Random Friday


Mostly about writing, since while I was away all hell broke loose at Mighty Zon! 😉 Just kidding, but here are two links from two authors who had problems with KU and Amazon policies. A romance writer leaving KU and David Gaughran’s missed planned promo.

Readers, especially voracious romance readers, please take action like Krista suggests:

So, dear reader, unfortunately, I have to leave Kindle Unlimited.

I hate doing this to you. If you want me to come back, tell Amazon. Tell them that they are not providing a good customer experience. Tell them that you want authors to be paid fairly. Tell them to get a grip on their business and not let fake books take all the money from real authors.

Email Jeff Bezos himself. (jeff@amazon.com)

If you want to help me, tell a friend about my books. Tell them I’ll be on iBooks now.

Aaaand, on a happier note, voting on the Amaranthine fan fiction (including yours truly) is open! Go vote, it’s anonymous! 🙂 I’m not telling you which is my favorite, but please note it’s not mine! 😉 Great stories, all! 😀

I subscribed to  the Maim Your Characters email course after reading the umpteenth writing tips of mistakes to avoid when injuring fictional characters.  Now I’m going to use the current work for the homework, since us Sadist Authors love to hurt our characters, don’t we? 🙂

Oh, and I found out by pure chance that Love Magik Glow is on sale… but I don’t know for how long, since the curator didn’t answer my query. I think the sale is valid also for the retailers, not just Bundle Rabbit. That you should check every now and then, since new bundles keep popping up every day.

My TBR pile will never go down… Now I could ramble on some more, but I still have that novel to finish… so I’ll get back to writing! 😉

Closing with a very short gallery of Helsinki souvenirs… Have a great weekend! 😀

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Writer Wednesday


So! Worldcon report! The ups and the downs – day by day! 🙂

Day 1 (Wednesday Aug.9)

We had booked a tour of Suomenlinna fortress on an island off Helsinki’s shore, so we reached Messukeskus around noon. We got our badges , our program participant schedules and all that stuff. Having already eaten on the island, we wandered looking for rooms, the Green Room, the Art Show, the Traders room and all that other necessary exploration when entering a new place.

My friends attended the opening ceremony, but I just sat outside panel rooms, writing and studying the program. Too peopley in there, LOL! I got myself a Worldcon T-shirt Ladies size that had only 3 left – and in fact the next day it was gone (but then, everything was gone on the last day).

First panel was at 9pm, so at 5pm we went back to the hotel with tram #9 to rest for about an hour. Back to the con, we found the food hall closed or closing down except for Hesburger, that fed us for the rest of the convention! 😉 We went to the Green Room to meet with Eva, then we met the other panelist, Zack, only in the panel room.

And there went my first panel – Writers and Artists – moderated by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri! He had prepared a wonderful presentation, pity I had forgotten what images I had given them and what I was supposed to say about each, but at least I didn’t stammer and it was over pretty quickly.

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A group hug and then we looked for the exit, since by now Messukeskus was closed and we were too tired to go to the party in the Winter Garden of the Holiday Inn attached to the convention center. Someone kindly pointed us the exit and we got back on #9 and to the hotel.

Day 2 (Thursday Aug.10)

Since the food hall looked so expensive and we had found a supermarket near the hotel, this time we went shopping at Lidl before jumping on #9 a couple of stops before our hotel. I went to a panel on Asexuality in SF, then went back to the hotel around 2.30pm to rest.

I went back to Messukeskus around 4pm, and then spent most of the time in the Green Room, waiting for the other panelists. One bowed out and sent a replacement, the others soon joined me in the Green Room.

At 6pm it was European SF panel with Kristina Hard (Sweden), Ju Honisch (Germany), Francesco Verso (Italy) and a young Dutch writer standing in for Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Again, I’m afraid I wasn’t very clear and my have not answered a couple of questions, but I was the only one writing in English, the others didn’t felt confident enough and preferred relying on translators.

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What I mean to say is that I write in English because of the millions of people who know English, either as first or second language, NOT because I want to break into the American market – as was suggested by some douchebag in the audience. And even though I hadn’t planned on putting links here, since this is about international markets, I’ll link to Joanna Penn’s guest post on publishing outside your home country.

