The Winds of Change for K. Kolmakov

So, here we are. Yours truly, widely known in immensely narrow circles as kkolmakov, and you, my beloved readers.

I have to say, I have rewritten this post about a dozen times by now… And yet I find it difficult to put what I need to say into the right words.

I feel as if I reached some sort of a tipping point in my writing (and drawing as well, but it’s a bit of a different matter). I started three years ago, with a small drabble on fanfiction.net. So much has happened since then! I know at least one of you has been with me on this journey from day one; and just for that I’ll be forever grateful for that day on the plane when I typed my first 300 words. (My dearest J., I’m of course talking about you!)

I learnt; I grew; I found friends, and lost friends. I saw the world more clearly, and I love it more, and am scared of it more. I know myself better now (and I can’t say it made my life easier.)

But enough rambling.

A few days ago I arrived to the realisation that it’s time for change. Very few of you know my personal circumstances, but in simple terms, I have been fortunate enough to be able to take some time off work since May 2016 and dedicate myself to writing and drawing. This luxury will end in May 2017, and by then I need to either find a job; or become a published author, actually paid royalties, and/or an artist with constant income.

In no way I find I’ve wasted these past months. I wrote fanfiction as much as I wanted; I wrote the YA fantasy novel (which I’m currently looking into publishing); I put “Hammer Up!” to Amazon Kindle Scout. I wrote on JukePop (a bit more about it later); and Wattpad. I’ve almost finished Dr T Series here, on the blog (a project that has spanned over all my writing years). I drew; I sold my art on the Central Canada Comic-Con; and Etsy; I opened a Society6 shop. I experimented with pastels, ink, and polymer clay.

But it’s time to accept that:

1. The Hobbit fandom has shrunk. I hardly get any reviews for my recent stories. Except for you, my few loyal readers, who are generous and forgiving enough to give a chance to all my random endeavours! And even wander from platform to platform with me! (Words can’t express how much I appreciate and love you – each and every one of you!)

I doubt I will ever write for any other fandom as much and as wholeheartedly as i did for this one. I’m a monogamous creature. I will never have any other King.

2. Fanfiction, Wattpad, JukePop, DeviantArt, and Instagram don’t pay bills, as rewarding and fulfilling as they are emotionally and mentally.

3. I don’t want a boring office/kitchen job. I know I’ll be restless and miserable if I am not allowed to spend 8 hours a day with my keyboard and/or brushes.

Which altogether adds up to the dire need to restructure my creative life.

So, here are my plans for the nearest months. A lot of the following requires your advice/suggestions/votes. Please, let me know in the comments!

{A} Regarding fanfiction:

I’m planing to slowly cut down the number of stories I write. Most of those that still get some readership (such as “Letters to Your Heart,” “Old Wounds;” and all those smaller ones such as “Here Be Dragons”) will be completed, but much depends on the readers. I’m expecting to leave “Four Corners of Middle Earth” as my last Hobbit/LotR fanfic going post-May.

If there’s some specific story that you’re dying to see finished, or kept ‘alive,’ let me know.

{B} I’m planning to finish Dr T Series. At the moment, I anticipate about 5 chapters left in the last part, tying loose ends, and sending Wrennie and Dr. Sexy into their well-deserved happily ever after, with the triplets and Unna, sparkles and unicorns, etc., etc.

I still want to continue writing a modern romance/erotica webserial with weekly updates; and I think “Jack in the Box” on Wattpad will be the one.

I have couple of other ideas that I’ve been considering, such as that “May to December” one I’ve mentioned before with the professor-student scenario, with a reversed age difference, where Wren is 42 and divorced, and John is her student. Couple other ideas are also rattling in my barmy noggin. The question is: where would you prefer reading it (if you’re still interested in reading my musings, of course) – here on the blog? On Wattpad?

{C} The previous question brings me to the matter of JukePop and Inkitt. I’m leaving “Blind Carnival” sitting on JukePop for now. Several of you were immensely kind to say that you’d buy another of my books (you can’t imagine how flattered I feel when I read such wonderfully kind comments!), but for now “Blind Carnival” will have to wait.

Meanwhile, “Better Than One” (the one with the Canadian farmer lacking any ability to communicate verbally – remember this one?) is currently being moved to Inkitt (click on the word for the link). I’m still trying to figure it out, but so far I know that they’re running a romance book contest there. As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know. I think if the book gets posted, there’s a limited number of free copies, and after that people are supposed to pay. I’ll keep you posted so that you can grab yours.

