Happiness is…


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Sunday Surprise


And it’s an e-book giveaway! You can already download some free stories of yours truly on Instafreebie. Or get another one when you subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter. And one more every two months in the newsletter.

But maybe you’re just following the blog. Or the Facebook page this blog sends the posts to. So one lucky winner can get an e-book in their preferred format, simply comment below with what you’d like to read from my extensive inventory.

You can choose from secondary world fantasy – Silvery Earth has all standalone books, but if you want to know which are my own favorites, well, the quests and the heroines, because they’re the more recent. There’s a suggested order if you’d rather try something else.

Or you can try my science fantasy series Star Minds – a couple of books are adult only, but they’re clearly marked. Or there’s the historical fantasy series Vampires Through the Centuries (for which I suggest you have a look also at the bundle or the anthology, but I cannot put those two in the giveaway).

Or science fiction, urban fantasy and contemporary. Single author box sets. Just take your pick, jot the title in the comments and good luck. Giveaway closes Monday (tomorrow) night and the winner will be announced on Wednesday. Thank you for following me! Have a great Sunday! 🙂

Random Friday


And you can tell I’ve been shopping online AND ordering proofs! So, yeah, some new paperbacks, and the anthology is finally in my greedy hands along with a couple more things – research reading and a comic. Next week I should get some DVDs. And then I’ll do another order after I come back from London – whatever I can’t find at Waterstones or Southall will be ordered online next month! 😉

Because some things are better read on paper (I’m all for reading fiction on my Kindle Keyboard, but non-fiction and artbooks are better on paper) but I don’t have many English bookstores in Rome (a couple who might hear from me sometime later in the year, LOL!), so… Amazon. Yeah, I know.

It’s not Mighty Zon that is killing bookstores. Check Kris Rusch’s excellent post on bookstores – I’ve been to North by Northwest during my 3 coast workshops and I look forward to going back with the new management. Especially if they indeed open to people like me on the other side of the world! 😉 Just kidding, it’s just required visit when one goes to Lincoln City, that’s all! 😀

Two more bundles are coming soon, show some love also to the bundles page (and the above anthology page). I’m not sure how many I will curate this year and if I’ll be invited to some, so follow those pages to stay updated. Unless you really really really like this very blog here, LOL!

Thank you again for following me on this journey. Little poll to get to meet you all. And if you’re a writer, feel free to contact me to request my writerly questions and be featured on here! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


A warm welcome to the new blog followers and Facebook likers – hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂 I’m a prolific writer, but my blog posts are getting shorter each year, haha! Anyway, reader, fellow author, passer-by, welcome and happy scrolling.

So, Year of Writing Madly, Month of Short Stories report! 2 down, from the openings of the online fantasy workshop. For the second I discarded almost 2K and changed direction, but I’m very happy with it. It’s my first foray into steampunk – in a portal fantasy story.

Trying to write a sci-fi short before the end of the month, otherwise I’ll do another assignment of the fantasy workshop that I skipped at the time and write a story exploring a part of Silvery Earth I haven’t seen much yet, only in passing and probably only in Books of the Immortals, Air and Axelle, Wanderer. It will be the prequel to one of the longer novels I plan to write.

Then in February I’m going back to Silvery Earth, since the awesome cover artist Federica Manfredi is doing all the heroines… makes me want to write all the books at the same time, LOL!

But I need priorities. I do have an ongoing series of Vampires Through the Centuries with a novella coming out May 2nd and a novel on Nov. 2, so… March I’ll have to do that.

I’m not really battling creative exhaustion, more publishing exhaustion! 😉 Considering that January started with 3 sales during the Kobo Promo (we’re talking the first 5 days of the year) and nothing since… I’ll just stop checking those dashboards.

I published Soul Thieves because I wrote it (redrafted it) last year, but for the things I’m writing this year… you’ll have to ask for them, LOL! The short stories will go out to paying markets first, and if nobody buys them, I’ll gather them at the end of the year in a collection.

Oh, and the Valentine’s bundle is now available for pre-order! 10 awesome stories of m/m romance for a quiet Valentine’s Day (if you believe in such a thing, says the aromantic old spinster)! 😉

And I’m working on some paperbacks, I should have the final version soon… All Saturday the Createspace Cover Creator didn’t work, but on Sunday I managed to update the two covers and add the third, so that Monday I could order the proofs.

Maybe sometime I ought to do some new book trailers… mmm… *jots it down on the calendar*

Onward to the next story. Have a great week! 🙂

 

Happiness is…


Random Friday


So it was Da Muse’s B-day and I did his portrait while brainstorming the current story (although he’s not in it – looking forward to the programmed novels where he is one of the main characters). Read: one afternoon without writing, but I caught up the next day.

In December I managed to rewatch Kaabil on DVD and still quite love it because in spite of the very short haircut (meh) he’s clean-shaven and not too pumped up (yay).  And he plays the blind guy very well.

