All posts by Barb
Posted by Barb on 01/09/2014
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, let’s see who we have here today… Yikes! Valfred myst have seen plenty of those, but I haven’t… Ehm… *cautiously approaces* Tell me a little about yourself…
“My name is Cubby, and I’m a polar bear. I’m a little over two years old in your human years, which makes me around eight in polar bear years, since we polar bears mature at a point somewhere between four and eight of your human years. Mother says I’m growing up way too fast, and that I’m very responsible and grown up for my age. Well, most of the time anyway.”
Oh, that’s interesting… Describe your appearance in ten words or less.
“A little white bear with a big, black nose.”
Indeed… although you look huge to me anyway! Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?
“My biggest enemy is hunger; I’m often hungry, because we don’t have much, and food, and money to buy it, never lasts long enough.”
Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?
“I’m not sure. I’m hoping I’ll never have to find out.”
Where do you live?
“I live in a little wooden house on a mountain that looks over a little village. I’m no good at geography, so I’m not sure where it would be on your map.”
Haha, don’t worry, I’m not from your world anyway (although we do have polar bears on Silvery Earth)! Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
“I’m close with my Mother, but that’s the only sort of relationship I have. I’m too young for anything else.”
What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?
“Deciding whether to trade our goat in for the magic wishing beans Neige the arctic hare offered me was quite a challenge. I think the biggest challenge though was trying to get away from Glaw the giant skybear when I was in his kitchen after climbing the beanstalk.”
Do you have a family? Tell me about them.
“I have a very small family. It’s just me and my Mother. I have no brothers or sisters, and I’ve never met my Father; male polar bears are known for not sticking around, and my Father was no exception.”
Lots of Human fathers seem to do the same… Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.
“I’m one of very few polar bears not living on the ice. It does get quite cold on our mountain sometimes, but polar bears usually live further North along icy coasts.”
What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?
“The first question you should have asked is why we live where we do when it’s not normal for polar bears. The answer to which would be that we moved here hoping things wouldn’t be so hard; do you have any idea how hard it can be to find food up North sometimes? It’s very hard! So we moved South in hopes things would be better.
The second question is what use a living goat is to animals who eat meat or fish. The answer to that one is that we also eat dairy, so we used to make use of the goat’s milk when she still provided us with some. Not all polar bears eat dairy, but we do.“
Wow, I wonder if Valfred knows any of this stuff! Maybe I should have brougth him along! Thank you for your time, Cubby!
Book title: Cubby And The Beanstalk
Buy it from Smashwords. Also available via other ebook retailers such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, among others.
Author bio & social media/website, etc.
“Victoria Zigler is a blind author of children’s fiction and poetry. She has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking. Victoria – or, Tori, if you prefer – was born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales, UK, has been writing since she knew how, and became a self-published author in 2012. To date she has published 5 poetry books and 26 children’s books, with plenty more planned for the near future.”
Facebook author page:
Posted by Barb on 31/08/2014
So, after Loncon, the rest of my stay in London! :) Monday (the 18th) I moved out of the Ibis Styles, took the DLR to Lewisham and then the train to my B&B in Grove Park. I dumped my trolley and went back to the center to meet with Laxmi, who is very taken with her upcoming book. Stay tuned for more on this very blog! That night I got a message on Goodreads from another author who saw me on Loncon’s programme… and we managed to set up a meeting for the next day.
Tuesday I went to Gay is the Word to donate two copies of one of the books I hadn’t sold at the convention. It’s very close to the British Museum where I was meeting my roomie Rachel. We spent the morning in the upper floors of the museum, had lunch, then I headed out for a walk and my appointment with JA Clement – I’ve met her on Goodreads, through Creative Reviews, but I don’t interact there anymore and I had posted about Loncon only on the Smashwords Authors group and the LGBT Fantasy group (nobody came from that group, apparently).
So I met with her, we had a great chat and wonderful French pastries (I had a “tarte aux fraises” much like in Paris), and now I know I have somebody else to contact next time I go to London! :) I could move there anytime now, LOL! Anyhow, it’s always great to talk to other writers and their processes… hopefully I’ll have her as guest on this blog sometime in the future – especially if she has a new release.
Wednesday I had breakfast with Maurizio Manzieri – a very late breakfast, since my train to Charing Cross was canceled due to “train fault” (whatever that means), so I didn’t have time to go to Southall like I had in mind. I went to meet Viv, instead, since we’d set up the meeting months ago. It was a wonderful time walking around London with her, checking the National Gallery Portraits and discussing historical movies about the people we were seeing portrayed, having an ice cream in Covent Garden, and finally splitting in Charing Cross.
