8 Dec 2013

December ...

From Natalie:
I have just finished book 14, the last in my series, and with about five weeks between manuscripst time just flies by. I cannot believe itˋs December already! 16 days until Christmas ...
Itˋs first day of snow here in Oslo. Cold and windy, but cosy compared to the coast. The nicest thing about snow is the quiet. The city is hushed and itˋs inspiring. I also donˋt have a car this winter, something I am really pleased about. No shuffeling snow, no flat batteries, no struggeling for a parking spot in the streets - I can just enjoy it all. 
On my walking trip today - writers sit far too much on their bums and need to move about, get some fresh air into their head, or at least I do. But I find any kind of exercise boring, and need to distract myself from this. My new tablet has a cool camera, so much better than my rather antique phone ...

Happy December!

5 Sep 2013

Update ...

Update or "what I did this summer".

Any essays starting with that title is a bore. It was an horrible assignment in school - who did anything during their summer in the 70's? We didn't travel much, and we lived on the coast, so my childhood summers where rainy and cold, intercepted by moments of sunshine when everybody rushed out in the garden to play or sunbathe. And then it rained again.
I did a lot of reading.
This summer I have had little time for other books than my own, although I did read Alec Scarrows TimeRaiders series - wonderful stuff) - I ploughed through all seven in two weeks ...
I've just finished the first draft of the 13th book, and cyperspaced it through to my editor. I'll get it back for rewrite on Monday. I've already started on the 14th and last book in the series. A weird feeling. Nice to finish something I've worked so hard on, and a bit sad to say goodbye to characters I've lived with for three years.
And then I'll start something totally new, a project that fell out of the sky thanks to my very brilliant editor, and I can't wait to see where it will go. It's going to be great fun, and I'm having to be very disciplined now, not to start too early ...
September will be more than busy enough with what I have going on, so not a good idea to start new things too soon.
September 9th is publishing day for the 12th book. Always nice to see my books in stores - especially since I'm blessed with a great illustrator. Check the front page!
Then on September 14th I'm joining book bloggers from all over Norway, and I think a few Swedish, on an all day meeting/dinner during the Oslo Book Festival. It's the second year they arrange it, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Discussing books with a group of super-readers - what could be better?
On September 16th my new magazine series starts running in Sweden (Hämmet), then on September 23rd the same series starts in Norway (Hjemmet). (this means "Home" in Swedish and Norwegian, and are two of the longest running magazine publications in both countries).

The series will run for 7 weeks. I love it when I get an assignment like that. The two editors in Hämmet and Hjemmet wanted me to write something they could both use, and I had so much fun writing the story. It's set in the same time period as my book series (1793), and in Oslo (or Christiania as it was called then), but with totally different characters. I'm turning into quite the expert on the "golden period" in Norway - a period of about 20 years where a handful of people made ginormous amounts of money and did things like having their shirts and underwear starched and ironed in London! Mary Wollstonecraft wrote letters from her Nordic travels, and she was quite shocked about the luxurious living ...

Happy September

26 Jun 2013

Holiday update ...

Summer holidays are upon us - which for a serial writer means the next manuscript has to be delievered before editor, copy-editor and printers take off for whatever beach is the nearest one ...
It's looking a lot more like September than June, it's raining so hard I half expect to see Noahs ark ankering outside my window. I don't mind the rain, it's perfect writing weather ...
I'm going for a trip myself, just not sure where yet. Italy og England, most likely. As long as it has a plug and a wi-fi, I'll be fine. I'll take my computer and be perfectly happy ...
 Have a great summer, and remember to bring books - loads of books :D

1 Jun 2013

From a serial writer's diary ... update

June has sprung - which is always nice. At the moment Oslo is warmer than most places in Europe, even the Canary Islands, and that's nice too, if I was on the Beach. Which I'm not. I have 3000 words to write this weekend, and have to let the sunny days pass me by. I also have a manuscript too read, so not much time for leisure.
But I did download "The Princess Bride" to my Kindle. I saw the movie some years ago, and was totally charmed. But I haven't read it before. (I also haven't read Charlotte's Web, Cat in the Hat, To Kill a Mocking Bird or The Catcher in the Rye - just saying. Although I do have a degree in literature, these books fell under the radar. I plan to read them when I'm in the Old Folk's home, where I also plan to play War of the Worlds and get a tatoo ...).
Anyway, I love the Princess Bride, as much for  the story as for the whole Morgenstern vs Goldman discussion in the preface. Very cool.

14 May 2013

From a serial writer's diary: The hair dresser - and what to read ...

From a serial writer's diary

I finished book 11 in my series yesterday, and since it took under six weeks to write, I haven't been out of the house much. Tomorrow I'm going to meet my editor, and so a visit to the hair dresser is long overdue.
The full treatment in these places takes about two-three hours. That's a long time for me to sit still! I don't have much patience - unless I'm writing - so I make sure to fill up on reading material. Glossy magazines are the most boring reads in the mulitverse, so I avoid them like the plague.
In trying times like these, my Little Kindle is perfect. I was hoping to read Dan Brown's new book, but I can't for the life of me remember if I read the third in his series - and also the damn book isn't available until tomorrow. (Update: I did read the third book and didn't like it much ... hm.)
I am eagerly awaiting Dean Koontz Deeply Odd, the sixth book in the Odd Thomas- series. The book is available om Amazon, but not on Kindle until 28th ... Ah, well.
Lucky for me I found The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. So while I was sitting with tin-foil in my hair, getting hot air blown on my head, I managed to read a few chapters. So far so good. More Sci-Fi than Discworld, but it has potential.

