It’s not you, it’s me.
I know I’ve been quiet. I’m going to do my best to improve communication between us from now on, ‘k? I’ve been going to therapy and I feel I’m almost ready to…you know? You don’t know? Communication, Bjørn… well… yeah, I’m almost ready to commit to posting on the blog again. Don’t leave me! We can work it out!
I fought the law and I won!
Some of you know I was stuck in a legal case for a very long time. It didn’t seem so bad at first, except for the fact that I am allergic to officials and lawyers, but I had #faith that I would simply win. That didn’t happen. The appeal took forever and a day, and my allergy got worse. Then finally I got the letter, found out that I won the case, and realised how little else I actually accomplished in those last months. I mean, apart from finishing, designing, then publishing a book, promoting it as well as I could, working on its soundtrack, dealing with legal stuff and with health issues both mine and those of my family members, working on the next book(s) about which in a moment, accidentally networking (I am allergic to the word “networking”, but it transpires that being nice to people on social media and interacting with them is also called “networking”, even if I am not wearing a suit), preparing a large online contest (I am, uh, just about to start working on it, but I’ve done a lot of thinking, OK?), and I just got tired typing this…
*a brief nap follows*
….yaaaaaawnyway, now that the case is over I am experiencing a strange empty feeling. I got so busy with it that I forgot what I was even fighting for, until I got it. In my head the upcoming decades were a parade of lawyers and hearings. I was keeping myself busy half-heartedly rewriting the same work in progress, then in the last weeks things slightly escalated, and now I am writing four books at once.
New Ásgard, who dis?
The first and second are two parts of the same story, but each of the books is a different genre. The first part is historically accurate fantasy, the second – historical fiction with fantasy elements. (This translates to “less Gods and worlds, more mortals and discoveries of Iceland”.) For the first part I took certain Norse myths and sagas and decided to expand them into a novel, as the way they were originally written tends to be a bit like this:
The troll stole my mead
So I killed him
And his hamster
My take is a bit more of…literary fantasy, if that even exists. I’m less interested in the troll-killing part and more in motivations (what’s so damn special about this mead?), personalities (are trolls nice and fluffy?), side characters (how did the hamster feel about the whole ordeal?). Still, fantasy is fantasy, and while I have a tendency to describe the battles as “once everything was over…”, some readers might not appreciate that.
The second part largely concerns itself with the discovery of the new Ásgard, also known as Iceland, by Hrafna-Flóki. This is where the historical accuracy becomes really important. On one hand, the research will help with the worldbuilding thanks to the fact that Earth already exists and so do the maps. On the other, there are currently ten books staring at me menacingly from the side table. I’m…just about to start on them very soon…
In my spare time *snørt* I accidentally started working on two non-fiction books as well. One of them is provisionally titled Nonsense: semi-autobiographical essays which is exactly as navel-gazing as it sounds… um, that wasn’t the best way to advertise it, but I promise it’s better than Moby’s memoir. (That will be the cover blurb.) The other is a complete rewrite of an old self-help book that I published so long ago I almost forgot it existed. I’m trying to decide whether to publish them under the same pen name or a different one – considering B. Larssen for the non-fiction. Or should I go with something else? What do you think?
I might also have started writing a fifth book that is currently on the backburner, because I ran out of the frontburners and middleburners. It will be a part of the same series as the two I mentioned earlier, except it will be more of Terry Pratchett meets Drag Race in Ásgard. If someone knows a person or company that would read a novel and determine its genre, please let me know.
(Seriously, if you want to write a book coming up with an idea is going to be the smallest of your problems. If you can’t come up with anything you can have ten or twenty of mine.
Not the good ones, though.)
Storytellers mini-update 🙁
The audiobook is delayed indefinitely, by which I mean that I still hope to get it out soon-ish, but I can’t tell when and I don’t want to become the new Azealia “I’m just about to release a new record, oopsie, as I was saying I am totally going to release it next month” Banks. My sneaky way of avoiding deadlines from now on is not to make any. The case consumed much more of my internal resources than I imagined and instead of distracting myself by working on the audiobook I found myself too distracted to work on it. We should also (hopefully) be moving house later this year, which might happen in August, in December, or five past I don’t know. I will have to rebuild my studio then, which will mean a change of recording environment, which – if I were to start on the audiobook tomorrow and take even a few days too long – would mean redoing everything from scratch.
