Who is Joanna Steenen?

You might have noticed that new tab up in the menu. And you might have asked yourself a question.

Who the heck is Joanna Steenen?

Well, Joanna is me. Me with a twist.

You see, Joanna write stories just as Hannah does. Adventure, love, fantasy, science fiction. But other than Hannah, she writes explicit stuff. „Naughty bits“ as another author calls them. I love that moniker.

So if you like my writing, and either don’t mind or even enjoy that kind of stuff, keep your eyes open. Joanna plans to publish something soon.

Of course, I’ll let you know. And there’s the newsletter, too.

So, what do you think of explicit stuff? Does it bother you? Do you enjoy it? (Yes, that’s okay, too.)

Let me know. I have some advance copies.

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A Story of Intrigue and Lies

Cover "Dragon Court"

„Dragon Court“

I just realized I never blogged about „Dragon Court“, the third book in The Cloud Lands Saga. Even though it was published end of November 2015…

Writing that novella was a challenge.

You see, after the Dragon Court debated Debesh’s actions with the rogue dragon and came up with a verdict, the paths of Orlen and Dorelle split. And I did my best to keep both story lines parallel, jumping from Orlen to Dorelle and back. Plus I had to keep Ferren in the picture, doing his dastardly deeds.

And it just didn’t work.

It was confusing, it was way too much for the wordcount I was aiming at, and it was driving my bonkers. Yes, I went as far as creating a spreadsheet to keep track of everyone. There were three story lines to coordinate, after all.

And then I finally realized what that story needed: Separation.

It was like separating Siamese twins. I created two new files and spent a lot of time to copy/paste the right chapters into the right file. And then, it was clear:

„Dragon Court“ focuses on Orlen.

As Crown Prince with a newly won dragon friend, Orlen is in a pickle anyway. Add to that the harsh actions and threats by Pesuma, the Dragon Master, the sudden reappearance of his estranged mother and lost sister, and there is plenty of story to tell already.

So Orlen gets to have his adventures, trials, challenges and heartache. He gets to grow in many ways and become a dragonrider. And he really finds out what loyalty means.

As I’m blogging this, I’m working on „Betrayal“, the second Siamese twin. Dorelle and Debesh have to face an ever more rabid and insane Ferren… who followed them to The Cloud Lands.

I’m doing my best to finish this soon, so you can get your hands on it.

„Dragon Court“ on Amazon

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I wrote a Limerick today

Actually, no. I „wrote“ it in my bed last night.

And I have to explain a little how that came about:

I started a mindset support group for authors on Facebook last week, wearing my coaching hat and name. And I’m trying to do regular activities over there, some about goal setting, some games, some inspirational stuff. Just to keep people focused and productive.

Well, and yesterday, I posted a writing prompt, using story cubes.

Story Cubes

Story Cubes

And that’s the limerick that came to me:

There once was a turtle, oh, my!
Who dreamed of learning to fly.
So under her own power,
she climbed up a tower
and parachuted down from up high.

Yep. Your time to laugh. Or comment.

(If you want to take a look at the FB group, it’s here.)

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The Dragons of the Cloud Land Saga

Stick figure dragon

Stick figure dragon

Writing dragons has always been a bit of a challenge for me. It has taken me years of writing in my genre before diving into working with that main fantasy species.

That’s for two reasons:

1. Existing dragon stories

Of course, I want my dragons to be recognizable, and yet somewhat different from all the other dragons out there in fantasy land. Or roleplaying land, at that.

The 800-pound gorilla is obviously Pern. And I can’t deny the influence Pern dragons had and have on me. I still go back and re-read those stories. And yes, I had my own dragon’s name all thought up. I still remember it, too. So that’s why my dragons „speak“ telepathically and in cursive.

I’ve also played Dungeons & Dragons in a few different editions. And well, dragons feature largely in that Monstrous Manual. Except their abilities are color coded, and most of them are not… friendly.

So I went with something in between. And that’s where the work really starts because I needed to … Weiterlesen

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Idea Questions

Questions that spark ideas

Major Questions

Again and again, I’m being asked how I come up with my ideas. And I do have more ideas than I can write in my entire lifetime.

Thing is … for me, ideas are everywhere. It’s more a question of mood and how I feel rather than where I hunt for ideas. I don’t usually „hunt“ them. They slam into me, no matter where I am. Could be in bed, in the shower, at work, or walking around.

It could be the news, some weird sentence or – as is happening right now – a couple of friends chatting in my irc chatroom about some scientific question.

And then there are two major questions that really set me off:

What if…?

That’s really the basis of all stories, to be honest. Every fiction writer goes „what if…?“ in their writing. That’s why we call it fiction. We deviate from reality. Weiterlesen

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The Dragons go to War – „Kraken War“ Release

Cover Kraken War

Kraken War

Today, „Kraken War“ has gone live. It’s the exciting sequel to „Dorelle’s Journey“.

