Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! And since she’s in all three of the Nightly Bites anthologies, you get three covers! But this particular interview refers to the newest anthology, Volume 3! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joleene Naylor!

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them? 

The variety. The stories can be gothic, contemporary, historic, futuristic. It can be scary, funny, romantic. Anything you feel like doing. As to why the vampires themselves are appealing, it’s the immortality, isn’t it? If I could live forever, I’m pretty sure I’d jump at the chance. So much time to get to do all the things you want to do.

2. What is your story in the anthology about? 

Jamie: Blood of Betrayal is the origin story for Jamie. A rebel in Scotland, Jamie is wounded and nearly dies in battle. He manages to return home, sick with fever, only to wake fully healed. He isn’t the only thing changed. In his absence, his wife died, and his father was murdered by the British, who then turned the lands and title over to his brother-in-law.

3. What inspired your story? 

My mother, actually. Jamie is one of her favorite characters so I told her if she wanted to make his past up for me, I’d use it. She did quite a bit of research, so it seemed a shame to waste it. Plus, you meet both Jamie and his master in one of the novels (Masque of the Vampire) so it seemed like a good idea to introduce readers to exactly what their story was.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about? 

I can write about other things, though I haven’t been just because of the branding. I’m a lot slower than some prolific writers I know *cough*Barb*cough* . But most of my writing has a darkness to it. I find it very hard to write cheerful, happy things. I once started a poem about a bunny. I won’t go into details, but by the end I made myself cry.

5. What should readers know about you? 
I’m not trying to teach you anything in my books or stories. I’m not trying to expand your worldview, or make you question your beliefs, or the way our society works. I’m just trying to entertain you.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’d like to say thanks to Barb for having me! Other than the anthology, I’m not really promoting any releases – I’d need to get the book finished first (Did I mention I’m slow?).

Last minute addition: we now have also a Nightly Bites bundle, that includes another of Joleene’s stories! Check it out!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 15K in five days, and spent the weekend setting up another bundle, uploading another title, and setting up my series pages on Amazon. So this week I can announce TWO new titles! 🙂

The first is the “middle book” of the Vampires Through the Centuries meets Future Earth Chronicles “trilogy”. On the cover is Ishaq, although he’s described as looking like Oded Fehr in The Mummy, but unfortunately I couldn’t put that on the cover! 😀 But the guy has a beard and is not too bloody. Ishaq is a fledgling of Arianrhod, Bran’s sister-in-darkness.

Ishaq ibn Tariq is an 8th-century Berber warrior under the Umayyad Caliphate. After his latest pilgrimage around the Mediterranean, he meets an old mortal acquaintance who introduces him to Rainbow Towns, the perfect places for a vampire to spend the years of the mortals apocalypse. Hidden underground settlements with 21st century smart-homes can allow vampires to spend a decade or three in comfort. Until they become prisons.
Alain is a 20th-century hacker with Asperger syndrome. With his girlfriend, he goes through the end of the Technological Revolution of the 21st century by finding refuge in Rainbow Town, where time seems to stop. They can’t go out, unless Alain remembers his way to the Darknet.
Bonus story: One Who Cannot Be Destroyed. Achyutam tries to get his wife back through the centuries, if only the damn western bloodsuckers didn’t always ruin his plans.

Now, that bonus story is also included in Nightly Bites Volume 3, that you should definitely check out, because 1) it’s longer than the previous two and 2) it has flash fiction and novellas and short stories, so a much wider variety compared to the first two! 🙂 So check it out and give some love to my fellow authors who wrote great stories!

I am also setting up a limited time bundle on BundleRabbit after a long time. I was spurred by another curator who took out my book from his bundle because “could not find an email on your website to communicate with you” (which prompted me to modify the Contact Me page) when he had already received my acceptance.

You see, there’s a forum on BundleRabbit, where curators can communicate with whoever is in their bundle or collaboration. I had to withdraw a request for my latest bundle (it’s the 4th, in case your wondering) because that author indeed had no way to contact him by email to prod him into accepting the request.

His contact page said to leave a public comment and had no link to send him a private email – which is what I did with another author who promptly wrote back with questions. That other curator? He could have made a post in his bundle’s section and asked we sent him an email for private communications off site. Sigh.