Then on New Year’s Eve, I waited for midnight rewatching Mohenjo Daro alone (I had watched it the first time at B-Abby’s but she’s moved back to the US since, so no more Bollyafternoons, sigh!) and then editing Soul Thieves since the movie finished at 11.30.

I still don’t like the last word because, even if my geography and history of the time suck, I do know that Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were in the Indus Valley, so the “new” river cannot be called Ganga – completely different river that flows to the bay of Bengal, not the Arabian Sea. Unless there are two Ganga in India, and I’m not aware of it, of course! 🙂

Speaking of movie controversies, it seems Padmavat will come out (without the “i”) but not in the UK (can’t blame them). So I’ll have to wait for the DVD. Methink I’ll go on Amazon and order all the titles I missed later in the year. It’s kind of a relief, because Padmavat will release in India when I go to London with Dear Nephew and Techie Bro, so I won’t have to dump them to go watch a movie! 🙂

Creative weekend ahead and hopefully the second cover done… Have a great one! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Trying to get into the new writing schedule that is supposed to concentrate the writing in a couple of hours per day and leave the rest of the procrastination – I mean, the rest of the publishing and social media out of it. I also set up a spreadsheet for Team Wordcount (two people is still a team, right?) to keep track of new words written.

I started keeping count in 2015 when I reported weekly to a list. I did the same in 2016. And then last year I decided to just keep count, report here once a month, and that was it. And I wrote even less than the previous years. So this year I’m reporting again to my teammate and we cheer each other onward.

I have completed one short story of the intended few and working on the second. Both will be sent out next month after a pass by Mighty Proofreader, just in case! 😉 It was so hard to get started on this one (unrelated to any of my series, so some worldbuilding to do) that I was considering keeping those shorter ideas as fillers when I’m done with the novel of the month, LOL!

Anyhow, we’ll see how this week proceeds. Now some writerly links! 🙂

An article about Amazon that says it’s updated, but it doesn’t look updated to me. The top 10 things all authors should know about Amazon doesn’t seem to consider the birth of KU/KDP Select and the demise of the Createspace store (and keeps calling the algorithms “logarithms”, but that’s another story, LOL!). But I agree with most of it – except I don’t seem to get any reviews. Meh.

And I certainly won’t give them exclusivity ever, especially since they keep messing up. I don’t know how any author can put up with that shit. New year, old problem and Mighty Zon does nothing to correct. I’m almost scared to do anything on there, and I’m wide! 😦 I even tried KDPprint, and deleted the book after a failed attempt. Back to Createspace for the time being.

And of course, like many out there, I hope one day to do like Tracy Cooper-Posey who went wide and quit her day job. You might remember her interview on this very blog for the bundle that is going away soon, so grab it before the weekend, since I’ll archive it on Saturday.

Yes, Sci-fi July is going away for good, but Remembering Warriors is now live and I’m still working on the Valentine bundle. And Mythic Tales will also go away at the end of the month, so grab it now! 🙂

l got the most important cover (for a new titke, the other one is for a collection of published stories) by the awesome San and here you have a cover reveal!

 

Weekend formatting and upload, stay tuned… Have a great week! 🙂 Oh, and Happy Birthday to Da Muse… here’s to hoping that his sabbatic year from Bollywood is over!! 😉

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s the first guest of the year! And she’s Italian like me! I heard her speak at a panel here in Rome and later contacted her through Facebook. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli (I kind of heard the announcement in a Sam Rockwell’s voice from Galaxy Quest: “And now please welcome Commander Peter-peter-peter Quincy-quincy-quincy Taggart!”)! 😀

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Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia (Italy), a beautiful city by the Mediterranean Sea.

Why do you write?

I write to make my stories real.

When did you start writing?

I was 17 or 18. I loved (and still love) films and I had so many stories in my head, so I started by writing screenplays. Then I turned to fan fiction. I’ve written original fiction since 2009.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write science fiction and thrillers.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I don’t have a special routine for writing. I don’t write every day. I plan my writing periods ahead of time. They usually lasts a few months, depending on the length of the book (I can write 40-50k words a month). In those periods I put myself in front of my pc for 4-5 hours almost every day (except holidays). Sometimes I do that first time in the day, sometimes late at night.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I think I’m good in getting the reader into the mind of the characters. With practice, I learned to identify in the PoV characters and use the proper style (that is “show, don’t tell”) to write the story from their head.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I find inspiration in everything that touches my life. Real personal experience or what other people told me. Books I read, films I see, TV series I watch. Articles I read. Everything and anything.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m definitely an outliner, although I often change the outline during the writing. I think I’m a fairly fast writer. I tend to write 1500-2000 words per writing session (4-5 hours).

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My main goal is writing stories that I care to become real (in my mind), i.e. books that I would read as a reader. Writing is currently an important source of income in my life. My goal is to make it be so also in the future.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

I really can’t remember one in particular.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest book in Italian is “Oltre il limite” (Beyond the Limit), book three in the Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy (it’s a crime thriller series).