Thursday I headed to Hastings to meet Tori and again it was a wonderful day out, walking along the beach and chatting with her and her husband. She even presented me with a handmade unicorn for my collection – and I’ve now decided to call him Victory a.k.a. Vic! So here he is with the others, playing dreamcatcher over my head when I sleep! :)
The oldest is Pinky, who was gifted to me by Renee (along with Sky some time later) way back in 2002… Most of the others I bought myself. And those are only the stuffed ones. I have pins, figurines, plates, pillows and then stickers, stationery… yes, mine is the house of the Unicorn! And I am the Lady of the Unicorn as well… ;)
By the way, if you like fairy tales, revisited or not, try Tori’s stories of faeries. I’ve read a few now, since they’re short, and I hightly recommend them. My favorite is still Jinx and the faerie dragons because it’s longer, and then I hope one day she does a collection of them all – not that I don’t like short stories, but buying a collection makes me feel better! (but please, Tori, don’t do it now, my TBR pile would never go down!)
And then I came back, late, and went back to work… sigh! Now looking forward to my next, longer break… in approximately a month and a half! :) Have a great weekend!
Posted by Barb on 29/08/2014
First, the self-promotion bit: a new title is out! The latest body switch at the hands (or better spells) of Samantha the Witch is now live on Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Amazon and Apple! The absolutely wonderful cover is by Shafali and goes very well with the other two. Blurb:
Pat is a career woman
Babs is a creative genius.
The last experiment by Samantha the Witch – shorter body switch but with unexpected consequences, especially for Babs and her housemates.
I shall update B.G. Hope’s page with buy links soon…
Now just wondering if to boost the sales of an English title, I should change it’s cover and title to match the Italian version, my current bestseller on Amazon Italia… While in London I got the emails for the royalties and dropped in my KDP dashboard to see 1-2 sales per day! Unheard of! I know it will stop – might have already stopped when this goes live – but for a title that I didn’t advertize… is it the cover? The title? What? Who knows…
And in case you missed it, I was a guest on Kira’s blog, before her interview went live here. Now I’m giving the final touches to the Assassins Guild stories so I can send them out to betas, and then I have Allan de Sayek to translate in Italian, then I’ll be back… to the future, i.e. writing in the Star Minds universe. The next generation is ready to tell their story and the cover willl be by award-winning illustrator Maurizio Manzieri that I’m honored to know in person. He’s the last gentleman on Earth and a most wonderful illustrator who deserved all the success and attention he received at Loncon! :)
As for Loncon… well, besides meeting my fellow Wyrd Worlders, I don’t have much to say. I had to improvise a Goodreads Giveaway because I didn’t sell the printed books. And two copies I donated to a bookshop, just to circulate them… But one of the four winners thanked me on Goodreads, so that was nice! :) The panel was… awkward, the moderator was sick and we improvised, so… never mind. I’m not going to continue the comics anyway – I still have a lot to scan and publish if I really want to, but since I’m not selling any… why bother? ;)
Anyhow – this was only my second worldcon, but I don’t think I’ll have a third, unless it comes very close to home. You can see some problems in this article about the generation gap. I can tell you I saw people completely oblivious of indie authors and the SFWA is probably stuck in the 20th century with the rest. So until they join the 21st, I’ll probably stay away from them. I doubt I found any fans this time… If I had known of the other convention, I might have tried it…
My only highlight of Loncon was meeting Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld! When I told him I was one of his rejected writers, he handed me this neat little card – I just love the illustration, and the writing on the back! That’s the best rejection letter a writer can have! :) (and I’ll keep submitting to him, since he’s soo nice! Beware, Neil, new short story coming!)
Writerly links! Finally someone who thinks like me about the Amazon/Hachette debate. Do. Not. Take. Sides. Read why when evil empires collide it’s not good for us – readers and writers alike. Also from Writing World, how to write for an international market a.k.a. “intercultural” communication. Let me give you my opinion of reader in a second language: all your fancy words and the slang you use in dialog are totally lost on me. I’ve dropped books because the dialog was too “weird” for me to follow. Write in plain English. People like me would thank you forever and read all your books, thank you.