Anyhow, still working out a couple of things for that bundle, so I’m not announcing it yet. Do check the above books, though. November is definitely the vampires month! 🙂 As for December, I’ll publish the Star Minds Universe box sets and that’s it for this year.

The new titles in the Future Earth Chronicles (or Before) will come out next year. Writing the last sequel right now, I should be done by the end of the month, so I can send it over to the editor in December.

Sunday was mostly housekeeping, setting up those series on Amazon and working on Da Strip with the umpteenth change that might push us older users out of social media for good, LOL!

The only good thing about the new Author Central is that they took off the unpublished books, so those ugly old covers finally vanished. I did compire the survey, though, since when you add another book, it shows up ten times, and not just when it’s a multi-authors title. Even Through the Centuries showed up 10 times. If enough people tell them how dumb it has become, maybe they’ll revert, won’t they?

Wishful thinking, I know. On Sunday I went to upload the strip and SURPRISE! Instagram changed stuff around too! To add a MARKETPLACE! Gee, I know everybody buys online with lockdown and coronavirus and everything, but damn it, if all social media become virtual stores, I’m out of here!

Also the fonts are so tiny to be unreadable (for my ageing eyes) on the phone, and you can’t post stuff from laptop. End rant of a Gen-Xers who is sick of those subtle changes for you youngsters who still have good eyes (but you’ll ruind them faster than I ever did if this trend continues)!

Sunday night I rewatched Kites because it was “movies where the protag dies at the end” weekend. I hadn’t watched for more than 2 years, since before the WMG workshops moved from Lincoln City to Vegas.

I have seen Las Vegas in 1994 (the Strip only) and 2009 (our guide took us to the Freemont Experience), but it was touristic one-night stays during group tours. So it was fun rewatching the movie while being familiar with Freemont Street – and I even spent one night at the Plaza last February! 🙂

So it was lika a déjà vu, like when I watch Ocean’s 11 (even though I never slept at the Bellagio), and so NOT like 1994! 🙂 Speaking of which, a lovely penfriend (remember those?) whom I met quite often through the years, just sent me old pictures of Mark Slaughter (the reason for my expedition in Vegas back in 1994), which, along with rewatching their first home video from 1990 or 1991 makes for another wonderful throwback! 🙂

Ending with this throwback picture of a former Muse and hoping we all get to travel again in the near future, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 14K and by Saturday I reached my goal of 500K/year with 8 weeks to spare, which was good, since Sunday I was busy and could not write! 🙂 So now you know why I don’t need NaNoWriMo and never did it, LOL! But if you need motivation, please go for it! 😉

This week I’m still writing random shorts. Next week I’ll be back at the office and print out Vampires War and go through it, then I can start writing FEC11 (same story from the humans point of view). I keep coming up with tidbits that go with the FEC prequels (now officially Before Future Earth Chronicles, they should come out in February to give me time to send out at least one of the shorter stories), but also with funny ideas that I want to explore.

Those might be the ones that generate the next Big Project, LOL! Haven’t thought much about it yet because I’m still tangled with vampires and future Earth, but well… 2021 is still quite foggy in my current vision. I’m sure I’ll come up with something, though!

This is the last full week at home this year… I feel lucky I managed to attend the Anthology Workshop before everything shut down. A couple of friends had to postpone their weddings – one made it at the end of August, the other, scheduled for November, will have to wait until March 2021.

My travel plans of exploring more of Europe, looking for a place to move to, have also been postponed. Oh, well, hopefully next year I’ll manage to visit at least my British and French friends! 🙂 Might be good to practise my foreign languages! 😉

Speaking of foreign languages, I found this on Facebook (although it probably comes from Twitter, where I’m not):

A whatchamacallit in different languages: 7. Thingamajig (English) 6. Chingadera (Spanish) 5. Himstergims (Danish) 4. Naninani (Japanese) 3. Zamazingo (Turkish) 2. Dignsbums (German) 1. Huppeldepup (Dutch)

The Italian is probably much simpler unless the character is really unsure and might go “Il coso, là, quell’affare, lì, insomma, quello!” – otherwise it’s just “Coso” (thing, masculine form, the feminine being “Cosa”). There can be dialect variations of course, but I won’t dwell on that!

