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Why did I write ‘Quarterling’?

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You may or may not know that The Comyenti Series, from which ‘Quarterling’ is a part of being a spin-off novel, is a fantasy series that as a whole is really close to my heart. It always has been, more so than all my other books. Being a huge animal lover, vegan, and empath myself writing about an alien humanoid species, who are all mind-speaking empaths, and have all these amazing animal abilities, but with their own weaknesses comes almost natural to me. That probably shouldn’t come as a surprise for those that know me. Especially since most of my life I have almost felt like an alien on this world myself! Being sensitive to noise, bright lights, strong smells, fainting in crowds, wanting different things in life than others my age, reading different books, being vegan, and lesbian! I am also quite a private person, so I guess not many people know much about me at all, hence why I started this newsletter in the first place.

But, I digress. All of the main characters certainly feel like different parts of me I wanted to explore. Especially Sula Comyenti who started it all in book 1: Call Off the Search’ which was originally called ‘Small Sacrifice’, and who has been with me from the start shaping the story and series with me, always insisted in getting heard. For a writer it is almost impossible not to listen to those voices in your head! They won’t leave you alone until you write their stories down. No, you are not insane, you are a writer. That is our excuse, at least.
Still, I just love writing every book that is either part of the series or a spin-off story such as Quarterling is, so I really don’t mind. Besides, Sula is always great company.It became clear to me though that after writing the first two books the characters had much more to say and to do before I started writing book three. I knew I just couldn’t fit it all in without losing the main thread of the book and for the readers to lose the plot. These characters, once an adult, deserved each their own story, their own novel. And that is what I am doing. That is the plan at least. Sula has five children so they all get their own book, some even more than one. There are three so far and a fourth is in the making!

There is ‘Chained Freedom’ (Free download here: https://www.amazon.com/Chained-Freedom-Comyenti-Natasja-Hellenthal-ebook/dp/B00IK4OWXE/ ) in which Fay had a brief appearance, but she was only really a side-character like in book 1 and 2, not a main one. So she kept insisting on telling her own story! Her voice grew stronger and louder. I had already told Aigle’s story in ‘City of Dreams’, or at least one of his stories, and I felt it was time for Sula’s first born Fay to really tell hers.
Beside it being a coming of age story and one of unrequited love, and just about being young leaving home for the first time, I have been toying with the idea of writing some of my own experiences down. The things I have witnessed whilst living in Norway, Wales, and the South of France especially have always stayed with me. The animal cruelty and accidents whilst I was out hiking mostly. I wanted to share these experiences with my readers and what better way than through a story? They say, write what you know, and that is what I have always done. I have changed the facts around slightly as in my case I was mostly too late, but not always. Once I did save a nearly drowned sheep from a freezing, roaring river, and one bird out of a football net, but found another sheep dead with her head stuck in a fence and other sheep washed ashore. These images never left me. The rat I saved two years ago still lives with me as I couldn’t find a surrogate mother. Fay reminds me slightly of myself when I was seventeen. Full of big ideas, hopes and dreams, and that life isn’t always how we plan it to be. Love isn’t either. It can come in various forms and may not be what we imagined it to be.
Fay started to tell me her story from the time she left home. It was easy to let her live some of my own experiences and see what she would have done, with or without her super powers. And how I would wish I had those powers often! But then again, she is restricted in some ways. How? Well, you will just have to read the story. 

Speaking of superpowers though, especially a female superhero, saving animals, not people this time, was needed, desperately I felt. I have researched but only found one or two other books with a vegan superhero, but they were all for children… Why, I wonder are animals always associated with children or children’s stories? Don’t adults love animals? Do we outgrow them and their cuteness? Don’t we want to read about their happy ending? Adults love their pets, but often can’t extend it to other animals. Most don’t want to think about the suffering, the exploited animals, at least not enough to want to save them. Vegans do. Luckily. Thus a story was born. Fay was going to be a superhero for the animals with an older audience, okay young adults more precisely as she herself is only seventeen when the story starts, but still, it’s a start. I do hope to reach a broad audience with Fay’s story. That is why there are many more subjects thrown in: coming of age, parents, adventure, romance and a touch of magic.

