Reasons to be cheerful. Am I really that good?

Dear reader,

Tooting my own horn
Tooting instrument.

I have the need to toot my own horn.

It has happened a few times already that my writing has been compared to that of other writers. So was “The Story of the Mimosa” compared to the “Hitch hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy “by no one less than Douglas Adams. Such praise is amazing and always welcome for a writer.

A few days ago, on a social medium called Ello, I was mentioned by someone so I had a look at the post. What I found there surprised me in the best way.

Someone wrote:

Since Terry Pratchett is gone I found on Ello a new favorite writer for fantasy literature. @paulkater

lucky me: he is alive and very creative… and I didn’t read all of his books, so I will have some more to read. but I took a new one with me called ‘The Magic of The Bull’. I read seldom the little texts on the backside of books, so I didn’t know anything about it. I read this book in two days, it’s so amazing. The beginning sketch a normal family with two kids in the funny age and the usual fightings between brother and sister. All is normal and not fantasy like until to a thunderstorm. Step by step send Paul Kater the heroes of this story on their way in the history of their living place…

I can only say: read it!

@paulkater thank you for this book, I had a great time to read it!

This is the kind of praise that touches me deeply. Being compared to the man that I admire highly, Sir Terry Pratchett, is more than I had dared to dream of.

Sir Terry Prachett
Sir Terry Prachett

I think I’ve read most of his books. The famous Discworld series is something that will stay in my memories forever. The witches he has developed and portrayed, the noble men of the Nightwatch, the great turtle Atuin on which the entire world travels through space, all of them are things that make me happy.

After finding that amazing review I found it too good not to share so I dropped a tiny bit of it on Twitter, and what happened:

Discovered on Twitter

Someone agrees.

I’m almost inclined to believe that it’s true. (And if it’s not true I’ll ignore your comments to that respect and float off in my little, happy bubble, knowing that there are at least a few people on this earth who know the truth! 😉 )

Anyway, this is where the tooting ends and the real work of a writer continues. Writing. Coming up with more stories. Working on continuing the dream.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of Sir PTerry’s books:

‘Ankh-Morpork!
Brawling city of a hundred thousand souls! And, as the Patrician privately observed, ten times that number of actual people.’

– Guards! Guards!

Wishing you a wonderful day…

Paul

A new book: The Magic of the Bull!

Yes, dear reader,

There is a new book out in the wild. It’s a book that I originally wrote in Dutch as a labour of love. What’s it about?

The Magic of the Bull

Cuijk, a small town in the Netherlands. After lightning hit the statue of the famous Exporum Bull, strange things are visible there… but not for everyone! Fleur, her brother Bram and even their parents experience something they could never have suspected in their wildest dreams. Around the Bull things happen that bring back the past and also pose two major questions: “How do we get home?” and “Who looks after the dog?”

The e-book is available at Draft2Digital, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, (and DE, NL, IT, FR, ES, CA, AU), Barnes&Noble, Apple iTunes and Kobobooks.

The paperback is available through Createspace.

A fun little detail is that the statue really exists. Most of the details in the book are based on historically correct facts as far as I could uncover them. Researching this book took me about 3 years. I hope you will enjoy it!

The magic of the Bull

Yes, dear reader,

It’s finally going to happen.

The English translation the book that’s become my labour of love for the town where I live. It’s going to be out for sale in all the usual places on March 25, so in 10 days.

What is this book about?

Cuijk, a small town in the Netherlands. After lightning hit the statue of the famous Exporum Bull, strange things are visible there… but not for everyone! Fleur, her brother Bram and even their parents experience something they could never have suspected in their wildest dreams.
Around the Bull things happen that bring back the past and also pose two major questions: “How do we get home?” and “Who looks after the dog?”

I hope you love reading about this Dutch family as much I enjoyed writing their story!

Do you remember Sandy?

Dear reader,

A Girl Named SandyLong time ago, in March 2014, I published a book called “A girl named Sandy“. Until this day I still consider this one of my best books.

The story has an open ending. Somehow that just happened. Of course this begs for a sequel. A few people mentioned that to me also, which is understandable. Who doesn’t want to know what happens to Sandy and Paul after everything they went though?

At some point in 2015 I started writing a sequel. The start of that looked promising but the further the story progressed, the more I lost interest. It wasn’t what I was looking for. After a few more attempts to revive the story I thought, “Bugger this. This isn’t going to work.” And so I left the not even half complete manuscript lying around on a hard disk where it refused to collect dust. (This is because hard disks are made to be dust free.)

 

Now, fast forward from 2015 to the start of this week.

On the way to work (yes, your favourite author still has a daytime job to manage the bills and such) I sat thinking about a world that’s not just Science Fiction and not just Fantasy but an intriguing mix of the two.

Can you see it in your mind already? You can?? Let me see! Oh, right. That’s interesting enough but… 😉

Grimalkin, a.k.a. Grim

Anyways, that idea popped back into my head when I was out doing some grocery shopping today (don’t ask me how my mind works, I don’t know either but it gets me through the days) and then I remember the dustless manuscript of the Sandy sequel. And a star was born! Or at least an idea. I shall retire the entire failed manuscript and start from scratch. (Hmm, suddenly one of my cats comes along for a scratch. Is she reading along here?)

So, to everyone who’s looking forward to a sequel to Sandy, there might actually be one someday. Don’t expect it to be out soon, though, Carol and I are still working on the sequel to “Wanted: hero” and there are some other things on the stove. (Why do I think of Hilda’s kitchen now?) But it’s definitely maybe going to happen!