I got the New Facebook look all over (although they kindly tell me that I can shift back to the Old look if I want to manage my page or my page’s group, pity that Old Facebook doesn’t allow edits), and I don’t hate it yet. It will need some adjustments, as usual… and I’m probably going to use it less and less!

I saw there’s a new “series” button in the KDP dashboard that I didn’t have time to set up yet, and when I went to Author Central to add the latest title, I discovered that layout changed too – it looks just like Facebook, sigh! But I was able to add my bio in Italian, and I guess I can do all languages through one single dashboard, which is much better.

I only wish they stopped changing stuff around, sigh! I guess that’s all for this week… Stay safe, and if you’re a writer, keep writing. See you next week with a new title… or possibly two! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 14K, catching up on wordcount. Yearly has reached 485K, so very close to my goal. I should reach it in a couple of weeks if everything goes according to plans. These two weeks I’m off day job, but that doesn’t mean I have more time to write, since I have other stuff (including life) to do.

Again, I haven’t organized myself beforehand. This year has really screwed up with my schedules! 😉 But I’m sure I’ll be able to do everything. Yesterday I went to the town center to pay my car insurance before they lock us down again. Compared to previous years, it was empty – no tourists, and lots of closed shops. Even the bus was mostly empty.

The only gathering I saw was in front of the Vittoriano – it looked like the police band was ready to play something. I didn’t get off to ask, as I didn’t ask what the 3 RVs were doing in Piazza Cavour since there was already half a dozen policemen checking them (and I was waiting for the bus to go home – didn’t want to miss it, since the app is not always useful).

Meanwhile, I put out Mortals Apocalypse! 😀 Please meet Claire, fledgling of Aoric, a new point of view in the vampires series. Also a new face, since she wasn’t mentioned before, unlike Miyako, who appeared in Kristine the Youngest. Both of them also appear in Future Earth Chronicles.

But she’s not the only point of view of this short novel. The main one is obviously Rajveer, since it all started with him back in 2015! 🙂

Rajveer the vampire survived being buried for four hundred years in a cave in the Kashmir mountains, then learned to live in the 21st century with Kaylyn, Kris and Shashank. After the Battle of Chittor, back in 2015, he moved to Europe, where he hopes to see Kaylyn’s home country soon.

Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire watch the mortals’ civilization collapse throughout the 21st century. They have the stamina to overcome all the threats the silly mortals are calling down upon themselves.

They face pandemics, cyberwars and a horde of Romanian bloodsuckers trying to take control of the world, with the younger ones (Kris, Miyako and Claire) hiding in the mysterious Rainbow Towns with strange mortals they cannot read and who have their own secrets.

From 2020 Rome to the start of the 22nd century, vampires through the centuries and across continents survive the mortals apocalypse and loss of technology.

My good and multi-talented creative friend Shafali Anand has started a podcast, “The Spinning Top”, and published a four-minute trailer. Do check it out. If you like it, do follow – she’ll be podcasting Tuesday and Friday evenings (episodes of 8 to 10 minutes.)

Here’s the link on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/shafali-anand
If you use spotify, you can find it at: https://open.spotify.com/show/4MiZIIdOWkdDibVUERgYmr
My good friend Dirk Walwoord has put out a sci-fi novel, written in 2012, that reminds of the current situation in the US. It came out on election day, and you can now check it on Amazon. In his own words:
ARC is a story of a generational spaceship whose captain is an incompetent boob. It would be about Trump except the copyright is 2012. Who knew I could be so prescient?
And my award-winning friend David H. Hendrickson has his own Kickstarter! Check it out, especially if you’re in the US!

This campaign is to launch my next two short story collections, THE BOY IN THE BOXERS AND OTHER STORIES OF SWEET ROMANCE and HELL OF A BAND: TWELVE FANTASY STORIES. You can get both for just six dollars. There are also rewards with great discounts for my novels and other collections. There are even rewards for me speaking (in a post-COVID world) at your favorite school or other group. 😃

Check it out for the discounted books or just the information or perhaps for no other reason than to ooh-and-ahh over the drop-dead-gorgeous covers. Then make fun of me talking on the video. 😜😜😜 I won’t admit to how many takes it took.

