Can you really just get over it?

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Have you ever met someone who has told you to “just get over it?” 

Sometimes this is easier said than done. We all face our own challenges. No one set of people has the same circumstances, but sometimes journeying with others who are facing challenges and who overcome them can encourage us. 

I know that when I was a teenager; I found my courage through books. I did not find courage through people overcoming small trials, rather, I found courage when reading about people who overcame massive trials. My mother used to tell me that if we all threw our problems in a hat, we would probably want to take our own troubles back out again when we compared our problems to others. While I do not believe that it is true in all circumstances, I know that no one can fully understand my personal trials. However, I can learn of people who have overcome similar trials or can bring a fresh perspective to me.

This week I released my Novella. This Prequel Novella deals with the nastier side of King Radolf that we only hint at in books 1 and 2, of my medieval fantasy book series, the Chronicles of Nadine. My decision to write this book was because I had a couple of readers who commented about Lady Christine being fearful of King Radolf. While some people wonder why I have a Novella that is far more intense than books 1 and 2, it is because life is not always pretty and the best success stories come from overcoming severe trials.

Ultimately, these books are the type of gift that I got when I read books as a younger person. I found courage through them. But we can not fully appreciate what courage really looks like unless we understand the back story within which characters find themselves.

Those who subscribe to my newsletter can get a free copy of the Novella.

Medieval Mental Health

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What mental health issues affected my villain?

I had a fun week, doing what I love… research.

To build believable worlds, I have to immerse myself in my characters’ minds and see what they see and feel what they feel.We are a few weeks away from the launch of The Fire Within the Storm. I offered my launch team a free psychological profile on my villain, King Radolf. So I wanted my profile to feel like the real thing. The launch team will read the review copy and will post reviews on Amazon, Good Reads, and their blogs. I wanted to produce something that will be worthy of their time and better help them understand this character.I have hinted at some of King Radolf’s traumas in book 1, The Last of the Silver Wings, but in the Fire Within the Storm (Book 2 of the Chronicles of Nadine) he makes several bold moves that seem counterintuitive to his goals.King Radolf’s advisers become concerned with his obsession with Lady Christine. He seems to be diverted from his overall mission, and it made me wonder how many medieval rulers suffered from mental illness. I found a list of Medieval rulers who scholars believe suffered from mental illness.  Scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter to get the list.

To plan this profile, I delved into the world of psychology. Some of my readers know that I loosely based King Radolf on Adolf Hitler. So one of my stop offs in my research journey was to check out what psychologists said about Hitler.This led me down the path of researching psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths. I even went down the path of serial killers. It was interesting to find that for every 10 male serial killers, there is only 1 female serial killer. In medieval times, if you were a king, you did not need to hide behind a facade.Many of them just organised a mass killing spree against their enemies. With indentured servants and boys leaving home to train as squires, disappearance was not something that created too much fuss. So a serial killer did not have to play as much cat and mouse with the authorities and modern serial killers.

One thing that jumped out was the poor relationships that many darker and criminal minds often have with their fathers. I see the research as an opportunity for and women embrace the role of the father. Instead of reacting to the bad press that fathers get, we can respond by uplifting and encouraging fathers.Fathers are more powerful than they know, and it is when we encourage men to rise to the challenge of moulding our children positively, that we can get transformation. 

I am a mother of three and while I think it is foolish to pretend that I agree with everything my husband says; I have a responsibility to my children to teach them to see their father from a positive and balanced perspective.I can not expect my son to become a good father and husband if I do not support my husband in his role.On the reverse side of the coin I see several people who blindly accept any form of discipline from fathers who are nothing more than bullies, because of a fear of not showing respect to the father.Somewhere there must be a balance between respect for authority, which is a healthy response and correction when we as parents make mistakes

Run Your Own Race

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This past week I interviewed two authors for my YouTube channel.One of them once wrote 30 000 words in one weekend and he has 11 published books. 

It was a jaw-dropping moment for me. My immediate reaction was that I felt such an underachiever. I just finished the last chapter of my third book on Friday and on my most productive day ever, I can manage 5000 words.But then I realised that while we should have mentors and people who challenge us to live to a higher standard, everyone has to run in their own lane. 