Well, I won’t ramble on too much as this should just be a little post about what made me want to write ‘Quarterling’. Whilst writing I did try to have an audience in mind. I can imagine other vegans want a hero they can relate to or look up to, so it is for them to have a story to feel at home in without too much violence or visual content. But is still is a story about animal activism and what we can all do, or can’t and about hoping to change people, but how? And if we can, should we and to what ends? There are many questions of a deeper nature. Of right and wrong, of grey areas, and that even if we have certain powers there are even more powerful forces at work we cannot always control, and we find ourselves powerless. It’s a story of wanting to save the world, of change both in and outside of us, of being different and finding our way in the world, of acceptance, of having responsibilities and what it means to be an adult. And I also hope to reach those hearts that haven’t quite made compassionate choices yet. For those who say they love animals. Who knows what changes they will make? One can always hope.

Read more about my inspiration and need for wanting to write this story in the Afterword in ‘Quarterling’now ready for pre-order here: 

Share the link on your social media to share the love, thanks (:

Excerpt

‘Fay, there is no need to lie to me, you know. I have observed you and seen what you can do. You are clearly not from Bhan. If you were, your kind would have surely taken over from the humans.’
‘Why would you say that and what exactly have you see me doing? Wait, it’s from around the time of the market day I have sensed your presence, isn’t it? What did you see me do?’
‘Enough to know that you act as if these animals are your responsibility, but they are not.’
Fay’s eyes widened and she was numb for a moment as if shocked to hear that. ‘Then whose? If it wasn’t for me they would all still be suffering or dead by now!’
‘It’s not for you to decide, to interfere.’
‘What? So, you’re saying that if you see an injustice done to another soul, or an injured creature, you walk away from it? What if it had been members of your own kind caged in that market?’
‘We’ve never been captured,’ Zemandu answered calmly, unaffected.
‘Perhaps you should be so you know what it’s like.’
‘And you do?’
‘Even if I didn’t I would still care. It’s called having a heart. Besides, all of us carry the painful memories of our ancestors in us. It’s enough for us to feel empathy for other species, because we were treated not too dissimilarly. My kind were trapped, not for food, but as curiosities, and when humans couldn’t get what they wanted from us, killed. We were seen as a threat and menace to humanity, not allowed to live side by side with them like you are.’
‘You can fly, you are immensely strong, you can make fires like I can, and you can communicate with all these anima—’ ‘Argh,’ Fay grunted. She had seen all that? How had she let this happen?
‘No need to be shy or worried. I won’t tell anybody. There is always one dominant species on any planet. What, you didn’t think this was the only habitable planet in the entire universe, did you?’

 

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Cover reveal and book launch ‘Quarterling’ count down!

Hey all!

I have been super busy writing my latest novel ‘Quarterling’ which is now in the final stages of editing!

The cover reveal is attached and I am thinking to release it within 2 weeks’ time, so stay tuned for the exact date!

Ready? Drumroll!!! Here comes:

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So, what do you think of the cover and oh, the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Fay Comyenti has it all: lots of freedom, great parents, a budding romance, and super animal abilities most teenagers can only dream of. Only, those powers have to be kept a secret in order for her kind to stay safe. After being rejected by her love interest, Elodyn, Fay leaves her village to do some good with her skills in the world despite the concerns of her comyenti mother and human father. Even so, she is determined to use her powers to help animals in need, but that’s not always easy without anyone seeing you . . .

Zemandu, the last of the tracar people has been following Fay from a distance for a good reason. The demoness is dying. Attracted by the girl’s altruistic mission, her abilities and her benevolent energy she sees Fay as her last hope.

