Posted by Barb on 10/03/2014
And it’s a guest! And Author of the Month at Smashwords Authors Group on Goodreads, so if you have a question not answered here, go ask it in the thread (or you can leave a comment, I’m sure Rita will drop by to answer!)! I’m honored to have her… ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rita Lee Chapman!
Where do you live and write from?
I live in Australia, in Queensland, in a beautiful spot close to beaches, rivers and lakes.
When did you start writing?
I didn’t finish my first book until I retired to Queensland. I wrote long stories in primary school and started a couple of books over the years but never found time to finish them. I think Amazon was the catalyst –now that you can self-publish you know that you can see your work in print.
Missing in Egypt is a romantic travel mystery and Winston – A Horse’s Tale is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards.
Missing in Egypt is about an Australian working for a Member of Parliament who falls in love with a constituent. She travels to Egypt with him to look for his brother, who has disappeared whilst on holiday. It contains vivid descriptions of Egyptian sites and temples.
Winston – A Horse’s Tale is told by Winston himself and tells of his life in Australia and the different people and horses he meets along the way.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Interesting question. I guess there is often some part of yourself in your story somewhere, even if it is only a tiny part.
Do you have a specific writing routine?
No. I fit it in where I can – even though I’m retired, I always seem to be busy. I tend to do better when it’s raining.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
I’d love to have a clear outline when I start to write but I’d have to say the story develops as I go along. I’m a fast writer when I know where I’m going.
Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view. Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad and ignorant. As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way.
Whether it’s jumping, eventing, hunting or just hacking, Winston tries hard to please his rider. Follow his successes and his failures from his breaking-in to his show jumping win. It is an eventful life – the story of one Australian horse out of thousands, but one that you will remember!
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
I’m an Indie publisher, mainly because I had rejections from traditional publishers. However, I find I do like having control over all aspects of my writing.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Yes, I’ve started on my third book, a crime mystery and I’d like to do a second book on the Missing in Egypt theme.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Just finishing my first book was my main goal and to see it in print was a huge buzz. I’d like my books to be better known and I work hard to promote them but there are so many books out there! I guess my current goal is to write a better book!
I have a Guest Author page on my website where I host a different author each week. If any of your readers would like to be featured they can contact me through the site at www.ritaleechapman.com
Posted by Barb on 09/03/2014
You probably know that this year the “best foreign movie” Oscar went to an Italian, La grande bellezza, which I haven’t seen because I wasn’t interested in the first place (but I know it came out in cinemas, while my friends were like “Did it ever come out in theaters or what?” “YES, last year, the Oscars are for movies that came out the previous year, doh!”).
Anyhow, I gathered comments. The newsagent lady saw only a bit and then gave up because it was boring. The hairdresser had a discussion with a client who loved it, but she switched channel and watched Fantastic Four instead! My colleague said he recorded it, but hasn’t watched it yet. They tell me it’s very Fellinian – which is why it won the Oscar, IMHO. Americans love Fellini.
I don’t care. Never watched his movies and won’t watch this one either. But I’m happy it won because it does feature Rome. 21st century Rome. My dear Yankees, you are stuck with an idea of Rome that is very 1950s. Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita… we don’t live like this anymore, sorry. So I hope this movie shows you the real Rome – although nobody will ever bother to show you the suburbs and anything newer than the center of the town, but that’s another story.
Yesterday I also visited the non-catholic cemetery, where I had never been before. It’s behind the pyramid, and it’s a nice place to spend a nice sunny-but-cold afternoon. I got myself 90+ photos (mostly of angels, but also of gorgeous young men – sometimes with wings, LOL) and these souvenirs…
I already mentioned Keats is my favorite poet because of his sonnet “When I have fears” – although I have long outlived him, sometimes that fear of not managing to write down all the stories comes back… (no, 2million published words and a few million more still unpublished are not enough, LOL)
Smashwords Read an E-book Week ends tomorrow, so hurry! Have a great weekend!
Posted by Barb on 07/03/2014
Blog visits had dropped in December and January, but February they were back at 2012 stats. 2013 has been the best, but somehow things changed when I hit the box for turning off comments on posts more than 30 days old. Still don’t know if those visitors were spambots or what.
Anyway, February was also good for sales, in spite of being a short month: 15 books on Amazon.it (yep, the Star Minds series in Italian), 2 on Amazon.com, 4 on Kobo, 5 on Apple and 1 on DriveThruFiction. Now that the e-book week is in full swing, there might be a few more sales, albeit at discounted rates (still $$ that go on the Smashwords account, so maybe in April I’ll get paid again, since I’ve reached the minimum treshold, LOL).