He’s a wonderful guy, so show him some love! 😀 You can read one of his stories in Future Earth Tech and I’m working on Nightly Bites Volume 3, and he graciously allowed me to publish another one of his stories there, so stay tuned for more!

Yes, I decided it was time to put some horror in our lives… er, some fantasy. Apparently vampires are fantasy, even in a futuristic setting. So I labeled Mortals Apocalypse both fantasy and sci-fi, just in case, LOL! Nightly Bites Volume 3 will hopefully be out at the beginning of December.

Meanwhile Old Facebook vanished from Laptop, but I read on Colleen Doran’s page that there’s an addon for Firefox that brings back the old look. Except you can’t edit anything on your page, as I discovered when I tried to update the vampires album. I have also Chrome on Laptop, so I used the new layout on Chrome to make the changes – although they’re still quite clunky, like pressing “enter” three times before it actually updated the post. Sigh.

Netbook with Windows 10 and Edge is still on Old Facebook. Go figure. When that changes too, I’ll take out the Firefox addon. I’d happily leave Facebook, if I didn’t have so many friends all over the world on there! I doubt I can ask them to migrate to some other forum… meh!

WMG is doing the last sale of the year for their workshops. I might grab the “How to deal with Covid in your writing” if they end up doing it as single, although I have already dealt with in in both Mortals Apocalypse and Future Earth Chronicles prequels.

I can proudly boast two alternate futures for our planet already! The space opera version of the Star Minds Universe, where we joined the Star Nations in 2012, and the post-apocalyptic version of Future Earth Chronicles, LOL! In one there’s no Covid, in the other there is… although it’s not the main cause of the apocalypse! 😉

I guess yes, this will date our stories, but it might work for alternate histories to ignore it… I don’t know, I’m still writing about Earth, finishing the parts in the past (late 20th century, so not that far, I was alive, LOL!) and going back to the parts in the future (second half of the 21st century) for the Future Earth Chronicles prequels, so… still not sure what I’ll tackle next!

Now I better go back to writing and finishing the damn strip that is falling behind again! This coming Sunday is the last time I can tag the #FIBDChallenge, so wish me luck. I’d love to go back to Angoulème, although I’m afraid 2021 probably won’t be possible. I’ll have to aim for 2022… fingers crossed! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


Well, instead of monthly it looks like it’s bi-monthly… anyway, here goes writers on writing, words of wisdom or whatever you want to call them! Have a great Sunday!

You see, literature professors who study writing usually don’t write. They’re too busy teaching to get much writing done. Many of them have some odd notions that they perpetuate. For example, they talk about “waiting upon the muse.” A real writer doesn’t wait for his muse. If she doesn’t show up, the writer might have to grab a rifle and go hunt her, sneak into her lair, roust her out of bed, and pull her kicking and screaming into the daylight. (We do it by researching and brainstorming.) Or if the muse doesn’t show up, we’ll go ahead and keep writing anyway, just go it alone for the day.

You see, a real writer learns to manage his or her creative state, to fall into it when needed.

David Farland

“It’s not self-loathing,” I finally said, then went on to say that these writers aren’t hating themselves, or even hating their work. Not really. Instead, they’re just worried. Being a writer often means you’re working without a net, and without feedback. If you’re an engineer, you know that open loop systems are dangerously unstable, and that’s what’s happening here. “Sometimes writers get to the point where they don’t know if they’re good enough,” I said. “and they’re alone, and all they see out in the world is this big sucky vat of sucking darkness that’s draining their soul without giving them an ounce of feedback to let them ground themselves.”

In cases like this, a writer can get so caught up in themselves that they just flail around and then find themselves stagnating.

Ron Collins

Make stuff that no one else will make. Part of the reason I do what I do is because I’m the only one who can do it.

And there it is, that thing, that truth. I don’t believe most of us think about that much. We’re trying to get our stories on the page. But in reality, they’re our stories, not someone else’s. We write from who we are. We can’t help it. If we allow ourselves to be ourselves in our work, then our work will feel original. If we try to emulate others, it won’t. (Vonn says the worst advice she ever got was to try to be like someone else.)

