Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I basically wrote only the short story for the anthology workshop and nothing else, so around 3500words. I finished later than the previous week, and even though I went through the current project, I ended up not adding much to it, nor continuing it, knowing that I’d have to stop after the weekend.

So I’ll finish that when I’m done with the Anthology Workshop assignments (this is the last before the Holidays, so I have two more weeks to write those 10K to complete my yearly goal). I spent the weekend finishing the clean-up of the inventory, and redid a clean Excel sheet of what I have out there. In spite of taking down many, I still have 170 titles between ebooks, paperback only, collaboration anthologies and comics single issues (less than 50 are in Italian, so about 120 in English! 🙂

Now I can start with a clean slate next year. I mean, I can keep going, probably with new things and old series and whatever I feel like writing, since I have no pressure to write the next big hit. I have ideas for almost all my series, and writing prompts for anthologies, and other exciting things I’d rather not elaborate too much right now.

And since we’re almost at the end of the year, let’s close with a bang! My short story One Line of Bad Code was published on Sirius Sci-Fi! I think I mentioned a sale a few weeks back… and you can read it for free! 😉 Go check it!

Meanwhile another publisher folded, when I went to submit, the email bounced, the wordpress site was set to private and the post on Facebook where I had seen the open call had vanished… sigh.

And since we have the paperback too, gift your friends with a wonderful book by many awesome authors including yours truly and her next strip!

I Like My Science…MAD (Blaze Ward Presents Book 2)

I like my science…mad.

How mad, you ask? Come with us on a twisted journey of science gone wrong and gods rising to threaten us all. Of private detectives on the moon and dieselpunk ladies saving the day. Academics making dark pacts and taking vengeance into their own hands.
Mad.

The second Blaze Ward Presents anthology asks writers and readers to envision mad science and entertain us all.

They succeeded. Come see.

And here are the buy links for the paperback and the eBook universal link. Give some madness for Christmas! 🙂

And since I’m tooting other people’s horns…

Readers of Urban Fantasy – we have a little something for you. How about a curated collection of 20 books? With three tiers of buy-in and a broad range of books in the Academy (like Hogwarts, but different) sub-genre, you will find something you like.

There are secrets to be learned. Evils to battle. And worlds to explore. You’ll love this collection, because it comes from some of the finest minds in storytelling. Get it now.

https://20bookpacks.com/UFAcademy

Unfortunately, no one from the European Union can buy the set because of VAT.

Glad I’m not really a fan of that genre. Because I’m a grumpy old woman and don’t care about magic academies, haha! I wonder if there will be readers for an urban fantasy series with a middle-aged protagonist? 😉

And if you’re on Twitter to follow artists, please take note of this: Twitter bots will make pirated t-shirts with your requests. Check how artists on Twitter tricked spammy t-shirt stores into admitting their automated art theft. And grab that image for your next requests! 😉

And last but not least… it’s Infinite Bard day again! Happy reading and have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I did announce it, didn’t I? Here’s the first of the Holiday visitors to this blog! I met her in Edinburgh (where I unfortunately missed her tarot readings) and she was kind enough to answer my writerly questions… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marielle S. Smith!

Tarot for Creatives: 21 Tarot Spreads to (Re)Connect to Your Intuition and Ignite That Creative Spark (Creative Tarot Book 2) Kindle EditionWhere do you live and write from?

I grew up in the Netherlands, raised by a Scottish dad and Dutch mum, but I now live and write from Cyprus, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Why do you write?

I don’t feel right when I don’t. Nothing aligns or makes sense, I’m all out of sorts, and become impatient with life and everything and everyone in it. It’s not pretty… I have stories and knowledge inside of me and I just need to let it out.

When did you start writing?

I was always making up stories and writing little poems and such. I don’t know when it started; it was always there. I don’t know myself any different. The only thing that has changed over the years is that I no longer keep it a secret.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write mostly nonfiction at the moment, which springs from my day job as a writing coach and editor. I also co-write LGBTQ+ romance under a pen name, and I’m working on a YA fantasy series.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I try to write first thing in the morning, but depending on how much other work I have on my plate, it might become the first thing I do after dinner. Aside a few exceptions (because life happens), I do something writing related every day, whether that means writing new words, editing old ones, working on a cover or blurb. To me, it all counts, and as long as I get an hour a day in at the least, I am very happy.

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

Seeing the bigger picture and then bringing it all together, which is one of the reasons most of my editing work consists of developmental editing. I do a lot of outline critiques and it’s so easy for me to see how similarly separate story aspects can be linked.

Honestly, I have no idea how I developed this specific quality. My brain has always seemed wired to connect the dots. I used to become impatient during meetings of whatever kind because it often took an hour for the entire group to reach the conclusion that I already envisioned about fifteen minutes into the meeting. The moment I have all the necessary pieces of a puzzle, I’m there. It’s the same reason I spent most of my school-going years bored. And why I tend to win at Rummikub, I guess.

