Veröffentlichung “Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe”

Veröffentlichung “Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe”

Am 13. Juni war es soweit. Mein zweiter Roman „Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe“ ist in Zusammenarbeit mit der Märchenspinnerei auf Amazon erschienen. Am 23. Juni folgte der Print und heute nun folgt das epub, so dass Ebook und Print in allen Online- und Offline Buchhandlungen erhaltbar sind. Aber fangen wir von vorne an.

Hier findet ihr Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe und mehr

Als Kindle-Ebook und Print auf Amazon.

Als Epub-Ebook und Print auf Thalia.de, Weltbild.de, Osiandersche und vielen mehr.

Auf Nachfrage auch in eurer Buchhandlung 🙂

Der Preis für ein gedrucktes Buch beträgt €12.99. Das Ebook gibt es bereits für €3.99. Ein signiertes Buch könnt ihr übrigens direkt über mich bestellen (Email). Continue reading

Leseprobe: Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe

Leseprobe: Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe

Am 13. Juni erscheint “Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe” (Hier geht’s zum Buch) und hier laufen die Vorbereitungen heiß. Für euch gibt es heute als Vorgeschmack schon mal eine kleine Leseprobe. Darin könnt ihr vor allem Jonas und auch ein wenig Sophie kennenlernen, es gibt die erste adaptierte Märchenszene (zwei eigentlich) und einen Vorgeschmack auf die Wunder des DeModie.

Leseprobe -Ouverture

KAPITEL 1

Ouverture

 

Schutt und Asche rieselten vom Himmel, als Jonas sich flach auf den Boden warf. Kaum dass er lag, erschütterte eine zweite Explosion die Erde. Schreie mischten sich unter das laute Heulen der Sirenen. Jonas presste die Hände auf die Ohren, aber die Schreie bohrten sich gleichzeitig mit den Glassplittern tief in seinen Kopf. Hitze wallte über ihn hinweg und brachte den Geruch von verbranntem Fleisch mit sich. Die Schreie wurden lauter, kreischten unmenschlich hoch. Er konnte ihnen nicht entgehen, verbrannte mit ihnen, während er sich gleichzeitig unter Anstrengung all seiner Kraft aus dem Schutt wühlte, den Kopf immer unten. Nur nicht auffallen. Wenn er nur weit genug weg war, hätte er eine Chance.

Zum dritten Mal wurde seine Umgebung in Stücke gerissen.

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Das Junimärchen enthüllt sein Antlitz

Meine Lieben, es ist so weit! Heute darf ich euch endlich zeigen, was sich hinter dem Junimärchen versteckt. Am 13. Juni erscheint mein neues Buch, die Märchenadaption “Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe”. Das zugrunde liegende Märchen dürfte nicht schwer zu erkennen sein. Es handelt sich um “Die zertanzten Schuhe” von den Brüdern Grimm. Nun aber Vorhang auf für:

Junimärchen - Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe von Janna Ruth

Im Bann der zertanzten Schuhe erscheint am 13. Juni 2017. Cover-Design von Yvonne Landsiedel.

Klappentext des Junimärchen

Ein verborgener Hain
Ein verfluchter Prinz
Ein Paar zertanzter Schuhe

Vor zwei Jahren ist Jonas aus dem Krieg heimgekehrt und doch scheint es, als wäre er nie zuhause angekommen. Ziellos durch die Straßen schweifend, trifft er einen alten Mann, der ihm von den Wundern des DeModie erzählt, einem verwunschenen Reich im Herzen des Nachtlebens. Unzählige Reichtümer und Schätze erwarten ihn dort, doch, was Jonas wirklich verzaubert, ist die lebensfrohe Tänzerin Sophie, die ihn mit ihrem Lachen ansteckt. Jede Nacht tanzt Sophie mit ihrem Prinzen und jede Nacht zerreißen ihre Schuhe ein klein wenig mehr, und mit ihnen das Geheimnis, welches das DeModie und seine Bewohner umgibt.

Die zertanzten Schuhe mal anders. Im Bann eines verzauberten Tanzes spinnt die Autorin Janna Ruth märchenhafte Elemente der Brüder Grimm zu einer modernen Fabel über das glitzernde Nachtleben, zerbrochene Träume und verlorene Seelen.

