Review of “Dragon Prey”

Dragon Prey: A Cloud Lands NovellaDragon Prey: A Cloud Lands Novella by Hannah Steenbock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fascinating look into the world where humans and dragons are still strangers to each others.
And considering the title of the book, I’ll leave it up to you who’s winning so far.

This was a really good read, with lots of action, a great pace, real people to believe in, and of course: dragons. If you think any dragons is a good dragon, think again. Read up on the things Sidren and her tribe face and then you’ll know.

Definitely a commendable book for people into fantasy, dragons and human(ish) relations.

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I am William. I became a wizard.

Doesn’t that intro title hit you like something from Alcoholics Anonymous?

It’s true though. The weird thing is I wasn’t a wizard always.

I used to be a fairly regular guy from Pennsylvania, with a regular education and a regular job. I bought and sold books. Usually special books. I loved (and still love) books.

What got me into books? Better ask who. Some writers have the ability to pull you in.

The ones I liked did so and thus my love for the written word was born. Some people live for the smell of coffee in the morning (I know; I’m married to one these days). Give me tea and a book.

In a while I’ll come back and tell you a bit more about myself. Got to fly now. (No kidding!)

Good news is on its way.

Cover Hilda 22 Butterfly Gardens

It’s actually going to happen. Soon. Book 22 in the Hilda ‘saga’.

I’m not going to write down the title of the book. That’s something you will have to figure out for yourself, but something tells me that’s not too difficult at this point.

The e-book will be available as soon as possible. Okay, the paperback will be too, but as usual, that takes a little longer. If there are any candidates who think the paperback should come out first, please let me know. 😉

I have taken a gamble with this book. When I started writing it, I wasn’t certain if the idea would actually work, so I evaluated the story ‘so far’ after five chapters. Called in support teams. Spent time meditating about it in solitary caves in India (funny how a couch can become a cave in India when you need it). Thought about future options concerning this road I was about to take with Hilda and William. (No, I didn’t actually go to the future. I don’t have a Delorean!)

If you go back to the future, do it in style!

But… the future is here. I’m writing Hilda 23 and the road ahead looks good. Bumpy. What else can you expect from our wicked witch?

Just now I have unleashed a command on my computer:

Hilda_22$ pandoc *md -o ~/tmp/Hilda22.odt

This may not seem like much, but it is the start of creating the actual books. I’m a command line junkie in many respects. Well, for now I’ll spare you more of this nonsense and I’ll continue making a proper e-book from the result of said command.

We(*) all hope you’re going to experience a wonderful weekend!

Paul

* – Hilda, William, Grim, Obsi, Johanna, Baba Yaga, Charisma and lots of others!


Why reading is important

Yes. Reading is important. That’s not because authors and publishers want to sell more books (of course they want that) but because it is a beneficial training for the brain and therefore a good influence on a person’s development.

new idseasReading makes people encounter new words. New visions. New ideas.

New words are important because the world evolves, changes. Everything is named and reading is a great way to get to know these new things that are developed.

New visions and ideas keep coming up. These are described with, exactly, words. Often complicated words. If someone’s vocabulary is limited to ‘and then I like, ehh, like, you know, sort kinda dug it‘, there’s a good chance the basics of new visions and concepts go totally over a person’s head, simply because their vocabulary is too limited to understand what’s being said – or written.

text language
Texting language

Try to explain the concepts of Plato’s philosophy when you’re used to scribbles like what you see up here. Or Newton’s laws of physics.

Would Einstein’s relativity theory (E=MC2) be adequately described with “When you go like real fast and things go like real slow“?

This makes a simple thing like reading so important.  If you can’t explain complex things, how can you invent them? It’s brain training. Even if the reader doesn’t even actively look up the word (s)he doesn’t understand, if those words come back often enough, their meaning will become clear (up to a certain point) through the contexts it appears in.

So yes, reading is important.

You may not believe it but…

This is a screenshot from the
GIMP  image editing program

The image up here is the start of a cover for a book that’s not done yet. This is going to end up as the cover for “Tindaya”, a book I’ve mentioned several times already.

So what do these colours stand for?

The white, blue and yellow make up the flag for the Canary Islands, which is where Tindaya is situated.

Tindaya
Tindaya Mountain

For that reason I thought this should be part of the cover. A very simple idea, I know, but it adds something to the feel for me. If you think it’s the worst idea since the previous worst idea, let me know and we can talk about it.

For now I am going to work with this. Add some words to it, like the title. Yes, it’s “Tindaya”. How did you guess that? Can you also guess the subtitle? Maybe I will reveal that soon too – I’m still deciding which one it will be.

For now I wish you a pleasant and relaxed Sunday while I continue working on the cover and reworking the story.

Paul

A weekend in writing. And editing.