When Fay and Zemandu — two powerful women of a very different nature, yet both the last of their kind — cross paths, they’ll forever change the course of humanity, but at what cost?

Will Fay risk losing her heart and her innate empathy to the demoness — the very characteristics what makes her a comyenti in the first place —without jeopardising her vital mission?

Follow Fay and Zemandu in this animal-loving, suspenseful dramatic YA novel which is a full stand alone spin-off novel from the popular Comyenti Series.

 

 

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NEW COVERS COMYENTI SERIES BOOK 1 AND 2!

CALLOFFTHESEARCHNEWCOVERREDSTEP CHILDRENOFTHESUNCOVER1

CALL OFF THE SEARCH: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HIRTFZE

CHILDREN OF THE SUN: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N2U9GE6

BOOK 3, CONTROLLER OF THE SENSES: COMING WINTER 2015!

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NEW FANTASY RELEASE! CITY OF DREAMS ~FREE this weekend ONLY~

‘CITY OF DREAMS’, available in all formats will be FREE this thanksgiving weekend only.
Share it with your friends and don’t forget to leave me a review, thanks (:

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“Have you ever wondered where stories come from? Where are paintings, sculptures and poetry, prose born? In the artist’s subconscious mind? Dreams? How come some writers and painters roughly have the same idea and come up with similar creations, even though they’ve never read or seen anything by the other or communicated it in any way? Is there such a thing as a ‘Well of Art’ that all artists drink from to be inspired? And if so, how is this accomplished? Whilst asleep? Dreaming? Where is art born?”

Aigle Comyenti is travelling home to be on time for his sister’s wedding. Whilst travelling he hears the last notes of an enchanting tune and makes a sudden decision. He MUST have that song.
The musician however, on her way to an art festival to perform, not only teaches Aigle the melody, but also steals his trusty pendant: the coppery piece given to him by his real father. The jewellery, worthless to the girl, is immensely valuable to the boy and his vanishing kind; the empathetic comyentis. For it is not only the last reminder of his mysterious people but could also be the very key to their unknown past and origin…

The handsome young traveller has no other choice than to follow the girl, but where she is going, Aigle is reluctant to set foot; it is a city crammed with the comyentis’ number one enemy: humans. A place where danger for discovery lies high. What Aigle finds next within the walls of the city of Traumermoure is beyond what he could ever have dreamed up. Not only is the girl he followed there, Mallory, been put into a deep sleep from which she cannot wake, but the city’s visitors may face the same fate…

Can Aigle, who has powers beyond men’s understanding, be concerned? Will he risk everything that is at stake for one human girl he hardly knows
To wake Mallory up, he has to enter her dreams…

One click here to get it now: http://hyperurl.co/gjzqlx?IQid=vevo

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NEW PAPERBACK RELEASE EPIC LGBT FANTASY ‘THE QUEEN’S CURSE’

Coming weekend, from the 28th of March it is finally possible to order your printed version of

The Queen’s Curse 

Get yours on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMEQD30 

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Books that inspired me as a person and writer, part 1 Manfred Kyber

Inspirational Books Part 1: Manfred Kyber

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Manfred Kyber

Manfred Kyber, born on March 1, 1880 in Riga, Latvia (then under Russian rule), grew up on his father’s estate. He studied philosophy in Leipzig and later moved to Berlin, where he lived for ten years and published his first works. He lived in Löwenstein, Württemberg (southern Germany) since 1923. In addition to poems, a novel, plays, theater criticism and an introduction to occultism, he primarily wrote fairy tales and animal stories – partially humorous, partially serious – which, reminiscent of La Fontaine, humanize animals to a certain degree to convey their feelings and elaborate on philosophical questions. He became famous for his stories “Unter Tieren” (“Among Animals”). He was a pacifist and advocate of animals’ rights. He died on March 10, 1933 in Löwenstein.

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As a child I was lucky to have discovered this wonderful writer who in more than one ways has helped me sooth, uplift and strengthen me at the start of my life and inspired me as a person and as a writer.