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

My nonfiction inspiration I get through my coaching and editing work, and through journaling about my own writing practice. It’s all about listening intently and then providing what is needed (or trying to). That said, I have certain principles and beliefs about the world we live in, and a particular way of understanding our place within this world, and those are present in my work. The same goes for my fiction. I might not always explicitly comment on what’s going on in the world right now, but I will write the kind of world or society I would love to belong to.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I am a pantser turned plotter, but I’m not a rigid plotter: I always leave room for the story to surprise me. I’m either fast or slow, depending on the project. I’m fastest at nonfiction, and slowest at fantasy. And no, that doesn’t surprise me at all 😊

Tell us about your latest book

The 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner is my latest project. In it, I’ve brought together everything I’ve learned over the past few years as a writer and writing coach. It’s the ideal tool for the writer who is tired of being in their own way and ready to start digging for some honest truths about their writing goals and practice. It’s designed to help you get clear about your writing through consistent reflection, planning, and tracking. It also provides a safe space where you can figure out how to set goals that honour both your dreams and the reality of your day-to-day life.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

For me, indie publishing is the way. The freedom is everything to me. It’s not for everybody and that’s OK, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can write whatever I want and publish whenever I want. What’s not to love about that?

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I’m working on a new book in my Creative Tarot seriesSet Yourself up for Successwhich will be published the first of January. I’m also working on a book on imposter syndrome with fellow editor and writing coach John Robin, and I am aiming to finally finish a project called Representation Matters in 2020, which will be a book aimed at writers who want to include more diverse characters in their work. I’ve taught university courses on representation for almost ten years before I left academia behind, and it’s about time I put all that knowledge into something useful for fellow writers.

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

To leave a legacy I’m proud of, by publishing only books that are aligned with me and what I have to say.

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

Claim the title. If you write, you’re a writer. If that title feels too much for now, claim the verb. Tell the world you’re writing. You don’t have to share your work with anyone yet, but do yourself the honour and let them know you write.

________________________________________________

Find Marielle online:

Website

Instagram

Amazon Author Central

Book links to all Amazon shops can be found on this page

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 9K which brings the yearly total to 488K. Another 12K and I’ll have reached my wordcount goal. I might reach it this week, or next week at the latest, wrapping up a project after I’m done with the Anthology Workshop assignment.

I guess Magical Friends was my last pre-order for the time being. Just when Smashwords introduces some pre-order goodies, or so they say, LOL! But this kind of thing doesn’t work for me (my one and only fan does get things in advance every now and then).

It was the 15th pre-order and like the previous 14 it hasn’t gathered any sales. So I’ll spare myself the hassle of pre-orders and getting Amazon reminders and all that jazz. I guess I’m not famous enough to have rabid fans eagerly waiting for my releases, therefore it’s one thing I can tick off the publishing list. Phew! 🙂

Anyhow, it’s live now, so go grab it. The awesome mockup above was done with a Covervault template. I hope you enjoyed the characters’ interview and, in case you missed it, the backstage pass was all about those two – well, those stories, from childhood to adulthood. And the maps included on the book page will be in the paperback next year.

If you missed Cockygate and the Dragon Slayer trademark controversy, fear not! You have a summary here because yes! Some writer did it again! Trying to trademark a word! When will this madness end? Like someone says in the comments, here’s to hoping the judge fines the stupid author… and not in an alternate reality! 😉

I’ve been reading some fiction, catching up on my TBR pile – made mostly of bundles – but I shall make my recommended reading post closer to the end of the year. Some of those bundles have short stories as well as novellas and novels, so I’m writing down the ones I like for future curated anthologies (next year at the earliest, not going to bother fellow writers during the Holidays!).

And since it’s the Holidays, I’ll have a bunch of guests over on Sundays, so stay tuned for the upcoming writers interviews! 🙂

And if you wondered about the difference between WMG Business Masterclass and 20BooksTo50K, Kris Rusch explains the difference in the latest business post, along with how to raise the bar in your own way – which is on my to-do list of New Year’s Resolutions, by the way. Try new genres, try other things, still a little hazy, but hopefully it will soon be clear.

Finishing with another inspirational video: Kris Rusch on Perfection at 20Books! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is


Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the Vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever! Today we have someone from the new Silvery Earth. And since I’m such an awesome witch, I shall ask them questions at two stages of their lives! Or at least at two stages for the human, since the other barely changed in twelve years…

Let’s get on with this. Meet Torik, woodcutter’s son at Bargsea Fortress, a small kingdom on the northern great bay of Varia – I wonder if it has a name, but I guess that lazy author forgot to give it any denomination… Tell me a little about yourself, Torik.