Kris Rusch

Publishing today bears no resemblance whatsoever to the business I entered ten years ago when there was only one way to get to readers—through traditional publishers. I read a quote from an editor somewhere that said publishing has changed more in the last ten years than in the previous fifty years combined, and I agree with that. Now there are endless opportunities for authors who have great stories to share with readers. If your story doesn’t fit the needs of a traditional publisher, you can self-publish it and find success. We’ve found that there is an audience for just about every story, and what would never fly with a publisher can be hugely popular with niche readers. In my workshops, I tell other authors that this is the best time in the history of the written word to be an author. It’s a very exciting time to be in this business. That said, however, it’s still a tough business to break into. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. I tell newer authors to put all their focus on their books. If there is a “magic” wand that leads to success in this business, it’s in the books.

Marie Force

Making a career in creativity is itself a hugely creative act. It doesn’t just spontaneously happen. You have to build it, step by step, just as you do the individual creations themselves. It’s time plus dedication plus skill – whether innate or cultivated, ideally both.

So… how? Who the hell would put themselves through something like that? More particularly, why, when there are easier ways to make a living, with more guarantees.

Because of the joy of it.

It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, how idea-dead, how burned out I might be on the very idea of writing one more word – the cure is almost always one thing: writing one more word (or a thousand.) When I start creating, I feel a surge of uplift deep inside. Sometimes it’s a whisper, sometimes it’s a roar, but it’s always there, and it’s always been there, even during the years when no one cared.

I know many people come to this site for thoughts on how to become professional writers, and I think that’s one of my biggest pieces of advice. Listen to yourself, find the joy in just, simply… making things up. Now, if you can’t hear it, ever… well, I think that’s telling, and you should listen to that too. But if the joy is there, you should find ways to cultivate it, to access it when you need it, because it’ll be there for you when nothing else is. A life in creativity all begins there, to my mind – not a desire for money or fame (fleeting if they happen at all.) Joy is a reward in and of itself, and if you find it, you don’t need anything else.

Creativity is a fire that feeds itself. The output is incidental; the smoke from that fire.

Why do you sit by a fire? Not because of the smoke.

Charles Soule

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I theoretically participated in a writing marathon. I didn’t do the Zoom meetings (they were at 9pm in my time zone, not a time when I want to see and talk to people), but I did check in every day. I wrote four short stories for submissions, and two are already out there. Almost 10k in total, and I’m getting closer to my yearly wordcount.

The second two are with beta-readers, but they have a December 31 deadline, while the other 2 have a Halloween deadline. Speaking of Halloween, remember me mentioning selling a story at the Anthology Workshop last February, right before the Covid mess? It’s included in this Kickstarter! I’ll be part of the Halloween Harvest!

Go check the project and give it some more love! It’s funded, and you’ll get lots of stories right in your inbox! 🙂 Or you can give them as gifts to friends and family, if you feel so inclined… just sayin’! 🙂

Oh, and my book Magical Friends was reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist… please note that I didn’t read the review, so I have no idea of what it says. I saw the Google Alert and I think I’m out of the SPFBO I entered back in June. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll try again next year! 😉

A huge thank you to the Indian Kindle owner who got themselves the Vampires Through the Centuries ebooks! Next weekend you’ll be able to read more about all of them with Mortals Apocalypse! 🙂 Check out Helios’s story in The Phantom Games and stay tuned for the other vampire that will appear in the above anthology…

And in case you missed it on the publisher’s page, this is the last week to grab Future Earth Chronicles Shorts for free on Smashwords! Also, I have added a page on this very blog with all the other publications! In chronological order, more or less… hopefully more to come! 🙂

I am touched and awed to have an illustration next to my story in Breathe… I’m currently reading it, and I reread also my own story, that I wrote back in 2015. It was rejected 3 or 4 times before landing in the antho, and this reading felt new, as if someone else wrote it. Quite a weird feeling, to be honest.

And while researching last century for a story, I stumbled on a couple of things:

For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores.

Sounds familiar? This is from 1994… an interesting year, as you can see:

White House launches Web page. Initial commerce sites are established and mass marketing campaigns are launched via email, introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.

