Random Friday


And it’s here! The Fantasy bundle is live!

Go get it on Bundle Rabbit or your favorite retailer (if you pre-ordered it, it should come to your device today)!

And to celebrate, please check this interview with the man without whom this wouldn’t have been possible: ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Heintzelman talking with Johanna Penn! I do mean The Johanna Penn! And if she suggests e-book bundling, you should listen! 😉 And it’s a podcast, so you can easily just listen to them talking (I admit I’d rather read, but that’s just me, LOL!)…

Now go get that bundle and spend the summer reading fantasy books… or at least a month until the next bundle comes out and takes you to space… 😉 Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! 🙂

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! 😉 I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? 😉 And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! 🙂 I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! 😀

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Happiness is…


harnessing all those ideas, LOL!

Sunday Surprise


We won’t have 12 interviews, but I’m still introducing you to the other authors in the upcoming bundle. Only 6 days until release, yay! In the meantime I managed to read a few of the bundle’s books and  his is a fun romp of magic schools and crazy gods (much like the ancient Greek gods of mythology) on Martir, where both the magic and the crazy gods are real! Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very proud to present you Timothy L. Cerepaka!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cherokee, Texas in the United States of America.

Why do you write?

Because writing is one of my favorite activities. It also helps that I’m making good money doing it, too.

When did you start writing?

When I was 12, so I’ve been writing for about a decade now.

What genre(s) do you write?

Under Timothy L. Cerepaka, I write epic fantasy/swords and sorcery. Under my Lucas Flint pen name, I write young adult superheroes.

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

My goal as a writer was to make a living, which I am currently doing. So I guess I’ve already achieved it.

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

Write to market. That advice helped me go from making mid three figures a month to making lower-to-mid four figures a month consistently.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m a discovery writer, which means I don’t use an outline. I’ve tried outlining in the past, but I just find it too much of a waste of time, time I’d much rather spend actually writing the book.
I’m a fast writer. One of my most recent books took me a mere 10 days to write, though my average is around two or three weeks, depending on the length of the book of course.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The Mages of Martir series (which The Mage’s Grave is the first book of) is actually a sequel series to my Prince Malock World series, which you can also find on Amazon and other retailers. You don’t need to have read any of the Prince Malock books in order to understand Mages of Martir, but you will understand the world and characters a lot better if you do.

Barb sez: I confirm you don’t need to have read the other books – I haven’t and I enjoyed The Mage’s Grave! 😉

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book is Powers, the second book in my newest superhero series, The Young Neos. I just uploaded it to Amazon and it still isn’t published yet, so I can’t give you a link, but it should be available for purchase soon.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! The third Young Neos book, Counterparts, is scheduled for a May 2017 release, while I have another superhero series that I will probably release in the fall, depending on how things go. I don’t want to say much about that series yet, however, except to say that it is unrelated to my current series.

On the fantasy front, I have a few ideas I am batting around, but my fantasy books don’t sell as well as my superhero books, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually writing any of these ideas. It may not be until 2018 that I put out another fantasy novel, but we’ll see.
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Find him online

Timothy L. Cerepaka

My website
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Random Friday


From Dave Farland’s newsletter – Science fiction fans, please take this survey! I did, even though I admit I had trouble finding books in those categories… but I’m not a strong sci-fi reader. Not yet! Now I even downloaded the Hugo nominees, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to read them. And I’m supposed to vote. Sigh.

I had my fangirl moment when I received Colleen Doran’s envelope… I donated that money 2 years ago, I think! I knew she was sending out stuff now, but still it was a wonderful surprise! 😉

And to finish on total randomness… I watched another DVD inbetween stories. La graine et le mulet (a.k.a Couscous) was an interesting take on immigrants – north-Africans in France to be clear. A very realistic movie, kinda slow (actually, very slow, 2h30 of close-ups…) with a not so clear ending that left me a little disappointed.

It made me realize how too many close-ups are jarring, and I’ll try to remember it when I write, since I also tend to focus on the character(s) and forget the setting. Might have been because none of the characters had an interesting (for me) face I could just watch even if it were a still picture or maybe it’s totally true that it’s better to back off some time to give the reader a better view.

And the belly dance at the end… a twenty-year-old with such a belly bump made me wonder if she was pregnant, and if that was part of the movie! Too many unanswered questions in this “slice of life” story for my tastes… And I was falling asleep on the extras, so I just gave up on the whole thing, haha!

Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


Star Minds Third Generation Snippets is out! Check the damn Amazon link so the people at Booklinker won’t bother me with useless emails! But it’s available also everywhere else *waves at the gal who already bought it on Smashwords – I know who you are, thank you*! Next weekend I shall work on the paperback version.

