Gothenburg Book Fair 2019 done right

Oh my goodness. What a weekend! I’ve learned so much stuff that I can’t really think straight right now. I’ve talked to publishers, editors and authors and learned exacty what I needed to learn. The planning of a book and the writing itself, I have under total control, but what happens after? Who are all the different people helping with the script? If I get a publisher, all works out with the help of the publisher. But if I do this whole thing by myself, I now know who to contact about what parts I need help with. And that is such a reassurance and relief and a huge motivator. I want to be done with the script so I can start exploring that part of writing a book as well.

Yesterday I did some calculations, and if I write 500 words per day, I will reach my 100k goal by New Year’s. Wouldn’t that be awesome? To have the first draft done in three months? It would be unreal.

The Book Fair is not about just writing, it’s also about reading and I bought some books. Six to be exact. And four of them are signed, that’s not too bad! I had Dmitry Gluchovsky sign Metro 2033 and 2034. 2035 had sold out. But I already had that one at home, but in hard cover. My square brain likes order and having two paperbacks and one hardcover just wont feel right. I might buy the last one in paperback and sell the hardcover so it looks unified in my bookshelf.

The other two signed books are Hjärnstark and Skärmhjärna by Anders Hansen. He is a psychologist and I’ve heard a lot about the first book and I couldn’t say no to a signed copy after listening to him talk to a moderator at the fair. I’m not super interested in celebrities, but authors who have accomplished something (that I now can relate to) is different. I get really starstruck when meeting authors and talking to them. I talked a little with Dmitry yesterday, but I had no idea what to say so I just babbled and probably sounded like an idiot. But he is a really fun guy! I heard him talk today at a seminar with Un-Su Kim, a korean author. They discussed how the written word is affected by other media today. Very very interesting seminar. And funny!

The last two books I bought was Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin and a cookbook with mug cakes. I’ve been meaning to get it for a while now and it was there, so why not. Recipes for mug cakes can be nice. Quick dinners or snacks. I was looking at a cookbok with Korean BBQ recipes. But I didn’t get it. Maybe I should have?

It was a very fun weekend. I am so full of energy right now. So much motivation and inspiration! This was exactly what I needed right now when the dark fall is just around the corner. Dmitry Gluchovsky signing books.

Un-Su Kim and Dmitry Gluchovsky discussing the impact of visual media on the written word.

Bokmässan 2019

The annual Book Fair in Gothenburg starts today and goes on until Sunday. I didn’t go at all last year. No idea why but I guess that’s why I want to get as much as possible out of it this year. Two years ago, I was there and got a first chapter analysis of my book. It was the starting point of a full year of rewriting half of everything I had so far. I got inspired and understood things that I didn’t before but felt somehow was not good enough. I added more suspense, more mystery, more questions to later answer. Four chapters and 7 000 words resulted in five chapters and almost 17 000 words.

Since then I have told myself that I will write the story, get the words down, before rewriting anything again. And it’s going forward, slowly, but in the right direction.

Since so much have happened in the past two years, I wanted to get this first chapter analysis again, but this year no one of the literary consultants wanted to read English. But that’s not gonna slow me down, I have so many programs I want to listen to that I almost feel overwhelmed. I added all the things I wanted to listen to in my calendar and I think I have to print out a map of the exhibition area and hope I will find all the places. Most of the lectures are about writing and I hope some things will help me reach my goal which is to have the first draft done by next summer.

This Book Fair I will also talk to publishing companies. I have no expectations really, but it would be nice to find out how the process of becoming a published author works. Although, I’m writing in English, why settle for a Swedish publisher? I’m thinking grand. Like Bloomsbury! Haha! Aim for the stars, reach the moon, right?!

Light blues are my priorities.

50k

I recently read on  Writers Write that a debut fantasy within the fantasy category should land on approximately 100 000 words. Yesterday I hit the 50k mark and am therefore halfway done with my debut novel!

I am currently writing on the 16th chapter and as soon as that one is written, I will also have reached milestone 2 out of a total of 8 for this story. Initially, I thought that this would only result in one book, but the more I thought about the story and everything I wanted to have in it, I realized that it would be way too much for one book. At least as the debut. And now, done with 2 milestones, having the perfect cliffhanger for the first half of this duology after milestone 4, I am one hundred percent sure that it will be two books. And probably a third one later on.

I am so excited and thrilled when I see everything unfold inside my head right before I write it down.

I am proud of myself to actually have managed this. I am actually writing a book that might be finished in the not too distant future. And I really like the plot and believe in it. I think I would have stopped writing a long time ago if I didn’t.