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Ostergewinnspiel

Ostergewinnspiel

Hallo meine Lieben!

Der Winter ist vorbei und es wird wieder wärmer. Die Knospen springen auf und überall sieht man Blumenmeere. Der Frühling ist meine Lieblingsjahreszeit, sowohl in seiner Gestalt als auch als Motiv des Neubeginns. Natürlich spielt das Osterfest da keine geringe Rolle. Da ich nicht religiös bin, fallen zwar die Kirchentage für mich weg, aber der Ostersonntag war dennoch mein Lieblingsfeiertag. Traditionell haben wir den in der Familie immer draußen am See gefeiert mit einer bunten Ostereiersuche. So mache ich das heute noch mit meinen Jungs und nun auch mit euch.

Überall auf der Seite haben sich osterfreudige Mobse versteckt und jonglieren mit Buchstaben. Und darum geht’s. Gesucht wird der Name dieses kleinen Hasen.

Ostereiersuche - wie heißt dieser Hase.

Wie heiße ich? Mach mit bei der Ostereiersuche!

Zu gewinnen gibt es ein Osterüberraschungspaket!

Schickt mir bis zum 17.4.17 23:59Uhr den Namen dieses Hasen und hüpft in den Lostopf! (janna@janna-ruth.com)

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Geologic Worldbuilding Part 1: The Basics

Geologic Worldbuilding Part 1: The Basics

I had actually planned to write a little about how world-building works for a geologist. Then, I started and noticed pretty fast, how terribly complex the whole topic would be and how I was glossing over facts, just so it wouldn’t get too big to read. That also meant I barely said a peep about world-building. Thus, I decided to make it into a little series and build a world with you. Here are the currently planned topics

  • Part 1 – The Basics
  • Part 2 – Mountain ranges (planned)
  • Part 3 – Rivers and lakes (planned)
  • Part 4 – Climate zones (planned)
  • Part 5 – Volcanoes, earthquakes and other catastrophes (planned)
  • Part 6 – Rocks rock! (planned)
  • Part 7 – Summary: Pointers and tricks to make your world geologically sound (plannedI)

Just, so I won’t bore you with some scientific lecture, I have invited Mobs, my little science communicator.

Mobs, als Wissenschaftskommunikator, (c) Janna Ruth

Geological time

Geologists and their sense of time – apparently a breaking point in relationships. When a geologist says, an earthquake is imminent that may be in 10, 50 or 100 years. Or maybe it happens tomorrow morning. They also talk about the recent ice age as if it were a thing that happened a few weeks ago, when it was over 10,000 years ago.

Mountains don’t appear in a human’s lifetime, not even in our species lifetime, though at least that would be a visible change. Equally, it takes a long while for mountains to disappear. The Scandinavian mountains for example predate Pangea and they are still considerable today though that plate boundary hasn’t been active in ages. So, if you are planning to make mountains appear over night or older characters lament how the mountains used to be higher in their youth, then you should consider adding magic or alternative physics into the mix.

Mobs beim Gebirge aufschieben, (c) Janna Ruth

Lifting mountains isn’t exactly a sprinting discipline.

There are, however, geological processes that go quickly. An earthquake can lift or lower the land within the time of its rupture, though that’s only a few metres at most and then not for a while. Volcanoes let whole islands appear from under water during an eruption or they collapse into each other and form crater lakes. Any coast processes are extra quick. Within a person’s life new beach easily forms. At the same time other coasts degrade and break away. With the accelerated sea level rise, this becomes an even faster process.

 

Plate tectonics

Let’s start with my favourite topic: plate tectonics. As you surely know, the Earth’s crust is broken into many small and large plates. These plates swim upon the so-called asthenosphere, the upper part of the Earth’s liquid mantle. This process leads to plates colliding, tearing apart or passing each other by. The mantle’s convection cycles are the main player in deciding which way the plates go, but that would be looking a little to deep for a place to start.

plate movement, Bucknell University

Bewegung der Platten (c) Bucknell University (www.bucknell.edu)

The reason I’m starting with plate tectonics is that the most impressive feature of any landscape, the mountain ranges, only form where two plates meet. Oceans, meanwhile, develop when a plate tears apart upon two conflicting swimming directions. One of the youngest rifts is the East African Rift which also coincides with the Red Sea.

