How strangers touch your life

Dear reader,

Long ago I received an e-mail from a lady who was in hospital. She’d been there since a long time, battling cancer. Medication had made her eyes go bad and she couldn’t read books any more until one of her friends gave her an e-reader. On that e-reader were the first five Hilda books.

This lady, Lisa, had been a painter. After reading Hilda’s stories she asked a friend to write me an e-mail, to tell me how she enjoyed the Hilda books. After a few more mails she asked permission to paint some scenes from the books if ever she would be healthy enough again to pick up a brush. Unfortunately she will not paint those scenes. I have learnt today that several months ago she passed over to the next stage in the cycle of life and death.

I have often thought about Lisa. About how the words I wrote touched her life, and that she touched mine in turn by telling me her story.

Lisa and I never met. We only exchanged words on screens. And yet there was this miracle of meaning something for the other. It’s a treasure and I will never forget that.

Goodbye, Lisa. Paint on, wherever you are. These colours are for you.

Hilda and her pirates!

Dear reader,

Hilda 18 320Suspense has been hovering over, under and to the left and right of everyone for a long time, I know this. Certainly you know this too. Today there is a temporary end to the waiting.

The latest book in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series has made it to our favourite e-book stores.

Book 18, ‘Pirates’, is now available through:

Smashwords, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, (and DE, NL, IT, FR, ES, CA, AU), Barnes&Noble, Apple iTunes and Kobobooks. The paper edition is still in the works, I’ll let everyone know when that becomes available.

May you enjoy this new adventure of the witch and her friends. And be prepared for a very special appearance of someone who’s going to stay! 🙂

Hilda – Pirates. Chapter 1

Dear reader,

Hilda 18 320

As is my happy habit before the actual publication of a new book, I am more than happy to present to you the first chapter of a new book.

Hilda’s 18th story.

Pirates.

It’s about pirates, but not just them. We also have a dragon, Baba Yaga, King Walt and his dear wife, and a number of new people.

But now, without further dillying and dallying, here is chapter 1!

Read more

Hilda’s 18th adventure. It’s coming soon.

Yes, dear reader,

Hilda’s 18 adventure is coming soon. Book 18 will be called ‘Pirates’ and it will feature pirates. This might be very obvious to many people but we’re referencing Hilda the Wicked Witch so anything might happen.

Let me first treat you to the cover which I have actually completed today:

Hilda 18 Pirates

What is this book about?

It’s amazing how the encounter with a big, stubborn dragon can bring about new adventures. Dragging a big, stubborn dragon around makes William and Hilda run into pirates, but unsurprisingly that encounter happens in the weirdest of places. Our magical couple will of course try to put everything in place again. However… odd magic, a dangerous witch and a particular queen don’t make that very easy.

Sail along with pirate captain Hilda and discover treasures in places where you might not expect treasures! She’ll get you ‘hooked’. Arrrr!

The e-book is currently being processed by the big processors of Smashwords and Amazon. I have set the publication date to August 2nd of this very year – yes, that’s next week Tuesday.

The print version of the book will come out a lot later. I didn’t want to keep all you e-readers waiting longer than necessary!

What’s going on?

Vacation

Dear reader,

It’s been silent again for some time. First of all I was on a two week vacation to Great Britain, something I thoroughly enjoyed.

england

I’ve spent a nice time in Dorset, which is located in the south of England. From there I drove up to Bristol where I met a good friend. She is actually the lady who gave our beloved wicked witch her face! We went to Cardiff to visit the Dr Who experience, which was an amazing experience indeed. I’m quite the Dr Who fan so that was a treat.

dr who experience

After Bristol I went up even more north to North Wales where I enjoyed a stay with the editor of my English books. I don’t meet my British friends nearly enough so this was absolutely delightful.

Book things

Furthermore I have been busy promoting my latest Dutch book which is received very well. So well in fact that many English speaking people have asked me when the ‘international’ version is ready. I have to admit that I had no plans to rewrite that book in English, but with so many enquiries I have decided to review those intentions. The work on rewriting the book in English has started, the first 2 chapters are already done. Only 31 more to go!

Book 18 of Hilda the Wicked Witch is approaching its final stages, text-wise. Carol is almost done with the edits. The big hurdle I am still facing is the cover image, but that will be done. I hope you can still hang on to whatever you’re hanging on to: book 18 is coming.

A little update on… Hilda, book 18.

Dear reader.

Hilda the wicked witchIt may not come as a shock that there will actually be an 18th story about Hilda and William. A story full of surprises, I might add, but which ones will still be covered under a purple wizard’s cloak.

Private matters in the life of my editor have delayed progress on the appearance of this book.

We are however working on making this book a reality so don’t despair just yet. I’ll give you proper warning ample time in advance if your worrying is required.

