Charisma, take 2.

So, an update on Charisma, Hilda’s second in command, so to speak.

My girlfriend (and wife to be) read the first version to her son. End result is a slight rework of the story. It only means redoing everything, which of course is fine. Together we worked out something that will be quite good. There is kind of a floorplan for the story, the interesting stops along the journey. Now all I have to do is write it.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Featured quote

A writer is a writer not because they write well and easily, because they have amazing talent, because everything they do is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.
- Junot Diaz, O Magazine, November 2009 (paraphrased)

A word on Hilda’s stories.

It’s Hilda for friends, otherwise known as Grimhilda.

Through the endless ways of the Internet I discovered that people wonder if the Hilda books are child-safe.

Here is the short answer: No, I did not write the Hilda books for children.

Here is the long answer for whom is interested: it all depends on what you consider a child. I would say that her stories are suitable for people age 16 and up. This is due to Hilda’s preference to sometimes use stronger language. I am convinced that younger people have heard a lot stronger language than what is used in the books, but 16 I think is a safe age to make as sure as possible that nobody gets unnecessarily upset.

So please let yourself not be fooled by the fact that Hilda appears in the revisited fairy tale of Snow White (available on Smashwords and Amazon). No matter how much I am trying to sweet-talk you into downloading the book (yes, please do, it should be a fun read, and as it is for free you have nothing to lose!), I would suggest that you read it yourself first and then decide if it is safe for your child.

I prefer to stay away from obscenities and sex scenes in my writing, but there are certainly adult insinuations. Hilda is a grown-up witch, even when some of her actions prove the opposite, but that is how things go in her world.

To the people who are looking for the child-safe version of Hilda, please wait for the first book of Charisma the wicked witch to be published.

Paper books, electronic books

Paper books are the best. The feel of the paper, the smell of the ink, the weight of the book.

E-books are the best. My e-reader is so convenient, I can take so many book with me in one fine small device and they are ever present.

Yes, the fight is on, since a long time. Reports from Amazon.com show that the number of books sold in e-format outnumbers that of hardcovers and paperbacks combined. Reports here in the Netherlands show a dramatic increase in the sale of e-books and e-readers. E-books are seriously on the rise.

Will paper books disappear? I don’t know. I think it will take a long time before they do, if ever. More and more people will switch to e-books, the more as tablet-devices are becoming more mainstream. Most of them come pre-loaded with an e-book reader program, which makes the step to e-books easier. But there will always be people who favour paper and print. The whole shouting contest on what is the best is a total waste of breath and energy. Use what you prefer and enjoy it. Do not try to convert someone to change their favourite medium. Converting is useless. It is, for me, even an offense. Respect that someone can have a different opinion (and that is not just because of their reading preference). No need to agree with it.

I am an e-book reading kind of person, but I am not going to slap someone on the head with my e-reader. If they return the favour with their favourite 800 page hardcover, they will win that battle, even though there is not a war. After all, it is the joy of reading that counts. Not the medium you use for it.

And who knows. Modern technology goes fast. Maybe soon there will be e-readers that can emit the smell of ink for people who like that…

Featured quote – or…

The one thing I dislike about the writing process is the sometimes-loneliness of it all. Readers only get to see the glamour part of a bound book, not some of the agonizing moments one has while constructing it.
- Mary Rodgers

Interestingly enough this is not so for me. I venture into the story together with my characters. They set off, and I tag along, seeing and writing down what mischief they bring about, or what situations they end up in (and how they get out of them again).

My only problem sometimes is that I must work like crazy to keep up with them. (i am very glad I can type fast.)

Writing like Mary Rodgers has not hit me often. I do recall a few times that I knew where I was (in the story) and where I wanted to go, but that it took a while to find the bridge to get there. And to be honest: it is nice to have a break from all these adventures once in a while. :-)

How does that work for you, dear reader, if you are an author as well?

A children’s witch

I’ve been contemplating reworking the first Hilda book into a child-safe version.

Basically it should not be a lot of work as the amount of strong language is rather limited. It will probably also become a much better book than the one that is out now, as I have learnt the odd thing about writing (and this is a good thing).

I see a danger though… maybe I want to rewrite the first original as well, if the children’s version comes out nicely. Interesting.

And I wonder… should I find a new name for the witch in the children’s version? I think this is a good idea, as otherwise there can be a lot of confusion around the two books about the same witch…