Mobs Plattenbewegung (c) Janna Ruth

Plates can crash into each other or tear apart and drift away

The second most-important thing is that plate boundaries are THE centres of volcanic activity and earthquakes. Ignoring hotspots like Hawaii, volcanos are only found along a plate boundary. The famous Pacific Ring of Fire, that spans from Japan through Indonesia and New Zealand to the Americas, contains 70% of the world’s volcanoes and hosts 90% of all earthquakes. The latter isn’t so surprising if you think of it. Things colliding always leads to shock waves.

About every half billion years a supercontinent forms. Almost everyone knows Pangea where the dinosaurs roamed. Before Pangea there was Rhodinia and scientists have already projected a future super continent. The Pacific will close eventually and acquaint the Americas and Asia. Going from Los Angeles to Beijing – possible with plate tectonics. If you want to know what these several states of plate assembly can do for your world-building, make sure to come back for the climate part.

Novopangäa, Reiner Olzem

Novopangäa, die mögliche Zukunft der Kontinente. (c) Reiner Olzem (www.reiner-olzem.de)

Jigsaw worlds

If you look at the world map, you quickly notice that Africa and South and Central America fit together really well. Sure, the coasts look a bit different and everything is distorted, so it’s not exactly a perfect fit, but you know immediately that they did belong together some time ago. Other continents fit well together as well, though they have been separated a while longer, so have eroded more.

At the beginning of my geology studies I had planned to build a world from the very beginning. I want to continue this project together with you. Thus, here are the plates of my world. On this map, you notice that a few continents and islands fit together. Thalin, for example, still has this little peninsula that fits perfectly well into the East Coast of Fehnis. Sibenia, however, is just separating, while the islands of Werden and Taro could be assembled back into Fehnis’ and Kryos’ western coasts with a little effort.

Weltenbau: Die Kontinente

Building my own world – starting with some continents.

You can also see how the coasts don’t fit together perfectly. Parts are missing while others would be overlapping. That’s okay, because remember: The tearing apart happens over the course of millions of years, while the sea level rise (and fall) and coast erosion processes work much faster. Thus, I distorted some of the parts and made the coasts look a bit more natural.

And now, it’s your turn.

 

How to build yourself some continents

  1. Think about how many continents you need and in which size you would want them.
  2. Decide whether you want a bunch of smaller continents or one mega-continent. A little tip: When a supercontinent breaks apart, the temperature rises considerably as there will be a lot of volcanisms and thus CO2 in the air.
  3. Now scatter your continents across the world map.
  4. Pick which continents move towards each other and which move apart. How to the «sides» of your plates relate to each other?
  5. Shape the continents that move apart from each other so that they could fit into each other. The closer they are together the more they need to assemble each other. That doesn’t have to include each coast line. Just take a few of them and make them stand out enough that once could push them back together if they wanted to.
  6. At the boundaries where continents move against each other, we will start building mountain ranges. But more on that in part 2.

Little tip: Since the earth is round, your plates and continents should reappear in the same spot on the other side, when they reach the map limits.This isn’t true for any disc worlds 😉

Janna

 

P.S.: You can download the basic coordination system here.

 

Disclaimer: Of course, fantasy worlds do not have to follow our laws of nature and authors do not need to complete a geology course in order to build a working fantasy world. However, I hope you have fun and maybe I can sharpen your view a little.

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Publication: Tanz der Feuerblüten (Dance of the fire blossoms)

Publication: Tanz der Feuerblüten (Dance of the fire blossoms)

It’s time. Today, my debut novel “Tanz der Feuerblüten” (Dance of the fire blossoms) is available. It is a japanese-style fantasy love story about ghosts, demons and the magic of the elements. The novel is published by Ueberreuter Verlag within the (eBook only) uebersinnlich series. The eBook is available on the publisher’s homepage, at Amazon.de and other eBook traders for 2.99€.