#skrivutmaningapril, 3

Luften var laddad. Någon röt till och allt svartnade för en sekund. När synen återkom hade jag flygit flera meter bakåt och framför mig hade jag ett par. Helt tysta, endast stirrande in i varandras ögon. Nej, inget par. Ingen respekt var synlig i deras blickar. Det var hat men igenkänning. Vilka var det där? Oavsett så tycktes det inte finnas någon trevlig utväg på situationen framför mig.
Den lite äldre mannen lyfte långsamt handen för att sen överraskat snärta till den mot kvinnans ansikte. Hennes reflexer var bättre. Som om att hon hade sett hans handling redan innan den hänt. Hon grep tag i hans hand, böjde den åt fel håll och luften fylldes än en gång med ett ryt. Den här gången av smärta istället för ilska.
Men det stoppade honom inte från att höja andra handen och slå kvinnan i magen med knuten knytnäve.
Jag slog mig för magen och skrek samtidigt som kvinnan framför mig. Andan gick ur oss båda.
När kvinnan böjde sig dubbelt sträckte hon ut ena benet och fällde mannen och var på honom med händerna runt halsen innan han förstod vad som hänt. Hon klämde till.
Slagsmålet försvann framför mina ögon och ersattes av en svarthet jag aldrig upplevt innan. Jag tvingade upp ögonen och stirrade rätt in i mannens.
“Du har blivit bättre sen vi sist sågs,” sa han till mig medan han kämpade efter luft.
“Min tränare i unga dar var inget vidare,” svarade jag med glimten i ögat och släppte taget om min gamla mästares hals.

#skrivutmaningapril, 2

”Kom hit då, lilla bubben! Kom då! Ja, kom hit!” Svansen viftade med den uppenbara känslan som strömmade genom hela hans väsen. Bollen var nästan platt i hans mun när han kom springandes. Stolthet över att ha lyckats med uppdraget att hämta den flygande leksaken var också tydlig i hans ansikte. Med snabba men klumpiga skutt var han snart vid min sida.

Luften försvann ur mig när det stora fluffet hoppade upp på mitt bröst och släppte bollen rätt i ansiktet på mig. Slafsigt och blött. Men känslan spred sig till mig som det snabbaste viruset och jag skrattade högt samtidigt som jag höll om min lilla älskling och kastade iväg bollen på nytt.

#skrivutmaningapril, 1

My writing depends on many things. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?

I have 26 000 words in 10 months. That’s not good. I need motivation. I think the inspiration is there. I pretty much know what to write, or at least where I want to go with each new chapter. But so many things come in between.

I think the most important thing (besides people who want to continue to read what I have yet to write), is routine. At least that’s what Stephen King says in his book “On Writing” as well as Litterära Konsulter (who gave me feedback at the Book Fair last September).

So I have accepted a challenge. Workout challenges are fun. Reading challenges are fun. But I have never felt the urge to follow them through. A writing challenge however. Yes, that could be my thing! Not just fun, but with a purpose as well. Writing a little every day to get a routine while at the same time learning to “show, don’t tell” as I have learned it is called in English. To give something form and meaning by showing it rather than telling it. If that makes any sense.

The challenge is provided by Litterära Konsulter through Instagram. We are given 30 words to write something about without writing the actual word or synonyms. Just to describe it, show it. And then let the readers guess the word.

I am actually writing this in Swedish, could be good exercise too. And here comes my first entry in this challenge:

Favorittröjan så här i kalla vintertider låg på golvet i badrummet efter gårdagens långa och uppvärmande dusch. Inför dagens promenad längs sjön i det molnfria och friska senvintervädret var den vinröda stickade det givna valet.

Hon drog den över huvudet. Något var inte som det brukade. Nåt fränt trängde sig in i näsan. Surt. Inbillade hon sig? Nä, usch! När skulle hon lära sig att katterna alltid passade på att kräkas i klädhögar på golvet?

How is this possible?!

A few days ago, my mom sent me a picture of the first page of the book she just started reading. I read the first line and thought “Oh, how weird, someone started their first chapter in the exact same way as I did”. Then I continued to read and all I could think for the rest of the page was “What the fuck?!”

I have never heard of Peter May before, or his book Coffin Road. But it is scarily similar to my first page! My first thought was that this might be me in a previous life. But the book was released 2016, so perhaps it was an earlier time in my reincarnation process but in this timeline, because time doesn’t matter in reincarnation? Perhaps I am living a double life as a Scottish author. Haha!

For those of you who have read my first chapter, you will most likely recognize this red-marked part from Coffin Road. May uses different words, but he follows the same path as I do. My first two sentence are “Salt. The air that filled my nose was full of that salty aroma.” His first sentence is “The first thing I am aware of is the taste of salt.” Pretty similar, don’t you think? The second thing his character aknowledges, is touch. Mine feels warmth, his feels cold. Then May’s character opens his eyes after what seems an eternity (mine can’t tell how long she lays there, a minute, several hours?) and it blinded, exactly as mine is.

Then he fills out with environmental descriptions, and throwing up, which I don’t, but then the realization hits both of our characters and they start to wonder who they are and where they are.

Then of course, he writes in a different way than I am, perhaps slightly better. Only slightly though, hahaha!

I still have a hard time believing this. This is insane!! I have had plenty of “what the fuck”-moments lately, but this takes the price. It is unbelievable! His book is a detective story and mine fantasy. It’s funny how two so completely different books can start in exactly the same way. Funny.