Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the vampires got revamped too! Just like Joleene Naylor changed all the covers, so did I – at least for the ebooks at this time. The old covers are currently still available on the paperback. Like her, I’ll let you know if they go away forever! 😉

A great example of writing levels from my guru Dean Wesley Smith… very clear, and of course I’m still Level 3, but my English vocabulary expands continually, and I’m experimenting craft things with the latest project, so hopefully one day I’ll find myself on level 4! 🙂

Mighty Editor added a week to the job, so she might be able to do the four novels now, but again, I don’t think I’ll publish anything until after the summer. My Smashwords page is slowly emptying, but I enrolled something for the July sale and I will upload at least one new title on there to complement the sale.

The other I’m considering of putting it on Amazon for 3 months to join the Kindle Storyteller. Then it will be out everythwere, as usual. Probably. Considering how slow KDP was on Saturday while I was updating the vampires books… I still have a few weeks to think about it! 😉

The Books2Read links might not be updated and still show stores that are currently unavailable, but next week I’m off DayJob and I’ll see if I can update them manually. I also have to prepare those two titles for July publishing!

So, busy bee, trying to overcome the heat… now back to writing on that project, because it’s not over yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


That’s what the critical voice does. It makes writing hard, unpleasant, and something to be avoided, rather than embraced.

All of us who write face that. We just have different battles with our critical voices. Some writers battle the voice in the words on the page. Other writers battle the voice in the types of stories it’s okay to tell. And apparently, some, like me, battle the voice on expectation of production.

So I need to revamp. Again. As I seem to do annually with that pesky critical voice.

Since I had the realization so soon after the workshop, I thought I would share.

As is always true with any workshop I teach, I suspect I learn more than the students do. And I never know what I will learn.

Although I usually do learn something new about myself.

Kris Rusch

I’m still here. Which, in the digital age ,says A LOT.

Still HERE, in your corner. Here to give you tough love, more love, hard truths, more laughs and let you know that you matter. Your writing matters—regardless the reason you do it—so do yourself a huge favor and take time finding your WHY.

Then once you find it, always keep searching. The world needs more dreamers, more storytellers and more stories.

Kristen Lamb

That’s writing a novel into the dark. Buckle in and believe you will end back up in the station, breathing hard and laughing.

Yet so many writers have bought into the myth that writing is “work” and you must suffer for your art. And that you can’t make a mistake or have a wrong word and everything has got to be planned out ahead because, heaven-forbid, you write extra words.

And, of course, everything has to be rewritten, edited by someone who doesn’t write, rewritten again, and so on in search of a perfection that never can exist in the arts.

That’s torture and writers who write that way seldom last for more that a few books or a few years.

Sitting alone in a room and making shit up is fun. Plain and simple. Sometimes fun because of how well a story is going, sometimes rollercoaster fun of pure terror and worry and fear (and maybe even panic).

But fun.

So go have fun. Gets some words done. It’s Friday night and I have a movie to watch.

Dean Wesley Smith

Being a great writer takes a lifetime. There are hundreds of skills that all work in tandem, and then there’s the mental and emotional maturity earned from experience that makes your fiction resonant.

It’s very tempting to get to a point where you’re pretty good and just stop. You’ve found your comfort zone. You say to yourself, “I’m a good writer now, this is the kind of stuff I write, and it’s working. I’ve found my place and I’m going to stay in this lane for life.”

It’s such a relief. No more struggle. No more failure. Consistent success.

At least that’s how it seems.

In reality, your comfort zone as a writer is a path to stagnation, to atrophy, to becoming a plagiarist of yourself instead of a creative writer.

The temptation of the comfort zone is exacerbated by the publishing industry. Publishing is a business first and foremost, and the strategy is usually “this made us money, so do it again and again!”

Many successful authors fall into this repetition pit and spend the rest of their careers regurgitating their past successes ad nauseam. Authors need to make a living just like anyone else, and a comfortable life doing what you love is an admirable goal for a writer. Right?

I would posit that this is an unfulfilling life for a writer. A life of diminishing returns, and of slowly, steadily waning quality.

The only way to grow as a writer is to consistently step out of your comfort zone.

(…)

Writing is not something you do in your room alone. It’s not an excuse to hide from the world. Don’t let your home become your comfort zone. Get out and experience life or you won’t have anything interesting to write about.

Fail. Learn. Grow. Repeat.

It’s the only way to become the best writer you can be.