Tanz der Feuerblüten von Janna Ruth, Cover-Illustration © Alexander Kopainski, uebersinnlich bei Ueberreuter

Tanz der Feuerblüten by Janna Ruth, Cover-Illustration © Alexander Kopainski, uebersinnlich at Ueberreuter

Blurb:

(unofficial translation)

The sunset palace is full of flawless beauty: water, metal, wood, and air are moulded into remarkable artworks for the royal society to enjoy. When the young sword dancer Jinnan arrives at court, his provincial nature makes him feel awkward and overwhelmed by the complex etiquette. But then he meets the gorgeous Ayaka who entrances him with her air melodies. Against all reason Jinnan sets out to win Ayaka’s heart – knowing fully well, that he’s playing with fire …

 

Background information:

“Tanz der Feuerblüten” is one of the three winners of an Ueberreuter writing competition. Premise: a 100-page long romantasy short novel.

Romantasy isn’t exactly my genre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of love stories. But when a story puts its whole focus on this single aspect, I’m usually out. Nevertheless I couldn’t exactly say no to such a chance and, thus, created my own kind of romantasy. My test reader promptly said, ‘It’s a really great story, but you probaby won’t win as there’s not enough focus on the romance.’ Well, I did win. At the end of October, I was informed that I had been one of the three chosen winners. I was so happy, I jumped up and down 😉

By the way, I was also invited to visit the publishing house and you can read about that awesome day here: My visit with Ueberreuter Verlag.

Gewinner des uebersinnlich Schreibwettbewerbs

Corina Bomann, me, Jess A. Loup and Rebecca Andel in front of the Wall of Fame. (c) Ueberreuter Verlag GmbH

The story has been inside of me for about 15 years, though certainly not in this form. Back then, I read an issue of the GeoEPOCHE about the Imperial Japan. This society that is solely focused on beauty and elegance, when each tiny detail has a meaning, was so fascinatingly different that I just had to use it someday. There is so much western European Fantasy and sometimes there’s a little bit of oriental fantasy, but it’s quite rare to find asian inspired fantasy. Even though those cultures have a vast potential to be explored. Especially, Japan with all its arts (ikebana, origami, kabuki, calligraphy, gardening …) and fine aesthetics has been a favourite of mine.

2015, then, I was able to fulfill one of my dreams and travel around Japan for 3 weeks, 9 days of those in the Kyoto-Region. It was the best vacation ever. We have seen and done so much; we partook in a tea ceremony, learned how to arrange flowers and watched the geisha’s spring show. Even though I was pregnant at that time, I was able to try on one of those beautiful kimonos and go sightseeing in it. In any case, filled with those impressions, I was ready to take on this story.

 

Video reading of “Tanz der Feuerblüten” (Dance of the fire blossoms)

As part of my pre-release party, I made a little video reading of my book. Go and have a look if you don’t mind the German.

 

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Enjoy the story of Jinnan and Ayaka!

Your Janna

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Environment protection: exalted wood people, talking trees and the conflict potential with civilisation

Environment protection: exalted wood people, talking trees and the conflict potential with civilisation

Today, I want to speak to you about the protection of the environment, an age-old topic of literature. Don’t believe me? Let me go into detail. In Germany we read a book called “Homo Faber” in school. This book written by the famous Max Frisch tells the story of a very technology focused, stressed business man that turns away from civilisation and towards nature. The return to nature or the reconquering of the world through nature is one of literature’s and film’s (think Avatar) themes. But how about the fantasy genre?

 

Nature always wins

Contrary to the very technical world of steampunk, fantasy is a fierce advocat for the environment. Just look at the high amount of people and species living in balance with the nature, such as elves, fairies or shamans. Who doesn’t know the classical wood elf with his bow and arrow? The long-living people are quite usually the ones very in tune with nature and, thus, their world. The humans living far away from nature are usually short-lived, quarrelsome and in many areas short-sighted. Also, dwarves are often critically viewed in regards to their mining ventures. They dug too deep….

The one novelist bringing this environmentalist characterisation to the extreme is Tolkien. His elves are certainly on the good side, even if they wrinkle their noses about all the other creatures, vandalising their world. Thus, they have retreated to the beautiful forests, ensuring their thriving. On the opposite side, you have the orcs, evil and brutal. They not only kill everything they come across. They also burn and cut down the woods.

