Friendship. From something I wrote this morning

Where does friendship start and end?

Friendship. Where does it start and end?
For Hilda, friendship ended where pink began… (Hilda 25)

This morning I wrote this. If you know anything about Hilda, you know her negative love for pink. This sentence just popped up and it made me laugh. I still laugh about it now, and it’s been hours since I wrote it down the first time.

Friendship is something amazing

Have you ever noticed how easy some friendships are? And how difficult others can be? I don’t have many close friends, but the ones I do have are the ones I can count on through thick, thin and anything in between.

It’s the same with Hilda. For her, friends are either there 100% or they are not friends. Then they are acquaintances or even ordinaries. If you’re in the last league, you’re nowhere.

It’s interesting to think about such things regarding the characters in a book. Hilda and William are not the easiest ones to be friends with, with them being magicals in Fairyland.

Baba Yaga? She is in the Hilda league of friendship as well.

Will Kobie be different?

Kobie 1 english - Witch's Training
Kobie’s first adventure

Next week Saturday a new witch-book will appear. It’s about Kobie, who is going to have an encounter with witchcraft as well.

We’ll see how her friendships develop. I can tell you that she is not limiting herself to purple, though. Pink is not a problem for her.

I hope you will have a great day with a lot of reading pleasure!


Book descriptions can be entertaining

Today I saw something interesting in a book description.

In the year 2047, an asteroid threatens extinction on Earth.

First of all I think this is not a nice prospect. But you may have gotten the meaning. So there is Earth and extinction is going along, minding its own business, and suddenly there’s an asteroid that threatens it.

This is, of course, a very undesirable state of affairs. First of all, most extinctions have no idea what asteroids are, nor how lethal such extraterrestrial entities can be to your average extinction. Imagine: suddenly all the hard work you’re putting into eliminating everything in your path is being destroyed.

That is not proper job satisfaction, is it? It’s like you’ve been working all day and someone comes along and dumps everything you did in the trash.

I really wish asteroids would stop interfering with extinction.

Here’s another What’s Going On post

I know, it’s been silent here. Off-line life’s taking up more and more time, with studies, exams, work and other bits and pieces.

Despite that, the writing life is continuing, be it not as rapidly as we all would like.

Baba Yaga

The editing is going on. We’re almost there, so hang in there please! I have found someone in Finland who makes wonderful art, and she is creating the cover image for the book. That is coming along nicely, I can tell you.

I know that many people don’t like the main character on a cover, so they can create their own image of the person. Bad news: Babs is on the cover. Good news: she’s on the cover and you only see her from the back. I guess that evens things out, right? 🙂

Sneak peek of a part of the cover for Baba Yaga.


That’s getting closer to publishing too. A story about two people who discover all kinds of amazing things around a sacred mountain. I am still working on the cover for it. Deciding on some details took me a long time but that’s now a done deal. All I have to do is actually create that cover. Most of it is ready, but the devil is always in the details.


You may know I put out a first book about a young woman who encounters witchcraft:

Kobie – Witch’s Training

I am working on an English version of the book at the moment. I have progressed to chapter 5 so far and all looks well at this point.

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.


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!


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.


News from the writer’s cave

Dear reader,

Paperback news

What fun is there to report? First of all I’ve taken a small step for man but a giant step – oh, wait. Wrong note. Sorry, Mr Armstrong. At least the small step is true. Until a while ago I put all the paper books on Amazon now has a paperback system in place and I’ve initiated the process of putting Hilda’s first adventure out there on paper. So far I must say I like the way Amazon has created the system and I’m looking forward to receiving the print proof of the booklet. It should reach me on February 20th or 21st.

I’ve added a new cover to that book. If it all looks nice I’m going to update the cover for the e-book as well. This is what the new cover will look like:

More Hilda news:

I’m almost done reworking the chapters for Hilda 21 so there’s nice progress there. Writing Hilda 22 is going well also, I may be approaching the end of book 22 soon. After that, indeed, the reworking starts again but it will be different. 21 will then be 22. 😀

Baba Yaga news

As you may recall, I started writing Baba Yaga’s story last November. It’s still not done, although I am crawling towards the end on that story also. It’s a very different type than the Hilda series, which keeps surprising me. It does fit the story though, so I’m hopeful that everyone who read it (when I’m finally all done with it) will agree.

A question to you

Which stories do you like best? The Hilda’s? The Wanted books? The Steampunk books? Anything else? I’m really curious because I think it’s time to mainly focus on the kind of books people really want to read. At times it feels as if I’m spreading myself too thin by writing so many different genres.

I’m looking forward to your reactions!


What a writer does in the new year

Yes, what does a writer do in a new year?

He writes. Unless the writer is a lady, in that case she writes.

That’s about it in a nutshell. Of course I’d be a poor writer if I left it at that.

First of course there’s my darling Hilda. Hilda and I are doing well. Carol’s still working on checking the 21st story, and I’m busy writing number 22.

Twenty-two Hilda stories… Imagine that. I had never thought nor even dare to think of a series about the wicked witch when I put that first little story online. What a ride. Or rather: what a flight!


But there’s more! There’s still last year’s NanoWrimo story!

Baba Yaga
This probably isn’t Baba Yaga.

That’s true.

In November 2017 I challenged myself to write two Nanowrimo stories, one in Dutch and one in English. The English one is going really well. The story of Baba Yaga when she was gone from Rompford for some years is growing. It’s well over 160 pages now.

I seriously appreciate how this story is unfolding. It surprises me. It’s also very unlike the lighthearted Hilda-stories. Just so you know. But that doesn’t make it less of a story, I think. Baba Yaga, after all, is a totally other personality than Grimhilda is, and this story shows a lot of what shaped her.