Check also this other article on the dawn of commercial internet! I guess that’s all for today… have a great week! 😊

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote only 5K, but I consider it mid-projects. Besides, I spent most of the weekend trying to decide what to write next for an anthology, so I’ll be working on short stories this week. Next week, if I write all the stories for the anthos I have eyed, I’ll get back to FEC 11, otherwise, November! 🙂

And as NaNoWriMo approaches, here’s some good advice. You know I don’t participate, because I write all year round, so I never did it.

And if you want a real challenge, write the 50,000 word novel in the month and publish it in the same month, meaning you have to have it done ahead of time enough to get the typos fixed and to do a cover. Now that’s a real challenge. Write and publish a book in the same month.

And that won’t happen either, since my editor (who fixes typos because I don’t have a native speaker first reader who can do it, unlike him) is already booked. So even if I actually write FEC11 in November (which I probably will, even if I start late, I’ll finish it, but since those are around 40K, I’ll have to add stuff to reach 50K), it’s booked for proofreading in January.

But I usually write 10K/week, and I’ve almost reached my yearly wordcount goal, so I’m not going to bother with that challenge, not this year (probably never. I know I can write a novel in a month, a clean first draft). I’ve done it in the past and can do it again whenever I need to.

Now for some more paperback beauties, here’s the two anthologies I mentioned last week. As soon as I finish the current beta-reading, I’ll dive into them.

By the way, this is the second book from this author, in another series, so I’m going to name him. Check out Michael Warren Lucas’s novels! They suck you in and won’t let go! The previous one is a new series, so I can’t say much about it yet, but this one is in the Montague Portal series, so check it out! 🙂

Kris Rusch on the future of entertainment in the 21st century. The sad news is the closure of Cineworlds all over the UK and US. I’m not sure about the US, but I definitely went to Cineworld O2 Greenwich and Cineworld Wembley (for Kaabil and War), so I’ll miss them. I wonder where I’ll be able to watch another movie in a theater – I stopped going in Rome because they closed all the theaters that showed original versions except a couple, now I’ll have to stop going to London too? Sigh.

Anyhow, this pairs quite well with this other article on how 5G and big data are ushering in a wider technological revolution. So more changes a-coming.

The 20th century is dead. The way we communicate, the way we learn and work, the way we are governed. We’re on a sharp trajectory into the new age of technology and communications. Current and past methods of working are quickly becoming obsolete, and it’s evident that this rapid change is in part due to the huge strides we’re making in mobile technologies and data.

I won’t miss the 20th century, mind you, but I kind of dread the inevitable change to a new technological dawn. Anyhow, we’ll see. After years of DayJob nightmares, I had my first CreativeJob nightmare about rights and copyright and contracts other messes. Might be because I had read the latest Writer Beware post, or because my family is as unsupportive as ever… Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 11K, but didn’t wrap up the vampire book because on Sunday I was busy. On Monday I found a mistake in Rajveer the Vampire that nobody had noticed, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad, although it was repeated quite often – and I actually corrected the mistake when I wrote Kristine the Youngest, but I obviously didn’t reread the first book, LOL!

Anyhow, it’s corrected now (also on Shashank and Kaylyn, same mistake), and on November 2 – 5 years after the release of that first historical fantasy novel – you’ll be able to read the sequel, or what happened after the Battle of Chittor (in Kristine)! And then either for the holidays or in January, you’ll read the one I completed this week.

It’s done now, and I’m taking a break because I have a couple of stories I want to submit to anthos and the deadline is the end of the month, then I’ll get back to it and write the mortal’s version, or FEC 11. I won’t send any of them to the editor until December anyway, so I still have a month to write that book! 😉

And we got paperbacks! I’m still trying to declutter the house, so I might give away the extras. Brainwaves and Adventure Song I can send anywhere in the world, the first five with the concept covers, annotated, only in Europe. Are there any takers? If interested, leave a comment with which one you want/can get and I’ll contact you to get your snail mail addy.

