Hoist Anchor on the Old Year
… and Cast Off to a NEW ONE!
A huge THANKYOU to my oarsmen and – women:
What a (writing) year it has been. 2017 marks the year that I really took the Viking plunge, waded through cold water and aboard this dragonboat that is my publishing journey in English (German started years ago). I started releasing my collection of sensual short stories, the Tales of Freya:
April 24th marks the day we hoisted anchor: The Current – A Battle of Seduction introduced our warrior Aldaith and his shield maiden Nyssa, and their unusual love story. It is the first story in the collection, has a sequel in Bonds, and will become a mini-trilogy within the Tales of Freya, with a third and final part next year. My warriors were received with so much more interest and enthusiasm than I could ever have dreamed. The support from colleagues and readers is amazing; like a wave of joy and energy that propels this dragonboat forward!
The Viking crew: it’s YOU!
I cherish every single comment and review (apart from ONE, haha!), and I regularly go back to them on a day when I need the motivation because my writing sea is dead calm. And how I LOVE nagging comments like “I want more of them “/ “I found it too short” / “I can’t wait for the next story” / “You must make this a novel” … All this is pure wind in the dragonboat’s sail! Readers make all the difference.
I seem to have gained some incredible crew members this year, through social media and the mailing list, who never fail to be there and root for my characters. That is what it’s all about. This is what I’m doing this for. The faces of you people make it all real – and I’m glad that social media these days gives you faces, and a chance to interact directly. On a bad day, I truly imagine you aboard my boat, sitting at the oars on your chests of valuables, and how you look at me, the helmsman, and smile with encouragement in the face of the storm and raging waves. You’re my oarsmen, the crew, and without you this boat would go nowhere! THANK YOU for being there, every single one of you.
Chieftains and allies
Thank you also to the most supportive friends and wonderful colleagues: Mary Anne Yarde, Jenny Kane, Anne Williams, Chris Cherry, Tony Riches, Paula Roscoe, Carla Vermaat, Marisa-rose Shor, David Hiller … you never fail to be just brilliant and helpful.
Then to the TBClers on Facebook: the amazing ladies Tracey Fenton and Helen Boyce – You really made a difference. Your work is so full of energy, enthusiasm, kindness and helpfulness, it is unique and I’m forever grateful to you for connecting me with new readers and colleagues and BOOKS.
To my buddies Elaine Coetzee, Eremi Amabebe, Ness Bowler, John Saetrang, who offer so much love, support and arse-kicks, both professionally and as friends: You’re the best guys to have beside me in the shield wall!
A now award-winning blog
This year, with butt-in-seat, I managed to make my blog take off, to do regular posts and widen their range, to be more personal and involved. Guests on my blog or offering their blog spots to me were my comrades in the shield wall Tony, Chris, Jenny, Paula, Mary, Mary Anne, Kay, and Anne. It was so much fun to work with you and share the passion! To be steering in the same direction for a while is a great feeling, to read the clouds and currents similarly, so to speak.
UPDATE: My author website was just selected as one of the 45 Top Author Websites of 2017 (out of over 1500 sites, omg!)
“The font used for the author’s name and the 2 swords (and word play in the tagline) are extremely creative. Adds a lot of personality to the site!” – commaful.com
I must credit my designer Marisa-rose Shor from Covermedarling for this. It was her who made the logo, we decided on the font and colours, and just the tagline was my individual idea. Thanks a million to the brilliant cover-lady for this achievement and recognition! I’m super-proud of us and can’t think of a better pro to work with on all design things 🙂 You rock! This award means so much after I put a lot of effort into the topics and presentation of my blog, revamping the site last year and connecting with and learning from more successful authors than me.
Also, this year my Twitter followers reached the 5000+, Facebook the 1000+ … and there are so many valuable and precious connections now. I see you as “my people”, my Viking folks, the ones on firm ground who follow the journey more or less closely while being busy with their own great stuff, too.
Beaching the dragonboat for raiding and research
This year, I beached my ship on two amazing research beaches in Viking lands: in spring I returned to Haithabu/Hedeby museum and sites, Germany,
and in autumn I went to Vestfold in Norway for the first time. From both I brought home the most wonderful inspiration and insights, and so many story and character ideas … now to find the time to write them all …!
The destinations that we reached after The Current – A Battle of Seduction were:
Awakening – Embrace beyond Passion on July 21 – The story of Viking housewife Ingrid and her secret desires …
Monk – Captured by Temptation on September 29 – The story of a Christian monk being challenged by his Viking captors …
Bonds – Under the Armour on December 8 – The story of Aldaith and Nyssa from “Current” continues as their love reaches a whole new, dangerous level …
And off to new shores:
I’ve drawn the maps and read the currents for the next three destinations: Healer will release in spring 2018, Tower in summer, and the conclusion of Aldaith and Nyssa’s story which started in Current and continued in Bonds – but which currently doesn’t have a title yet.
It’s been an amazing journey, this wild ride on our dragonboat called Tales of Freya, with its beautiful sail bulging proudly in the wind: the striking covers Marisa-rose made to make this ship stand out.
I thank you all, oarsmen and -women, comrades and friends! YOU make a shield wall!
And here’s to a wonderful, exciting and successful 2018! Raise your horns to our Viking oath: let’s make the best of it, and always stay in the same raiding band: Skål to a new year of adventures!