The cover is by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri – which means I have the same cover as some traditional SFF magazines or books, yay! 🙂 It might be one of his stock illustrations (it ain’t free, babe), but again I wrote a story that fit it, like I did with S.E.T.H. (on the cover of Star Minds Next Generation Diaries).

Like I do with Techie Bro’s digital paintings. Who needs writing prompts with such great artists out there? 😉 I’m still commissioning custom covers, though. Next month you’ll see the awesome covers Rossana Beretta did for Talwar and Khanda and Saif’s  Story. And besides doing maybe a cover or two myself, I’ll have Cristina do another southern kingdoms illustration. Not to mention the official cover artist for Vampires Through the Centuries, Shafali Anand! 🙂

Tomorrow starts a Kobo-only promo – the Books of the Immortals Box Set will be 30%off for a few days. Just hop to the Kobo page and see what other box sets get discounted until the 29th! 🙂

Lots of writerly links today! David Farland on busting your editor’s chops. Kris Rusch on types of brands – I might not be the best at cover branding yet, but well… too many books, too little time! 😉 I’m still learning cover branding, but that’s only the surface. There’s a whole lot more about branding to study and learn.

And then two posts by David Gaughran about those darn Amazon bots… how we’ll end up asking “please don’t buy my books” and who’s pointing at you. I’ve been on Yasiv when I tried to set up that Amazon ad… some of my titles don’t even come up on Yasiv! 😦

I mean, even putting a series title like Star Minds not one book of the series shows up. Vampires Through the Centuries brings up only Vampire Diaries. Silvery Earth brings only the Fairy Tales Revisited… And “body switches”? Tons of non-fiction and conspiracy theories and mind-controlling texts!! 😮

I’ll have to find other ways to find tags for my next Amazon ads. Yasiv clearly doesn’t work for me! 😉 Also, did you hear about the KU advocate being kicked out of KU? Mighty Zon is a dangerous beast! 🙂

Off to the next story… have a great week! 😀

Happiness is…


another memory of those coast workshops… group hugs! 🙂 I got the latest version this year! 😀

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another author from the bundle! We’re back to the U.S. of A.! And we have the same aim (quit that DayJob) and the same weaknesses (marketing hell…)! And he does write a lot! 🙂 And I love his covers! 😀 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joseph Robert Lewis!

Where do you live and write from?

Maryland, USA

Why do you write?

I love all sorts of art, from drawing and music to woodworking and landscaping. But the only one I seem to be any good at is writing. But beyond that, I really love how easily writing allows me to explore all sorts of people and places and ideas, real or imagined, all using the exact same old laptop and comfy chair. My hope is that my writing will make my readers happy, just genuinely happy, whether that means being entertaining and funny, or letting them explore different types of characters and plots that are less mainstream.

When did you start writing?

I first started wanting to write a novel in high school, and I continued to want to write a novel through college, but I didn’t actually weld 100,000 words together until sometime in my early 20s. But since then, I’ve learned to write more consistently and to complete books in much less than two decades.

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy.

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

Right now, my selfish writing goal is to be successful enough that I can quit my day-job and write fulltime. It’s challenging to write several novels each year just in the narrow span of free time between a fulltime job, raising two daughters, romancing my fiancé, staying in shape, and taking care of the house. And the cats. So, in addition to trying to write great stories that readers will love, I’m also trying to learn more about marketing. So far, all I’ve really learned is that I don’t particularly like marketing, and that I’m not particularly good at marketing.

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

Write. Finish. Publish. The tricky thing about any skill is that you really only get better through practice, which is fine for tying shoelaces or making hummus, or any other activity that only takes a minute or two. But when the activity takes several weeks or months to complete just one attempt, the idea that writing a whole novel is “just practice” can be a little disheartening. But it’s true. You can’t spend forever trying to write the one perfect novel, because you’ll never succeed and you’ll never get any better. You just have to keep writing, finishing, and publishing, and trying to learn from your mistakes along the way so the next one can be a little better.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Over time, I have come to embrace outlines as completely necessary. After spending months researching ideas and kicking ideas, I eventually reach a point where I think I have all the pieces for a good story, and then I have to sketch out a chapter-by-chapter outline with as much detail as possible. That way when I sit down to write, after a long day at the office and a long evening of checking homework, making dinner, and cleaning the house, I will know exactly what I want to write next and quickly get into a writing headspace. Regarding speed, all I can say is that I’ve released about two millions words and two dozen books in about six years, so make of that what you will.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Elf Saga: Doomsday is the first book in my Elf Saga series. It’s your basic epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery tale of knights and dragons, but with a little twist. All of the main characters are women from different nations and cultures, it’s written with completely modern language and dialog, and it’s funny. Can I say that about my own book? The reviews all say that, so I’m going to say it too. It’s funny. So if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Supernatural, or Archer, then you will probably like Elf Saga.

