11 (book related) things about me! + Story time

Good evening guys!
So today I thought I'd do one of those "11 things about me"-lists because who doesn't get bored of those..... It's been a slow day, okay?
(Also, nr 9 will tell you about my current project if you're interested).

1. The book(s) that got me into reading and writing
So the book series that I think really started my love for reading and writing is Virginia C. Andrews Landry series. Andrews most famous books are different series about families; in my case the Landry family. We usually get to follow a young girl that has lost one of her parents and has a pretty bad childhood and then is faced with a big amount of responsibility and having to take care of herself. Usually she's separated from her family in some way and we then follow that girl through three books while she grows up to be a responsible adult. After the first three we get one fourth book about a child of said girl and we follow the child, and in the fifth book we follow either the girls mother or grandmother. I like the concept, it's pretty predictable and you don't have to think too much.
In the Landry books we follow a girl named Ruby, who lives with her grandmother in Houma, Louisiana, andthen when her grandmother passes she has to find her father in New Orleans where she also finds out the truth about why her mother died. It turns out that her mother Gabrielle died giving birth to her and her twin sister (that she didn't know she had) and then the twin sister was bought by their dad.
This was probably one of the first "real" books that I read so I was maybe a little too young for them at the time but I've always been older than my age so it weren't really a problem. Either way, Andrews way of describing the surroundings and creating these big family dramas that are to a point relatable but also suuuuper dark is what got me into reading and writing.

2. My favorite author(s)
My favorite authors! I'd love to say "all of them", but that wouldn't make them favorites. Honestly I don't really have favorites in that way; I think that authors can be amazing in their own ways which makes it kinda hard to choose. But from the "classics" it's (in no particular order); Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Virginia C. Andrews, J. K Rowling and Elizabeth Kostova.

3. My favorite book(s)
My absolute, all time favorite books are The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, and Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz. (Spoilers in links so if you wanna read them after this, stay out of the links).
The Historian is Kostovas debut novel which I think says really much about who she is as a writer because it is amazing. I very, very highly recommend reading it at least once because it's such a "real" book. There's a closeness that you feel reading it and there's these real emotions that shines through the book which makes you feel like you're there and really taking the journey with the characters.
The book is about the character called The Narrator, because nowhere in the book is the characters name mentioned, which I think is a fun (but hard) way to write a book, and Kostovas talents for writing shines through a lot while writing about this character without a name because she never makes it messy - you always know who's who in the book. Basically what we know going into this journey is that the narrator is an 16-year old girl who is searching for her dad Professor Paul who she lives with in Amsterdam. He then disappears and she has to find him with the help of his research and colleagues, and it all turns into a wild chase across the globe, and while looking for him, she also unravels the mysteries surrounding possible vampires. I think I'm gonna go read it right now actually...
Odd Thomas is completely different, which first of all his name should tell you. There's not really much to say about Odd because it's a lot simpler than The Historian, but that's not in any way bad. It's just different. The books, there's seven of them, are about a man named Odd. He's able to see ghosts, and he sees it as his mission to help them move on. Anything more than that would be to spoil the story and I really don't want that. It is also very "light", like even though there's serious events in the books, there's always a sense of humor and the characters can be very snide or sarcastic, and I love that. Also, if you're not super into reading the book, Odd Thomas was also released as a movie in 2014, with Anton Yelchin as Odd and it's also really, really good.

4. The one book I couldn't finish
We all have one, at least. The one book that seems so promising and then you pick it up and you just.. You can't get through it. For me, this was Horns, by Joe Hill. And I would just like to say that this book is in no way bad, which is why I've tried to read it so many times. I like the concept and the story, but the language and writing style is not for me since there's a lot of not-so-nice words in it, at least that's what I rememer when I put it down. I cuss a lot but I like it when an author can do without it. Some people like it and some don't, that's just the way it is. In no way bad though, just so we're clear. I did see the movie adaptation instead because I wanted to know how it all ended for Ignatius, so if you're into movies instead then there's something for you too!

5. The book I want to read, but won't
Now, I assume that I'm not the only one who has these kind of books that you know are good but you're just not gonna read them. For me, those are the series A Song of Ice and Fire, which is the books behind the show Game of Thrones. I know that the books are amazing, and they are also crazy popular, so there's really no reason for me not to read them. But I won't because I know myself. I know that I won't be able to keep focus and kepp track of all of the different characteres with similar names and all of the politics and history. Even though the show is much easier to watch than to read, I still thank my lucky star that my brother sits next to me when I watch the latest episodes because if I don't see them all at one time, I have no idea what's happening. My brother knows though, being a super fan of the show, so I always rely on him to tell me what's what and who's who.