By the way, I’ve already recommended the Amaranthine series by Joleene Naylor, and she’s doing a sale during e-book week. Check her books, vampire stories with the right amount of sex and gore – i.e. not for teenagers or younger readers, LOL! Go grab yours – Shades of Gray was out long before the more famous 50 shades came out… And I’m looking forward to book 6 – although I admit even for book 5 I haven’t read the final version yet. Maybe I should go and grab it now… but I’m actually procrastinating for when I’ll have time to do an Amaranthine-marathon and read all the books in one shot!
Now I will have to work on my Kobo Writing Life dashboard as soon as I can. Please check this article on how to maximize your sales at Kobo. I’m thinking of trying the pre-order thingy either for the Italian editon of Star Minds Snippets or Amazon Spring, for which I already have a placeholder file. I’m keeping the article for future reference anyway!
I have submitted my rejections story to Cairn Press. If you’d like to share your rejections stories, here’s the call for submission. If they reject me, I’ll use that short rant into the void in October, when I’ll be off for a couple of weeks and will have to schedule the posts well in advance!
Kris Rusch’s discoverability series continues… I do only Facebook and Goodreads because it’s the only places where I have fun. I was on Facebook as a person before indie publishing (it’s a good way of keeping track of friends scattered all around the world) and I opened the author page when Facebook was still something else. In fact it was still called a “fan page”. I mostly send this blog posts there through networked blogs and sometimes share other writerly links.
On Goodreads I joined a few groups, but I’m active mostly in the smaller ones. Like the Smashwords Authors group. Soon I’ll feature this month’s author, since we have the “Author of the month” feature. As soon as she replies to my writerly questions, she’ll be on this blog! Otherwise I’m mostly quiet (or totally absent for the bigger groups, but I had to join for one reason or another)…
My beta-reader for Saif’s Legacy requested a sequel, so I’m thinking about it. Might become a trilogy of novellas – Assassins Guild of Silvery Earth – but even if I love those characters, I don’t know what else can happen to them. I’m starting to gather ideas for story #2 but #3 is still unfocused in the future, LOL!
I’ll change the cover of Technological Angel (as soon as Cristina delivers), but in the meantime I’m asking you: should I change also the Shooting Star cover and put the Italian edition version? I kinda like mine, since it’s one of the first drawings of Kol-ian I did way back in 2002, but if you think Silvano’s art is better, I’ll change it… Please vote in the comments – original or Italian version?
Posted by Barb on 05/03/2014
oh, boy, my first POD! I still have a few copies left – collector’s items! I’ll have them at Loncon, if anyone makes it there… It will be available at 10£ including a coupon for a free download of the e-book – revised version!
Posted by Barb on 03/03/2014
… and it’s “read an e-book week” on Smashwords! Everything 50% off for the rest of the week, which means some titles have gone FREEEE! Limited time offer – only until the 8th!
Adult unconventional fantasy (Silvery Earth)
Science fantasy (Star Minds)
B.G. Hope (contemporary fiction)
p.s. This month I’m very chatty on the Happiness Is… vignette… I seem to have a comment for each! It’s not really on sale (it’s not really an e-book, since it has no reflowing text), but you can find all the drawn happinesses in “15 years of creative barbwire” on Amazon and DriveThruComics. Three out of five of this month’s vignettes are not in it, though.
Posted by Barb on 02/03/2014
Final batch of Bollywood movies, so you won’t hear anything else for a few months, LOL! The list is still huge, but I don’t plan on buying anything until I go to London in August, so… I might review movies from other places for a change!
Houseful 1 and Housefull 2 are both comedies, Bollywood-style. With a group of people, misunderstandings, some slapstick, and lots of songs. Both soundtracks are great. If you just want to have fun, try them.
Cocktail is a little more melodramatic – got a little tear out of me at the end. The two heroines are both wonderful (and beautiful), but Saif Ali Khan is not my type! But Deepika is always very good…
Dil Bole Hadippa!… well, not really my kinda movie (dunno shit about cricket and don’t like sports movies in general), but Rani Mukerji is deliriously funny in the double part of Veer and Veera (not to mention that my first Bollywood movie was KANK, so I’m very fond of Rani and Preity Zinta for that reason, LOL). And I don’t care if Shahid Kapoor is not a megastar, he’s cute, and I like watching him!
BTW, avoid this last movie, unless you speak Hindi. The subtitles are either non-existent or unreadable… another production done with Google Translator, probably! It even has Italian subtitles, but I don’t dare checking them (after seeing the mess they did on Umrao Jaan with Aishwarya Rai that I tried to show to Cristina – who, by the way, had a taste of Krrish3, with instant traslation by yours truly, and really enjoyed it! :D).
Not bothered to go to IMDB to get the links, sorry. This will go live in less than an hour and I’m at DayJob, so… And I’ll spare you my rant on Bollywood beaus… Have a wonderful weekend!