CHILD TORIK: Er… I’m Torik. I’m Human. I have no magic. I’m short-lived. I’m a barbarian to the Magical Races. I’m ignorant. I know nothing of gods and goddesses. I’m scared of dragons. I’m ten, but I already help my dad chopping wood.

ADULT TORIK: I’m twenty-two and moved to the castle a few years back. Wood-cutting duties fell to my younger brother Baldric and I became the prince’s companion. Lambert is king now, we’re the same age.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

CHILD TORIK: dirty-blond mop of hair and poop-colored eyes.

ADULT TORIK: Long dark-blond hair and brown eyes.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

CHILD TORIK: Hannibal! He’s a bully! Him and Klaus are the reason I left the village and found my magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: Myself, mostly. I feel like a failure and don’t understand why people would want to follow me.

Where do you live?

CHILD TORIK: in the village outside the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

ADULT TORIK: in the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

CHILD TORIK: Are you kidding? I’m just a child! Although I like gifting flowers to girls. Florina is quite nice among the Humans. And I like Kareena too, but she came and went too quickly, sigh.

ADULT TORIK: I’m a widower. I hope one day I’ll find Kareena and if she’s still free… Although I’ll probably never find her.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

CHILD TORIK: Growing up?

ADULT TORIK: Finding a place to call home.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

CHILD TORIK: Yes! There’s seven of us – should have been twelve, but they died when they were really small. I have dirty-blond hair like mom, as does Mathilda, who is eight, Greta, who is two, and Baby Alric. Alexa, thirteen, Baldric, seven, and Elsa, five, have Dad’s brown hair. And then there’s Mom and Dad, of course.

ADULT TORIK: Greta, Alric and Mom passed away when I was still a child, which made me grow up faster. Alexa, Mathilda, Elsa and Baldric are all married and have children of their own now. Well, Elsa is expecting her first. My father is also gone, as is my wife and the children she gave me.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

CHILD TORIK: I have four awesome magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: I still have awesome magical friends, they all grew up like me, except Copperscales…

Which leads us to our other guest! You might see her as a girl with brown braids coiled around her ears or a teen with the same looks, but she’s not really like that. Hello, Copperscales. Tell me a little about yourself!

I’m a Fajrulo cub, barely over a century old. When Torik is adult, I can be considered a dragonette, since I’ve grown in size – from donkey to elephant – but I’m still a cub. I will live about nine centuries, so my life is still in its infancy, sigh.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Dragon cub with copper-colored scales and bat-like wings.

What is your role in the story?

Torik’s bogey man, then Torik’s teammate, then, twelve years later, Torik’s travel companion…

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

Torik is sooo cute! I want to mate with him when I grow up! Except I’ve been bluntly reminded that when I’m old enough to lay eggs, he’ll be long dead of old age, sigh!

Where do you live?

My lair is in a cave up the mountain towering over Bargsea Fortress and its forest, and it can be reached only in flight.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m a member of the Magical Races along with Goldenberry (Genn), Erwan (Waiora) and Winged Ylenia (Sila). Fajrulo don’t like their peers – in fact, after my mother left me when I turned a hundred, I’m the only one in the area – but they love humans. I’m particularly fond of Torik, in case you didn’t notice…

____________________________
Book(s) in which the characters appear:

Silvery Earth Kids (strip)

Silvery Earth Kids and Related Short Stories

Magical Friends

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


So, I’ve been kindly reminded (meaning it was a general reminder, not to me personally) that professionals never talk about what they are writing or wrote until it is published. Therefore I’ll keep updating you on my yearly wordcount, but not what I’m working on.

Last week I wrote a little less than 9K, but Friday before lunchtime I got back the manuscript from the proofreader, so I spent from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning catching typo faeries on those short stories I wrote in the past month. And mailed four of them on Sunday morning (the rest are not open yet, so I jotted down the date on the calendar, lest I forget to submit them).

And I published the prose version of Silvery Earth Kids with a couple of related short stories. You might want to check that while you wait for the release of Magical Friends, it’s a very nice introduction with not too many spoilers for the novel, but filling in the background! 😉

Or you can get the paperback of the strip… December is definitely going to be Torik and Copperscales’s month, as you can see from my Facebook page! Stay tuned on more on these two! Should I interview them like I did in the past? Would you like a character interview?

And you can tell me which version you prefer, I won’t be offended it you think Ravven’s depiction (slightly modified in its colors) is better than my doodles! 😉 I haven’t even downloaded DAZ Studio yet, can’t imagine doing art with it anytime soon! So I’ll keep my ancient way of doing things – pencil and marker on paper, then scan and digital colors.