We had dinner at… yes, Hesburger again, and then the others went to the Irish party and I headed back to the hotel. Not too fond of beer, but I drank a lot of cider! 😉

Day 3 (Friday Aug.11)

So, this was supposed to be my day in the Creators Alley. I had already posted on Facebook and announced everywhere that I’d be at N4, but no, I was moved to K9, at the bottom of the hall, where nobody came. Nobody showed up and I barely recouped the cost of the table.

Thank God Judith joined me after lunch time, so the afternoon went  faster – and she gave away all the flyers to download Sci-fi July for free. By the way, if you have one of those, there’s still time. I made 50, but so far only 1 person has downloaded the bundle, so there are still 19 people who can get it for free.

I know, it’s valid only for BundleRabbit, but come on. You get 11 novels for free if you sign up for a site that has plenty of great bundles! 😉 Don’t be lazy and use your coupon now! 😀

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Since I didn’t want to bring any dead tree book back, I left them on the Bookcrossing shelves. They were gone the next morning, so I hope someone is enjoying them somewhere. One person said “There are so few books in English, you’ll sell them all” except nobody found me, so I sold 4 and gave away 11…

After dinner at the usual place, everybody went to the Hugo Awards ceremony, but I went back to the hotel, hoping to catch up on some sleep…

Day 4 (Saturday Aug.12)

Again shopping for food before heading for Messukeskus. Maurizio had a table in the Creators Alley – much better placed than I was – but I spent most of the time in the Fan Alley, writing. I’ve got a novel to finish, LOL! Now that I’ve typed everything in, I can tell you I jotted down 1100 words of revisions + 5500 words of new chapters, longhand, since I didn’t bring any laptop.

At 5pm I went to the Strange and Unusual Helsinki walking tour that ended in the Steampunk pub because the storm started before we could get to the Bollywood pub (that I assume was across the square, but well…) since “the worst storm in 10 years” scared everyone inside that pub.

I found my way to the metro and when I came out 2 stops and 30 minutes later, the storm that was supposed to last 2 hours was already over. Damn Finnish. We get that every year in Rome – it rains for 5 to 20 minutes, pouring cats and dogs, and then it stops.

Anyway, there were still clouds in the sky, so no meteor shower that night…

Day 5 (Sunday Aug.13)

Maurizio had another half day of table in the Creators Alley. I spent most of the time in the Fans lounge again, and then Fulvio saw George RR Martin sitting there, chilling out… so the cat caught the martin and I went to Maurizio, knowing he wanted to meet The George, and told him where his hero was.

The Trade hall closed at 3pm, then Maurizio had his last panel. Again I sat and wrote, watching his luggage. We went back to the hotel around five, before people started flooding out of Messukeskus after the closing ceremony.

Dinner was at the Viking restaurant Harald that I had seen the previous afternoon… With Maurizio Manzieri, Fulvio Gatti, Judith Herman, Mary A. Truzillo and her husband Geoffrey A. Landis… one of the few highlights of the Worldcon!

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Along with the fact that I collected 15 ribbons against the 2 of Chicon and only 1 of Loncon! 😀 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


Since it’s easier to post to Facebook than wriring a real post on WordPress from a phone, please head for my Facebook page (link in sidebar) for a preview of Worldcon.

Did l mention it’s easier to use Facebook mobile? 😉 Real report coming next week as promised! 🙂

Happy Sunday! 😁

EDIT as you can see it’s so hard, that l can’t even schedule for the right day… So HAPPY SATURDAY! 😁

Random Friday


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!

We have a couple today, so let’s start with the man! Tell me a little about yourself

I was born as Ajay, but at twenty-two I earned my assassin’s name, Talwar. The Assassins’ Guild of Agharek has become a closed, secret sect, hence I’m not supposed to utter that name outside of it.

Art by Rossana Beretta

Don’t worry, we already heard that name… in Saif and Kilig! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Tall, dark hair and eyes, tawny skin.

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

My cousin Rajiv a.k.a. Khopesh who is too full of himself. He’s a bully and he’ll never forgive me for the fact that I marked him with the seal of Zindagi.