Dave Terruso

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last day – possibly last hours for the Visions of the Future bundle! 🙂 Get it now before it’s gone forever!

Last week I wrote over 12K, despite a couple of days during which I didn’t write at all and did all the other stuff. The vampires will soon get their new covers and blurbs, meanwhile Future Earth Chronicles is updated! 🙂

When I’m done with all the updating, I’ll also update the header of the publisher’s site, but it will have to wait until possibly after the summer! 🙂 At least I updated this very blog’s header, and you can have a sneak peek of the new cover of Rajveer the Vampire… that kind of matches Brainwaves… which is good since eventually the two series cross over at some point, LOL!

I sent the first three books of the new project to Mighty Editor while I give a last pass to book 4. I’ll either send it later in the year, or next week, if she can do all four in my two-week slot. It’s 40K novels, but it’s still a grand total of 170K approximately!

I still have to write a collection to go with these four. You can expect publication of these titles sometimes in the fall. I’ve experimented with craft and had a lot of fun, so hopefully you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’m enjoying writing them and making covers for them! 😉

I’m still tinkering with the Silvery Earth covers, trying to find a template that I like. Hopefully next weekend I’ll update the Vampires Through the Centuries, then we’ll see.

I backed to artists’ Kickstarters and both will deliver the art book or comic book in January 2023, yay! On paper this time, since the PDFs are nice and cheaper, but not as good as the actual book. You can still back The Art of Pascal Campion (already funded and headed for the first stretch goal), while Pixie and Brutus Gnome Sweet Gnome is probably over by the time you read this.

Check them out, they’re both great artists, I follow them on Instagram and I’m very happy they committed their strips to paper! 😀 I guess that’s all for now! Have a great week! 😉

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 18K, which means that this week I hit 250K, so halfway through my prospected wordcount, and there’s still room to go farther. Even if I was not planning to, or taking it easy, I might end up with 500K new words at the end of the year, after all! 🙂

I’m back to the DayJob this week, so maybe I’ll write less. Monday was hectic, and I put down very few words. And I have to update another series as well, ebook and paperback blurbs included, and here’s a sneak peek of the new covers:

A nice guide for audio book authors and Finding the Highest Paid Royalties for Your Audiobooks. I probably won’t make any more audio books, since the Findaway Reports are depressing, LOL! I won’t even listen to the audio books I got through a couple of Kickstarters, but well… it’s just me! 🙂

Last week the bimonthly newsletter went out with a surprise: a free story. I will probably add one from now on, since I’ve become proficient using Book Funnel for delivery! 😉 So if you want a free story every two months, subscribe to the publisher’s site. Next UPB Newsletter is due out on August 1st.

The heat has unfortunately hit this damn town, so I’m going to start my summer hybernation soon… Although the house is still relatively cool, so if I don’t reach it half melted by the 35°C I get while waiting the bus, I’ll probably be able to do something.

I mean writing and all that stuff I mention above. Maybe! 😀 Oh, and don’t forget the clock is ticking on the Visions of the Future bundle… Or you can try the 2022 Pride Bundle, and the Twisted Fairy Tales might already be over when you read this!

I guess that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


Kalicalypse brings together recent stories of talented SF writers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, widening the scope of the previous Future Fiction volume Avatar.

The stories deal with crucial issues for understanding the development of the subcontinent and therefore of a large slice of the world population: fascinating and disturbing visions at the same time, such as the ethics of mind-uploading in an aging population, the exploitation of mythic archetypes in VR by the powerful Shiva corporation, the biopolitics of fertility for which a daughter that bleeds becomes a valuable asset in The Fertile Market, the migration of climate change refugees to Edge-of-Space platforms, the terraforming by nanobots for the amelioration of the Earth, and the challenges facing those who are operating junk-ships in space.

“Speculative thinking underlies all gestures of critical thought. What lies at the other side of the Kalicalypse? Many new worlds? Kalicalypse is the plurality we inhabit.” – Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay

Table of Contents

Introduction by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay

The New Humans by Trishna Basak

Kali_Na by Indrapramit Das

The Art of Possible by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

The Daughter That Bleeds by Shweta Taneja

The New Migrants by Navin Weeraratne

Anamnesis by Rupsa Dey

The Architecture of Loss by Salik Shah

Tethered by Haris Durrani

Steeling Minds by Kehkashan Khalid

The Almighty by Zafar Iqbal

Afterword by Tarun Saint

Translations from Bengali by Arunava Sinha

Cover art by Paolo Castelluccio

Available from June 2022 in paperback and ebook in dual language English and Italian.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Two more older titles had a face-lift – new cover, new blurb – please, check them out! Lost in the Milky Way (formerly known as Yash&Ryo Lost in the Milky Way) and Soul Thieves are now gone from Smashwords as well, until they manage that actual merging with D2D, that is.