If there was one question you could ask about this new book, which question would it be? Please don’t ask ‘when will it be available’; I’ll give you the answer on that right now: as soon as it’s done. I know that’s a bit of a dead give-away but some things in the life of a person can’t be rushed.

To ease your curiosity a little however I’ll drop a tiny hint on what you will encounter in the new book. What… I should rather say ‘who’.

Pirates
Note: this is a hint. Arrr.

Incidentally the hat you see in this picture also is referred to in the story. This however is quite coincidental as I had no idea I would locate this image while I was writing about the hat and the person beneath it.

If this hint was not clear enough then I will also drop the words “September 19th” here. (That date falls on a Monday this year.) Employ your search engine skills and you might discover more than you bargained for!

 

Hilda and her younger years

Dear reader,

Hilda16_the youngeryears_320I am certain that many of you, who are Hilda fans or even Hildaholics, have by now read that infamous book about Hilda when she wasn’t yet the wicked witch she is now.

You may have seen that there are a number of references to older books and stories in book number 16. This was only partly my intention, but as the story grew I saw more and more opportunity to clarify how certain things had come to pass in Hilda’s life and history.

I have now taken it upon myself to outline the references to the older books as I did take notes on them. Are you ready for them? I am curious if you have found the same ones, and if you perhaps discovered something that I missed!

Reference number 1. Chapter 1. Rompford.

medieval villageThis one primarily goes to book 8, Dragon Master, where Hilda mentions her town of birth for the first time.

Another reference here would be book 11, Rock ‘n’ Troll which acts out almost entirely in Rompford. I still hope to see a Rompfordian football match…

I admit, this was quite an obvious reference, perhaps even so obvious you missed it. No worries though, there are many more to come.

Reference number 2. Chapter 2. Special wood.

Hilda 13 the house 320In this chapter Hilda’s dad goes out to acquire some ‘special wood’. This of course is wood from the Squeamish which is brought to our attention in book 13, The House. This is actually something I thought of later, after having written that particular chapter already.

The house that Zoraia and Ludwig live in was a talking house – remember that it talked with Hilda on occasion? That suddenly reminded me there had to be a connection to Squeamish wood, so I had to send Ludwig out shopping for that particular kind of wood. Which he did.

Reference number 3. Chapter 3. The school of magic.

schoolHere we have references to several books again. First of course there is book 7, Back to School.

But also book 10, Magic on the Rocks, is definitely meant to be referenced here. As you may remember, the school was quite an interesting place for Hilda and also Baba Yaga. I really enjoyed working out the classes, the other class mates and their quirks and habits, and the problems someone can have with flying a broom.

I’m still grateful for the writers of Arabian stories who came up with flying carpets…

Reference number 4. Chapter 4. Two vanishing cats.

Two-black-catsThis was a tricky one to spot, I am sure. In chapter 4 Zoraia casts a spell onto two cats that were tormented by a few village boys and those cats disappeared – but where to? Well, they went to book 4 for starters, Hilda and Zelda. This is the first place where I originally made the two black cats appear, seemingly out of nowhere. Now, magical cats do wild things but they need to come from somewhere. Now you know where that somewhere was: the marketplace of Rompford, when Hilda was small. Another reference to the two cats was of course Hilda book 5: Cats. Now that was an easier one, wasn’t it?

Reference number 5. Chapter 4. Big sister.

But that’s not all for this chapter. In chapter 4 Hilda also learns that she’s ‘the older sister’ now and that she has to take care of her baby sister. Hidden in here is a reference to The House, again, where Hilda realises she has to do what her parents told her to do: take care of Charisma!

Reference number 6. Chapter 5. A hut on legs.

In chapter 6 of Hilda’s Younger Years Hilda sees the hut of Babs’s parents for the first time. A hut on legs. Where does this point at? Believe it or not, this goes to book 3, The Challenge, where William appears and faces Baba Yaga’s living environment for the first time. Another reference here is Phargene, book 14, where Hilda meets Baba Yaga’s parents, Papa Yaga and Mama Yaga.

Reference number 7. Chapter 7. Where we meet tailors.

tailorThis chapter references the Zola family, the famous tailors who fell victim to burglary in Hilda’s adventure Rock ‘n’ Troll. Do you remember how Hilda and William went into the store of Gorgon Zola and his wife, for Hilda to order a new dress?

I had far too much fun with that tailor. I thought Zola was quite an interesting name as it’s not very common, and then I thought of the famous cheese, Gorgonzola, and now you know how the good clothes maker got his first name…

Reference number 8. Chapter 10. A heady teacher.

You have probably recognised Hepatia Strunk, the not so beloved head teacher at the Magic School. Here of course we have a reference to Back to School as well as Magic on the Rocks again.

Reference number 9. Chapter 10. Meeting an old friend.

