Creativity Carnival

I couldn’t let this art-cue pass and tomorrow the new one will be out, so… extra post (but usual visitors shouldn’t expect anything else until Sunday!) on a usually post-less day… This is run by very creative Shafali, who also did the cover of my latest ebook.

The Two Faces of Jane

Plain Jane likes simple things, Vain Jane wants beauty, wealth and fame.

Plain Jane is a modest corporate employee, Vain Jane is a sexy bitch who likes to play with men’s hearts.

Plain Jane is like Cinderella, Vain Jane is Snowhite’s stepmother, the beautiful but evil queen.

Plain and Vain wage war in Jane’s head.

Plain Jane has the most exposure in life.

But if Prince Charming walks by, it’s Vain Jane who is going to get him!


Writer Wednesday

Welcome to September! No, it didn’t sneak up on me, since this summer was waaaaay too long and hot for my tastes. And it’s not completely over yet. Sigh.

Anyhow, if it’s hot outside, I stay in and write, so it’s good for productivity! ;) (as if I go out much anyway… I’m an indoor person and I don’t care, LOL!) So I finished another short novel and I’m working on some origin story that I might never publish if I’m not happy with it, but I thought I’d jot it down, since I need to know the background of that particular character.

It has to do with the past of Silvery Earth – before the Books of the Immortals, and in the northern part of Varia. Mentions of a Moren Empire have already been made. That was my original fantasy empire, too much based on roleplaying games with elves and dwarves and goblins (I assume could be called a LOTR rip off, except I haven’t read the LOTR, so…).

I want to save some of those stories and rewrite them in the current Silvery Earth. Some might just be for me, since, like I said earlier this year, sometimes there isn’t much to save in those old stories, but they give me some kind of background for newer stories.

Like that short novel has “guest stars” from those old stories, so I’ll probably rewrite those next. They were in graphic novel form, so writing them in prose should be like writing something new! ;) Or using an old summary/outline and rewriting almost from scratch… I’ve started with those origins and will go from there.

Got my umpteenth rejection on shorter works, so I better write something else short than I can submit! Thing is, now that I don’t feel any constraint in length, I just write the stories at their natural length… which is mostly in the 20-50K for me. So too long for short story markets, and fairly short for novels in my preferred genre. Sigh.

Finally uploaded Rajveer to Amazon, so you can pre-order it from there too. There’s a placeholder manuscript, since I want to have another pass at it with my proofreader, but you can read the excerpt already… For links and e-ARC, go to the publisher’s site

On Writing by Stephen King is one of my favorite non-fiction books. And now I discovered we have in common also a favorite Keats poem “When I have fears…”! :) That’s why I’ve always been so productive, for fear of not writing everything that came to mind (and I didn’t, but moved on and ideas kept coming, so… I really don’t know what writer’s block is!)! Read the whole article on productivity by Stephen King.

Ten stupid writer business practises by Dean Wesley Smith and the second Zombie Publishing Meme by Joe Konrath about low prices of ebook… I still use wordcount to decide price, but the new books are mostly more expensive than the old ones. I should take down the price, but then… maybe next year! :)

Next week I start two online workshops, a b-day present to myself to further my education and comprehension of business practises (althought then I have to adapt it to my home country, sigh). For which, by the way, if you need help, you can read Business for Breakfast vol.1. If you’re not American, you’ll probably enjoy more the second part, on how to get into a routine and motivate yourself! :)

As long as you remember to have fun! Ending on a non-writerly note, I wish Muse K a wonderful birthday. I might easily spend the afternoon drawing him instead of writing. My procrastination techniques are wonderful (but when I draw I can brainstorm new stories, so maybe it’s not really procrastination. Denial much? ;) Nah!).

Have a great week! :D

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise

Should have been artworks, but there’s only one new upload on DeviantART (although it’s two drawings, done last weekend). Been watching old movies and writing and reading, so… no more pencil portraits for now. So Thus I’m posting the “summary” of 2013 and how I got to doing a strip. These strips are done copy-pasting from Superdeformed Threesome Millennium, included in 15 years of Creative Barbwire – all from 2013! Enjoy.


Random Friday

so totally random, we’re going to tackle wigs and hair extensions (the totally fakes one, LOL!)! :D That’s because my sister gave me wig-with-extension for my b-day, so here we go.