My latest book in English is “Kindred Intentions”, an action-packed thriller set in London and surroundings about an undercover agent, Amelia Jennings, who becomes prey in a man hunt. Her life will change completely in exactly 24 hours.

I hear your English title(s) is (are) published by Amazon imprints. How did that happen?

An English edition of my crime thriller “The Mentor” (original title: “Il mentore”, book one in the Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy) was published by AmazonCrossing in autumn 2015 and it was a bestseller, reaching No. 1 in the Kindle Store in USA, UK, and Australia.
The translation rights in English were reverted to me at the beginning of December 2017, so a new edition, with a brand new translation, will be published in the near future.
I landed this contract with Amazon Publishing in 2014, when “Il mentore” was published in Italian. It was selling very well for a few months, when I received an e-mail from a person at Amazon Publishing who wanted to speak to me over the phone. We had an interesting conversation, then I was contacted by an AmazonCrossing editor from Seattle. I had the chance to meet this person at the Frankfurter Buchmesse a couple of weeks later. After that meeting I received an offer from her.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

In the English-speaking market, I’m focused on translating and get the whole Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy published.
Concerning the Italian market, I’m starting to work on the fourth book in the Aurora Saga (science fiction), titled “Sirius. In caduta libera” (Sirius. Free Falling). Moreover I’m writing a book about self-publishing, based on a class I taught at the University of Insubria (Varese, Italy) in 2016.

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Blog: http://ladyanakina.blogspot.com

Web Page http://www.anakina.eu

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Random Friday


And I shall open the year with words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call them to ease you through the new writing year… Happy writing and reading! 🙂

There are a lot of negatives in the writing life. Rejections, bad reviews from both readers and critics, poor sales, editors who quit on you before your book is published, Internet trolls, self-doubt, depression, and worst of all, utter indifference from the world. The positives of a writing career outweigh the negatives by a country mile, but you have to be prepared for the negatives so you can survive them and not let them derail you. Mental toughness – or maybe resiliency is a better word – is just as important, if not more so, than any other quality for a writer’s continued success (not to mention sanity). And just when you think you’re as tough as any writer who’s ever lived, you’ll take a hit which knocks the breath out of you and lays you out flat. And then you’ll get up, shake it off, and get back to work. Because you have to.
Tim Waggoner

Writer is a job.
I almost feel like I should end it there.
WRITER IS A JOB, he yodels, then goes and writes.
Writing can be a career. It can be a hobby. An art form. A distraction. An exploration. Some get paid nothing to do it. Others, very little. Some make enough with it to do the work full-time. Sometimes “writer” is even a job title inside a company. If you work for a video game company, or for a movie studio, or for any kind of content creation company… nnyeah, yes, those people are writers. It’s real. They’re not unicorns. They’re not secretly mailroom attendants who were given the job title of ‘writer’ just to make them happy. Don’t diminish them. They are writers who write and they write for money. I get the point. I’m not saying you should quit your day job and expect the MONEY HOVERCRAFT to back up to your house and fire wads of cash into your garage with a cannon, but there’s money there. And occasionally, it’s very good money for the time you put in.
Being a writer does not mean you are also automagically at a job. Being a writer and making money does not mean it is your only job. I had a day job while freelance writing — until one day, I didn’t, because I was making enough as a writer. A lot of novelists and freelancers have day jobs, but that doesn’t mean writing fails to serve as a companion job. It’s like, just because I ate a meal at lunch doesn’t mean dinner does not also comprise a meal. If I have one child, I may also have a second one — the second one isn’t a pet or a robot. You can have two things. You can hold two truths. You can have more than one job, and writer can be part of your cabinet of professions.
Chuck Wendig

Here’s the truth of indie publishing, folks: It’s a business. It takes five to ten years for a business to become solid. So if you started your indie publishing business in 2010, you might (if you managed it well) be seeing some predictable patterns and very real growth. If you started last year, you’re still in the early years yet, and you have some tough times ahead.
Those of you new to this blog will note that I say “indie publishing” when so many others say “self-publishing.” The reason is simple: it now takes several people to produce a book. Yes, you can do most of it yourself (self-publishing) but to do it well, you need copy editors and maybe a cover designer, beta readers and some classes in marketing (or someone to teach you how to write ad copy). There are a lot of things worth hiring out, and some things you should keep close at hand, and those things all vary according to the author.
But very few authors go it 100% alone. Those authors are self-publishing. The rest of us, those who hire out a few (or all) of the jobs? We’re indie publishers.
Kris Rusch

My advice is this: give yourself the freedom to explore new genres and new avenues of your imagination. Don’t limit yourself to autobiographically “write what you know.” You might find yourself slowly cannibalizing your life experiences, as I have done at times, but it’ll be the natural result of your storytelling, not some paint-by-numbers autobiography masquerading as fiction.
You’ll have the most fun writing—and your readers will have the most fun reading your work—when you do one thing above all.
Follow your passion.
Dave Hendrickson

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
– Toni Morrison

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