Last week was my most prolific of the year with 25K written, but then, I was off DayJob. It’s also a personal record, the previous one being 21K/week! Whenever I’ll manage to be a full-time writer, how much more will I be able to write? 😉

Although again it’s a series of novels… my wordcount drops dramatically when I write short stories, because of the day-break between projects. If I write a 40K short novel, I’m putting down more words in a month than if I write four 10K stories.

There will be a series of shorts when I finish these novels, but they’re all mostly connected, so I should be able to write them quickly. My poor editor doesn’t know what’s coming for her in June, LOL!

Now, about that Kickstarter… my author copies arrived, and I realized that one book has a cream interior, the others white. Teaches me not to check when I publish the rest after four years, but then… Future Earth Chronicles anyone? 😉

For whoever came late to the party, in Future Earth Chronicles, the paperbacks have alternatively white and cream interior because I screwed up with the first two… For Otherside I realized my mistake when I received my copies, so we have a vintage-looking first book and brand new ones! 😀

Otherside paperbacks

There is still time to get Visions of the Future bundle and get all those awesome sci-fi ebooks for a ridicusly low price. Check it out, and if sci-fi is not your cup of tea, share with friends, in case someone is interested! 🙂

Now I shall get back to writing… and working on that non-writerly stuff… and Friday I’m back to DayJob, sigh! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another Storybundle! If you purchased last year’s Visions of the Future, this year you get practically next book in the Star Minds Universe, with the protagonist who was a child in Technological Angel and is now in his early twenties. But now I shall let our mighty curator speak and introduce all the fabulous books in this bundle! 🙂

THE 2022 VISIONS OF THE FUTURE BUNDLE

The 2022 Visions of the Future Bundle – Curated by Dean Wesley Smith

I knew, without a doubt, I was going to really enjoy putting Visions of the Future together as a StoryBundle. I just love science fiction of all types, and any form of looking into the future, seeing visions of the future, is science fiction by definition.

For me, the future is a bright, hopeful place. That’s my nature. No matter how bad the news is at the moment, I tend to look at the future as a promise. Doesn’t mean the future won’t be full of problems. I am not that naïve, although sometimes my wife Kris thinks I am.

Maybe that is why I wrote so many Star Trek novels and edited Star Trek for ten years. I love the positive aspects of how Star Trek looks forward.

So I loved the idea of this StoryBundle called Visions of the Future. It is full of visions of a lot of different futures.

I wanted to find a number of professional writers who I knew could really give a clear vision, and a great story, of what they saw in the future. And I opened this up to see if top writers had a book that fit, and many did.

Professional fantasy and science fiction writer Lisa Silverthorne sent me not one, but two books in an omnibus edition titled True Purple. These are the first two books in a military and genetic-engineering world that has heart, as all of Lisa’s books do. If you love character-driven science fiction, you will love these two books.

Then USA Today bestselling writer Louisa Locke sent me a book from her multi-author world she founded called Paradisi ChroniclesBetween Mountains and Sea is a stunning coming of age novel that different reviews have said reminds them of LeGuin, Butler, and McCaffrey. I can’t disagree at all. Amazing world and character not to be missed.

Next came a novel titled The Gaia Websters from professional writer Kim Antieau, who has been a professional writer and friend of mine for almost forty years. This is a novel where the future Kim sets up is after a collapse of society. The story is positive, upbeat, and challenging all at the same time. If you haven’t found Kim’s wonderful writing before, this would be a great book to start.

Next, professional writer Terry Hayman brings a sort-of modern day look in his book Jumpback. This book combines aspects of thriller fiction with science fiction concepts such as time travel. And ends up giving us a look forward at a somewhat frightening idea of “what if this was possible.”

Kari Kilgore gives us a really cool idea for the future. A certain element allows communication across the galaxy, but it can only be found in one place. And what happens because of that. Sort of a great metaphor for so many futures.

Barbara G.Tarn paints a picture of a massive galactic civilization that is very cool. And she does it through a space adventure and stolen manuscripts and old texts. As a person who loves old books, that really hit my tastes, let me tell you. Just a wonderful look at a far, far distant future.