Is everyone enjoying the weekend? And has anyone discovered a reason yet why weekends fly by so fast? If you have, please let me know and I’ll join you in filing a complaint about that! 😀

My weekend has been filled with words and laundry. Yes, it’s amazing but even authors have laundry to handle. A good thing is that I have a few cats that are very supportive in that sense:

Here’s a little part of Grim as she helps sorting things out!

I wonder if you can spot her. 🙂

As for the words, I’ve done a lot of editing of Baba Yaga’s story and the end of that is coming closer.

5 more chapters and that’s then ready for scrutiny by Carol.

I’m also coming closer to the end of Tindaya, the story about Fuerteventura’s holy mountain.

Tindaya
Tindaya

It turned out very differently from what I had expected at first but I couldn’t write it any other way. It’s been a great journey into the history of the Canary Islands, their gods and their goats. And that, dear reader, is no joke. There are goats in the story, and they even play a pivotal role! Okay, as far as goats can achieve that, of course.

That’s all the update for now. I hope you’re all doing well and hope equally that we can bring Hilda 22 to you very soon!

Paul

A little news from the world of writing

Silence is golden, isn’t it?

I know, it’s been silent again for a while. Sometimes there is something to tell, other times there isn’t. So what’s happening in the world of writing?

Hilda 22 is coming along well. Carol is working on the edits, as am I.  Then there’s the story of Baba Yaga that many people are waiting for. That too is progressing slowly. I’m quite happy with it so I can only hope that you, dear reader, will feel the same about it.

And there is Tindaya…

Tindaya
Tindaya Mountain

What is Tindaya? I have mentioned it before, I think. Tindaya is the sacred mountain of Fuerteventura, an island I’ve visited a few times already. The mountain is said to be where the gods have landed on the islands.

The proof for the arrival of those gods are the so called ‘podomorfos’, the carvings of feet in rock. Legend has it those are the gods’ footprints.

Tindaya is also the title of the book I’m writing about this mountain. I understand if this surprises you but trust me, there is a reason for it. 😉

This story has changed a lot since I started writing it. My first idea was that it would be a fantasy story. That’s still standing. The contents of the story however has gone left and right, up and down, thrown me curb balls and made me frown in more than one place. I think that’s a good thing. When even the writer is surprised about a story, something’s going inside it that’s worth putting there.

I’m also working on a few Dutch projects. I won’t bother you with those until there is a reasonable chance these (or one of the them) is being translated into English. There is one that might fall into that category, but for now I’m not venturing into that.Well, there you have the basics of what I’m working on. Lots of things are going on, even when you, the reader, don’t see any of them unless I decide to spill some beans…

Spilled beans
Spilled beans

I hope your day is going well and hope to ‘see’ you again next time!

Paul

Rapunzel – in paperback!

Yes, dear reader!

It is a fact, an accomplished fact!

Behold:

Rapunzel 2.0 paperback

The latest story of Hilda the Wicked Witch is available on paper as of now. Actually it was available 7 hours ago but I was asleep then so I couldn’t tell you sooner. I hope you can forgive me.

You may notice that this book is available through Amazon instead of the other printer I used to use. That is because the quality of the books with Amazon is better and also I like their paper much more.

I am glad to bring you such good news!

Paul

It’s April first, and this is not a fool-you post.

The incredible has happened. Okay, maybe not so incredible.

Last year in November I participated in Nanowrimo. I started 2 stories, a Dutch and an English one. The English one, about Baba Yaga, is now done! It has taken a while but it is done. This story will be a companion book to the Hilda-series.

This story threw me a few difficult passages to get through, which is one reason it took a while. Of course there also was Hilda 21 that had to get done, and real life happened in between. Or In Betweeen, but that’s something for Hilda 22. You’ll find out about that in due time. That also has something with special butterflies, but I won’t confuse you with that just yet.

baba yagaFor now I’m glad that Baba Yaga’s story is done. You’ll meet Papa Yaga again, and Mama Yaga, and a few shop owners. And nomads. And travelling salespeople. And much, much more. And before you get your hopes up: no butterflies.

A word of warning: don’t expect the cheerful banter that you encounter in the Hilda books. This story has come out much darker and more serious than I’d originally thought. Still it makes for an interesting read. I think. Well, I hope. I’ll let you be the judge of it once the book is ready for prime-time. This will take a while because all I have now are over 70,000 words in a first draft. They need to be tamed, reordered, spells have to be checked and perhaps bits of universe have to be moved around, but that’s all in a day’s work for a writer.

 

Finally. It happened. The 21st book in the Hilda series!

Yes, dear reader,

It has taken some time but there it is. The new book. Out today – at least the e-book – at your favourite e-book store. I’m still working on a detail of the backside of the cover of the paperback. Wow, that’s a lot of words for a detail, isn’t it? Anyhow, the book is available at Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.nl, Amazon.it, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.ca, Amazon.au, Barnes&Noble, Apple iTunes and the Kobo e-bookstore. For now. There may be more

I’m sure however that this list will quench your thirst for witchy adventures for a while. And trust me, there are plenty of adventures piled up!