On DeviantART I discovered Patreon… just in case I really have enough of Day Job and decide to live off my writing. Being prolific, I’m sure I can find a way to create stuff for a monthly stipend – or something like that! This was brought to my attention by this lovely web comic posted by DeviantART on their Facebook page. Will have to find someone to support first, I guess! ;)
That’s all on the writerly front! Everything else – next time! :)
Posted by Barb on 27/08/2014
Posted by Barb on 25/08/2014
And it’s words of wisdom, or writers on writing, monthly feature on this blog… stay tuned for the regular programming on this blog…
I shouldn’t have to apologize for being prolific, especially to other people who consider themselves professional writers. But I do apologize in those situations, which is why, more and more, I don’t talk to other writers about writing. In fact, I avoid those discussions as much as I can. I’m “intimidating,” you see. I “should know how uncomfortable it makes other writers” when they see what I’ve done.
My muse isn’t a beautiful spirit who whispers ethereally into my ear—she’s a nagging harpy that grabs me by the throat and screams ‘Do it now’!
- Kevin J. Anderson
Remember that it’s okay to write and publish just to make yourself happy, to make yourself fulfilled. There will be authors out there, readers, publishing experts, and booksellers who say that this outpouring of unprofessional drek is ruining the industry, which makes me wonder if these same people drive through neighborhoods yelling and screaming at people gardening in their back yards, shouting at them that, “You’ll never be a farmer!” Or if they cruise past community basketball courts where men and women unwind with games of pickup and shout at them, “You’ll never make it in the NBA!”
“When you decide to go after a new dream, you need to give less to your current reality and more to your desired reality… Take your energy out of what you don’t want to be doing anymore so you can put it in what you really want to be doing.”
The myth of the single-minded writer who lives to pursue one dream and one only may indeed apply to some. Most of us, however, are not so much single-minded as “multi-faceted.” And I can’t help but believe that, though it can be frustrating at times, it’s also a useful quality. A writer who has many dreams, many passions, and many things going on in life is one who will, ultimately, have a great deal to say!
Posted by Barb on 24/08/2014
LAST WEEK OFFER – BUY IT NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE!
Summer Sale only until Aug.30 – 2014, only at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple and Kobo.
Five novels at the very discounted price of 2,99$ only for Kindle, Nook, i-Pad and Kobo e-reader! Only until Aug.30.
Welcome to Silvery Earth. Winged beings, water people, shape-shifting dragons and Immortals mingle with Humans as they try to find their place in the world and someone to love.
The five books of the Immortals in one box set for a limited time only. Five centuries of history of Silvery Earth, from the southern kingdoms inspired by India and Persia to the new kingdoms after the fall of the Varian Empire.
Books of the Immortals – Air
Winged Jesminder, a Sila, searches for her Destiny (aka love) as her Human friend, Sarita the sculptor, does the same. Meanwhile Takeshi the soldier flees his country for a murder he doesn’t remember committing. As Takeshi looks for his past, Kumar the adventurer runs away from his –from and his wife, Princess Indira, who he rescued from an evil fate only for money. Their paths converge, leading them to the final confrontation with the Black Dame, High Priestess of the Sect. Winged beings, water people, shape-shifting dragons and the Immortal, Air, which likes to meddle in Human affairs for its own reasons, come together in a story of bitterness and love, darkness and light.
Books of the Immortals – Fire
A half-blood warrior fails to prevent an ambush. Hit by an enemy spell, he sleeps for a century. He wakes up in a future where he doesn’t belong.
He made a mistake. Now he must find a way to undo history to fix it.
Books of the Immortals – Water
Kiss a goddess. Become invulnerable to everything.
Can you ever feel human again?
Books of the Immortals – Ether
Healer. Magic user. Victim. A natural non-human magic user against a minion of a Pond of Dark Magic.
The struggle for power between Humans and Genn is only at the beginning.
Books of the Immortals – Earth
500 years later – has the magic all vanished?
In the last Book of the Immortals the Magical Races are gone. Can Humans deal with the loss?
An actress turned journalist. The legitimized bastard son of a nobleman. A mercenary turned police woman. A runaway prince turned courtesan. Outsiders and witnesses of a hot summer of mysterious royal murders.
Silvery Earth faces its future without magic.
Bundle at the very discounted price of 2,99$ only for Kindle, Nook, i-Pad and Kobo e-reader! Only until Aug.30. The above links are to the US stores, if the retailer has a store in your country, please follow the link anyway and change the country accordingly.