Wait, where do we have deforestation? Oh right, our rainforests.

Obviously, Tolkien had a thing for nature (even if not on purpose). When the orcs start to deforest Fangorn for the industrialisation of Isengard, the Ents, talking trees, rise up and end their puny attempt. The fires are quelled and Isengard is drowned. Nature wins back its territory, literally rising up against orc-kind.

 

Elben und Natur bei Tolkien

Tolkien: Elves, environmental activists?

Nature vs civilisation

Now, there aren’t that many humans in reality or fantasy that live in balance with nature. Civilisation is our boon (even if it is our vice as well). We cannot survive the way we are without it. But civilisation will always be in conflict with nature. Environment protection is important, but we can’t protect it a 100% without taking away our livelihood. That may work for a single person or community but not for the 7 billion of people on our planet.

 

Robin Hobb: Soldier Boy Trilogy

Fantasy literature loves to take on that conflict and get you thinking. A beautiful example is Robin Hobb’s Soldier Boy Trilogy where this conflict becomes the background theme. The story starts in the civilisation end of its world. The realm is expanding quickly and what do you need for expansion? Infrastructure. So, one big plot point is the building of a road through the unconquered woods. It’s a tough task and one that is made even harder by the people living in the woods.

Contrary to the very technical, logical people, especially the namesake soldiers, the wood people have magic. The magic is a bit out there with its need for overindulgence in nutritious food, but it is used to protect nature. The soldier boy is at the centre of this conflict. His whole life he has dreamt of being a good, successful soldier, capable of logic and engineering. But then he gets infected by magic and fights for his place in an increasingly confusing world. Nature is messy and so is magic. It revolts the soldier boy, but then he begins to question his society and thus, civilisation. Finally, he comes to terms with his role of protecting the environment.

 

Robin Hobb: Soldier Son

Soldier Son Trilogy

 

N.K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season

Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin takes the conflict between civilisation and environment to a higher level. Though it’s not about forests but rocks, its nature nonetheless. Her story’s world is frequently subjected to catastrophic natural events. The fifth season is the one, when a supervolcano eruption has brought on a nuclear winter or when a mega earthquake has flattened any structure.

Natural hazard in Jemisin’s world are much more frequent and much stronger than in our world, meaning several civilisation have already bitten the dust. The great Sanze civilisation is only great because it survived five seasons. Now, her main characters are the so-called orogenes who are children of Father Earth and can prevent (or cause) earthquakes and the like. The very conflict between these dangerous, but sympathetic people and the educated, civilised, but nasty people is just another mirror of nature against civilisation.

In the end, nature always wins.

 

Janna Ruth: Tanz der Feuerblüten

Yep, that’s me. I also wrote about the conflict between nature and civilisation, trying for a more objective take. The civilisation in my world is not bad, just as it isn’t bad in our world. It’s just not in balance with the environment which is represented by demons and other mythical creatures. Instead, the civilisation is based on the artistry of human kind and artificial beauty. Magic, by the way, is here part of the civilisation. When the demons and monsters rise up against my civilisation though, human kind doesn’t have much left to defend itself. But whether nature wins in the end, you’ll have to read for yourself.

Tanz der Feuerblüten will be published on the 6th of March 2017 within the uebersinnlich series, by Ueberreuter Verlag (Link).

Pre-Release Party von Tanz der Feuerblüten

Pre-Release-Party on Facebook with video reading, interviews and prices to win. (Link)

Whether it’s beneficial to humans or not, fantasy literature often acts as the advocate for the environment. Thus, there are two hypothesis to be drawn from almost every fantasy book focusing on this topic.

  • The environment is something good, that needs to be protected and …
  • The force of nature will overwhelm us in the end.

Because no matter how much we destroy of the environment, in the end we will only succeed to make the world unliveable to us. The environment will recover eventually and evolution will bring up new life-forms. The world has been through several stages of higher temperature for example, but I wouldn’t exactly recommend living through any of them.

The protection of the environment is so important not just for nature’s sake, but for our sake.

