Holidays are over, work awaits…

First day back on the “job”… Which for me means a lot of housekeeping. The end of the year also means that there’s the books (the boring kind) to consider. How many books have I sold in 2015? How much money have I made? Well, the answer will elude me for a while longer, as the numbers for December aren’t in yet, and I haven’t seen the numbers from my publisher either. So we’ll see… But it looks good.

Two and a half weeks of vacation was nice, and the visit to Bali was very relaxing. Yet it was also nice to come home, to come back to our house, the cats and normality. Not sure if I’m getting old or if it was the many things going wrong this vacation that made me long for home. Not that I was homesick, but it was just “good to be home”. It’s cold here, fifteen C colder than when we left, and the clothes we wore were nowhere near appropriate for the weather we came back to. The house was cold, too, but we’ve managed to heat it up last night, so things are okay now.

One of the trips took us to Ubud and the rice terraces that Bali is so famous for.

One of the trips took us to Ubud and the rice terraces that Bali is so famous for. Photo: Private

It’s been a good vacation. The hotel we stayed at was so comfortable with the pool and the space that we barely wanted to leave our room, the food was good and the hotel located so remotely that even when you left the hotel, you didn’t want to. So here I am, started the fifth load of laundry, I have one left, I’ve opened my mail, got some invoices to pay, but I’m on top of things. Mostly.

I really enjoyed reading this past few weeks, just reading for my own pleasure. I’m in the Facebook group with a few other authors and readers, a small group of us who bonded during this recent GRL in San Diego. We’ve been discussing everything between heaven and hell and one topic got to me in particular: reading while writing. Several of the authors have been asking for help with their WIP, and apart from being 13+ hours away in terms of time zones, I’ve also felt conflicted with regards to responding to those requests. I’m halfway through a novel and I’m always afraid how reading things might influence my own writing. Knowing how my brain ticks, nothing affects me more than any- and everything. So I try to stay away from things that might potentially come back to haunt me. There have been so many discussions of plagiarism that I guess I’ve been affected by the talk. Not that I ever would, but what if something “inspires” me and it turns out to be too “close for comfort”? So I better stay clear.

My novel Willem of the Tafel mentions Bali prominently. Have you read the book?

My novel Willem of the Tafel mentions Bali prominently. Have you read the book? Photo: Private

Going back over my books that I’ve written, in discussions with friends or readers, I realize just how many different things that influence my writing or my inspiration. I guess, I’ve become cautious. After all the cat-phishing and plagiarism scandals, It’s better to be safe than sorry. It is what it is.

So here are a couple of tips for books to read, if you want some inspiration:

Caraway Carter – Hawaiian Trunks: short story about a man who organizes his friends’ wedding in Hawai’i…

Vanessa North – Blueberry Boys: Photographer returns home to the blueberry farm he grew up…

Hunter Frost – An Angel in Eyeliner (in the Holiday anthology: Boughs of Evergreen): Interesting encounter on Christmas Eve…

Bru Baker – King of the Kitchen: Chef meets chef in this recipe laden novel.

Phetra H. Novak –  Finding home: Coming out story based in my home town of Gothenburg. (Currently unavailable)

Jenna Johanis: Claimed by the Order (S-Gods book 1): When ancient gods have sex… (Erotica)

I’ve enjoyed all those stories. They are of course very different from each other, but I’m not ashamed to recommend you to read them… Each author has their own style, and since I know them all, it was interesting to see how their writing is. I’ve made a decision recently to read at least one book from all the authors I’ve met, to see how their writing style is. Knowing them personally is one thing, but to read them adds an interesting dimension. It’ll take a while. I know a lot of authors… LOL

What else is planned for 2016? Well, already next week, I have a new novel coming out, Ross Deere, and then there are three more releases planned for this year. I’ll try to keep the reviewing and the travel writing up, and keep you posted about my writing. One thing’s for sure. Blogging is extremely time consuming. I spend an hour and a half (at least) every week day on this, and if I read and review books, or do an interview, even more time is needed. I sometimes have to ask myself if it’s worth that work, given the outcome. Maybe I’ll reduce the writing to three times per week instead of five. Difficult decision, and I haven’t made my mind up yet. What do you think? Any input?

Anyway. I’ve got to return to my chores. Enjoy your hump day and I’ll return tomorrow with a review (haven’t decided which of the books above I’ll review yet…) I hope you’ve had a good and peaceful transition into 2016, and I hope that the year will be a good one for you, your loved ones and indeed for all of us. Humankind certainly deserves a break from all the evil, all the wars, the terror etc that’s been ravaging us recently.

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