Writer Wednesday


So, Quests 4 wrapped. Other stories good to go. Italian title published. Character interviews almost all ready to go. Monthly wordcount not checked yet, but I’m sure I’m on the roll! Phew, this writing business is stressing! 😉 Maybe I should take a break and study some.

Oh, and I was interviewed at the awesome Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar! A very funny and unusual interview… it was a pleasure to “talk” to Jessica! Now to some writerly links!

On Jeff Bezos’s birthday another non-fiction book came out! I read and enjoyed the first in the series and I’m really considering getting the rest of them… if I manage to take down my TBR pile a little bit! But I still have dozens of novels AND non-fiction books like this one to read on my Kindle, so… just adding it to the wishlist. Highly recommended author and series.

And more visions of the future by Kris Rusch, which actually gives me hope. If most people are falling off the grid because the gold rush is over, only the people who genuinely like to write and create stories will be left. Less competion, more chances for me! 😉

There’s still the discoverability problem in the English-speaking market. I sell 10-20 copies of new titles in Italian because there are so few indie authors in Italy. The English version usually sells 1 or 2 copies (and I’m on first-name-basis with those readers, haha!) because the market is cluttered.

But if the get-rich-quick writers go away, there will be more room for whoever has the stamina to stay. So it’s actually good news for me. Like I mentioned, I might write less, but I’ll keep writing and publishing. There are still plenty of stories that want to come out.

And there’s some that will remain in the drawer forever because either I don’t like them anymore or because I’m changing and I see all their flaws and I’m not excited enough about them to revive them with a redraft. I’ll keep them as background, worldbuilding, whatever, and keep going.

Next on the to-do list: check a few short stories I wrote last year and decide if they’re ready for the editor and the publisher or should just stay in the aforementioned drawer! 😉

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


98

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing to start the year well. Enjoy.

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of defining your accomplishments by what other people did better. Someone climbed Mt Everest before you did, but by God, if you climb Mt Everest, you deserve a cookie. And “better” doesn’t mean “first”. “Better” may not even be what you think it is. Is it sales? Or critical acclaim? What? Go you and do what you need to do with your art because you need to do it.

Don’t get caught in the trap of believing you need to be first in line to be noticed. Who cares who drew the first comic on an iPad? Does anyone even remember? Of course not. Because that turns art into artifacts, and you’re not creating artifacts, you don’t need to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Comic Book Pages Drawn While Hanging Upside Down Like a Bat.

You’re trying to connect with your readers by telling stories that have meaning to you and to them. Believe in what you are doing and the rest will follow…or not.

And if you never get that acclaim or those big sales, well, you did something real. And artificially trying to make yourself a Special Snowflake forever because you did it FIRST isn’t real.

Just tell your story…Climb Mt Everest. It doesn’t matter if someone else got there first. It’s your journey.

Colleen Doran

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all… as long as you tell the truth… Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work… What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

Stephen King

Write books, authors. Write stories. Channel your emotions, your fears, your vulnerabilities into your work. Swallow the hurt and give voice to a song. In your books, which is what you are here for in the first place. Everywhere else? Post about cats and beards and the cupcake you had instead of dinner. Better to be banal than a bitch. Because readers will flock to the cats and the cupcakes and possibly bring you baked goods and collars with your cover art as collars to singings. But they’ll get a front row seat to watch the bitch go down.

Every. Single. Time.

Heidi Culliman

You can focus on social media and platform-building and brand-making, and it will yield you SOME return, sure. But… drum roll please…

It won’t yield you nearly as much as just concentrating on writing as many awesome books as you can for invested, functional publishers.

When a publisher asks you, “What’s your platform?” consider turning that question around and asking the publisher about THEIRS.

(…)

Be the best writer you can be. Online, be the best version of yourself. Have fun, be kind, work hard, have empathy, and hope for luck.

If you’re building a platform to sell books, don’t. If you’re altering yourself to fit a brand, dont. (Unless you’re an asshole, I guess.)

This is also not to say writers shouldn’t promote their own books! You shoul! I follow writers and *want* to hear about new releases!