Bestselling writer Maggie Lynch asks the question, “What happens if humans could live 800 years? Would that be a great thing or a bad thing? Only Maggie could paint that future in a way that is impossible to put down as you read.

New York Times bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers up a vision of the future from her major science fiction Retrieval Artist series. Domes on the moon, alien laws and the repercussions of alien laws. An amazing vision of the future where humans have expanded out into a galaxy full of aliens with very different rules.

I added a book from my Seeder’s Series. This book gives a glimpse of a far, far advanced civilization from the point of view of those who seed humans throughout many galaxies. They can travel from one galaxy to the next in minutes. And while seeding humans over such vast distances, they often lost in the process and need to be rescued. I love this future. Sort of advanced Star Trek.

And last, but no least, the ultimate in a look at the future. An entire volume of the award-winning yearly anthology Writers of the Future. This has three bonus stories plus 14 winning stories by some of the best new writers working in science fiction. These stories are picked every year by some of the top science fiction writers in the world.

The three bonus stories that show very different futures in the volume are:

“Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: When an ambassador is asked to inspect the controversial Museum of Modern Warfare, she discovers life-changing secrets. .

“The Dangerous Dimension” by L. Ron Hubbard: Meek Dr. Henry Mudge has a dramatic personality change after discovering a mathematical equation that transports him to any place in the universe he can think of.

“The Phoenixes’ War” by Jody Lynn Nye: When a lover’s gift to her king turns out to be a perilous trap, the Phoenixes and their priestess face a test that will decide the fate of two realms.

So ten novels of different visions of the future, including an anthology with 17 different stories in it. This is an exciting bundle. Don’t miss it, since it will only be around for a very short time. Dean Wesley Smith

* * *

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Jumpback by Terry Hayman
  • Between Mountain and Sea by Louisa Locke
  • The Becalmed by Kari Kilgore
  • Next Generation by Barbara G.Tarn

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $20, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more books for a total of 10!

  • Paloma by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Rescue Two by Dean Wesley Smith
  • Eternity by Maggie Lynch
  • Experiencing True Purple – Books 1 & 2 by Lisa Silverthorne
  • The Gaia Websters by Kim Antieau
  • Writers of the Future Volume 37 edited by David Farland

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to AbleGamers!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at@storybundleand like us onFacebook. For press inquiries, please emailpress@storybundle.com.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the last title being out, the series is now complete, and the series page updated with all the links! The paperbacks should be on their way to the backers who requested them. So I guess this Kickstarter is done! 🙂

Now I should be able to announce the second rebranding for the Star Minds Universe, and here you can see the new covers! There’s also new blurbs, if you’d like to check them out. The series page is updated too.

The titles are slightly changed, but the stories inside are the same – well, a couple of volumes have a new title, because “Interregnum” didn’t make sense anymore, so I changed it to “Confederation”. And you also get a sneak peek of the book coming in July! 🙂

The Smashwords/D2D merging means the books will vanish from Smashwords for a few months, they still have no idea when they’ll be able to send titles to the Smashwords store, but since my only Smashwords customer already has them, I don’t think they will be missed! 😉

Also, the slightly different title means I had to let go the Createspace paperbacks and make a new edition with a new ISBN on KDPprint. I didn’t change the art on the paperbacks, only the typography and the blurbs, but since the title is locked to the ISBN, I decided to create a new edition. Same interior, though! 😀

I wrote almost 13K on the new project last week. I hope to get that much done this week, but this rebranding will keep me busy as well. It’s not only the Star Minds Universe getting a face lift! I did mention I need to tackle Silvery Earth as well at some point, and I’m already starting experiments, but I probably won’t be able to do all the books until the summer.

Meanwhile I take care of the rest! 😀 And write the next book, of course! On TikTok I posted a couple of WiP videos, with things that won’t end up in the final book, like maps… but they’re useful when your characters wander a lot like mine! 🙂

The strip is over on Instagram, so from Sunday you can check the Happiness is… vignettes there. Yes, truly, I’m getting rid of Da Muses, how cruel can I be? 😉 I’m finding other ways to inspire myself, I did change the way I write my books through the decades, so I’ll be fine…

The next big news might be a Sunday Surprise! Have a great week! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the last short novel is out! One more book and this series will be complete – for now. Read those books and then we can talk about sequels, LOL!