 

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Fantasy: with real characters

Today, I will kick off a collaborative series about the realism of fantasy literature. In this series a bunch of German bloggers and authors will discuss, how certain real life problems are presented and elaborated in fantasy novels. Often, fantasy novels are quite critical of society, politics and other realistic problems. And in a way, that topic fits perfectly with my page theme, so today I will start off with how I develop realistic characters.

 

People in magical worlds still dealt with real-life problems. They usually just had bigger ones on top of that. (Zitat aus „Far beyond Reality“)

 

Behind the magic

You’re writing fantasy? But that’s only fictional, isn’t it? Why don’t you write something real? That’s more or less the kind of response you’ll get, when you tell anyone you’re writing fantasy novels. All those fantastic worlds are just fictional, of course, and there’s no magic in reality or elves, dwarves and demons. But the stories behind it, the characters in it, they are as real as you and me.

The times, when Hercules mastered one great deed after the other without so much as a hick-up or when shining knights stood up for justice without the sliver of doubt are over. Today, people want to get more out of their favourite characters. As a reader we want to know about the challenges our heroes have to face. We want to read, how the characters grow with their experiences! We want to accompany him on his hero’s journey, be with him when he rises above his fears and insecurities and makes peace with his past. The epic battle over the world are just the special effects in our blockbuster.

Herkules

Hercules’ victory over the centaur

The character as the result of his environment

When I develop my characters, they don’t appear in a vacuum. At first, there’s the society. What rights do men and women have? Which role does religion play? Is there a class system, racism or freedom of speech? All those decision I’ve made during world-building are vitally important for my character development. I can’t have a whole bunch of misogynistic characters, when their country has been practising gender equality for half a millennia.

Of course, there will always be exceptions: People that rebel against the system or assholes that have radicalised themselves. Revolution is nothing new in fantasy, often culminating in a violent rise against the system and subsequent modern development of the once medieval world. But what I find really exciting, is trying to build the characters within the system. Especially if the world’s value system does not resemble our modern values, you always have to ask the question: How would a character act, feel and think within this society?

When you’re done with the society part, you need to take the personal environment into account. This could be his or her family, friends or even the whole village. We all know that. Some of our values we adopted from our parents, some despite of them. Other values have been adapted by us after thinking about them for a long time. And thus, when we develop our character, we need to think about what values and experiences he or she grew up with. Of course, each individual will turn out differently.

My aim is to develop my figures in such a way, that each decision they will make in my story is an organic result of my prior decisions. And that’s the moment, when your characters take over and you mourn your carefully crafted plot 😉

 

The experimental lab of fantasy literature

Fantasy literature is an ideal way of experimenting with human nature. In this medium we can switch up the boundary conditions of our world. We can ask ourselves, how it would change a people when you live eternally like Tolkien’s elves. We could also explore how people would cope with nightly demon attacks as in Peter V. Brett’s ‘Painted Man’.

Within the fantasy genre we have this giant lab where we can push humans to their limit. How do you cope with the responsibility of being the chosen one – or the chosen one that will destroy the world? What do you pick, if duty and family are at odds with each other? And of course that very thought intensifies when we develop whole races that are different than ours.

In Insignia of Magic, my Urban Fantasy series, I have asked all these questions of my demons. They are entirely different from my humans. But it is not just their magical prowess. It’s their whole view of the world. My demons live for the absolute freedom with no thought about anyone else. They see our morals as something we’re shackling ourselves with. Wars against a group that is different than us, may that difference be religious, ethnological or just a different mind-set, are entirely beyond their comprehension. Only the individual is of notice. Having this mind-set as a base to experiment with while keeping the inner logic of the race, is a lot of fun. It also widens the horizon when looking at cultural differences in the real world.

Melchius aus Zeichen der Macht

An early drawing of Melchius – Insignia of Magic, Season 1

 

The realistic inner life of fantasy characters

It’s no secret that my stories are very character-driven. My knight in shining armour in Ravenblood is not so intriguing because he is a lawfully good character and has a strong moral compass. The real crux is that he struggles with remaining lawful and good in a world that continues to worsen around him and how hard it can be to keep holding onto your principles. And doesn’t everyone agree that we are mostly fascinated by those deeply broken characters that battle with their inner demons?