(But I aldo don’t want those writers to pummel me in the crotch with ceaseless sales pitches, either.)

Anyway. Yeah. Platforms and brands are not magical solutions, so do not make them your focus, Okay? Okay.

NOW LET’S ALL GET DRUNK.

Chuck Wendig

In a recent yoga class, my teacher talked about the difference between having fun and enjoying yourself. Fun, she said, was an activity you do to escape your routines. However, enjoyment is the act of finding happiness in your routines and responsibilities. Therefore, another element of a good hobby is that it becomes a part of your daily or weekly habits, instead of something you use to run away from your writing (or life). This is why drinking, drugs, gambling and social media are so dangerous. They can provide fun via instant gratification, but long-run they don’t bring us joy. Better then to focus on habits and hobbies that help us be more plugged in to our lives–ones that allow us to enjoy ourselves.

Jaye Wells

Random Friday


Sorry this is short but I’ve had nausea for the past two days and a splitting headache yesterday that didn’t allow for any coherent thought. When you have a weight on the bridge of your nose and wish you could hack away your forehead to stop the pain, it doesn’t really help being creative.

So, I’ll make it Art Friday since it was Da Muse’s birthday last Tuesday (before I started feeling sick, haha!) and I had time to do the first pencil portrait of the year!

hrithik_roshan_by_creativebarbwire-daux9u0I still prefer winter to summer and cold to heat, but sometimes it’s really hard to get out of bed… it both cases, though! (I’m the one who hybernates in summer, so…) Now I’m going back to bed hoping that my brain clears soon because I’m on a deadline…

Oh, and it’s even Friday 13th… brrr! 😉 Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Mmm, still working on Quests 4 between assignments and other deadlines… but don’t worry, it will be sent out on time to Mighty Editor on the 23rd and will come out in March. In February I will publish Quests volume 1 which will include the Path of Water and the Path of Air and will also have the paperback version.

The newsletter went out with the free PDF that eventually will be available also on the publisher’s website. Still pondering about Patreon and rewards and all that stuff, but my brain is half-frozen, so I’m not very quick-thinking at the moment.

I realized I did the characters interview only for Quests 1, so I’ll soon publish Quests 2 and 3 character interviews! 😉 If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed or have your characters interviewed, drop me a line…

Only now did I find the time to look for the results of the Indie Author Survey I did last year… interesting as usual. Yes, Indie Publishing is a pot of gold for some (especially whoever writes romance, which I don’t, unfortunately) and a work in progress for most of the others – like me.

Also, Sunday is the last day to vote for the Golden Book Awards that include yours truly, so… go and vote if you haven’t already! 🙂

And another good news – both my web pages are mobile friendly! Check yours with this article

mobilefriendlyThat’s all for today! Have a great week! 😀

Happiness is…


97

Ah, that shelved historical novel… although I’m sure Kaylyn and Bran do the same with Robert when in London in the 1160 (so about 20 years before the historical novel)! 😉

Sunday Surprise


Gentle reminder. Today is the last day. Share as much as you can. Hundreds of SFF ebooks at 99cents, available from many retailers, not just Mighty Zon! Spread the word! 🙂

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Also, last chance to subscribe to the newsletter that will go out tomorrow with the PDF of Barb’s vampire mithology. Subscribe now, get your free short story and wait for the newsletter coming into your inbox. Bi-monthly, so I won’t spam you very often! 🙂

Have a great Sunday! 🙂

Random Friday


Last November an excerpt was posted on Unusual Historicals. It was the start of a chapter of Kaylyn that promised an interview and a giveaway. Neither ever went live, so… here you have the interview that wasn’t posted on Unusual Historicals. And yes, the giveaway is still valid too… Leave a comment before Sunday 8 January 2017! 🙂

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in the boot-shaped country dripping into the Mediterranean sea, but having lived abroad at a young age, I currently feel international, a woman with no country that sometimes is quite sick of the whole crazy planet. I love history, especially the Middle Ages (11th to 13th century), and making up stuff, although I learned the value of research even for the craziest idea – be it fantasy or science fiction. I write mostly SFF these days, having exhausted any will to talk about current events and today’s people.