Last week I wrote under 7K (yearly total reached 190K) and finished Book 2 of the next project. Now onward to Book 3 so another project will be complete for Mighty Editor’s pass in June. Don’t expect this before the fall, though, the summer will be quite busy with other things as well as the two promised titles in July and August.

Check this post on how writers fail (part one) – I remember the whole popcorn kittens feeling. I probably got back to it this year, when I slowed down the publishing (also to tend the garden) and to re-assess where I want to go. And I love this quote from Kris:

Those of us who have made a longtime living in the arts know that the arts are a rollercoaster.

Rollercoasters are terrifying. But they’re also a hell of a lot of fun.

I wouldn’t give up my position in the arts for anything. I’ll always be a writer, even if I stop earning money at it. And I’m an artist in a variety of disciplines, some of which don’t even interest me on a monetary level.

I haven’t made a living in the arts yet, but I know that rollercoaster feeling, it’s what I’ve been on since last year. At least now I see the fun part as well. I found someone to help me through the un-funny part of this job.

So I might have to postpone any travel to Worldcon and beyond (i.e. September), but I’ll be all right, possibly paving the way for the future. Even if the Ten Years of Indie Publishing were celebrated last year, I didn’t have the energy back then to change anything. Now I’m working for it, with ups and downs and mood swings, but I shall overcome! 😀

Next week the last book of Otherside and possibly a surprise… meanwhile, have a great week! 😀

Sunday Surprise


The real key for time management with licensing is this:

Your primary job is writing. Your secondary job is to make sure the public sees your storytelling in one form or another. For most of us, that’s in book form.

After those two jobs, then you’ll need to learn licensing/negotiation because you will need those skills down the road, no matter what. I was a baby writer with a handful of stories out when a theater in LA approached me to license the rights to use one of my stories as a monologue. I had no idea what I was doing. But if I had known then what I know now…

And that’s the key. Make learning your third job, followed by some kind of schedule. You might have time to figure out how to license one teeny part of a property. So schedule that first. Then move to the next, and the next, and the next.

The key here is this:

You can’t do this all at once. None of us can. Nor can you do everything. Again, none of us can. But you can get started.

And you can stop being afraid of licensing. It’s part of your business. In fact, licensing is how your business reaches the public and earns money. So you need to learn how to leverage licensing in the way that is best for your business.

Manage your time using the formulas above along with the WIBBOW test. Keep track of what you do in some kind of spreadsheet/calendar/diary.

You’ll be surprised what you will have accomplished by this time next year.

Kris Rusch

Talent is so utterly subjective. How can we know if we actually have it? Recently, I was chatting with my cousin who’s an incredible artist.

She mentioned how, no matter how many compliments or how many sales, she can’t help but feel like an imposter.

I, of course, responded that authors suffer the same malaise. Imposter syndrome is alive and well, and it doesn’t matter how many books we write, the titles we earn or how many books we sell. For a lot of us? We still can’t help but feel like a fraud.

That we don’t actually have any talent. Oh, and that any moment someone might find out we’ve fooled the world and have no talent at all.

Kristen Lamb

Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the rollercoaster of the creative journey.

– Joanna Penn, The Successful Author Mindset

I believe that you will find that your inner joy is still tied to the arts. So the old band gets back together, minus a player or two, with a couple of new faces. Or the painter picks up his brush and begins a new work, or the writer wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get a dream out of his head until it transforms into a story.

The thing that I want to say is this: In life, we undergo creative highs and lows. At the highest points, we might sit and write for sixteen hours a day and it feels as if the book is merely “writing itself” while all that we do is type. At a low point, we might wonder if we will ever be able to write again.

I think that there are some things that young writers can do to protect themselves from burnout.

First, don’t obsess about your writing. If you don’t give yourself time to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, the truth is that you run a risk of stifling yourself as an artist.

Take care of family and social problems when the fire is still small, and don’t wait for it to consume the house.

If you have creative differences with an editor and an artist, and that person is too immature to handle them gracefully, recognize that it might be time to terminate the relationship as gently as you can.

And if you do burn out, recognize that this, too, is just a phase that you’re going through.

David Farland

“My jump is not high enough, my twists are not perfect, I can’t place my leg behind my ear.” Please don’t do that. Sometimes there is such an obsession with the technique that this can kill your best impulses. Remember that communicating with a form of art means being vulnerable, being imperfect. And most of the time is much more interesting. Believe me.

– BARYSHNIKOV

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