Dorelle is back in the Western Kingdom, after delivering her warning. And the King springs into action, organizing a fighting force, and giving Dorelle joint command with the Crown Prince, Orlen.

They don’t know that treachery is already brewing in the wings. A dragon has plans of her own… and when the fighting doesn’t go well, she acts on them.

Dorelle and Orlen have to fight the ultimate battle to save their lands, to beat back the aggressive kraken and to keep as many dragons alive as possible. Of course, Dorelle listens to her heart more often than to cold, military logic, with far-reaching consequences.

And then there’s a Wing Commander who stays true to his calling and his heart even under horrible circumstances and duress. A hero who would rather die than betray his Kingdom…

Follow the fighting dragons, and be swept away to a foreign land full of adventure, love, treachery, and heart-wrenching loyalty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

„Kraken War“ is released both as ebook and in print. And as a special favor to my fans, you’ll receive the ebook for free if you buy print through Amazon. (Print is going through review, as well as matching with the ebook and should be available again tomorrow.)

As always, I’m asking a favor:
Please leave a few words on Amazon, Goodreads or your blogs if you enjoyed the story. And please, let me know if and when you do.

Also feel free to comment below!

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„Dorelle’s Journey“ Goodreads Giveaway!

Dorelle's Journey

Dorelle’s Journey

This is an awesome opportunity for every reader and fan: I’m giving away five signed print copies of „Dorelle’s Journey“ through a Goodreads Giveaway – starting today!

And yes, I’m sending them to all possible countries listed on Goodreads. (I personally hate Giveaways restricted to the US and the UK. And since I’m in Germany, I’ll have to pay international postage anyway. So there!)

The catch is that you have to be a Goodreads member to participate. On the other hand, registration is totally free, and of course, Goodreads is a great way to find new and exciting books.

So how can you get one of the signed copies?

Follow this:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dorelle's Journey by Hannah Steenbock

Dorelle’s Journey

by Hannah Steenbock

Giveaway ends May 10, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

If you’re already a Goodreads member, just fill in your address and hit submit.
If not, you’ll have to sign up and then come back to participate in the Giveaway.

I will sign every single copy with a personalized entry before sending them out.

What are you waiting for?

Your Turn:
Do you have any questions about the Giveaway?
Would you like to say something about „Dorelle’s Journey“?

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The „Print is Growing Again“ Meme Must Die

Argh!

Argh!

This is a meme that really, truly has to die. It rears its ugly head way too often and is constantly repeated in one medium or other. Today, it showed up in the Guardian, and I just couldn’t take it any more.

This meme is WRONG.

It’s based on the idea that Nielsen (and other bookseller) reporting numbers are close to reality and can actually give valid information about how many ebooks are being sold. Or allow correct comparisons between ebook and print sales.

Thing is, Nielsen’s numbers are based on ISBNs. And that’s the simple reason why their data is flawed. Severely flawed. Here’s why:

Amazon ebooks have ASINs. (And yes, Amazon is the biggest distributor of ebooks.)

They may have ISBNs, especially when they are published by a big publisher, but most self-published ebooks on Amazon do not. They don’t need them. And most indie authors don’t bother with ISBNs, because buying them is expensive in most countries. (Yay for Canada where they are free!)

Which means:
Nielson does not even
see most sales of self-published ebooks.
Weiterlesen

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New BHCAuthors Website—Connecting Readers to Authors

This is awesome news from the wonderful people who turn my manuscripts into wonderful and beautiful ebooks and print.

I present: Blue Harvest Creative!

Blue Harvest Creative is excited to announce the next generation of independence has arrived!

BHC Authors Logo

Welcome to the BHC Authors website—a place dedicated to bringing readers and authors together. If you love to read, this is the place to be. Find a new favorite genre or author. Check out new releases and titles. Or enter a giveaway or promotion. Weiterlesen

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I’m Proud to be an Indie Autor

happy author

Happy Author

From my posts you may have seen that I’m an indie author who self-publishes her books.

And I’m proud of it.

Yes, sometimes I see things that make me cringe. Yesterday, I was pointed to a book (which shall remain nameless) that was obviously, painfully, badly indie.

– The cover was gruesome.
– There was a glaring error in the first sentence of the description.
– The copyright notice looked utterly unprofessional.
– More errors in the first few paragraphs, disjointed writing, and headhopping.
– And yes, it was free.

Now, the fact that this particular author hit „publish“ on Amazon KDP doesn’t make me proud. But what I like is that he or she had the option to do so.

The biggest part of being an indie author is freedom.

Freedom to write what we want.

You see, I have a friend who wrote a great historical novel – set in Egypt. No publisher would touch it. She wrote another novel set in the middle ages, and they loved it. That’s where the market was, they said, and gave her a contract. And asked her to write more of the same. Weiterlesen

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