The Mousetrap is a new kind of game show. It takes unwilling participants, lours them in, locks them inside the House for a week, and the home audience gets to watch the newly-found starlings fight for their lives. Survive for a week, walk out with a hundred grand. Or stay another week, increasing the prize-money. 
Each participant walks through a different path. Some make it out without a scrape, some leave body parts behind, some die. And the taste of death makes the audiences at home feel more alive with each episode. 
This piece of literary carnage does not contain mice. Everything else, though... 

Jeremy? 

Jeremy is the epiphany of a TV's game show host. He's got an immaculate smile, a charming nature, and an ability to have a casual conversation with even the most stubborn guest. There will always be a Jeremy in the Mousetrap. This Jeremy is the first, but there will be another one after him. The viewers, however, will never notice the change. Jeremy is a product of plastic surgery: his appearance is pleasant, his features common, and this ensures the Mousetrap to always have an ageless Jeremy in a red sequent jacket, a Jeremy with a perfect smile, a Jeremy who will chat with unwilling stars, chuckle, and smile his irresistibly sparkly smile when saying "Have a nice stay". 
In the beginning of the very quick birthing process (I wrote the Mousetrap in three months), Jeremy was to have a very small part in the tale. In the end, I had to hold him down to keep him from stealing the show. Nice bloke, has much in common with Mr. Clarkson. 

Why splatter? 

The Mousetrap was born from my nightmares. Everything you read in this book, is based on my fears. Writing The Mousetrap, I faced all the things that terrify me. One of the scenes I wrote after four pints of beer. I could never have faced that terror sober, and reading it still gives me the creeps. 
When writing the Mousetrap, I got to deal with some of my deepest, darkest fears. It offered me a chance to write out my fear of being imprisoned, being mutilated, being attacked by very large insects, having my body taken over by parasites. I had nightmares before I wrote the Mousetrap. After I finished it, I've had three. 
The Mousetrap was therapy to me. As is every form of writing. 
Turns out I just needed therapy in splatter-form. Good thing I'm a writer, otherwise I might have picked up an axe. 

Universe? 

Chronologically, the Mousetrap takes place after the Witch Hunt. There's been a great, big war, and the sun has had a bit of a melt-down. Everything we know today is in ruins. When the Mousetrap is first introduced to the masses, a reconstruction is taking place. Old technology must be replaced, because electomagnetic pulses have destroyed pretty much every circuit on Earth. Some people have been lucky enough to make money out of the disasters, but most are living in poverty. Game shows like the Mousetrap are a big hit in this world: they're the one way people have to make lots and lots of money. There are many shows, but the Mousetrap is the newest, coolest, and the bloodiest. It doesn't just take people in and test them, it tests their will to live. 
In this world, one has to struggle for survival every day. The Mousetrap is just an extension of reality. 

Correlations to Saw? 

The Mousetrap owes much to Saw. As it owes much to Big Brother, and to the Cube. Someone once said, I forget who, where, and when, that there isn't an original idea left on this planet: everything that can be thought of, has been thought of. It is up to writers, artists, story tellers, to combine elements, and create unique landscapes with the tools provided. I took Saw, and married it to Big Brother. Turned out messy. I hope you have a nice stay. 

You love your sequels, prequels, and re-writes. Will there be another part to the Mousetrap? 

I don't think we'll be returning to the Mousetrap as such, but... well, I really like all the universes I've created, and this world is no exeption to the rule. It may be that I've written a sort of a book that takes place in this particular part of the realm, and it may be that there's a quick visit to a certain game show in it, but I'm not calling it a sequel. It's a very separate tale. 
Just as messy, though. Anyway, it's still in progress, and I don't want to talk about it more. Or won't, actually, I could really spend the rest of the night talking about it. 

You can't write splatter, btw, you're a girl! 

Oh? I think I already did. Bug me, and I just might do it again.  

The Mousetrap is available on amazon

Until next time. 
Love, 
Heather

Friday, 18 July 2014

Quirks, pt. 2: Dislikes

1. I don't like eggplant. It's the only vegetable I haven't grown to like. When I was about 12, Mom and Dad took me to Rhodes, and had me try Moussaka. I picked at it, and said "what's this strange thing, I don't like it". Mom said "it's eggplant, dear, try another piece, and if you don't like it, eat around it". I tried another piece, and another, and another (I've always been persistant), and decided it wasn't really that nice. During my early twenties I was a vegetarian, and Mom had me try eggplant again. I tried it in various forms, grilled, barbecued, boiled, and sauteed, and found it icky no matter how it was served. Eggplant just isn't to my taste. I've grown to like cellery, olives, and avocado, but eggplant remains gross. I'm willing to try it again, but I don't think I'll ever learn to endure it. 

2. I don't like the art films. Movies like Melancholia and The Road send me into a spiral of uncomfortable annoyance. Not because I don't appreciate the beauty or the dedication of the actors, but because the scripts are most often so bad I want to sink below ground with embarassement. Every bit of dialogue in artsy films seems forced to me, and the films seem like a parody of real life rather than an escape from it. 

