Friday, February 11, 2011

Author Dorte H. Jakobsen Visits

It’s my pleasure to welcome author and fellow blogger Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress as she ventures out to promote her recently release.

Dorte just recently self-published her first book, CANDIED CRIME. DJ´S DAIM STORIES VOL I. Thanks to Dorte I finally have an international giveaway I can share with everyone. Dorte is graciously giveaway 3 electronic copies of CANDIED CRIME to some lucky visitors commenting on her post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Be sure to include your e-mail address in your comments if it’s not included in your profile.

Dorte has stopped by today to answer some questions about your writing and her recently release.

Thank you very much Mason for opening your doors to an obscure crime writer from tiny Denmark! I really appreciate what you and other members of the blogging community do for indie authors like me. 

I am a Danish teacher of English, and in my spare time I read, review and write crime fiction. I am 49 years old - at least for a few hours.

I sold a few flash fiction stories to American magazines and publishers last year, and one week ago I published "CANDIED CRIME. DJ´S DAIM STORIES VOL I" via Smashwords.
I think the title says it quite clearly; this is crime fiction for fun - thirteen very short stories, lots of quirky characters and unexpected twists. Adverse affects: occasional snorts and giggles, but hardly any nightmares.
Mason - What inspired you to write these cozy flash fiction stories?

Dorte - I participated in an online writing course two years ago (in Danish), and when I had finished ten short writing tasks, I realized that what I had just learnt was called flash fiction in the English-speaking world. Before that I had never considered writing anything shorter than novels, but many of my virtual class mates thought my characters were funny and liked my twists, and when I began to publish some of them in English via my blog, I developed a small groups of readers who asked for more fun. It is still my ambition to write and publish crime novels, but right now it feels good to have some texts out there - and see that people actually download the free sample or buy the whole collection.
Mason - What was the easiest thing about self-publishing and what was the most difficult?

Dorte - Well, it took some hours to format the texts, but what
struck me was that the whole process went so much smoother than I had expected. I used Smashwords´ free style guide and when I thought my file was okay, I just pushed that button - and realized I had happened to publish a book! Not a perfect copy, mind you, and I promise I will be more thorough and professional when I publish my next collection - and hopefully avoid ´white-hared´ women or other embarrassing typos. All in all, I am so impressed by Smashwords´ professional and user-friendly publishing platform. THIS IS EASY, FOLKS - IF YOU HAVE A NOVEL OR COLLECTION OF STORIES, JUST TRY IT! It´s much simpler than you can imagine.
And something that went even smoother - I sent a short e-mail to a local journalist, asking if they were interested in my venture. They filled a whole page, and when the regional radio and TV stations saw that, they called me and asked very politely for reviews - because e-books are a new phenomenon in Scandinavia. My, free radio and TV spots for the big fish in the local goldfish bowl!

Mason - Is there one author in particular that has influenced your writing and if so, how?

Dorte - Now, if I say P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, it might sound as if I compare my work to theirs. But though I have read thousands of crime novels over the years, there is something about the traditional British crime story that makes me return for more. More series, more authors. I can´t help it, I am an incorrigible Anglophile. (I am not even sure I want a cure).
As "CANDED CRIME" is cosy crime, I might mention the wonderful British television series "Midsomer Murders" and Inspector Tom Barnaby as another source of inspiration. Talk about quirky characters and mushroom collectors!
Mason - Do you keep to a certain schedule or location when writing?

Dorte - As I use a laptop, I can write anywhere so I have written most of my stories in our living room, surrounded by my family who are either reading or watching television. I wish I could say I had a schedule, but I work part-time and have to put my teaching first. Besides, I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so I have days or sometimes even weeks when I am unable to write a word. On a good day I try to write for an hour or two, and if I can hit the one-thousand-word mark, I consider it a good day.
Mason - What can readers expect next from you?

Dorte - If only I could say a novel, but I think it is more likely that it will be a second volume of "DAIM STORIES", this time some that are more serious in tone than "CANDIED CRIME" (some of my dark materials). 

Dorte, thanks so much for guest blogging here today and providing the giveaway. You have given me a great appreciation for e-books and mushrooms (you’ll find out why in her book).

Now for a bit more information on Dorte. She teaches English at upper secondary level. In her spare time she reads and writes crime fiction in English and Danish, and in 2010 she sold her first flash stories to American magazines and publishers. For more on Dorte and her writing, check out her blog DJ’s krimiblog. And BTW, tomorrow - Saturday, Feb. 12 - is her 50th birthday. HAPPY
BIRTHDAY DORTE!!!                     


  1. Happy Birthday, Dorte! Congrats on your adventure into self-publication!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  2. Dorte, thanks again for guest blogging today. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and I look forward to your next book.

  3. Happy Birthday, Dorte! Hope you have a happy day. :)

    I have purchased "Candied Crime" and am eagerly looking forward to reading the collection (hoping to have some time this weekend!) Thanks for talking a little about Smashwords and your experience with uploading text, etc.

  4. Thank you, Meredith!

    Mason: it is certainly my pleasure.

    Elizabeth: Thank you. Smashwords has been a great experience for me. So unexpectedly simple.

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Dorte.

    Dorte - Thank you so much for sharing your process of deciding to publish Candied Crime. Folks this is one terrific collection of stories. I recommend it highly :-). I look forward to more stories and novels, too, Dorte!

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  6. Happy birthday, Dorte! I'm a February baby, too.

  7. I always enjoy short stories, best wishes with your book. Raising my coffee cup in a birthday toast, too ... Cheers!

  8. Happy birthday, Dorte. How fun to read about your experience with Smashwords. I'd heard of it, but not any personal experiences. Good luck.

  9. Margot: thank you for your kind words and all your encouragement!

    Diane: thank you. February is a cool month ;D

    Joanne: thank you!

    Karen: Smashwords has been such a pleasant surprise - a very professional publishing partner.

  10. Happy birthday and wish you much success, Dorte!

  11. Dorte, I'm not sure why Charles' comment didn't show up here but I did receive it in my e-mail so I'm going to submit it for him.

    I'm relieved to find another author who suffers from Chronic Fatigue. I often have the same experience Dorte describes of being unable to work or to work for very long. I guess dedication is what it takes. I would love to be considered for a free copy of her flash fiction. I'm considering using a few of the underdeveloped characters in my series "A Chronicle of Endylmyr" (Outskirts Press; 978-14327-5028-2)) to create tight, short pieces of fantasy fiction. I'm sure I can learn from Dorte.

    Charles Hall

  12. Thank you, Alex!

    Charles: good to hear from you! I have certainly found that flash fiction is good for periods when you cannot cope with novels.

  13. Good interview Mason. Well done Dorte and happy BIG birthday!

  14. I loved getting to know Dorte a bit better. I'm so thrilled with how much buzz her story collection is generating. This is all very exciting.

    And happy birthday!!

  15. Hi Dorte,

    Happy (belated) birthday! I bought Candied Crime yesterday. I've been having some great giggles and snorts. A lot of fun! And how interesting to hear about your experience self-publishing. I hope you had a great day. :D

  16. Also, thank you Mason for this fine interview. :)

  17. Thank you, Beth!

    Joanne: oh, if you knew what it feels like when people tell me they have bought my book ;O


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