6. The genre(s) I love to read and write
I don't know if you can tell already but I have a love for everything dark. Gothic, horror, thriller, you. name. it. So naturally, this is also what I write.
I also have a love for autobiographies, the ones where someone goes through something horrible and then they live to tell about it, and I admit that's messed up. I'm guessing it goes with the thriller part, because there's this completely unimaginable darkness in the beginning, but then it all goes back into psychology which is something I find really interesting. The biggest part why I read this though is not that I love knowing people suffer, but for every one of those books you can find, someone survived to tell their tale. And you can go through shit, but you're not the only one and people have survived worse, so you're gonna pull through just fine too.

7. My current book collection
My current (lovely, by the way) collection consists of probably over 2000 books. I used to have more, but I've moved around a couple of times and some gets lost the way and some you have to give up to give room for more. I don't have all of them where I live right now though, but the majority are still packed in boxes in the storage unit or in the garage. And also, the reason I can afford all of these books is because I mostly buy books second hand. It saves on the environment and it can be a real pain to find some older books in stores today, so that's what I do.

8. My writing goals
My writing goals are pretty basic I think, I have this one story that I'm head over heels with and that I've been working on for years and to me it's good, I don't know what other people think because I refuse to let other people read it, but, I like it. And my "goal" is to get it published, like everybody else. It is currently in three parts and whether they're published together or as three separate books doesn't really matter, I just wanna have my story, have someone confirming that it's okay and then I'm done basically. Will I write more after this one? I don't know yet.

9. What inspires me to write
I don't think a lot of thing "inspire" me to write, it's more like me having these thoughts of good things to add to my story and then going over them 5000 times in my head until I'm like "okay, it's a good enough idea now" or "yeah, that would make more sense", and then I just write that down.

What have inspired me big time in the past is things I've gone through, for example (and this is a major spoiler for me because it's kinda the main idea behind my story), when me and my ex separated I was faced with the problem of where I would live. My ex kept the apartment (which was his and I moved in to), and at the time, moving back in with mom wasn't really an option, so I contacted the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in my then-town (I lived in a different town than now) and they gave me they set me up with a room at some form of B&B but it was a couple of hours away from my then-town. I didn't visit it beforehand, but they told me that they had just checked the place out by themselves and it was a great, nice place so I accepted. And so I packed my stuff, put them in storage and then had my essentials in bags with me, and my unofficial sister Rebecca drove me there since I don't have a car. We got there like late afternoon and let's start at the beginning to paint the picture. The road there was lonely as hell. It was just empty, no houses, only fields and woods. And then we game to this huge church, which was next to the way into "town". We drove past it in awe, and then we saw the rest of the town, which was one street. And that it. And then we saw this very little sign for the B&B so we turned off the road and onto the road leading to the house. And from the front the house was really big and made of grey bricks and had a big garden, but then we drove into the back where we were gonna park the car, or so we thought, and it was just mayhem. To the right was a buildin that might have been some form of storage or, barn or just whatever before, but now it was just in ruins. There were a fence and behind it were I think six big dogs, like rottweilers and german shepherds and they were crazy and just barked and growled and kept showing their teeth and basically said stay the fuck away from us. There were also some skinned animals hanging on a line and the whole scene was disgusting. Imagine this, and then add a layer of filth and then a grey filter from instagram.
To the left was this house that was beautiful from the road but it was the most boring building from behind. There were two doors and a window and that was it, not even bricks it was just grey and plain. We called the owners who barely spoke Swedish and they came out to greet us, which they barely did. They led us in to the hallway (the front door did not close fully, and you couldn't lock it), and we passed a couple of doors with name on them, then turned and came in to the living area, which also happened to be the dining area. And the kitchen. A couple of the homeless people from then-town apparently lived there and they looked at us both in a way that made us feel gross. We were led to the kitchen part of the room and the owner told us about the food and system and how everybody contributes which was fine, and then she showed us a bathrom which was just a big, big room with a small toilet in the middle, a sink and then for a shower there were this water hose taken from the outside and attached to a pipe and that was it. No curtain, no window, barely light, and I'm telling you this because this was what the whole place was like.
We were lead to the basement, which had a crazy steep ladder down, and she said that we could do our laundry there if we wanted to. It was disgusting, the whole place was filled with dust and some kind of oil or something and bad lighting. And then she made me go down another ladder, Rebecca was smart enough to stay up, to this second basement where there were just these big containers with black goo, looked like black oil or grease and there were probably at least 12 big containers in that room. She led me behind them to this small box and said that if the light ever went out I could just go down here and turn on the electricity again. That's right, stairs from the second floor then two steep ladders, behind grease containers, with live rats and dust, in the dark to turn on the electricity again. I. Don't. Think. So.
We were led up again and then past the livingdiningkitchenareawhere there were these three kids just running around. Nobody seemed to care that they were there and the owner just said that the whole family has been on a vacation there, they weren't from Sweden and didn't know any Swedish, and the parents said that they had some business to attend to one morning and asked if they could leave their three kids at this B&B for just an hour or so, which was fine, but the parents didn't come back. And the owners called the cops and CPS but apparently they were like "yeah but they're fine with you though, if we pay for them?", so they just kept these three kids and they'd been living there for like a year and a half and nobody found their parents.
So anyways, led to the stairs to the upper floor, and from there through a narrow hallway down another narrow hallway and into a room with no locks and that was my bedroom. It was a childrens bed, and the room was mustard yellow-ish, the window barely closed and there were still kids toys across the floor, as well as paintings on the desk and walls. Everything was just so surreal and after the owner gave me the key and the very tight schedule for the day after (which included me getting up early to make breakfast for the people there and then cleaning up, because it just happened to be my day to do the chores the day after my arrival), and then left, I broke the fuck down. I started to cry and my bestie tried to comfort me and she was really caring and said that we had to get out of there. I talked to the owner and asked if there were somewhere we could get a pizza or something and if I could possibly stay with my friend that night and come back tomorrow and she was like "fine, stay where ever you want, we get paid either way and you have the key if you want to return", which was a weird way to keep a business but okay.. So we bought pizza, ate, cried, drove around a bit and Rebecca just went "you're not staying there. I am not letting you stay there", and that was probably my rescue because the place was just.. There were just so much wrong and the fact that there wasn't even a lock on the door creeped me out. And this could have been a great match, I will never know, but I felt horrible at that place the short time I was there.