{D} I’m currently in correspondence with Winnipeg Police forces gathering info for that whodunnit for Etsy with my illustrations. As soon as I have my research done, I’ll start on the chapters. Again, I’ll keep you posted.

{E} I’m planning to continue drawing. My creepy ink drawings will go to Society6; they seem to fit well on tees, mugs, and phone cases. My colourful watercolours and clay figurines will be available on Etsy.

{F} I’m currently working on a picture book titled “Miraculous Mira” – of course, with a few familiar faces among its characters (you can find out more about it on my Instagram.) Hopefully, I’ll manage to publish it.

So, these are my plans.

I sincerely think that writing doesn’t happen just to the writer. It’s our shared experience, and I am grateful for each one of you, for your being in my life, and those interaction we had. And so, I truly want to continue being your writer. If you still want Wren/Olivia/Etta/Gemma and John/Darius/Thorin in your life, and Mira as well, and just a bit of kkolmakov, let me know. We’ll move together to Wattpad; or Etsy; I’d love to see you among my followers on Facebook, or Instagram. And then one day, when I’m in your town/county/province/country signing my bestseller (pfft, as if!) you’ll stop by and say, ‘Hey, I used to be so-and-so, your follower on fanfiction;’ and that’s when you’ll see kkolmakov frantically shaking your hand and tearing up.

Cheers, my lovelies.

kk

Two Completed Projects and a Dozen Running :)

Hello!

Update, update, it’s time for an update on what Katya’s doing 🙂 (Clearly some writers/artists here have had a wee bit too much chocolate. But seriously, chocolate affects me like booze does normal people, while booze just knocks me out 😀 And there was this box of Lindt elves; and they were glossy and plump; and pretty foil wraps fell off; and one followed another… 😛 )

Uhem, where was I? 🙂

Alright, the two completed projects:

A. “Hammer Up!” (formerly known as “Stop, Hammer Time!”)

It’s been edited; the cover is made; and it’s ready to go, but… I’ve been thinking that it’s holiday time now, and we all have families to visit and eggnog to drink. And judging by how it goes on FF and A03 sites, most people are not very active online around this time. So, how about we do the whole voting + getting a free copy if the story wins (and Katya gets a bit cash, and doesn’t have to get a soul-crushing, boring job for a bit longer) in January?

Let me know what you think!

B. Russian folklore + familiar characters = young adult fantasy novel

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It’s written! I’m serious! 😀 I wrote a novel in exactly a month! I started November 7th, and was done December 8th. I would have finished December 7th (not intentionally at all), but I was writing the final battle scene, and then my alarm went off, and I had to go pick up my son from school! I am almost certain that people on the bus thought I was mad! I was buzzing, and mumbling, and twitching 🙂 But then the next day I finished it!

I like it. That’s all I can say. I do have couple degrees in literary studies, so I have all these critical urges from time to time – but it just flew from under my fingers, and I love it. Those of you who have warm and fuzzy feelings towards Thorin/John (which I assume are all of you 😀 ) will enjoy a certain character in this story for sure.

I even decided to try to go with the traditional publishing, and am currently looking into publishing houses, and agents. Does any of you happen to know anyone in that terrifying, cut throat business? 🙂

In the picture above, you can see a magical compass, fuelled by a person’s blood, which allows one to search for a hidden relative, or object – and the book will actually explain how to build one. Have I gotten your attention? 🙂

3. What’s going on meanwhile:

Fanfiction, of course! On fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own. Now that my mad writing spree is over, I’ll dedicate more time to my FF.

I’ve also been recently reminded that I have a Wattpad page. I’ll clean it up and post some old Thorin stories there, and…

A new idea! (Clearly, those chocolate elves should’ve stayed where they were!) How about a romance story on Wattpad, where a lovely chick whose job is to be a muse (she’s a personal coach for creative peeps) is torn between two blokes? One is tall, dark, and blue-eyed (we all know the type, don’t we? 😉 ), and another one is sort of “Bilbo meets John Watson?” (They do kind of look alike, don’t they? 😀 ) The plot is already formed in my head, and ooooohhhh, the delicious angst! 😀

Also, I’m finishing the next chapter for the Agatha Christie style story for my Patreon supporters. They will also get some exclusive scoop into the freshly finished novel; character designs; and Christmas watercolour cards by yours truly.

