About Astrid V.J.
I am a USA Today Bestselling and Literary Classics award-winning author, social anthropologist, and transformational life coach. I grew up in South Africa and currently live in Malmö, Sweden (after having lived in many exciting and interesting places). I live with my husband and our two children.
My South African-German heritage and the experiences of living and integrating into other societies have given me a great deal to think about and process. The training in anthropology has given me the tools to think beyond simple stereotypes and ideological explanations of social interaction while the understanding I have of human potential underlying my certification as a transformational life coach allows me to see what is possible and to appreciate the human capacity to achieve success in the face of adversity.
My parents instilled in me a love for books, and the natural world that we inhabit. This love has led to a deep appreciation of the written word and the desire to contribute as much as I can towards improving the state of the world. I would like to use my expertise and passion for cultures to help us move forward.
I write transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. This is more than Up-lit. My books are intended to be uplifting, but also to provoke thought and help people question the situations they find themselves in, and to identify how they themselves can transcend their circumstances. I am very much interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Western backgrounds. I feel the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity, and culture, and I seek to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating my background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics I find most important, such as racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact and much more.
Elisabeth & Edvard: The Siblings' Tale is my debut fantasy duology. I share many of my insights and truly hope it will inspire a generation of indomitable change-makers to work together to correct some of the major social problems this current century brings with it.
More writing, including an epic witches & wizards urban fantasy trilogy that begins in Uganda, and a Fantasy/Space-opera cross-over series are on their way, so stay tuned!
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