So you see, I’m busy as busy can be. I’m still trying to write faster than you can read but so far I’m failing miserably. Do forgive me.



As the year draws nearer to the end…

Yes, dear reader,

2017. Fare thee well.


There’s no escape. 2017 is almost behind us. Just today, tonight, and tomorrow. Then it’s done. Wrapped up.

Did this year bring you good things? Things you hoped for? I can only hope so. My year was lots of things.

Entertaining. I started a new job this year. So far so good, we’ll see what the future brings.

Writing. Several new books came out this year, something I’m always proud of. Writing is one thing for a writer. Getting the book all ready and out into the world is different beast. So far I feel I’m on the right track. There are several books in the pipeline as I type this, including a very interesting SciFi story that I’m so far calling Story X. Simply because I have no clue what the title will be.

Right, I’m not going to make this a mile-long post about everything that happened and should have happened and didn’t happen and such. I’ll simply wish you a great end of this year and a fabulous start of the new year. May that bring you good things and beautiful books. 🙂

Life, the universe and everything

Life, the universe and everything

Yes, I thought this a nice one to use as a title. It’s a great book by the late Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. If you don’t know it but you laughed about The Story of the Mimosa, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Nanowrimo is in the past but life isn’t

So I have returned to writing the way I prefer to write. Not like a November Maniac but like the more ordinary kind of maniac. Things like work and offline life occasionally make that hard, but also the fact that I was publishing a new Dutch book took up some time. Especially laying out the inside of the book took some time but the cover was a lot of work too.

470 pages of words up there. The title, translated into English, is “Sunworld, Shadowworld”. It turned into an urban fantasy. Yes, at first I wasn’t sure what it would be.

But back to English

I’ve returned to Hilda. Book 21 for edits and book 22 for writing. It’s all going well, even when after November I had to reread a few parts to get back into story 22.

The Baba Yaga story is still growing and goodness, does that have a few surprises up its pages! More than once I stopped writing and sat here with an “okay… what?” Once again: this book is not the funny stuff you’re used to with Hilda. There’s some really grim reaping going on with Babs, but I promise it’s nothing you can’t handle. Well, let me put that differently: I hope it’s nothing you can’t handle.


Next to all that I’ve started writing down things about a science fiction story I’ve been messing with in my head. I blame podcasts for that. I’ve fallen in love with Stuff you should know, Stuff they don’t want you to know and the Stuff to blow your mind podcasts. They are great to learn stuff and with me they trigger all kinds of finicky things to put into a story. Or two. Who knows.

Here’s a little taste of a part of the first chapter I wrote in Story X, which is my code name for it. (Simply because I don’t have a proper title yet.)

“Grahau,” she cursed while she made the bionic fingers slide back into her palms. With those things unsheathed she’d destroy her face by simply rubbing it.

“Zaeden, you and your foul mouth…” Gayla blinked his eyes as he looked at her. “When are you finally going out with me? You excite me. I know this great holo-bar where you can get into all kinds of shit without getting into trouble. And I could show you my new…”

“Shut it, Gayla,” she said as she hoisted herself to her feet. “I’m not interested in your holo-crap nor in whatever modifications you had done to yourself.”


That’s the update for now. Have a great weekend, and stay warm when you’re in the northern hemisphere!


Nanowrimo update and a short book review

Hello everyone,

It’s the reading writer again. Or the writing reader. Anyway works.

A few days ago I finished reading a book by Naomi Novick called ‘Uprooted’. The title was provoking enough for me. It is totally different from her Temeraire books but amazing in its own way. If you like magic, good characters, wicked evil and plots in plots, this is a read for you.


Next: Nanowrimo. Going strong and Baba Yaga is meeting more and more people. I’m still trying to find my way into getting her into the adventures she’s already mentioned but the story isn’t in a hurry. I hope that’s fine with you as you will have to read through all of that. I promise you it’s not boring though!

So far I’ve done 105 pages of the story and it’s going strong. So much for this update, I hope that next time will have something more interesting. Let me leave you with this snippet from the Baba Yaga story:

The wagoneers had a fast way of doing things. While the first half went for food, the other half dealt with unloading things that would stay in the town. Those were only a few crates and boxes. By the time they were done the other half was done eating and the unloaders went to eat. Supplies were bought and stored. By the time that was done everyone was ready to leave. Bearskin man, who introduced himself as Alexey (“Call me Al”) told Baba to get up on the driver’s seat of the first wagon. He grabbed the reins of the horses and climbed up as well. The other wagoneers gathered around and watched as he explained Baba how to guide the horses. “Slowly does it. They do the work. Just make sure you don’t jerk the reins.”

Babs felt quite insecure at first and at times wondered if she should throw in some magic to keep the two horses under control, but once she had figure out the movement and the way to steer them, the animal almost moved by themselves. “This is fun,” she said in the end.

“I know,” Al said. “And you have a feel for them, I can tell. Dolopov will be pleased to learn that a cute girl is taking control of his wagon.”

“Dolopov? That’s an odd name.”

Al nodded. “It’s from up north. He is too. Now turn this thing around, get us back and then put the wagon at the front of the line again.”

That of course was easier said than done but with some tips and tricks from Alexey she managed it. When the wagon was ‘parked’ Babs felt some sweat trickle down her neck. “That was… interesting.” Al praised her though. He said it was some fancy driving she’d done, which wasn’t bad for a newbie.

“Where are you heading to?” Al asked after they’d climbed down from the wagon.

“I’m not sure. I’m on an adventure journey,” Babs said, sticking to the truth. She realised her reply sounded strange.