I often like to take a step further. Often enough, fantasy literature tends to get over traumatic experiences surprisingly quick and unscarred. Mostly, you encounter that phenomenon while roleplaying. There, you get the former, deeply scarred sex slave who finds the love of his life within two weeks. Of course, the two of them practically live in the bed from then on. It’s a common trend that we love to develop dramatic background stories that remain entirely in the background.

I try to take a different approach. My hero in Ravenblood only manages to get over the traumatic event of his youth in the fourth and final book. When my characters go to war, some come back with PTS. Also, I like to give other mental health issues a spotlight. If you want to be more specific, you could say that it is quickly becoming part of my trademark to focus on such disabilities.

Rise of the Raven

Rise of the Raven, Book 3 of Ravenblood

And these are the characters and stories that I want to read about in fantasy literatur as well. But…

 

What do you need to develop a realistic character

Even if your fantasy characters battle with supernatural problems, they often face the same challenges we do. Often the hero questions himself whether he is good enough. Just because their world is threatened doesn’t mean that they don’t also fight some internal struggles. Even the chosen one needs to deal with jealousy, a thirst for vengeance, insecurities and fears. And when those characters overcome their internal struggles, then we are often much more moved than when they are victorious over some dark mage.

It’s these weaknesses, these peeks into their inner soul that make us root for these characters. In the end this is what we identify with while at the same time we are entertained by the magic.

 

As the blog series is by German bloggers, there will be no more English posts other than my second entry about environmental agency in fantasy novels. If you liked this post, I might revisit this and other topics at a later time.

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My visit with the Ueberreuter Verlag

My visit with the Ueberreuter Verlag

As the winner of the uebersinnlich writing competition I was invited to visit my publishing house, the Ueberreuter Verlag, last Friday (February 10th, 2017). Not only was I showed around the premises, I also got a workshop with best seller author Corina Bomann.

 

A big player in the publishing industry playing it low?

If you think about a major publishing house, you would expect something … well, big, impersonal, maybe even mass production. Our welcoming at the Ueberreuter Verlag was nothing like that. It was like being introduced into a big family where everyone is happy to meet you. Maybe 15-20 people work at the publishing house which is a lot less than I expected. On the other side, the publisher’s archive is so big, each office needs to host a part of it.

 

Ueberreuter Verlag

The entry of the Ueberreuter Verlag with the archive and the Wall of Fame

On Friday, the first order of business was inviting the three winners – which would be Jess A. Loup, Rebecca Andel and me – for lunch. The restaurant beneath the publishing house offered creative dishes such as yeast dough with plums and pumpkins, but was very delicious. After that, we got a real tour through the offices.

We get to know the three editors that know our projects by heart and won’t stop with well-meaning compliments. Then we get to know the girls from production and see all the new editions. Too bad that our novels will be E-Book only. In the marketing room though, everyone’s just as excited as us and so are the girls from distribution. Only the publisher himself is missing. Maybe next time.

 

Neuerscheinungen bei Ueberreuter

The new releases of the Ueberreuter Verlag GmbH.

A workshop going off course

The second part of our win was the workshop with Corina Bomann. Corina has been an author for the Ueberreuter Verlag for a long time and knows way around publishers and agents. On this Friday she not only wants to give us tips about capitalising on our recent success, but also invite us to create worlds, characters and plots with her. While we’re at it, we spend so much time on excited chatter that we forget all about the tasks ahead of us.

 

At the workshop with Corina Bomann. (c) Ueberreuter Verlag GmbH

Instead we learn a lot about Corina’s path to success, blabber on about our own plans and dreams and get a notion about where to go from here. The doors of the book world are wide open. Now, it’s our turn to make it work. Nevertheless, Corina and the Ueberreuter Verlag have offered us their valuable time and help and we’re happy to have such great mentors at our side. Maybe a little too happy. Let’s see!

 

Goodies over goodies

But if you thought that that was everything, you (and I then) couldn’t be further off. At the end of the workshop we got ourselves some beautiful diplomas which we had to present to the camera of course. Then there was a bag so full off books and goodies that I almost failed carrying it safely home.

 

Ueberreuter Goodies

That’s how much I got from them – almost too much to fit on a picture.