When you are in a race, you can’t cross over into someone else’s lane. You need to stay focused on who you are and what your purpose is. While I can learn from this author, I can’t compare my journey to a writer who published his first book four years ahead of me and whose life is very different from mine.

In my series, the Chronicles of Nadine, Lady Christine has a different battle to fight to her companion Beatrice. King Radolf murdered Lady Christine’s parents, and so she must find courage after living in hiding for many years. She was born a Princess but abandoned her identity to live in harmony with her husband. When she has a chance meeting with a former Lord from her kingdom, he challenges her to reclaim her heritage.

Beatrice is Lady Christine’s protector and companion. Beatrice is the only known Contron female warrior. Her father raised her in a time when Contron’s merely raped women during raids and moved on, leaving the women to raise the children themselves. Beatrice’s father claimed the child after her mother died.The Controns were one of the most ruthless warrior tribes. Beatrice’s father concealed her gender to keep her safe, and so she could train as a warrior. After they discovered her gender, his clan drowned him in the bog for stopping her from being claimed by one tribesman. In their clan, no man had the right to stop a woman from being claimed. Beatrice escaped to a female warrior clan to complete her training.

While both women lost their fathers, comparing Lady Christine’s progress and inner battles to Beatrice would be absurd. Yet, in our own lives, we look at someone else’s outcome and get discouraged. The better way is to see what we can learn from those around us and see which elements we can apply in our own lives.In the series, Lady Christine relies on Beatrice’s’ experience to enhance her life and help her prepare. Beatrice has found a home and purpose through Lady Christine. 

Neither woman is envious of the other. They know who and what they are, and their relationship brings balance in the land.I hope you find the courage to build relationships that grow you without you having to run in someone else lane.

Do you answer destiny’s call?

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People say that it a predetermined course of events that leads us to some kind of purpose in our lives. 

There are a lot of debates about whether life is a matter of choice or a matter of destiny. The argument is that destiny predetermines everything. If that is true, then why should we bother with any decision making. It almost takes the fun out of life. 

We want to believe that we have control over our lives.In the series The Chronicles of Nadine, this is a theme that Nadine struggles through. Does she bend to what those around her say is her calling, or does she make her own choices? For a stubborn and fiercely independently thinking young lady, that seems an impossible choice. In the beginning, Nadine made some decisions based on what she thought would be the fate of her parents when they were captured by the dragon.

Come to think of it, what is the difference between fate and destiny? Are they the same thing? Fate is the preordained course of your life. It is the outcome that you will reach regardless of your actions. Think of it as a GPS. You may take a few wrong turns, but the GPS will keep recalculating until you reach your destination. For many, it has a negative connotation. They feel that they have a lack of control. It is this kind of feeling that the villagers that Nadine grew up with must have felt while in the tunnels. They left their fate to the dragon or someone who was brave enough to rescue them.But the word destiny has a more positive feel to it, as if there is something greater, a higher purpose waiting for you. But to reach that point, you must take action. I believe this the difference between living a mediocre life and a great one. 

You may be destined to become a writer, an inventor, a politician, a business owner, or in our series a king, queen or a whisperer. But as you look back at the end of your life, the type of influence that you had will depend on the choices and actions that you took along the way.Based on what you are doing with your life right at this moment, what will your descendants say about you? What will be the legacy you leave behind?

Copyright Kim Vermaak 2020

Keep Moving

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When I majored in research as a marketing student I never expected that I would grow to love it so much. I swapped marketing stats for researching interesting snippets of daily medieval life. 

It is what allows to do realistic world building in my medieval fantasy series. Like what a medieval pregnancy test was or how to make an exceptionally powerful sword.

 I can even tell you how a physician would have diagnosed diabetes for a medieval patient. My mind has become an intricate library of medieval trivia.Although my stories help people find courage, they have some darker parts in them because, lets face it there are predators out there. 

That is still true today. There are people who would rob you of your dreams and aspirations. So living with hope takes guts and determination. 