There are two books that stand out for me: ‘Die drei Lichter der kleinen Veronika’ (Engl. translation: The Three Candles of Little Veronica: The Story of a Child’s Soul in This World and the Other), novel, 1920 and ‘Tiergeschichten’.

‘Veronika’s Drievoudig Licht’ as it’s called in my native Dutch, is a beautiful profound and insightful story about the spiritual connection we are all having with one another and the burdens we are carrying in this life. It’s about a sensitive little girl with an old soul who can still see and hear the things around us, that most of us can’t any longer. She can talk to animals and sees elves, gnomes(who can be black or white) and spirits and angels in her favourite garden. She is protected on her life’s journey by her uncle, Johannes, who is connected to her through out many lives as a sort of guardian angel.

“-Worst of all is that you people understand less and less of it all when your body ages and it entangles itself with you.- ‘Have we come to this earth to become stupid?’, Veronika asked, ‘that would be strange?’‘No,’ said the elf, ‘you only become stupid because it grows darker around you and then you’ll have to find the light to understand everything again. And if you have found the light in the darkness then your understanding of life has improved. God has given this task to humanity to find the light. They shouldn’t just look for it and find it for themselves, but also for the animals, the plants and the rocks, and for the elves and the gnomes and for all that lives with them.”

“We have to do this voluntarily, Veronica. We have to try to help each other with carrying the burdens, for people, animals and all that lives. That is the way to the light.”

This emotional story will touch almost everyone that reads it, as the mysticism that is embedded in it is understood and sensed. It is a story of the heart; that cannot be reached by the thought process.

I have until now only read it two or three times in my life, but I often thought back about it and it made me want to re-read it. It has certainly helped and changed me.

“There is a distance that once was, that’s where we come from. There is distance, that once will be, that’s where we’re going to. Yet every distance is close by if we think about it. Build your temples and light works, light your candles, you who live in the now and remember: midnight is over and morning has arrived.”

‘Tiergeschiften’ (collected animal stories) is an anthology of fables with depth and insight where animals are the main characters. It’s written at the beginning of the last century but can still be read as freshly as then. Subjects such as anti-vivisection, anti-hunting, vegetarianism and animal love are as modern as ever.

Manfred Kyber is a master storyteller and animal activist who uses a combination of the show and tell technique without ever being long winded or preachy. His characters touches your heart and are as real as people with the same emotions and pain.

“Animals, just like us, have their own sense of humour and tragedy. Between us and them are similarities and mutual affairs. People often believe that between them and other animals there is a deep abyss. It’s only a minor rotation of the wheel of life. Because all of us are children of a unity. To understand nature, we have to understand her creatures. To understand a creature, we have to look upon it as our sibling.”

“The world is full of unheard cries for help. There are people that don’t hear them. It seems impossible to count all those in vain unheard calls. There are that many. But they are all counted. They are written down in the book of life.”

Bibliography

Der Schmied vom Eiland, poems, 1908
Unter Tieren, animal stories, 1912
Genius astri [Engl. translation: Genius astri: thirty-three poems], poems, 1918
Märchen, fairy tales, 1920 
Im Gang der Uhr, novellas, 1922
Einführung in das Gesamtgebiet des Okkultismus, 1923
Neue Tiergeschichten, animal stories, 1926
Puppenspiel, fairy tale, 1928
Die drei Lichter der kleinen Veronika [Engl. translation: The Three Candles of Little Veronica: The Story of a Child’s Soul in This World and the Other], novel, 1920
Gesammelte Tiergeschichten, collected animal stories (combines Unter Tieren and Neue Tiergeschichten; the collection won the Literature Award of the Bureau International Humanitaire Zoophile in Geneva in 1930), 1934
Gesammelte Märchen, collected fairy tales, 1935

Other English translations (all out of print)
The Mouseball
The Little Slipper Man

 

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