No matter what happens, I am almost certain that the audiobook will be out before Azealia’s second album.
A few recommendations…
I’ve been awaiting Nicole Gilbertson’s The Coffee House Book for yonks. It’s finally out and doesn’t disappoint…much, because it’s part one of a series and part two is apparently coming a year from now. That won’t do. I want it now. I devoured that first book. It’s literary fiction where multiple characters, connected by the setting (a coffee house in Adelaide) interact and you get to know their stories. This doesn’t sound as exciting as the book actually is, because those people are so real that I forget they are actually characters, not my new friends and enemies. Do yourself a favour and grab this book NOW before the price goes back up (it’s $0.99 right now).
Terry Tyler’s Hope is finally out and let me just quote one sentence from the blurb:
As the fourth decade of the 21st century looms, new PM Guy Morrissey and his fitness guru wife Mona (hashtag #MoMo) are hailed as the motivational couple to get the UK #FitForWork, with Mona promising to ‘change the BMI of the nation’.
I know how Terry writes and I want to read about #MoMoPriMis! Although based on the rest of the blurb I have a feeling that I would prefer #MoMo not to replace Theresa May…
Susan Fensten’s You Have A Very Soft Voice, Susan is possibly the weirdest book I ever read. Don’t be fooled by its Amazon bestseller status/category suggesting it has to do with social media – it doesn’t, unless you count a brief mention of Facebook at the end. It’s about Internet stalking taken to the extreme. I’m not sure whether this book is actually a real story, as I failed to find a single article about the case, but it doesn’t matter. If it’s real, hats off to Fensten for surviving all this. If it’s fiction, hats off to Fensten for coming up with something so fascinating. Special bonus: one of the characters is called Bobby Ironside. Who wouldn’t want to read a book with a Bobby Ironside in it?
Susan Doherty’s The Ghost Garden investigates… wrong word. Explains… no. Presents the lives and the worlds of people with schizophrenia. Doherty doesn’t write about “those people” or see them as walking diagnoses. She gives us a life story of a woman named Caroline, her upbringing, family, then the illness as it develops. Parts of Caroline’s story are interspersed with shorter stories of others Doherty works or used to work with. I have never knowingly met a person with schizophrenia, but I know how mental illness is seen and presented in the media, books, and movies. This is not a sensationalist book. It’s compassionate, but mostly it’s just real. Doherty doesn’t focus on listing medications, hospitals, etc. She writes about people. I was very moved by this book because of the fact that it seems so unusual to read a neurotypical person’s account of the lives of neurodivergent human beings rather than their diagnoses. It also made me sad to realise how unusual this perspective is. I would recommend this to anyone who ever drew a circle with their finger on their temple or performed the ritual knock-knock-knock and whispered “you know, it’s the crazy one”.
Krista Walsh’s The Invisible Entente is somewhat similar to Gilbertson’s book, as it introduces us to the characters that feature later in the series (luckily, Walsh’s further books are already available). While Gilbertson presents each story separately, Walsh creates an environment where the stories are being told in first person in a seamless, natural way. All of her characters are strangers towards each other, connected only by one person – someone that one of those strangers killed. Oh, yes, all of them have supernatural powers, just thought I’d mention that. I’m glad I started working on my Norse books before reading The Invisible Entente, because even I wouldn’t have believed myself that I hadn’t pocketed her idea.
In my last newsletter I asked for more recommendations from my readers and I got quite a few of them! Thank you so much, everyone! My TBR (to be read) e-pile threatens me with a restraining order as I keep adding more and more books to it. I’m going to dig into the ones I haven’t managed to start on yet. It’s a great excuse to avoid doing research, too! Win = win. One of you will win as well, but you know that.
If you made it this far, I might have a lil’ something for you.
A Kindle Select promotion of Storytellers begins tomorrow, i.e. May 28, meaning that if you didn’t buy the book yet you will be able to get it at $0.99/£0.99 for 48 hours, then increase to 1.99 for 48 hours, etc. (My apologies – other territories do not allow Kindle Select discounts, so I am lowering the price as much as possible, i.e. €2.99 or equivalent.) But that’s not all. The signed copies and boxed sets on Etsy will also be discounted for seven days. I can’t make the postage any cheaper, but I can temporarily drop the book/box prices. Take them out of my hands! I beg! You know how purdy they are, and if you don’t, take a look at the Etsy store.
See you, uh, hopefully soon…