What is your story about? How did you come up with the idea?

I have this new series of Vampires Through the Centuries that I started last year with Rajveer the Vampire. I’m publishing one novel a year plus shorter related stories, thus I have four titles by now.

The very first idea came noticing how a few actors had pointed canines and my obsession with Bollywood took me to think about a Desi vampire. Combining researches on vampire lore and history, I came up with the series.

This year I even traveled to India to gather more material and now I have a pile of non-fiction books to study for the next installments!

What prompted you to write this one?

Kaylyn is Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, meaning they have the same maker, Bran the Raven. She was seen through Rajveer’s eyes in the first novel and I looked forward to telling her story. Some events overlap, but her book expands on the mythology of European vampires, while in Rajveer it was mostly him against the slightly different Asian vampires.

Next book will see Rajveer’s fledgling, Shashank, and cover the five centuries neither could actually see for different reasons… no spoilers, though!

How much research was involved?

For Kaylyn only for the non-European parts. She travels quite a lot and even if I had studied 12th century Europe and the crusades for a shelved historical novel, I had to research the other centuries and countries, reading about Marco Polo’s travels, the Black Death, the first European explorers to cross the Atlantic… and I’ve only touched the surface!

What was the most fascinating thing you learned from this experience?

Traveling through the centuries is fun and I look forward to doing it more in the next books. The final vampires war will be in the present, but there’s still a lot of history to explore and write about before I reach the 21st century setting!

What other books have you written?

Three more Vampires Through the Centuries (with more to come next year), a science fantasy series called Star Minds and then there’s my fantasy world of Silvery Earth… lots of titles, but also lots of collections and mostly standalone! Full list here.

I shall use this space for a huge promo – over 100 books at 99cents – for a weekend that includes Rajveer the Vampire. After the release of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness, the first novel of the series will be on sale for a few days. On Monday Nov.7 both titles will go up at 6.99$…

Go get this book now and choose among the many more available at Patty Jensen’s promo! (note: there’s no book from yours truly in the promo at this time, but check them anyway)

And I will give either a coupon for a free download of your preferred format from Smashwords or your preferred ebook format of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness to one lucky winner… The giveaway is international.

 

Writer Wednesday


Happy New Year! Final wordcount for 2016 was almost 470K – still a little short from my goal of 500K, but never mind. Last year I wrote a little over 400K with the same goal – that I’m keeping on for this year – so I’m getting better!

If I reach it this year, I’ll pat myself on the back. That’s half pulp speed and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check this post by Dean Wesley Smith. And if you need help in setting your goals, here’s some help for your New Year perspectives.

Now I’ve made a sorta kinda priority list for this year, but I want to remain fluid. I know there are some stories that need to come out at certain dates (Vampires Through the Centuries…), but besides that, I feel free to write and publish when I feel like it.

And the first title of 2017 is out! The Path of Air (Quests Book 3) is now available as ebook. Oh, and I got neat banners showing up on DriveThruFiction… if you’re patient enough! 😉

dtfscreenshots2017Publishing news… bad start for authors who used All Romance Ebooks and Omnilit, but also for the sites’ readers. Here’s the first warning from Writer Beware and Kris Rusch’s take on it. I had procrastinated going to Omnilit (not another distributor, groan!) and apparently I was lucky. My heart goes to the many people involved in this mess.

Good news on the Smashwords front – from this year we get monthly payments if we meet the minimum treshold, much like Draft2Digital does, yay! Also, if you’re a romance writer (which I’m not), you might take advantage of their program with the Happy Ever After blog hosted by USA Today.

So, things don’t look too bad. I also sometimes think “What’s the point?” but I very quickly climb out of that deadly trap. My critical voice is very quiet since I don’t have an English teacher to blame for creative writing lessons, but still, sometimes the effort to be seen and read in the wide sea of publishing is overwhelming. Especially when I do sell some titles in the much smaller Italian market…

Anyhow, onward with the writing. Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


13

Although, for 2016… good riddance!!! 🙂

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