Posted by Barb on 28/02/2014
And it’s out! A collection of my doodles or comics or vignettes or whatever you want to call them! Since it’s a big fat file full of JPGs, it’s out only on Amazon and DriveThruComics. The POD version will come out later this year with DTC (when I manage to finish SKYBAND and do the third and last Omnibus).
My Italian friends are already claiming the Italian version… I don’t know when I’ll have time to translate everything, though. I haven’t even finished lettering Fleur de Lys (I sold one copy of each on Amazon UK)… I mean, I kinda like the fact that I’m selling something in my mother tongue, but I still prefer writing in English, especially comics and fantasy!
Anyway, I hope to finish translating the Snippets next week at the latest, so I can go back to The Hooded Man and then send it off to Writers of the Future. Then I’ll have to write some Amazon stories if I want to issue something new in English this summer! I will also write More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms before the end of the year, as well as Star Minds The Next Generation.
As for B.G.Hope… we’ll see. Still mulling over the last body switch. Flash of scenes but not much else, so I’m not ready to write it, yet. Not in a hurry – if I can’t find a storyline, I’ll translate some M/M romance just to have something out under my other pen-name. But since it’s Loncon year, I’d rather concentrate on my main pen-name, for when I’ll meet my fans, LOL!
Now, the writerly links! Wow, David Farland is no longer cautiously optimistic about the future of publishing! He’s finally excited by all the new opportunities for writers – something that wouldn’t have happened in the 20th century, when I started writing! So lucky you starting off today, just go for it!
You could start with IndieReCon – already in progress at this time, but it’s still on until tomorrow. Then hop off and sign up for an online workshop with Dean Wesley Smith. And don’t forget to follow Kris Rusch’s Thursday business posts, the latest being on social media. Now you know why I don’t feel the need to go on Twitter – not my target audience anyway, haha!
More: Joe Konrath vs James Patterson. And Mark Coker’s comments on Hugh Howey’s initiative. If you’re indie published, don’t forget to take the survey at authorsearning.com. And then help other writers, at whichever point of your career you are. I don’t do reviews anymore, but if I read something terrific, I will mention it, or interview the author or have him/her over – nobody can market your book like yourself!
And by the way, Smashwords authors have published 10billion words – and I’m one of them! From January 2011 to February 2014 I’ve published 68 titles, approx. 2006200 words (two-million-and-change, sorry, can’t write the numbers the American way, LOL), so 0,02% of the grand total – and that’s not counting the comics, only a couple of which are on Smashwords, most of them are on DriveThruComics.
Since we’re playing with numbers: 18 titles are under 10K; 24 are 10-30K (novellas); 22 are 30-90K (novels) and only 2 are over 100K, it’s the Star Minds trilogy or complete series in both Italian and English (the single books are 50K+30K+30K approx.)! So you know my average/favorite length is somewhere between 10k and 80k – not too short, but not too long either!
Posted by Barb on 26/02/2014
Posted by Barb on 24/02/2014
And since I don’t have anything new to say, some writers’ wisdom for you. Have a great Sunday!
So let’s stop listing “to be published by National” as our goal. Let’s go back to the stories and the characters that drew us into this genre in the first place, to that mad rush and flow of creativity that has nothing to do with contracts and sell-throughs and bestseller lists. Let’s be the writers we’re dying (and living) to be, not the writers somebody else thinks we should be. Let’s stop looking for the bicycle and concentrate on the swim; let’s resist the institution because we’re not ready to be locked up.
The product is the story. Not the book, not the eBook, not the audio book. The Story.
The consumer is the reader. Not the bookstores, the platform, the distributor, the sales force. The Reader.
Authors produce story. Readers consume story. If anyone is in the path between Author and Reader they must add value to that connection.
The world doesn’t know, or care, about the problems in the publishing industry. The average reader doesn’t care about the DOJ suit, or the AAR and Authors Guild selling us out, or Harlequin screwing writers, or authors behaving badly.
They simply want good books to read.
Those books won’t get written if we’re all on Twitter 24/7 condemning on another, or blogging incessantly, or spending all of our time pouring over Amazon reviews trying to uncover which are legit and which aren’t (seriously, how fucking pathetic is that?)
Now I’m going to unplug for a bit and get some writing done. Which is what we all should be doing.
- Joe Konrath
“I always tell wannabe writers not to read too much in the field where they work. Obviously you need to keep in touch, but a deep knowledge of the Old West or world history stands you in better stead than a shelf of other people’s fantasy books. Import, don’t recycle. That’s actually wisdom, that is.”
– Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld books, in an interview at www.scifi.com
I don’t think serious writers have any business internalizing the slogans and generalizations of industry. To me it is entirely destructive to their work. It can only result in the censorship of the imagination – because something does not fit easily within a genre, or will be too complex for the imagined audience, etc. It is precisely in the moments when one is surprised by one’s own writing, or fearful of its implications, that one reaches into spaces that are interesting and enduring.
Posted by Barb on 23/02/2014