There is also a story for Etsy that is slowly taking shape. I’m still working on choosing a character design style, and the overall plot, but as promised a whodunit with Gwen (yet another version of Wren); and both John/Thorin and Einar is on the way! Once I’ve set my mind on the overall style, it’ll be a go – and I hope you enjoy it!

Writing aside, I’m also working on my art, including a family portrait commission, which is equally daunting and exciting 🙂 There is also polymer clay; dry pastels; the birds of Manitoba that I want to draw… and who needs sleep anyway? 🙂

Oh, and of course, there is suspicious new character in my Dr T Series 🙂 Did you like Eva? 😉

Thank you for your interest, my duckies! There is no writer without readers!

I’ll keep you posted what’s happening!

Cheers,

K.

 

 

 

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 7. Together

Author’s Note:

This is it, my lovelies. This is the chapter. This is their happy ending (although not an ending per se). 

There will be more to their story. There is couple more plot twists I have prepared for them; there are characters to talk about, loose ends to tie, and hot nights to describe. There are still the one-shots that I’ve stashed from the time when the story was first published on FanFiction site (I know you want to see the triplets, and Unna of course.)

But I feel that this chapter, below the title, is what we were all waiting for since that first one-shot titled “Camping” in my collection of short stories We Are Scattered Through Time and Space. It’s been four years of my life, and it’s been a journey. For me, and for the characters. 

This John – Dr T, Dr Delicious, The Sun and Moon of Modern Neurosurgery – has been, and will always be my first true modern AU Thorin Oakenshield. And this Wrennie is the most honest, genuine, imperfect Wren I’ve ever written. If I didn’t love them all equally, I’d say these two are my favourite protagonists.

I hope this chapter will be as satisfying for you to read as it was for me to write.

Katya

P.S. And remember, there will be at least ten more chapters 😉 Hope you enjoy!

lwap7

Four months later…

You like sleeping with John. He’s just the right density, not bony, not soft – warm and firm, and perfectly furry in all the right places. In his sleep he tends to wrap around you like an octopus, and you’re properly OK with it. There’re couple positions that you especially enjoy, such as curling in a ball, pressing your bum into his crotch. Since you’re significantly shorter, his arm doesn’t fall asleep under your head, and you get all the advantages of his snuggling. Or sometimes you like being the big spoon, and press your forehead above his shoulder blades, into the nape, into just the right spot.

There are issues, of course. His place, which he moved into a month after your break up, feels unlived in. He explained to you that he wanted to start from scratch, but somehow it just never became anything more than a perfect illustration from a home decour magazine.

The bed in your flat is too small for him. Lan and Thea bought it for you when you moved in; and although the two of you can fit when sleeping, shagging on it is really difficult. You always seem to end up on the floor. It also squeaks, loudly and annoyingly, and you wouldn’t want your neighbours to get jealous of how many hours in a row this concert continues.

***

You snuggle into the pillow, without opening your eyes. It’s warm and smells nice under the duvet, and you stretch your hand in search of the scorching skin, and maybe furry chest, but there’s… nothing. You stick your nose out… and catch the delicious aroma of coffee. He’s cooking breakfast in your kitchen. You’re torn between going there to ogle him – it’s a gorgeous spectacle, him in his pants, and bless that arse! – confident movements, glasses; and staying in the balmy warmth, with the smell of his cologne on the sheets, and bliss coursing your body after the three rounds the two of you went for last night.

He sticks his head into the room and smiles to you widely.

“Morning.” God, this voice needs to be bottled and prescribed as an antidepressant.

“Morning.” You smile back. He reappears in the room with a tray with coffee, fruit, and his favourite toast with marmalade.

“What are we doing today, Ms Leary?” he asks, stirring sugar in your coffee. “It’s Saturday, you had a long week, and you…” He kisses the tip of your nose. “You require spoiling,” he purrs, and one eyebrow jumps up.

“I did have a long week,” you agree. You’re very pleased with yourself. The papers for the post-grad went through three days ago, and you do feel you deserve a bit of rest and perhaps celebrating.

“So, what do you want to do?” he asks handing a triangle of toast to you.

“Nothing. I want to do nothing. All day. With you.” And then you want to do him. Repeatedly. Something tells you he knows.

“Perfect. I know just the place for that.” He pats his thigh under the blanket, and you giggle.

***

Eventually you do get out of the bed, take shower – separately, otherwise you’d never leave the flat – and go for a walk. Nothing is exactly what the two of you do. You wander into shops, look at windows, talk, and laugh, and kiss. You take photos with your phone, there are couple of selfies together. The two of you laugh at how in order to fit into the screen either he has to scoot, or you need to stand on a bench. Eventually, he picks you up bridal style. The photos feature his sleeve and then the collar of his peacoat, because instead of taking pictures, the two of you are behaving endlessly inappropriately, snogging in the middle of a park.