What can I say, this Gen X gal who grew up in the age of the typewriter and used to handwrite her first drafts up to 2015 in spite of being a typist likes her old “tech” too much. New things and continuous upgrades actually get on my nerves (can you hear me, Facebook?).

But! There’s only ONWARD, therefore I shall stop looking back. Keep writing and doodling and publishing and all that stuff. Even if some of those stories will never get off my hard-drive (or my old notebooks… got still plenty of those from the 80s and 90s)… well, it’s called practice, isn’t it? 😉

And excellent article by Kristen Lamb for writers old and new. In a glutted market, how can authors stand apart? Go read it. Now. Don’t be like me! 😉 I’m sure eventually I’ll find my readers, it’s just taking longer than expected. At least I’m learning patience, LOL!

Also, if you want a preview of what Star Minds Kids and Teens strip will be like, go check I Like My Science…MAD (Blaze Ward Presents Book 2)!

How mad, you ask? Come with us on a twisted journey of science gone wrong and gods rising to threaten us all. Of private detectives on the moon and dieselpunk ladies saving the day. Academics making dark pacts and taking vengeance into their own hands.
Mad.

The second Blaze Ward Presents anthology asks writers and readers to envision mad science and entertain us all.

They succeeded. Come see.

I would like to thank Blaze Ward for kicking me into gear with that strip. I had been postponing it for too long! Go check the adventures of Child Kol-ian and read the other mad science stories in this awesome collection! 🙂

Here’s an open call for you cat-lovers out there! It should be well-known by now that yours truly has no pets and no affection for furry friends… but if you do, check this out:

It’s time to turn the “man and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women – in appropriately dystopian settings. It’s time for CAT LADIES OF THE APOCALYPSE!
We’re looking for short stories feature a strong woman with at least one cat, in tales that bring hope in the darkest of times.
Length: 4000 – 8000 words
Deadline: January 15, 2020
Pay: Royalty-Share, via PayPal
More information: www.camdenparkpress.com/cats 🐈

And. last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard day again! Hop off to the site for a new free short story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I met her last summer in Edinburgh and was delighted to see she has translated some of her titles in English! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome C.C. Mahon!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in France, in Fontainebleau forest, which is 35 miles south-west of Paris.

Why do you write?

When I was younger, books saved my life. They were a haven from life. Now I want to create such

a haven for other people who might need it. And I can work in my PJ!

When did you start writing?

Like a lot of writers, I started young and wrote throughout school. Then I stopped because it wasn’t

deemed « serious » or « productive.» I’m happy to report that I stopped being serious and found

(again) the joy of writing a few years ago.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I sit in a chair or sofa with my laptop. My two dogs lie down near me, then the cat sits on my

keyboard.

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

I can describe people and settings with few words. I write short because I’m impatient, but at the

same time, I want to give a few elements of description. I think readers like those short descriptions

that let them imagine a lot.

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

I hunt for inspiration, run after it, and clobber it. I try to not put myself in my stories, because this is

not about me, but about the readers.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I outline but will deviate from the plan while writing.

I write reasonably fast, at 5k words/day.

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

My latest books in English are translations from my french best-selling series, « Club 66 ».

The action is set in Las Vegas, where a young woman—Erica—came to escape her past. After

changing her name, she opens a night-club for supernatural beings. All is well until Erica’s barmaid

is killed, and Erica has to find her courage to protect her team, and her new life.

The series is on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081D4XSK5

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I worked for years as a translator for trad pub, and do not want to go back there. I am 100% indie, and very happy.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m translating the 4th book in my Club 66 series and writing a stand-alone in French before writing the 6th and 7th Club 66 books (in French, then in English).

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

I want to have happy readers who tell their friends about my books.

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

« Finish what you’re writing. »

You can’t do anything with unfinished novels, and you learn so much by finishing a project.

Find C.C. online:

https://www.facebook.com/Ceeceemahon

https://www.facebook.com/ccmahonautrice/

https://www.instagram.com/c.c.mahon/

Extra post for special announcement…


To celebrate that the Italian version of Silvery Earth Kids is finally live, I set up a calendar on Zazzle. If you’d like to add a 2020 calendar to your English paperback, you can find it here (simple version)! I ordered my copy, but haven’t received it yet, so no previews except the one I did with my printer in the picture below.

You should probably hurry, since there’s currently a sale on Zazzle and I don’t know when it ends, so check it right now (colorful version)! 😀 20% off with code FRIENDGIVING…

Also, the paperback links are all here. And the prose sequel will be out on Sunday, pre-order it now and help it climb the charts… thank you! 😀

EDITED TO ADD: I got my Zazzle calendar, it’s small and cute and look at it, ain’t it cool? Also, the “colorful” one can only be small (that’s the one pictured above), while the simple one can be small, medium or large! Have a great weekend! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: