Writer Wednesday


MTSK4DTFNew title out! More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms is now live on Kobo, Kindle, DriveThruFiction, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble and Apple! A collections of stories of the Southern Kingdoms, including Amrendra and the Hooded Man. If you haven’t checked the single novellas, go get the anthology now!

By the way, for the final weeks of the Smashwords sale, I enrolled even the previous two titles – 50% off, like the rest. So the latest upload is the only one at full price! :) The sale is ending soon, so hurry! Get that honorable mention novella for 1,50$ NOW! ;)

I’m almost done with the S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. pencils, but then I’ll need to ink and then to color and then to letter and then the summer will be over before I know it, also because I’ll be away for a week and I don’t intend to take the drawing stuff with me. I’ll be writing then – Hakeem’s Rival probably, part 3 of the Assassins’ Guild story. So #14 won’t be ready for Loncon, even if it would be a good timing. But since I don’t do the print version of single issues anymore, it’s not that bad after all! :D

And my final schedule for Loncon is as follow:

Old New Classics: The Off-Beat and Indie Comics of Yore

Saturday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)

When people discuss the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comics the conversation is often dominated by the emergence of the superhero in both DC and Marvel. However, from its inception comics were always a fertile breeding ground for fun, weird, and alternative stories.
What influential, under-appreciated comics from the past deserve a higher profile today? What kind of comics would people like to see more of now, that were plentiful in the past?
Are we more progressive in comics today, or re-learning to embrace the medium?

with Scott Edelman, Smuzz, Allan J. Sim, Peter Sutton, Barbara G.Tarn

If you happen to be there, please show up and then we can have a coffee together! ;)

This week’s buzz is, of course, Kindle Unlimited. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ve gathered a few links for you: Lucky Bat Books, Scott William Carter, Hugh Howey, David Gaughran, Smashwords… and I’m sure you can find tonz more. Enough for an informed decision.

The other “controversy” is the numbers shared by AuthorsEarnings.com. What about those numbers? The Guardian wrote about it, and Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler had to comment… Or, like PG says “since nobody on the tradpub side seems to act like a rational adult when discussions of self-publishing and Amazon occur, we’re unlikely to be able to schedule an adult debate any time soon.”

Anyhow, welcome to the new and changing landscape of publishing. If you need help to cope, here’s a post for you. And like Jeff Bezos says “Your fear is my opportunity” (read the rest on Hugh Howey’s blog)… Have a great week!

Happiness is…


109

Sunday Surprise


And it’s WoW Sunday – or writers on writing, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call it. Enjoy these writers’ quotes and have a great Sunday!

But the one position I never write from is the one-book writer. It’s a position I honestly don’t understand. And that gets me in trouble with some of you who read this blog. Some of you think I don’t do enough to support my “book”; some of  you believe I don’t understand what it’s like to be a beginner (what, was I born fully formed from the forehead of Zeus?); some of you think I could never understand how hard writing is.
I understand all of that. What I don’t understand is why some of you believe that your book (singular) is a sacred and holy text. Why you believe that once you’ve published your one book, you’re done.
- Kristine Katryn Rusch

I have never been able to understand how people can complain about being lonely or bored; there are so many interesting things to do, so many fascinating people to know. I love my work, and I hope to go on doing it till I drop at the age of 99.
- Barbara Mertz

The one thing a creator can bring to the table when everybody else has all the money and power is a centeredness and the ability to walk away. Never sit at a table you can’t walk away from.
- Joss Whedon

The key to success is keeping at it until you succeed. For me, that took over twenty years of hard work, and I still fail all the time. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Keep writing, keep experimenting, try to learn from your failures, and never give up.
- Joe Konrath

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. — Ira Glass

Art Friday


Since I don’t have watermarked versions of my drawings, I’ll point you to DeviantART instead – okay, maybe I could download the watermarked version and repost it here, but I’ll let you do a little extra work if you wish to see Da Muses latest portraits. Keanu is here, and Hrithik is here. Yes, I had a busy weekend! ;)

I’m also half done with the pencils of SKYBAND - since apparently at Loncon I’ll be on a comics panel, I thought I might as well get back to my graphic novel. When I’ll have the final schedule, I’ll post it, but I’m still sort of negotiating. I want to be on the program, so if there’s nothing else, I’ll do that single panel they gave me! ;)

Speaking of artists, have a look at this Kickstarter project. And if you’re an indie author… you might find your next cover from an Award-winning illustrator at a cheaper price than her usual fee! Now, if I could come up with a nice project to kickstart… I guess I’ll keep supporting others until I decide what to do!

I have more comics (that came out as photocopied zines in the 90s), but I should scan them all, and it’s hundreds of pages… since I’m not really selling any (neither 15 years nor SKYBAND nor Fleur de Lys), I don’t see why I should do it. Besides some are really badly drawn! ;) Not to mention the unfinished ones…

Now I’d love to do another story with both Muses, but I don’t think I will. It’s taking way too long to finish SKYBAND, and even doing the last pages of 15 years took me 3 months… so probably not. They’ll still be in my stories, but no more comics.

Unless I start drawing real chibis or try to use the motion book tool… But enough random ramblings… have a wonderful weekend! :)

Writer Wednesday


I was rejected by the Rejections Anthology, but it was a nice rejection letter! ;)

Barbara–

It was a pleasure to read your essay. I know it sounds like bullshit for me to say that, but it is true. Writing is hard, but submission is harder, and we appreciate the time it took for you to submit, and the time we spent reading your work. While we didn’t find the piece a good fit, we hope it finds a suitable home.

We were overwhelmed with the number of entries, and so took extra care to read through each. What is most remarkable to me, personally, is how many voices are out there, demanding to be heard, and how many voices should be heard. Please continue working.

The idea for a book about rejection is not, pinky-swear, to solicit stories about failure.  The idea is to encourage resilience. The hard truth about writing is that one must continue doing it.

We know you will.

Thanks,

Marc

Absolutely, Marc. Here I am, still writing and enjoying the process. I’m kinda having fun collecting rejection letters – when I’ll be famous if will be even funnier! ;)

I uploaded another title on NoiseTrade – again, tip optional but not mandatory – The Warrior Woman. Allan de Sayek will be there until the end of the month. And of course, there’s still the Smashwords sale – everything 50% off except the latest title, so some stories have gone FREE.

Good news for the SKYBAND reader (hi, Jo!) – while typing the translation at the office, I’m penciling the pages of chapter 14 at home, so maybe before the end of the summer I’ll be done with another chapter! :D Maybe-perhaps-hopefully, I mean.

Writerly links: I’m tired of the Hachette/Amazon controversy, but if you don’t have enough yet, you can go to the usual suspects for updates (David Gaughran, Joe Konrath). Personally, I’m going to start boycotting those best sellers who are so scared of change – except… oh, wait! I’m not among their readers anyway! Ops! How does Mr Patterson actually write? I have no idea. Those people at the so called Authors Guild? Never read them either… bad writer and bad reader, huh?

Well, it’s my money and my reading time, so I’ll keep reading indies and looking for stories I’m interested in. I sure hope you don’t feel the need to be validated by an obsolete traditional publisher anymore, but if you’re still scared of the indie life, I’ll just point you to Hugh Howey’s post on Exciting Press – I’m also a nano press, but I’m not open to submissions! ;) So if you really think your job is ONLY to write, find a nano press for your needs.

Me, I’ll keep doing what I’m already doing. Until I have fun. When I don’t have fun anymore, I’ll just stop pushing that “publish” button (note: not writing, but publishing). Maybe I’ll keep submitting the shorter pieces for a little longer, then I’ll just go back to my writing cave and live happily ever after with Mr Writing! :D

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


108I should change that banner – now I’m more active in the Smashwords Authors group! ;) But it’s still Goodreads, so it’s fine… :D

 

Sunday Surprise


My name is Brenda de Zorig and I’m a journalist for the Konigtown Gazette. I’ve been on the road for years as an actress in an itinerant company, but eventually decided to go back to my hometown to start living of the thing I like the most – writing. So while I write my Masterpiece, I took this job at the Gazette and they send me on various assignments… I thought I might as well starting interviewing random people. Since I intend to write fiction, but truth is always stranger than fiction, I’m eager to hear about people out there – on my world or beyond.

In the previous post we met the twin princes of Amrendra, but they weren’t the only ones in front of me… I look forward to learn more about their bodyguard – if he is indeed a bodyguard.

*eyes the tall silent man one step behind the twins* Tell me a little about yourself.

K: My name is Kartik and I’m of gypsy descent. At some point I left my tribe of origin and joined Master Zahir itinerant circus where I found a scrawny teenager with big gray eyes that turned out to be much more than what I first thought… I’m ten years older than him.

*Harish moves closer to him with a grin, Rohit rolls his eyes with a smile*

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

K: Wiry, dark-haired and pale-skinned.

Let’s not forget handsome and mysterious, please! What is your role in the story?

K: I took Harish away from Master Zahir’s circus because I was sick of watching him being pimped out. We ran away and found refuge in Jevina, capital of Lakeshi, where things went bad very quickly.

H: Actually, he told me to be careful when I performed in front of King Vijay, but I forgot… *looks dejected*

Since you’re both gorgeous, I’m not surprised you found trouble!

What is your relationship with Harish?

K: I’ve been in love with Harish for five years now, but didn’t dare telling him, knowing how much abuse he’d been through. Until we ran away and could spend some time alone together…

H: And I managed to let him know I adore him too!

Where do you live?

K: I’m a nomad, my home is where my heart is – with Harish.

What is it about Harish that you find appealing?

K: His innocence in spite of his life, and his vulnerability in spite of his built. The fact that he remained sweet and shy even if he had to do things that would drive anyone crazy or sour or angry. And he’s the most gorgeous young man I’ve ever seen as well – I love his malformed hand!

H: He is strong and independent and I’ve wanted to be like him since he first stepped into our wagon! He’s the only one who can touch me without me shivering in disgust… he’s so sweet!

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

K: Freeing him from King Vijay’s lust.

Oh, boy, what a story! Twin royalty, a lost twin, a lustful king… I couldn’t write anything better! Go check these tales of the southern kingdoms, set in Amrendra a long time ago…

Amrendra_resizeBLURB

Amrendra

Once upon a time there was a kingdom that mostly followed the southern traditions and culture but differed from the others for two main things: it was blessed with four seasons – instead of three, led by monsoon rains – and with twin royals, so there were always two interchangeable kings…

“The Northern Warrior”

The prince heir’s first (and unrequited) love.

“The Jesters”

Entertaining the court of Lakeshi and their lustful king.

“Twin Royalty”

Rohit and Rahul of Amrendra learn to know each other and prepare to reign together.

Random Friday


My name is Brenda de Zorig and I’m a journalist for the Konigtown Gazette. I’ve been on the road for years as an actress in an itinerant company, but eventually decided to go back to my hometown to start living of the thing I like the most – writing. So while I write my Masterpiece, I took this job at the Gazette and they send me on various assignments… I thought I might as well starting interviewing random people. Since I intend to write fiction, but truth is always stranger than fiction, I’m eager to hear about people out there – on my world or beyond.

So, I have people from Silvery Earth today – from our past, judging by their clothes. But wait, do I see double? *stares at two identical young men* Tell me a little about yourself.

R: I’m Prince Rohit of Amrendra and this is my twin brother Rahul…

H: I’m still not used to that. I grew up as Harish, and prefer to be called that.

R: You’ll have to get used to it, Rahul. We’re both heirs to Amrenda, a kingdom with a tradition of twin kings. We’re in our twenties now, and I’m married.

H: And I’m in love and will never marry, so what’s the fuss anyway?

In love but will never marry? Interesticn goncept! *eyes both and raises eyebrows* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

R: Identical twins except for Rahul’s malformed right hand.

H: My name is Harish…

Twins! I should have know… So what’s the difference?

*Harish shows a hand with an extra half-finger*

Oh! I see… Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

H: Master Zahir used to sell my body, so I don’t have a specific enemy. But when King Vijay of Lakeshi put his eyes on me… that was tough. He’s powerful and I’m just a jester.

R: Not anymore…

These two look identical, but are obviously different. The prince seems to sometimes look down on his brother….

R: I’m not! But he forgets who he really is!

H: I’ve had a more challenging life than you, obviously!

Whoa, calm down, both of you! Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

R: Absolutely! My duty is to my family and my country!

H: I don’t know… usually Kartik takes care of me!

* glances at the third man * Well get to him later. Where do you live?

R: In Delen, capital of Amrendra, the most northern of the southern kingdoms. But our culture is closer to the southern than the northern, even if we have four seasons instead of three.

H: I’m a wandering jester and I’ve seen all the southern kingdoms with Master Zahir’s itinerant circus.

The southern kingdoms are long gone – you must have lived six centuries before my time! Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

R: I fell in love with a northern warrior woman – there’s nothing of the sort in our kingdom – but my princely duties mean that I had to marry a princess. I’m fond of my wife, Laxmi of Lakeshi, but I’m not really in love…

H: I fell in love with Kartik because he saved me from Master Zahir and King Vijay and he’s the most wonderful man in the world!