JennealYes, two references in this same chapter, and all to different books. In chapter 10 of the Younger Years Hilda meets Jenneal, the red-dressed, red-haired witch with a fox fixation.

This points us back to Rock ‘n’ Troll again where William and Hilda visit Jenneal and actually recruit her to battle the huge walking rock men that are threatening the village of Rompford.

There actually is a link from Rock ‘n’ Troll to the latest book, The Wytches Roone as well. I didn’t know that when I was taking these notes, but the twins with their harps on the carts in Rock ‘n’ Troll are based on the same Harp Twins that play a major part in the The Wytches Roone!

Don’t worry, we’re getting to the end of the references. Somewhere…

Reference number 10. Chapter 13. Witch meets Goddess.

CirceThis is probably one of the very easy ones to spot. Hilda meets Circe for the first time in chapter 13.

Circe, the Greek Goddess who calls for Hilda’s help in Hilda – Aiaia.

It was very entertaining to bring Circe back into the story since Hilda told William about how she’d met Circe in school, how she’d been late for the start of the lessons, and the strange manner in which she’d seen Circe’s parents back then.

Reference number 11. Chapter 18. Wet clothes.

In this chapter Hilda gets fished out of the water. That was a very terrifying experience for her as you can imagine. The reference here, believe it or not, is Phargene. Can you spot why? Think back to the story and the flooding tunnels where witch and wizard are trying to shut the valves…

Reference number 12. Chapter 19. The Ring.

ringThis is a feeble reference, I’ll admit that. The ring that Hilda gets from Circe, the dachtilìdi. It’s a bit of a pointer to Charisma, the young witch, who steals that very same ring from her older sister and has adventures with her friends.

Reference number 13. Chapter 21. Scary Mountain.

Who doesn’t remember the scene in Hilda 2, Snow White revisited, where Hilda and Babs are performing their magical arts at the witches meeting on Scary Mountain?

Reference number 14. Chapter 25. Back to School.

Really, they don’t come easier than this one. The title of the chapter is the same as that of book 7. Back to School, so let’s immediately roll on to

reference number 14. Chapter 25 again. A hut in the water.

Here is a nice reference to Rock ‘n’ Troll again, to the time when Hilda and Jenneal remember the time that the hut of Baba Yaga’s parents had walked into the river. 🙂

Reference number 15. Chapter 28. Finally…

foxThe last one. You must be relieved. In this chapter Jenneal has her affair with the fox and the hunters. Yes, we’re once again back at Rock ‘n’ Troll.

You made it!

Well, that was it for Hilda’s Younger Years. Did you recall or remember the events I described? If so, I hope you had fun travelling through Hilda’s history with me. If not I suggest you go back to book 1 and start reading again.

(Joking of course!)

Have a wonderful day, from Paul, Hilda, William, and the cats. And the rest of the crew!

 

Beware the Wytches Roone

Beware the Wytches Roone

Dear reader.

It is so. There is news about the wicked witch. Hilda’s seventeenth story is out in the open and ready for your perusal and entertainment.

Hilda_17_WytchesRoone_320

The Wytches Roone.

Don’t play with one unless you want to go on an adventure you are not prepared for.

An invitation for King Walt to attend a festival in the queendom of Flamburgia is the start of a chain of events. Queen Velma shows a new side of herself, and Hilda and friends end up in a very strange world where nothing is normal. They didn’t mean to go there, but when a Wytches Roone is involved there is no telling what will happen, nor where you’ll go. The problem of course is: how do you get home?

You can find the book in the following places online:

The paperback is still in the works, but I’ll announce it when that’s available.

It should happen. Next week.

It should happen. Next week.

Dear reader,

It’s been a while. Hilda. The wicked witch. However! The plan is that next week, on Saturday, January 9th, the new book comes out. Part 17 of the series. For this reason I will treat you to the cover of this new book today:
Hilda_17_WytchesRoone_Web

 

What is this story about?

An invitation for King Walt to attend a festival in the queendom of Flamburgia is the start of a chain of events. Queen Velma shows a new side of herself, and Hilda and friends end up in a very strange world where nothing is normal. They didn’t mean to go there, but when a Wytches Roone is involved there is no telling what will happen, nor where you’ll go. The problem of course is: how do you get home?

Christmas and stuff

Hi folks,

William the wizard here for a change. Hilda and I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a magical Christmas with lots of fun, happiness, good food and wine – even if you have to water it down a bit, you know. It’s something you get used to see.

To stay in the spirit a bit Hilda asked me to get you a bit of present, a bit of Christmas and a bit of dragon, so there you go.

Christmas Dragon

And of course no festive day is complete with cats.

cats

Happy holidays everyone. And keep things shiny! (Guess who made me say that.)

William the Wizard.