Book review. Fated.

Title: Fated
Author: Benedict Jacka
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

5 booksFated. That’s Alex Verus. His fate should be in his own hands but mages dark and light are trying to pull his fate in their hands. And it gets quite crowded with those mage types. Alex runs a shop in London and tries to keep a low profile but events (and indeed mages) decide differently for him. He’s ‘recruited’ to locate a special artefact hidden inside a special place which can only be opened and accessed through special means.

This is the start of an exciting and at times hilarious journey that took me through ‘Fated’ at high speed, simply because the book was so good I didn’t want to put it down.

Scifi, fantasy and portals

Food for happy thoughts.

Recently I read a post online that made me happy. The post dealt with things that are often seen as bad things in scifi and fantasy writing. One of the ‘bad’ things discussed was portals.

Why are portals considered bad?

Probably because they are easy. Portals can just be there without any further explanation. No one knows how it got there, nor who built it. The fun is to figure out if it still works, how it works, and how to get yourself out of the mess once you went through it.

Why do certain critics insist that writers should come up with other, more credible bits of equipment to get their characters into trouble? It will only add to the size of the book because the whole thing needs to be explained, invented, put into place, made credible. All that will draw the attention away from the actual story.

Of course, at times coming up with a new way to go from one place to another can be bunches of fun, but then that whole experience should be part of the story.  No such thing needed with a portal. Bam. It’s there. We’re in trouble Now what?

 

My own portals.

Seriously, I love portals. I’ve used one in Francis and Frankie for instance. And the times that Hilda and William travelled from Fairyland to ours and back, for instance in The Wytches Roone, that didn’t happen because of well-defined physics and other particle storm entities. Portal. Get them there and make the story happen. The titles I mentioned up here were fantasy stories. My Scifi story “Wanted: hero” also uses a portal to get to another planet. No space ships, no FTL-drives (Faster Than Light, another thing mentioned on the article I referred to). Without portals many stories would not have happened, and I’m not just referring to my own stories here.

A famous portal.

Sg1 stargate frontDo you remember the first Stargate film? What else is that star gate but a big, old portal? An entire network of them even!

As the series went on, the origin of the star gate was divulged, little by little. A great way to do this because it gave the people writing the series time to come up with credible parts to make this sound plausible. For me they did a great job with that.

(And since I’m a book lover: did you know that there are books published about the Stargate universe? Really! Follow the link and be surprised if you’re a fan and didn’t know about this yet!)

Gimme my portal and no one gets hurt.

Portals. I love them. Because they’re so convenient and versatile. How do you feel about portals in fiction (and film) to move to other places, other times, other worlds? Heck, maybe I’ll write a book called Portal World some day. I can see interesting things happening in such a place…

Book review: Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 6 out of 5 stars.

neverwhere

Sometimes you come across a book that will prevent you from opening another book for a while. A book that has a story that won’t leave you alone even in your dreams. For me, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is such a book. It’s about London. Everywhere and neverwhere in London. If you’ve been to London you’ll recognise many places and spots, but Mr Gaiman paints such an amazing world in and around the city that it grabbed me by the eyeballs and it refuses to let them go. It had this stunning duality where I wanted to get to the last page to see how it ended but at the same time I did not want the story to end!

Neverwhere is high up there with the best stories of Ray Bradbury and Terry Pratchett for me. It wasn’t a read. It was an experience. When I grow up I want to write like that.

Book review – A Symphony of Echoes.

Dear reader,

I’ve been reading again. I’ll always read, until someone pries my eyes from my dead, cold hands. Or something along those lines. What did I finish?

symphony

A Symphony of Echoes. The second book in the series about St Mary’s and their marvellous Historians. Again this is a wonderful book by Jodi Taylor.

St Mary’s doesn’t disappoint when it comes to getting in history’s way, even when the plan is to correct it! If you are interested in the ways of the Tartan Trollop this is a read you shouldn’t miss. If you don’t know who the Tartan Trollop is, then you really have to read the book!

Book review – Convocation Of Kings

Title: Convocation Of Kings
Author: Valerie Douglas
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

convocation of kings“Convocation of Kings” is the sequel to “The Coming Storm”.

For me it was very nice to get reacquainted with the characters from the first book and follow them on more adventures. It’s a great read, like the first book. Be warned, if you start it, that there are a number of erotic scenes in this sequel. Nothing dramatic but some readers might be “surprised” by them.

I’m very glad that I read this book. The beginnings from the Coming Storm were picked up and worked out. I hope this doesn’t count as a spoiler.
If it does, then look at this little light and forget you read this.

Men-in-Black-Pen

How dead are you?

Dear reader,
Til Death Us Do Join“Til Death Us Do Join” is now live!

If you feel alive too and up for a good laugh, head over to one of the online bookstores listed and go for it!

You can find “Til Death Us Do Join” at Smashwords, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, and Kobo books as e-book.

A paperback version (with a stunning backside) is available through Lulu.com.

As a special addition to this release I have prepared a little video to whet your appetite for this book, I hope you enjoy it.

Oh… in case you seem to recognise the person on the left… yes… that’s your’s truly. And the lady is a dear friend of mine. The photo was shot and the cover made by a mutual friend who runs a very nice website for her photo-work. If you care to have a look, run over to wauwfoto.nl!