*stares longingly at Harish* What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

H: Escaping the clutches of King Vijay…

*sighs* Wish I’d been there… Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

R: I’m very close with my almost twin, my cousin Ajay. I didn’t know I had a twin myself until Rahul was found at the Lakeshian court. We both have sisters, married to other southern kingdoms princes.

H: I’m an orphan, Master Zahir took me in and trained me to be an acrobat.

R: You’re a prince now.

H: Still have to get used to that – and the new name…

And having a family, I assume. Sometimes it’s better not having it, right? Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

R: My sword teacher, Hiro, comes from the Island Empire and has almond-shaped eyes. I also learned some tricks from the warrior woman who stole my heart – I’m an excellent warrior, but I’ve never been to war.

H: I’m an acrobat and a dancer, but I can also be a target boy, especially if Kartik is the knife-thrower.

Well, thank you, my princes. I see there’s somebody else lurking behind you, so next time we’ll hear what he has to say…

Amrendra_resizeBLURB

Amrendra

Once upon a time there was a kingdom that mostly followed the southern traditions and culture but differed from the others for two main things: it was blessed with four seasons – instead of three, led by monsoon rains – and with twin royals, so there were always two interchangeable kings…

“The Northern Warrior”

The prince heir’s first (and unrequited) love.

“The Jesters”

Entertaining the court of Lakeshi and their lustful king.

“Twin Royalty”

Rohit and Rahul of Amrendra learn to know each other and prepare to reign together.

Writer Wednesday


WotFcertificate_resizeSo, it’s official. I got mail! You can read the story on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, B&N and DriveThruFiction and  Apple! I’ve considered interviewing the protagonist, but since there’s a new story out, I opted for the new title instead. So in the posts that will follow you will have some more character interviews.

If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed or have your charatcter(s) answer some questions, drop me a line!

In the meantime, let me announce the new title: Amrendra. Three connected stories of the same time as The Hooded Man, out now on Kindle, Kobo, B&N, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction and Apple. The anthology that includes them all and more will come out in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms.

Amrendra_resizeAmrendra

Once upon a time there was a kingdom that mostly followed the southern traditions and culture but differed from the others for two main things: it was blessed with four seasons – instead of three, led by monsoon rains – and with twin royals, so there were always two interchangeable kings…

“The Northern Warrior”

The prince heir’s first (and unrequited) love.

“The Jesters”

Entertaining the court of Lakeshi and their lustful king.

“Twin Royalty”

Rohit and Rahul of Amrendra learn to know each other and prepare to reign together.

Now, to the writerly updates. I’ve completed an Assassins’ Guild novella and an Amazons short story I hope to submit to my offline writers group at the end of the month. I’m now translating Male Lovers in the hope to makes some more sales (did I mention that Star Minds sells more in Italian than in English – yes, I did. Less competition, I guess!). By the way, remember the 50%off on Smashwords on all titles (except the brand new one)! And there’s 25% off on DriveThru as well – both for Comics and for Fiction! Only in July, folks…

Now, some writerly links: rip open your skull and publish into your brain – sounds awful, yes? Well, read the post anyway. It’s pro-art, pro-literature, pro-everything and mostly pro-change. Yes, the world is changing and we can’t stop it, so we might as well go with the flow. And who really cares about what happens to the Big 5 or whatever they want to be called? I most certainly don’t. I’ve never read this much – since the indie publishing revolution, I mean. I’m obviously not a target reader for traditional publishers (and not a writer for traditional publishers either)…

Now I’m going to answer the 10 key questions that can determine your success as a writer!

1: yes.

2: no, or I’d be writing yaoi, erotica or YA.

3: yes, or I wouldn’t have published 80 titles in 2 languages in 4 years, would I?

4: no, or I wouldn’t… as the previous question.

5: no, or I’d be stuck in rewriting hell like some of my friends. Happened once, in 2010 – I swore “never again”.

6: yes, of course, since I don’t write in my mother tongue!

7: unfortunately, not really… that’s why it’s so hard to find my 5000 true fans! ;)

8: no – I’m way beyong my first book. It was published in 2011! ;)

9: no, or I wouldn’t be indie published

10: oh yeah! Because it’s FUN! :D

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


106

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