3. Watching a film without a knit is torture to me. I can't stand sitting on a sofa with nothing to fiddle at for two hours. I need a mindless project to work on while watching movies, otherwise I feel like I'm lazy and unproductive. 
I knit, by the way, while proof reading. So if you find a typo, it's because I dropped a stitch and clicked the wrong ear. Sorry. Please send me a note so I can correct it. The typo, I mean, the stitch I've most likely picked up. 

4. Cold air makes the tendons in my hands hurt. That's why I wear wristlets nearly throughout the year. 

5. Goths love thunder storms. I don't. They're beautiful, yes, but they most often take out the electricity. I don't do that well without electricity. I need my internet, my lights, and my running water. Deprived of these things, I get antsy about food melting in the freezer, develop a sudden case of severe dehydration, and realize all the things I love to do, such as knitting, writing, and googling stuff, require either light, or power. During our first winter in this house, we had a 38-hour power out. That meant no warmth, no light, and no running water for 38 hours straight. I'm traumatized by the event, and still feel the need to hug the knees of the friend who gave me coffee and chocolates on the second morning when I was thirsty, stinky, hungry, and deprived of caffeine. 
Want to make me happy during a lights-out? take me to a hotel with electricity and room service. 

6. I sleep with a flash light next to my bed. In Finland, nights get really dark especially during the long, cold winter. If I don't have a source of light within an arms reach, I will sleep walk. I don't know why, but the flash light keeps me safe in my bed. So if you happen to find yourself in the odd situtation of having to sleep in the same room with me, leave a light on. Or give me a MagLite to hold on to. Otherwise, we might have a Paranormal Activity-moment. 

7. Windows gives me the creeps. I've been an Ubuntu-girl for at least seven years, and have developed unhealthy surfing habits. The last time I installed Windows on my own computer, I got a Black Screen of Death after six weeks. I don't know what I did, but I do know I'm not safe to be allowed near any kind of Microsoft system ever again. I'm a complete geek, and can google my way out of any Ubuntu-related issue, but working with Windows just doesn't agree with me. 

8. Seeing and hearing people eat grosses me out. I think it was Vampira who said that eating is one of the activities we should do alone, facing a wall. I agree. It's messy, it's noisy, it's disgusting in every way. I hate the sound of people chewing. I hate the sound of myself chewing. Still, I like eating. Unless it's something slippery, like spaghetti with too thin sauce, and it won't stay on the fork, and ends up on my face. I'd rather be hungry than have that, tyvm. 

9. Outside? Yeah, no. I don't like going outside if it's not for shopping, or going to the museums. There's bugs outside, and direct sunlight. And dust. And people. Dogs running about without their owners. Did I mention bugs? Bugs that bite, leaving painful, or at least itchy marks? And it rains, and snows, and have you ever been caught in a hail storm? Not that nice, I tells you. Going outside means subjecting oneself to storm, furnace-like heat, getting bitten by potentially lethal animals, and having to talk to other people. 
I'm a housecat. Meow. If I could, I'd have my groceries delivered, and turn into the strange hermit-lady who never comes out, not even when kids break her window on a dare. 

10. There is a big difference between Goth and Emo. If you wish to suggest all Goths are depressed, and spend their time in the basement slashing their wrists, I will glare at you. 
It's my interpretation of being quite crossed with you, and yes, I do it at least as well as Loki. 

Until next time. 
Love, 
Heather

Monday, 14 July 2014

Darren

Let's talk about Darren a bit more. Jay's Dad, that is. 
A true vampire. 

Scars? 

Darren got his scars just before he was drawn. It is common belief that when a vampire is born into darkness, his skin regenerates, leaving him as fresh as a new-born babe. In Darren's case, his wounds were deep, and still bleeding as he was delivered into immortality. His flesh could not withhold the shock, and scarred instead of regenerating. Why, I do not know. 
A writer does not see all things. Some secrets remain unanswered even to the secretary of the spell-master. 

Relationship with Jay? 

Darren, short and sweet, is Jay's immortal father. He sired her out of boredom and curiosity, and sometimes regrets having done so. Still, she is his flesh and blood, and dear to him in ways unknown to any mortal. He wishes her to be his image, but as he delivers her into darkness, he realizes Jay is beyond his reach. She is her own being, owing nothing to her maker. 

Is this just Jay again, in short? 

Many of the scenes in Darren are the same scenes already pictured in Jay. I chose to write the tale from Darren's point of view as well, since the two see events in an entirely different perspective. Darren isn't just Jay's tale told from his eyes. It is a tale of Darren's life, and offers a deeper view to his relationship with Belinda. 

Why did you write the same book three times? We hear there's another part to this tale coming!

Jay's world is dear to me. I keep returning to it, not because I want to, but because I have to. After Darren's tale was told, I cried again, thinking I'd never get to go back there again, but after a lonely year, Rita sat on my shoulder, and started whispering in my ear. At the time, I was swamped with orders, but luckily, Rita waited patiently. 

Belinda? 