7 May 2013

Spring - at last ...

Spring has sprung in Oslo, and on our way from the post office - after a pit stop at the bakery for coffee and waffles - we found this!

Picture: courtesy of Anan

28 Apr 2013

Happy Birthday, Terry Pratchett

I came late to Discworld, barely ten years ago. when I lived in Cheltenham, UK, and on occasions, interviewed writers for a newspaper back home. I used to ask publishers if there were any writers they wanted me to talk to, and one of them told me about Terry Pratchett. He said his books were relatively unknown in Norway, he had no idea why. Now I hadn't heard of him, so I went out and bought a few of his books.
My first meeting wiht Discworld was Small Gods and I couldn't believe. Who wrote like that! Needless to say, I've read all of his books since then - although I keep hoping I've overlooked some, just to have the thrill of finding a new one ...
Interviewing Terry Pratchett was a mixed experience. Not because of him. He couldn't have been nicer. But everything went wrong.  I didn't have the nerve to tell him I wasn't a "proper" journalist - it might have helped! My cell phone wouldn't work in his house, my tape recorder broke down twice, and finally I was so flustered I asked him about ideas - the one question he detests ... he gave me a glass of Russian honey vodka.

And what Prathcett says about libriaries rings true for most writers, I think. My local library certainly was my salvation growing up. It opened the world to me, and lucky for me, the librarians at "Haugesund folkebibliotek" never once questioned my choice of books. Nor the fact that I'd  borrow up to twenty books every week ... Librarians are the true Gatekeepers and I would have been lost without them.
And yes, I have Dodger on my Reading list ...

23 Apr 2013

Teaser Tuesday - The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons

The Castle of Wolfenback is one of the seven "horrid novels" named in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey," "The Castle of Wolfenbach" is perhaps the most important of the early Gothic novels, predating both "The Mysteries of Udolpho" and "The Monk."

I'm on page 5 of 224 of The Castle of Wolfenbach. The reason I'm reading it is because I'm writing a series set in 1793, and I wanted one of the characters to buy a book for his sweetheart. I wanted Persuasion by Austen, but that wasn't published until 1818. While doing research I found this book, and decided to see if it would work as a romantic gift. Considering the theme of the book, I'm not so sure. On the other hand, my female character is a determined young woman, and might just love it. There wasn't anything like this available in Norwegian or Danish at the time, so it would have been very exotic and perhaps even sensational.

About the book: Matilda Weimar flees her lecherous and incestuous uncle and seeks refuge in the ancient Castle of Wolfenbach. Among the castle's abandoned chambers, Matilda will discover the horrifying mystery of the missing Countess of Wolfenbach. But when her uncle tracks her down, can she escape his despicable intentions?

My teaser: "... nobody will sleep in the rooms upstairs; the gentlefolks who were in it last could not rest, such strange noises, and groans, and screams, and such like terrible things were heard; then at t'other end of the house the rooms are never opened; they say bloody work has been carried on there."

Sounds wonderfully horrid, doesn't it?

More teasers to be found here:  Should be reading

20 Apr 2013

Update - and a little about the new book

It's been a good week, despite the sniffles. As a freelancer, I am very happy when I have work, so I try my best not to complain. I do know what it's like to be without ...

Our new book has be re-scheduled for mid-June. We were supposed to get the manuscript this weekend for proof-reading, but it hasn't come. Just as well, since I have more than enough to do as it is. These Things happen. In Publishing patience is a necessity. An editor has more than one manuscript on her or his desk (my editors have almost always been women - not sure why), and there's a million practical things that needs to fall into place before a book is published. My series is a different matter. Because the books have to be finished in about six weeks, the editor works as hard as me to get everything ready. Even weekends and evenings.

This is the cover for our new book. Looks nice, doesn't it?

From the back-cover: (excuse the translation - it's done in rather a hurry)

Iben and Shoki witness a woman being dragged into a car. Tony, her 10 year old son, is left behind. When it turns out that the father of Tony disappeared without a trace, Iben and Shoki realise that they must help him. Then follows two fast-paced days on the bike, looking for a Jaguar and a van. The clues lead them to the Indian Embassy in Oslo. Who exactly are Tony and his parents? Why do they move so often? And what are they so afraid of?

"Hunted" is the first book in a new action series for children.

16 Apr 2013

Teaser Tuesday - An Echo in the Bone

An Echo in the Bone is the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon's wonderful series Outlander. I've been reading these books for the last month, and right now I'm trying to make this one last for as long as possible. Thankfully  there will be a seventh book this year ...
I'm reading it on Kindle, so have no idea about page numbers.

My teaser:

The British reconnaissance had a double purpose: not only to see exactly where the Americans were - for general Burgoyne had no real idea: American deserters had stopped coming in long since -

It's a great series, well-written and very  original.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizxB of Should be Reading
 Anyone can join. These are the rules:
Share two teaser sentences from your current book. Don't include spoilers!
Share the title and Author, too so that other participants can add the book to their reading lists if they like your teaser.

28 Feb 2013


I just realized this blog hasn't been updated since November. What have I been doing with my time? There was a deadline just before Christmas, den there was a holiday in London, followed by three weeks of the flu, and then, because I had been slacking in my holidays and semi-comatose during the flu, as soon as the feber cleared, I had to work twice as fast as normal. I'm still not up to date with everything, but I'm getting there. And for a freelance writer, what pays now, gets worked on first.
No time for lounging on the sofa, I'm afraid ...