You stop for lunch in some sarnie shop, all hipster and organic, and you laugh at the light disdain colouring his face. Tofu burger with yam mayo is clearly isn’t his first choice. They have ace coffee though, and the two of you are walking out with compostable cups bearing some hipster slogans.

There’s a vintage book shop in the next block, and you pull him in. It’s the passion for the both of you; and browsing books, talking nonstop, takes the solid second place in the top five things the two of you do best together – after shag, of course. He’s wonderfully well-read, with diverse, very non elitist taste; you are a binge reader. If he happens to know something you don’t he’s never condescending. And the discussions the two of you have are most stimulating.

He’s standing near a shelf, a fourth edition of his favourite Omar Khayyam in his hand. He knows the book like the back of his hand, and yet you see his eyes slide tenderly along the lines. It’s lying open on his large palm, and he’s so beautiful to you at the moment that your eyes prickle. He blindly stretches his hand to his cup he put on the ladder by the shelf, and takes a sip. And then the cup goes back, and he gently turns a page.

“I want to live with you,” you blurt out, and he looks at you above his reading glasses.

“Sorry, what?”

“You hate your flat, mine is too small. And I want to sleep with you every night. And wake up together. And eat dinner together. And we spend five nights a week together anyroad…” Your voice dies out, and you awkwardly cough. “I mean when you want to… When it’s time… I’m just letting you know that I already want it, that I’m… there…”

Great, Wrennie, just bleeding great. You started with overly direct, clumsy declarations, and ended it with choked mumbling, with questionable grammar. Well done.

He smiles to you softly, and you feel your nose twitch in the daft nervous tick.

“I too want to live with you.”

Oh sod it, that’s a relief. You sort of suspected he did, since he always eagerly agrees on spending a night together, but that wasn’t the most graceful of offerings, let’s face it. Plus there’s always your shared history.

“We should look at flats then?” His tone is more questioning than stating, and is adorably hopeful. You exhale and step to him. He readily puts the book aside, and you pressed your forehead into his chest. Blimey, you love him in this peacoat. You love him, period. The peacoat is just a bonus.

He wraps his arms around you and kisses the top of your head.

“And I feel like I want to marry you.” Oh look, Wrennie’s cork has popped, and now she’ll have to move to the Arctic to escape the consequences. He stops gently rocking you from side to side. You realise the previous statement requires an explanation.

You wince away from him, and rush to clarify. His face is unreadable, just eyes might be a bit widened.

“I mean, I just feel very good about our relationship now… Recently… I mean, it’s been great since day one, since we got back together, but it’s just glaringly obvious to me recently. I notice it, all the time, how ace it is, and how happy I am. And you!” you exclaim hurriedly. “You seem happy. I mean, I can’t know for sure, but that’s how it looks. And I don’t mean a wedding or something, but you know how when people get married they are hoping it’s forever? That’s how I feel. Like if I had to choose now, I’d say yes, and wouldn’t have a shadow of doubt. And it all can change any moment, but… And when people get married they know it too, yeah? That anything can happen, but they go for it, and I absolutely certainly would.” You’re out of breath, and you inhale sharply. “What I mean to say is that I love you…” Your voice breaks, and you puff some air out. “And I want to spend my whole life with you.”

“I love you too,” he answers slowly, and you give up a nervous chuckle.

“Right…” You cough purposefully. “Let’s just forget this mental outburst…”

“And I do want to marry you,” he interrupts you in a low voice, and you freeze and throw him an embarrassed look. “No, that’s not exactly it… I want to be your husband. And spend my whole life with you, just like you said. And…” He gives you a calm and earnest look. “And if and when you decide you’re ready, I’ll be here.”

“Ready for what?” you breathe out.

“Anything. Anything you want.” He smiles to you, and your breath hitches from how clearly you can see that he loves you. “I’m OK with any level of commitment, Wrennie, so you just let me know.”

“I want to be your wife.” There isn’t a single moment of hesitation. “I don’t want a big wedding, maybe no wedding at all. But I want rings. And couple photos, and a pretty dress. And I want some B’n’B somewhere not too far. And shagging for a week nonstop, and you calling me Mrs Thorington, and…”

“Bath,” he says suddenly, and you realise tears are running down your cheeks. Happy tears.