these 5 can go anywhere in Europe only – sorry

these two can go anywhere in the world…

And there’s a promo/giveaway on Nightly Bites Volume 2! Check it out! I wanted to publish Nightly Bites Volume 3 this Halloween, but, like I said, I thought my American author friends would be more available after the election. So probably in January, or possibly March, like the above mentioned Volume 2! 🙂 Or I can do a rush job and have it out in December like Volume 1… we’ll see! 🙂

Good news, the anthology I was hinting at for the past months is now out! Here’s the UBL to Amazon, geotagged, for the ebook version. There’s also a paperback but they aren’t linked at the time of scheduling this post, although I requested Author Central to do so. Go check it and leave a review, because reviews are going to help this anthology immensely. Reviews will also be a sign of appreciation for our creativity and craftsmanship – me and the other authors will be immensely grateful!

This is the one where you can find Bran’s first fledgling, Helios of Sparta, and his good-bye to Greece and the Olympic Games where he had excelled as a mortal. I’m in very good company, so go check The Phantom Games NOW! 🙂

Another short story (unrelated to any series) was published in Breathe (which, incidentally is also its title). The PDF looks beautiful, but I didn’t have time to read any of the other stories (same for The Phantom Games, sigh). You can check it out below:

Order a print copy via Amazon (US)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KSGX1FH
Order a print copy from Pothi (India)https://store.pothi.com/book/edited-jay-chakravarti-breathe/
Order a Print replica e-copy from Amazon (Worldwide)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L18MZYR
 
A wonderful analysis, framing the pandemic by Kris Rusch. I definitely don’t want to go back to 2019, but I don’t see much in the future yet, although I’m making tentative plans for at least my peace of mind – finding another job and another place to live. It’s probably going to be slower than expected, but we’re in a once-in-a-generation-world-changing event.

I have done my first short story translation, and I’m still pondering about the whole enterprise. I still don’t know how to handle freelance jobs in this country, sigh. That’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I was on his blog a couple of weeks ago and now he’s here! People, welcome J. Scott Coatsworth! 🙂

Where do you live and write from?

My husband Mark and I live in Sacramento. We’ve been here for seventeen years – we lived in the Bay Area for a long time, but I grew up in Tucson. Literally, though, I write at my desk in our shared office with a view of an ivy-covered wall and my container vegetable garden.

Why do you write?

Because I have to. I’m a writer, and I have so many stories in my head just begging to be told. I’m happiest when I am writing regularly – it’s an itch that demands to be scratched.

When did you start writing?

I wrote my first short story in fifth grade for a University of Arizona elementary school writing contest. It was strongly inspired by the Jetsons (flying car and all) and illustrated by the author in crayon. It won the contest (I don’t remember if it took first place or was one of the winners) and was placed in the UofA library in Tucson. It might still be there. 😛

I started writing seriously in my last few years of high school, and submitted my first novel at 25. It was roundly rejected, and we will never speak of it again.

What genre(s) do you write?

Sci fi, fantasy, and magical realism, mostly. I’ve dabbled in mm (male-male) romance, but my heart was always in sci fi. My mom got me started on Lord of the Rings in third grade, and I read McCaffrey, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Piper, Brin, and many others by the time I reached junior high.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I get up around 5:30 every morning and try to do an hour to an hour-and-a-half each morning before starting work (with varying levels of success LOL). It’s important to have a regular schedule, and starting early means my mind is at its most sharp.

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

I’m great at writing epic tales and weaving together multiple plot and character threads. I see my writing as cinematic, playing out over a large canvass. I also excel at worldbuilding (if I don’t say so myself 😉 ) I build detailed, immersive worlds that you won’t want to leave.

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

LOL those are two very different questions. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places. Some opf my short stories are inspired by single words – Pareidolia, Eventide – and large parts of the Liminal Sky series were influenced by that word – liminal” – that I first heard from one pf our pastors at church. Still others come from short story fragments I started ages ago but never finished, or things that pop into my head (often in the middle of the night – I got the idea for Across the Transom after midnight and got up and wrote it whole.

And yeah, probably? I think there’s a little of me in each story I write. How could there not be? Each character draws on things I have seen or read or heard or done, so it’s inevitable that I leave a little “me” behind.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Again the trick double-question! 🙂

A bit of both. I used to be a total improviser/pantser, which explains the hordes of unfinished stories on my hard drive. Now I start out with a rough outline (plotter) and improvise along the way, allowing myself to change it as needed. It serves as a roadmap for where I want to go.