The first was a 6$ witch-wig bought in Grand Rapids, Michigan for Halloween 1998… I put next to it the hair at the time – waaaay to short, but I had to cut it because it had been burned by a bad perm. To dress as Lady Unicorn I needed long hair, though, so I went to buy a wig with Renee.

WigsFast forward new millenniums and comicons. I wanted to see what I looked like platinum blond, and bought a cosplayer wig at some Torino Comics for 30 or 35euro… hadn’t tried it on until my sister gave me her present! So you have the wig+extension my sis gave me and then that cosplayer wig (my real – now colored – hair in the center)… Maybe my hairdresser is right not to decolor my hair, LOL!

And then there are the extensions… usually bought at open-air markets and used both for parties or for medieval dinners…

ExtensionsThat’s all for today! Have a great weekend! :)

Writer Wednesday

Rajveer the Vampire – an historical fantasy novel by Barbara G.Tarn

In this new novel, Barbara G.Tarn combines her love for history (especially medieval) and fantasy. It’s the story of a vampire through the centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

RajveerA “sun clan” warrior can never become a true child of darkness.
In 14th century India, Rajveer, a proud Rajput warrior of a Suryavanshi clan, is turned into a bloodsucker by an ancient Celtic vampire. Immortal, he loses his family to war and time and travels through northern India, seeing history unfold. Threatened by both human wars and evil vampires, can he remain true to his sworn vow not to take human lives?
A vampire’s journey through centuries.

Rajveer the Vampire by Barbara G.Tarn is now available for preorder on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes&Noble and Apple for 4,99$.

Since it’s been two months since I set up this assetless pre-order, I thought I’d give a sample now. The final draft is currently being edited, so hopefully when I upload to Amazon, I can forget about it until release date! :) So, just to make you curious, here you have the (for now) unedited opening five – my fave number! – paragraphs of Rajveer the Vampire.



Chittorgarh crowned the flat narrow summit of its hill under the stars, towering above the surrounding valley with all its gates locked. The walls that stretched along the edge were the continuation of the steep slopes, the lower part made of rock as if they’d grown out of it. What looked so high from the valley was barely taller than the palaces and temples enclosed in the fortified walls of the capital city of the Kingdom of Mewar.

Rajveer stared worried at the full moon hovering over the battlement. His watch duty made him feel uneasy that night. It was all too quiet. Even owls were silent, waiting. He had been assigned to the wall-walk near the Suraj Pol, the uppermost gate of the eastern entrance, and couldn’t shake off his uneasiness.

He gripped the hilt of his faithful sword before looking down the steep slope over the solid parapet. No trace of life – animal or other – out there. The stone of the battlement felt dead cold under his touch.

He turned to the buildings within the precincts. It all looked quiet – as usual. The smell of jasmine came up from the royal palace’s wall. The moon reflected itself in the nearest pond, close to the western battlement, and the Kirti Stambh dominated everything like a dark presage of doom.


From September 1 it will be available for preorder also on Amazon at the same price of 4,99$ and samples of the first chapters will be available on all retailers.

The price might go up on the release date, November 1, 2015, so order it now.

Preorder on Apple US, Barnes&NobleKobo and Smashwords.

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise

twice in a month, but well… surprise! Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatnot! Have a great  Sunday!

If you are still following what some English teacher taught you, toss that out and write your stories the way you want to write them. And then release and do it again.

Perfection is the death to all art. Voice, painting, and writing stories. Chasing perfection by rewriting and rewriting only hurts your stories past a certain point.

Do your best, fix mistakes, and release.

And, as Pharrell said as the woman left, “Remember to have fun.”

Dean Wesley Smith

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Raymond Chandler

the following are all from Self-published authors blog.

Write the story you want to write.  Be passionate, follow your heart, and ignore what others are writing.  Just be you.
Debbie Conrad

The most important lesson I’ve learned from self-publishing is; spellcheck is no substitute for a good editor. And a good editor is one that is first and foremost, a fan of your work.
Gwen Rhea

Before you spend one dime, one minute, one ounce of energy on anything, whether it’s choosing a publisher, releasing your book, publicizing, advertising, marketing, do your research. At your fingertips is a vast information pool of success stories and failures. Tap into that to learn the best ways to publish and promote. Learn from others’ mistakes so you don’t repeat them. This will give you a leg up and pave the way for a better chance at success.
Eva Lesko Natellio

The best advice I’ve learned from self-publishing is to just do it.  I took a “write-a-story-in-one-day” challenge, and from that I completed a short story.  With that, I loaded up to Amazon and *poof* I am a published author.  There’s so much talk about building your brand, having a platform, developing and maintaining a website, being active on social media and all that, but if you don’t have a book published, then why all the effort?  If people like you but have nothing to read, that’s a waste of potential.
That and find an editor.
DW Hirsch

Random Friday

I had time to read a couple of the non-fiction books from the two bundles I got probably last year (or one last year around NaNoWriMo and the other this year? Can’t remember).

30 days in the word mines by Chuck Wendig: if you’re just starting and need to set up a routine, this book is  for you, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or just want to see if you can actually write. It’s very slangy and funny, and full of F-bombs, so if that’s not your thing, skip this. It’s also short and sweet, so plenty of time to read some more when you’re done!

The pursuit of perfection and hot it harms writers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: some of her blog posts put together in another short ebook with lots of info on the publishing world, creative writing courses and how it’s impossible to write the perfect book – special guest Workshop Bill (a.k.a. Shakespeare) in a sorta parody like Workshop Jane (Austen) had here.

This book on editing also sounds good, but I haven’t read it, so I trust David Farland’s comments. I might add it to my TBR pile one day…

I’ve also uploaded on DeviantART some discarded covers:

Firebird – a Silvery Earth novella that should come out this fall.

SMI – Galaxy Police (the final cover will be by Shafali Anand), that will come out at the end of the month.

And a detail of the sleeping beau of the story I’m still currently writing… that’s the first attempt, the final one will be much better! :)

I might go back to pencil portraits this weekend… or keep experimenting with digital painting! ;) That’s just a… Sunday Surprise!

Have a great weekend! :D

Writer Wednesday

Summer is over, yay! Well, at least it’s cooler, finally! :D Been writing – back to the Northern Kingdoms of Silvery Earth before the Varian Empire. Some new stories and some “recycled”. Not all the old stories will be rewritten, but a couple are worth a second chance…

So, toying with the “clean” map, trying to place castles and towns that might not be there anymore centuries later. Maybe I should do a slideshow with the “political” evolution of Silvery Earth, LOL!

Anyhow, I might interrupt the current, new short novel – especially since I submitted the first part/chapter to a mag and I have until the end of the month to get that umpteenth rejection letter – to rewrite an old graphic novel (unpublishable, the drawings really suck!!) and sort of tie it to it. I’ve done 3/5 of the new story, but I need to decide a little more background on the characters before I continue, and rewriting the old thing might help!

I’m still not very good at deciding beforehand how characters are. You can check this interesting discussion on how other people do it – a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog. I’ve tried to use those “character sheet” taken from various places (both writing and screenwriting), but they just don’t work for me. I need to discover the characters while writing them…

But then, I’m signing up for two online workshops in September, so things might change! :) Therefore I better hurry with rewrites, so I can write new stuff with maybe a new style afterward! ;)

By the way, there’s a new title out, but not the official announcement yet, since it’s still missing a buy link… sign up for the publisher’s newsletter be updated. At some point I’ll figure out some way of rewarding you for subscribing, but I’m still working on it…

Since this is the year of experiments, after the pre-order on Rajveer the Vampire (more on that in September as well), I want to try the KDP Select/KELP thingy, after reading Joe Konrath’s numbers. Not because I think I can sell as much as him, but because I want to try with one novel.

Except I don’t know when the next novel will be ready! ;) Hopefully by the end of the year… or it might be the next. I can give Amazon 3months of exclusivity for an experiment, I guess…

Here’s the ultimate guite do self-publishing and book distribution tools anyway – I will probably still use most of the distributors for the next few titles (most certainly for Star Minds Interregnum and its related tales).

And an interesting take on getting indie books to libraries – which I don’t expect to reach from Italy, but if you’re in the US, you might want that.

Oh, and welcome to the new world of publishing, where writers can have a career even after walking away from a traditional publishing contract. What traditional publishing says it does best is no longer real… Have a great week!


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