Posted by Barb on 22/08/2014
And since I’m still in London and offline most of the time, I shall welcome another guest. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kira Tregoning!
Where do you live and write from?
I live in Beltsville, Maryland and write from home most of the time. My cat tries to help me write, but her version of help isn’t really help!
When did you start writing?
I started writing stories as a kid. My first attempt at a novel started in the 5th grade. I remember staying for hours in my room writing up ideas and working out chapters. I used our old computer, a Gateway, for most of this. That machine seems like a dinosaur to me now, but I loved it and I used it so much I probably ran it into the ground!
What genre(s) do you write?
Mostly fantasy. I’m also interested in historical fiction, which I may try my hand at one day, and fairy tales.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
I mostly think of the kinds of stories I would want to read and try to write those. My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, but I tend to pull out elements from my own experiences. For example, college. I mashed that up with fantasy and asked the question “What would I do if I had magical powers while in college? What if my friends had powers too?” I just went from there. That tends to be how I start most of my stories—a simple question of What If?
Do you have a specific writing routine?
Not so much. I usually just sit down and write. All I need is either my computer or my notebook and pen. I’ve been known to write anywhere whenever an idea pops into my head.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Definitely an outliner. I’m a planner. It doesn’t work out too well when I try to improv too much! And I tend to be a slow to medium writer, unless I’m really on a roll.
Tell us about your latest book
My latest book is the second in a series. A Shadowed Soul came out June 2, 2014. This book picks up where the first left off with the continuation of the story about Sita Newbury and her friends Roxie and Ariene. All three have magical powers and met while at college. They found a magical world and became active in the protection of that world. In the second book, their enemies circle around them, waiting for a weakness and a chance to strike. One of their own remains trapped in the Chaos world of Metanoia. And the threat of soul-eating demons called Pur looms ever closer with millions of lives and the survival of two worlds at stake. Sita and her friends Ariene and Roxanne must stay one step ahead of their enemies and find a way to track and defeat the demon Pur. But each of the Aligerai faces their own internal battle. When their enemies strike too close to home, the Aligerai must decide whether to stay together . . . or splinter apart.
You can find A Shadowed Soul on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Soul-The-Aligerai-Book-ebook/dp/B00KQPYGHM and on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/444651
My first book is Rise of the Aligerai: http://www.amazon.com/Rise-of-the-Aligerai-ebook/dp/B00ANTA7Z6
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
I did my research for about a year before I published. I chose to self-publish because when I looked at what was happening in the traditional publishing world, I didn’t get very good feelings about it. It seemed to me from everything I was reading that traditionally published authors were doing the same amount of work as indie/self-pub folks, but earning a lot less from their efforts. Granted, the traditional publishing machines still have a lock on generating buzz, accessing bookstores, and lending credibility—but I see that changing over the next few years. I chose to self-publish for all these reasons and more, and I have yet to regret my decision.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m about halfway finished with the third book in the Aligerai series. I have another book set in the same universe that is about a third of the way finished. I’m also working on an unrelated fantasy novel about a merchant’s daughter who mistakenly goes on a quest for a prize that doesn’t actually exist. What follows in that story is mostly a comedy of errors.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I suppose my goal is to write the stories I have in me as well as I can. I’m not necessarily writing for fame or fortune—although that would be nice! I’ve always loved books and writing and I see this as my way to contribute. I started writing because I had the stories in my head and my very active imagination and I felt if I didn’t write them down I would burst. I started publishing because I wanted to share my ideas and my stories with others.
Author bio and links:
My name is Kira Tregoning. I’m a language enthusiast, writer, and book lover. I graduated from University of Maryland with degrees in Linguistics and Classics, which I use in writing my novels. I’m also a big UMD Terps sports fan. Go Terps!
I read a lot, and the large number of books I have in my living space is a running joke among my family and friends. Mostly I read fantasy, but I enjoy other genres as well, including historical fiction, science fiction, mythology, and of course the classic novels. I write mostly fantasy books right now, though I have some ideas for expanding into other genres later on.
Rise of the Aligerai on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rise-of-the-Aligerai-ebook/dp/B00ANTA7Z6
A Shadowed Soul on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Soul-The-Aligerai-Book-ebook/dp/B00KQPYGHM
Posted by Barb on 20/08/2014
Didn’t sell them at Loncon and don’t want to take them back. Enter now – UK only.
Posted by Barb on 19/08/2014
Posted by Barb on 18/08/2014