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

My latest book is “Elf Saga: Solarpunk”, which is the fourth and final book in the Elf Saga series. Each book in the series is set 33 years after the previous one, so this one is 100 years after the first one, Doomsday. Solarpunk takes place in a more modern era, with gunslinging elves who watch movies about dragons. The heroines find themselves confronting a massive ecological crisis involving spirit creatures from beyond the stars, metal-eating insects, and plagues that bring together alchemists, shamans, musicians, and mermaids on a strange quest not to save their world, but to transform it. Plus, it’s funny.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

My new project is a science fiction series full of aliens, spaceships, cyborgs, and dinosaurs! I’m writing it as an old-fashioned serial, which I’ll start releasing soon, maybe once a month, and then I’ll have larger story arcs bundled together into larger volumes as well. Inspirations include Farscape… yeah, mostly just Farscape. But also the Transformers comics, the Legacy of Kain games, the Black Sails show, and a lot of other random titles!

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Find Joseph online

Web Page

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Random Friday


Sorta kinda Art Friday. Last weekend I did a 3hours+ pencil portrait, and it shows in the results. Usually it takes me 2hrs or 2 and a half, this is 3h15 (the longest it took me was 4hours, but the shirt was much more complicated). Here’s another 3hours drawing that is still pinned as my favorite on DA even though it’s 2 years old (and it’s on my wall, albeit a different wall from the latest).

And then while prepping for the novel challenge next month, I realized that the “novella” I planned to expand is actually almost a short novel already and since I’m not supposed to have more than 50% already written and I have no idea how long part 2 would be, I decided to postpone that project to later in the year and to pick something else.

So I’m going to write something based on a very loose outline+a screenplay that was another version of that published novella and make it an original novel. Plus I’ll write the novel of one of the S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. characters that was already on the to-write list and I realized that… oh-oh.

My graphic novel doesn’t have a printed version I can follow, since the balloons are digitally added to wordless comic book pages. So I’ll have to study a way to print it out beyond Omnibus 2 (I had printed copies of the first 2 Omnibus, made through DriveThruComics, but I have retired them since) – either just an Omnibus 3 for myself, maybe on Lulu and B&W, or I can start trying to do that Createspace edition in a different format.

working on SKYBAND during the Holidays

So next weekend I’ll be busy with PODs again. This weekend I only have to upload an ebook, since I have other commitments that will take me away from both the laptop and the drawing tray… For those of you who are new, I have a drawing tray (it’s supposedly a reading tray) and I draw on my bed – see this old pic.

I was even working on the graphic novel! Just picture color pencils like above on the table below, and it will be pretty accurate. You can see the borders of the tray even on the images above.

Oh, and that was before I became, blonde, of course, but then, I had been coloring my hair for a few years already anyway… started at 35, planned to stop at 50, haven’t really yet, but eventually…

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens are running an online auction to raise money for 4 organisations working to evacuate LGBT men from Chechnya. Items include signed paperbacks, original characters, original stories, author services and more. The auction began on Friday, May 5 and ends at noon CDT Saturday, May 13th. I didn’t sign up on time (I know, shame on me…) but the auction is now live until Saturday. Go check it.

On the writing front, on Saturday I threw away half of what I had written because the story needed to go in a different direction. I was at 9100 words and 4600 were mercilessly cut and pasted in a new document called “deleted scenes” – I might add it as extra to the ebook when it’s published or give it as reward on Patreon, again when the story is published, probably after the summer.

Murder your darlings, they say. I cut those words because I had found a better way to rise the stakes for the main character and so half of the story had to go. It’s part of my new way of writing, cycling to add stuff back since I’m typing directly on Laptop and don’t need to get to the end before adding stuff in the middle like I did when I was writing longhand.

Anyhow, I did manage to write 3700 new words on Saturday, 6700 on Sunday and wrap the story on Monday at 17600 words, so I’m not complaining! 😉 Now on to the next story! 😀

My Facebook page has 299 “likes” (the screenshot is from 1 like ago)… who is going to be #300? I might reward you if you’re that lucky person… Since the friends I have invited can’t be bothered to accept the invite, it’s up to you, Stranger, to be the One… Or you could be the first patron on Patreon… I should reward you as well… One ebook of your choice, the preferred format, anywhere in the world! 😉

Have a great week!

 

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