“What?” you croak. You still haven’t kissed him. You need to kiss him.

“We can go to Bath.” His eyes are the brightest you’ve ever seen them. Like a July sky on the sunniest day. “For a week after, and I promise to you…” His voice breaks as well, and you rush to him and hang on his neck. “I promise to call you Mrs Thorington at least two thirds of the time.”

There are tears in his eyes too, and you kiss him, and he squeezes you, pressing you in, whispering promises, which you believe, and words of love, which you return with all your heart.

To be continued…

Cake, or Death? (Help Me to Choose What to Write!)

Hello!

In the immortal words of Eddie Izzard – cake, or death? (Seriously, his routine “Dress to Kill” is one of my most favourite things in the world!) Please, help me choose which story to write first!

I’ve decided to try a new format: I’m planning to write a webserial, and sell it in my Etsy shop $1 per chapter. Each chapter will be an instant download PDF file, meaning you pay, and it gets emailed to you right away. Each file will include a chapter and at least three illustrations. Depending on how this format is received, a new chapter will be posted bi-weekly, or monthly.

Here is the sample of a PDF file you’d be able to purchase:

Pierce and Schrupp. Chapter 1 (Sample)

And now the question! Which of the two stories would you like to see written? Please, let me know here in comments (an anonymous answer with a number would suffice 😀 but I’m always happy to hear more from you!); or on my writer’s Facebook page.

Option 1:

katya-kolmakov

Red Velvet and Florentines

(romance/humour/erotica)

Edith ‘Eddie’ Lark is a genius dessert chef from Canada, working in a fancy restaurant in New York. Suddenly, her life falls apart: The man she was going to marry leaves for Australia, and her working visa has expired. The owner of the restaurant proposes her a harlequin novel solution – to get married for her to stay in the country. Eddie isn’t sure it’s a good idea: the man is a bag of cats, a workaholic, and knows nothing about her – and seems to want to know even less – including the fact that she has a five year old daughter.

 

Option 2:

(whodunit/romance/humour)

Gwen Pierce and Otilia Schrupp are a successful team of a mystery writer and an illustrator. When the two of them witness a grotesque murder at an art show, they are torn between sticking their noses into the investigation led by a dashing inspector, Einar Sigurgeirson, and minding their own business. Meanwhile, a series of break-ins into Gwen’s home brings her closer to her neighbour, while the investigation is pulling her towards one of the suspects.

So, what do you think, my darlings? 🙂

P.S. All the drawings used for the covers and illustrations will be available for looking at and purchasing on my DeviantArt page.

The Question of Fanart

wren1

Never in my wildest dreams I expected to have fanart made for my character. OC, original character, as they are called in the mysterious world of Tumblr, fanfiction and fandoms. It is not just me being sincerely modest. I am indeed sincere by the way. It is flattering and validating. And humbling. But about the responsibility I feel as a writer – a bit later.

Mostly I was astounded by the email from a wonderful professional illustrator with their friendly, almost off-hand offer, because I write fanfiction. Well, wrote fanfiction. My first book is already available for pre-order on Amazon, but it is quite a different story, since Convince Me the Winter is Over is contemporary fiction, dealing with psychological healing and PTSD, and not exactly the light stuff I write on https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4633889/. No travelling across Misty Mountains and enamoured Dwarven Kings.

With Winter I decided it was worth trying to publish it because it seemed to have made difference. Because readers would contact me and tell me that it made them feel better, or start therapy, to accept that there is nothing wrong with them, to consider seeking help, and most importantly, to stop blaming themselves.

And after the email from the talented Selma I once again questioned what I am doing as a writer. If some of my fanfiction stories spark creativity, does it mean I have underestimated the impact they make?

On the side note, reviews that people leave under each new chapter of my current story Me Without You are a social commentary much more fascinating than my writing. People unhappy with feminist ideas my redhead lives by, her resistance to the role of a wife and a ‘good woman,’ her refusal to give up her life for being with a man, whom some readers go as far as to call “too good for her then.”

If a person felt like spending some of the time they could dedicate to their professional activity, sharing their creativity and their efforts with others, to consider the face of the girl who has been my protagonist since day one, if Wren of Enedwaith is now travelling through other media and other platforms, does it mean I have to be even more persistent and more careful in delegating the ideas I believe are beneficial for others to read about?

Speak of anxiety inducing thoughts…

P.S Fanart: http://whowanderlost.blogspot.pt/