I decided to move back in with my mom, I returned a week later by bus to return the key and then I talked to the owners again and that's when it kinda got worse and it dawned on me that this could really become a story; the way through the small town there were a school, a gas station, a small store and a bakery, and all of it was shut down. And, all of the businesses in the town was owned by the same people; the owners of the B&B. They literally owned all of it and rented it out to the people living there and so I just had to write about it and here I am, two years later still writing about it. Obviously there's more to the story I'm writing but now you know the origin. I've thought about doing some kind of story time for this but this was more natural and now it's out of the way.

10. How I would describe my writing style
I would say that I'm all over the place, mostly. First of all am I writing in english and this not being my native language I tend to use "safer" words instead of using "big" words because I'm afraid to mess up. Like I know what words means, how to spell them and use them etc., but I just really, really wanna be sure that I don't screw up so that's why I write with simpler words.
I'd also love to say that I write somewhat funny, or at least with a lot of comedy in my writing. My characters are maybe a little bit like me with their kinda mean sense of humor and jokes around a lot, which I do so I think that basically my characters are assholes and I think that's completely fine.
I also love to describe stuff (as seen above obviously), so my texts no matter what I write can be very long because of that.

11. What my writing process is like
My wring process is a mess, there's basically not even a process, it's just me collecting thoughts, writing them all over and connecting the dots and so far it's fun but I keep making the story bigger and bigger which is annoying for me since I keep getting strayed away from the freaking message or main plot of my story.
For my writing my main tool is a whiteboard. The one I use is relatively small, I can (barely) have it in my lap and there I write all of my stuff; the plot lines, timeslines, characters and mind maps over the characters, everything I've looked up and just random thoughts and then I take a picture of it, whipe it off and continue the process. It's also much easier in my opinion because I don't have to go back and change if something goes wrong, I just draw a line or remove something with my finger and I'm done editing.
After the whiteboarding I look at the pictures, I use the character template I've created (which you can find here btw), or any other document and add my notes and try to make sense out of it all.

So that's a lot about me, I hope it's worth the read and that you've gotten a sense of who I am as a writer and reader. If you have any more questions just send them to my ask.fm, inbox me here or comment below!

❤️

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