And you will have to eliminate a few enemies along the way. Well, not physically, or you would be the villain of your own story. But you must fortify yourself against the trials of life that rob your joy.

Author Jay Mathews inspired me this week. He has a wonderful blog that helps writers of crime and detective novels understand the psychology and physiology that affects a crime story-line. 

He shared with me some anatomical checks when my character is book 3 had to defend herself against an attacker. 

This is the part of being an author I love. Authors by large are a generous group of people. With every encounter I feel inspired, changed and improved.

 In my scene that I needed help with, King Radolf has used a five-year-old girl as bait to lure Lady Christine into a trap. The child’s guardian tries to fight the attackers off, but they still manage get past him and now someone is coming for her.Jay explained that as a five-year-old. she would lack the hand eye coordination to make a deliberate strike against her attacker, but she could pull it off if she gets a lucky strike.

 It reminded me that in life only movement produces results. So when you face fear, just get moving. You may not have all the skills yet. 

But you may get lucky and save yourself from that dreadful situation you are facing.

Is this book like Game of Thrones?

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Well, yes, and no.

It has a complex and vibrant set of characters. But there are some core differences. 

The dragons in The Chronicles of Nadine are an intricate part of the series. They are creatures of legend and fear, who villagers are compelled to slay. But their true purpose unfolds along with the characters in this series. 

Unlike the Game of Thrones, The Chronicles of Nadine is a series that embraces a core moral compass that is so often lacking in society and in some modern epic fantasy. 

Not that there is no decay in society. The series has its fair share of murder, failure, and betrayal.  But at its core, there is a striving to overcome the struggles that often cause men and women to turn away from the light.

It is possible to write an epic fantasy for Young Adults that does not need erotica, nudity or foul language to weave a plot.  I have always loved medieval fantasy and in this story. 

I transport readers into the intricacies of the politics of the time at a time where some Kings would strive for power at all costs.Yes, there are some gruesome scenes. Like when Nadine discovers the charred remains of the villages who died when their village was attacked. But the core of the purpose of the graphic scenes created in the Chronicles of Nadine is to draw the reader into the harsh realities of medieval life and not to desensitise readers to cruelty.

I am looking forward to introducing you to the rich tapestry of characters in The Chronicles of Nadine.

Do you know the name of your dragon?

We all face giants at some point.

Do You Know the name of your dragon? 

dangerous woman

We all face giants at some point.

For David, it was Goliath. For Nadine, it was Muquin. For someone else, it may be debt or a toxic relationship. But they all have the power to trap up.  To keep us captive to fear.  In the series’s first book, The Last of the Silver Wings, Muquin represents what many of us would cower from. 

Seriously, if I woke up one day and saw my village being burned down, I would look for the first Uber out of here. Yet. Muquin holds a key to a destiny that Nadine never imagined. 

When Nadine was desperate for a way to rescue her family, she took the first steps.   I knew that I wanted to change my life, to catch hold of that dream that I always wanted… to write books that help people find their courage. But fun fiction ones that speak to the hero buried inside you. I love motivational books. But novels allow you to be the hero inside them. To identify with the characters.  I wanted to share my passion for learning and fantasy with others in a way that empowers them. I had to start with the first worlds. 

What is it in your life holds you captive?   What steps can you take today to conquer your world?

Pain with Purpose

Have you ever made a devastating choice?

Pain with Purpose

Have you ever made a devastating choice?  

Ist this Book Like Game of Thrones

The one that leaves you crying out, "Oh God, what have I done?" It is painful watching those we love struggle with life-changing decisions.

I have made them. And sometimes my friends have made them. There were days when I had to cradle a friend in my arms as I would my children. My heart cried out for them, trapped in choices they could never undo. 

There are some choices that we can patch up and fix. Sometimes we emerge stronger than before.  And sometimes we can only ask for the lesson in our pain.  But what I have come to realise is that in every painful situation, there can be a purpose. A time to help others who have stumbled along the path. 

When you have decided out of fear and regretted it, have to courage to help others make better choices. 

 The temptation is to cocoon ourselves and pretend it never happened, but reach out and love others when they need it.