And I’m pretty fast, when I stick to it – I can complete a couple novels and a number of short stories in a year.

Tell us about your latest book

I’m in the midst of self publishing my two sci fi trilogies – The Ariadne Cycle and The Oberon Cycle. As of this writing, book one of Oberon – Skythane – has just been rereleased. The Oberon Cycle was inspired by the Giants series by James Hogan in that it’s like an onion, with new layers being peeled back in each new book. In the first one, we meet Xander and Jameson, two men thrown together by fate as the end of Oberon approaches. Oberon is a unique half-world – literally a half sphere, and much of the plot revolves around this central fact.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Oooh, tricksy. I started out on the traditional publishing side. In 2018 I self published my first book – “The River City Chronicles” – and was soon doing so regularly with novellas and short stories. Now I am republishing my old Dreamspinner books, and soon plan to publish more new works.

But I am also trying to land a big publisher through agent submissions, which I hope will eventually be fruitful. Cross your fingers!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Oh yeah. There’s Dropnauts, my Liminal Sky spin-off that looks at what happened back on Earth. That’s out to agents currently.

I am working on a new trilogy set on Tharassas, the world of The Last Run.

And I have six other short stories in various states of submission on the spec fic magazine circuit.

I also have a number of other stories to rerelease this next year.

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

To reach as wide an audience as I can’ I am writing writing writing, and also trying to level up to a big NYC publisher. I’d love to see the books done as a TV series or film someday. 🙂 So I submit, submit, submit!

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

Don’t stop. We writers are almost all afflicted with imposter syndrome – that internal critic who tells you your writing sucks, you’re just not good enough, and you should pack it up and go home. I let mine stop me from writing for twenty years after that first stinging rejection. I wish I had kept going. You can’d sell what you don’t write!

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Find Scott online:

Website

Facebook: Author Page

Twitter: Author Page

Instagram: Author Page

Dreamspinner Press: Author Page

Goodreads: Author Page

QueeRomance Ink: Author Page

Amazon: Author Page

BookBub: Author Page

Buy Skythane

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I reached 13K on my vampires sequel to Mortals Apocalypse and hope to finish it this week or the next, not because I’m sending it out to the editor with this batch, but because it leaves me time to write something for an anthology, another experiment, probably, but I’m improvising once again.

I still toy with making covers for stories I haven’t written yet (and might never write), but I guess I won’t be a bookcover designer when I leave the day job.

I still have hopes with fiction translations after another friend asked me to check the Italian on a sample translation. AI and machine-traslators can work fine on non-fiction, but fiction is another matter altogether. I think a good fiction translator needs to be a good fiction writer of their own.

Knowing the language doesn’t necessarily mean one knows how to write in that language or teach it (my Hindi teacher comes to mind – he didn’t know how to teach, and just because it’s your mother tongue doesn’t mean you can communicate it to somebody else).

Just because I understand what I’m reading in English or French doesn’t mean I’ll be any good at rendering it in Italian, and I’m human. I don’t think it’s easier for computers, in spite of their deep learning. Hopefully we’re not going to be supplanted by them just yet.

And the last book of Future Earth Chronicles is out! I’m still pondering about when to publish the prequel and sequels that are tied to the Vampires Through the Centuries books. Might be this year, might be the next, we’ll see. It’s been a weird publishing year for everybody, I guess.

Also, Star Minds Kids and Teens is over on Instagram. This Sunday, the new strip comes up. Check it out! 🙂

Bad news, WordPress new editor for posts took me by surprise… I was already cursing under my breath the new layout, and then I managed to get back to “classic editor”, phew.

The new interface sucks, as with every unrequested change, and I’m in no mood of studying a new layout. So, if they take away the old version and force the new one on me, I might just give up this 11-year-old blog and keep only the publisher’s page, where the dashboard still has the old interface.

My relationship with technology was very well summed up in a meme I saw on Facebook: “I’m a Gen Xer so I adapt to new technology like a Millennial but get angry at it like a Boomer”! 🙂 And that’s all from this side of the pond… have a great week! 🙂

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