As I was writing Jay, I felt intrigued with Belinda. She was a shadow, a frail Gothic beauty I thought irrelevant to the tale. In the second volume of Children of the Night, her voice grew stronger, and now, as I'm writing Rita's tale, she is beginning to haunt me. Her voice grows stronger by the day, and I fear I may have to tell her tale as well. 
Fear, I say, as though it would be a nightmare to touch her soul. 
Belinda is one of my favourites. She is one of the characters I most relate to, mystical, ethereal, everlasting, complex. I sincerely hope she will consent to telling me more about herself. 
If Children of the Night were made into films, I would want to play Belinda. She is the character I feel closest to. She's lonely, ignored, surviving in her own way, waiting in her mourning gowns for her prince to come and save her. 

Carmilla? 

In Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, there's a mention of a vampire club called Carmilla. It's one of the few places where immortals meet in peace. I genuinely love the way Anne Rice portrays her vampires, and strive to achieve her level of literary genius. Making Belinda run Carmilla is meant as a form of flattery, though it was not intentional. As I was writing the first draft of Jay, the name of Belinda's night club came easily to me, though I resisted giving in to it, fearing I would be misunderstood. Giving the club another name would have felt just as wrong as having Jay be straight, so I decided to risk it, and call the club Carmilla. 

Darren is available on Amazon

Love, 
Heather

Friday, 11 July 2014

Jay

Now that I'm over the fact of actually being on amazon, I wanted to talk about Jay a bit more. She is, like I've probably mentioned, one of my favourite characters, and a bit... well, weird. 


Gay vampires? Why? 



The first initial idea of Jay came to me before I started writing The Mousetrap. I resisted for a long time, thinking it was too obvious, since everyone was writing about vampires. After I finished The Mousetrap, I sighed, and thought what the hey. I'd resisted the temptation of writing a fashionable novel, and instead told a tale of a fat bloke named Jeremy who hosts a TV-show, so I felt free to do as I pleased. 

I didn't intend for Jay to be gay. She just turned out that way. I didn't see myself fit to disapprove of her sexual preferences. 


Cover art? 



Jay's original cover is unusual for me. I drew it by hand, without planning it. I took a red pencil, and the image just came out. It's probably not a very good piece of art, but I like it. I hope others do as well. 


Love? Is this your opinion on it? 


The love story between Rita and Jay is pretty much my ideal romance. I am much like Rita, and in Jay, I got a chance to portrait my perfect mate. Jay understands Rita's desperation, realizes what it feels like to not belong, to not have anything, to yearn for something so deep it can move mountains. Jay is my prince, and Rita my hopeless loneliness. 


This book begins with rape. Why? 


Technically, it wasn't a rape. Yes, Darren forced himself upon Clara. Yes, he would have been sentenced for rape had she pressed charges. Yes, it looked like a rape. 

But it wasn't. She wanted it. 
As I started writing the scene, I thought it was Clara who clawed his face and left him with scars. But it wasn't. The only place she clawed was his shoulder. 
And before anyone asks, no, I don't approve of this. Both parties are to consent fully before the act. Censoring the scene, however, would have felt just as wrong as making Jay suck di... umm. Be straight. 


Do you believe a vampire can sire a mortal offspring? 



According to original lore, a vampire's body is dead. No blood circulation, no production of living cells, no respiration. A vampire is a walking corpse. 

In popular culture, vampirism if more often caused by a virus or a demon. I like to support the virus-theory. 
My vampires aren't fully dead, nor are they fully alive. Darren didn't know if he could father a child to a mortal woman, so he decided to give it a go. Surprisingly, it worked. 
I was just as surprised as he was. 


Vampires in popular culture?


Vampires have always been the go-to monsters of mankind. The vampire myth is ancient, and in time, we have modernized it, and turned it into a parody of itself. I like my vampires old-fashioned. Mine don't glitter, they aren't rock stars, they don't go vegan. My vampires require living human blood in order to live, they die when exposed to sunlight, they live in hiding, isolated by their need to kill. 
I'm not a big fan of modern vampires. To me, Dracula is the only true blood-sucker, and Lestat his worthy successor. Try to tell me a vampire can be vegetarian, and I'll throw bricks of original lore at you. 


Did you plan this? Do you want to ride the fame of Twilight and Only Lovers Left Alive? 



I did not plan this. Jay came to me one night, like many of my characters do, and sat on my right shoulder, whispering in my ear. She sat there for quite some time, and her voice grew stronger the more I ignored it. I told her to go away, I'm not going to do the whole vampire-thing, but she persisted. Finally, I gave into her. 

And I loved every word. 
As for the films... I saw the first two Twilights. They were horrible. After, I swore never to watch a modern vampire-film again. Not even the promise of Tom Hiddleston without his clothes on can make me break that vow. 


Is it a Gothic thing, writing about vampires in the early Goth-scene? 



Goths love their vampires, but writing about Jay wasn't a Goth-thing, so to speak. It was more a calling, a spell. She came to me, and I had to write her. 

As I finished the first novel, I cried, thinking I'd miss her for the rest of my life. I was thrilled to meet her again in Darren and Rita, and hope to re-unite with her once more. 


I hope you enjoy reading Jay's tale as much as I enjoyed writing it. 



Love, 

Heather


Jay is available on Amazon.