But the absolute highlight was the Wall of Fame. On that wall all the authors and illustrators under the publisher have written their names and we were allowed to add ours. Not only that, Mobs got its place of honour as well and who knows, maybe Mobs will not only decorate the wall of Ueberreuter but some book pages in the near future.

Janna auf der Wall of Fame

Me, signing on the Wall of Fame. (c) Ueberreuter Verlag GmbH

I want to thank Kathleen Neumann and her team for the beautiful afternoon, all those gifts and tips, and hopes you’ve passed onto us. It was great visiting you and I’m looking forward to a repeat.

Gewinner des uebersinnlich Schreibwettbewerbs

Corina Bomann, me, Jess A. Loup and Rebecca Andel in front of the Wall of Fame. (c) Ueberreuter Verlag GmbH

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My writing year 2017

Today, I would like to give you a quick overview about what’s ahead in 2017 for me and my writing career. Considering, that that is only one of three careers I’m currently holding afloat, no sleep will be on the agenda 😉

 

Insignia of Magic

Come November, it will be 15 years since I first thought up Insignia of Magic. Back then, I one episode a fortnight, one season a year, basically cruising through season 1-3. During season 4, life happened and suddenly there were months and months between episodes. In 2014 I decided to put an end to it and with great discipline, I finished the 5th season in an one episode/month regime. Again life happened, but beginning 2016, I defined my goal to pick up that 2014 regime and keep it up for the next four years to finally reach the end of my series.

Well, that worked pretty well in 2016 and so, we’re currently in the middle of season six. Now, the second half of the season of gluttony awaits us and that means, it’s gonna get epic. We’ve got gods taking part, so come on! Having already checked off 6×13, the rest of the year is promising. Bear in mind though, that I will (most likely) be unable to write an episode in March, April, July and November. They will be written before or afterwards to ensure the episodes per year ratio.

 

Two novels

My second goal is about writing two big novels this year. One is of course reserved for the NaNoWriMo. I have no idea which one it’s gonna be, but there are already four candidates. The second novel is fairly easy. I want to write the fourth and final book of the Ravenblood Saga. Because, once that is finished, I’ll start with …

 

Revisions

Currently, I’m working very hard on reivising Dream Away for the last time. There’s still one more line edit and corrections but after this no more content edit. This is my favourite project and I want to send it off to my contact in the US, who will hopefully get me some agents.

My fairy tale is already set for publication in June and to keep that deadline, the whole revision marathon is still awaiting me. I’ll start on that in February, when my draft has been hidden long enough from me to see it with fresh eyes. Since March this year, I will be spending three weeks in the Atacama Desert in Chile, March is also the deadline for that first content edit.

Mobs in der Atacama Wüste

I’ll be spending three weeks doing field work in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile!

If possible, I also want to start with editing Ravenblood and hopefully finishing the first book. And of course, there’s always Insignia of Magic. But this year, I want to edit the first season and give it really thorough clean-up and polishing. Because I am planning to publish it – as a book! Don’t worry, the dialogue style will be kept. I mean, if JK Rowling can publish a movie transcript, so can I 😉

 

Publications and Co.

This year will be extremly exciting for me, because I will have my writing debut. Meanwhile, I know a little bit more about it and the publication date has been set for March 2017. Hopefully, I will be here to see it and not sit in the desert already.

The fairytale is currently set for June 13, BUT I’m working some special things out. And if that happens, the publication will move forward a few days.

I also want to visit a few book fairs. I will have to give a pass to the Leipziger Buchmesse, because I’ll be still in Chile. But it should be possible to go to Frankfurt in October. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about accommodation, since my parents just moved there. I will definitely be at the Buch Berlin to represent the Märchenspinnerei in November. And maybe there’s one more – in June.

It’s very likely, that in addition to my series and the two novels there’ll be some short stories. But I will tell you more about that later.

Writing year 2017

My plan for 2017 (in German)

My writing year in numbers

Insignia of Magic: 10.000/episode – ca. 120.000 words

Ravenblood 4: ca. 150.000 words

Unknown novel: ca. 150.000 words

At least one short story: ca. 5000 words

In total that‘s: 425.000 words 🙂

 

Your Janna

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