Readers can see that years-long grudge also in Fighting Monks School, a novella included at the end of Kilig the Sword… Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes to both! I’m an assassin, but I worship Zindagi, Goddess of Life, thus I will never kill unless it’s absolutely necessary – and protecting loved ones falls in that category. My life is meaningless without them, so of course I’m ready to die.

Where do you live?

I was born in Agharek, but after my fight with Khopesh, I crossed what is left of the southern kingdoms and found refuge in Godwalkar.

Which is where Kilig was born and lived… Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

My childhood friend Ashrita a.k.a. Khanda has become a beautiful, lethal woman – and she wants me. Who on earth could resist her? She’s the reason for my fight with my cousin and well worth dying for.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Take ourselves safely away from our powerful family influence to live as we please, not having to kill, following someone else’s orders.

Thank you, Talwar! Let’s hear your beautiful companion, then. Tell me a little about yourself (name, age…)

I was born Ashrita, but I earned my assassin’s name, Khanda, one year in advance. I was so eager to see Ajay again that I was the best of my course! So, even though I’m one year younger, we became assassins at the same time.

Art by Rossana Beretta

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Long black hair, ice-blue eyes, voluptuous body (in everybody else’s words).

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

We grew up together, but then his father sent him to study at the monastery of Zindagi. I missed him very much and thank the gods he hasn’t changed too much in seven years…

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

He’s still my proud and shy friend, and I’m glad we eloped and got married to start a life away from our families.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I can talk to birds. A fortune teller once told me I have Sila blood, whatever that means…

***

Check out the story of Talwar and Khanda – Assassins in Love.

After his initiation ceremony that has taken him away from the monastery of the fighting monks of Zindagi, Talwar becomes an assassin – and hates every moment of it. His childhood friend has also become a female assassin with the secret name of Khanda and she has always had a crush on him.

Can the two rebellious assassins get away from their families and the Guild’s traditions to leave in peace following their own heart? A journey through the former southern kingdoms of Silvery Earth.

E-book available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, DriveThruFiction, Kobo and Smashwords.

Writer Wednesday


Worldcon Schedule!

This morning I’ll be visiting Suomenlinna, then I’ll head for Messukeskus to get my Worldcon passes and bus passes and whatnot. The first programme is at noon and we’re supposed to be there by then – after the Suomenlinna Tour, I mean. You can check the full programme here.

I have a panel tonight at 9pm Finnish time, in case you’re around the convention. My next panel is tomorrow at 6pm and on Friday you can find me in the Creators Alley, Table N4, with some paperbacks, flyers and cards. I’m getting rid of old editions (for example glossy cover vs. the new matte cover) – the text hasn’t changed – and proofs at discounted prices. Feel free to come and chat me up! 🙂

I may also go to some Walk with the Stars, but I’ll improvise… I’ll also have to have a closer look at the programme to find panels that interest me!

And Friday night I’ll try to see the meteor shower from this latitude! 🙂 Or maybe it’s Saturday, who knows… I asked the guide of whe walking tour where could be a good place to see it, and she pointed at the Observatory, but also some other sikret place I shall share only with who will come with me, LOL!

And Saturday I’ll be doing the Strange and Unusual Helsinki Tour

Want a tour in Helsinki out of the ordinary? Imagine in one day entering a weird museum where everything is for sale, eating in a viking restaurant, walking past kids park where everything is painted black and having a drink in multicoloured Bollywood bar. And more! A fluent English-speaking guide with a humorous touch, who knows the wacky side of Helsinki, will take you to a tour you will never forget!

I got her email, and there’s more to this than that… looking forward to it! 😉 and I’m easily recognizable this time… even if you see me from my backside! 😀

I shall report next week… That’s all for today! Have a great week!

 

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


Since I skipped July, here’s some words of wisdom, writers on writing, inspirational quotes for writers, whatever you want to call them, to take you through the summer… Happy Sunday!

NO MATTER WHAT, KEEP WRITING.
William Gibson shared some advice on that phone call. First, never do a multibook deal. Second, don’t buy the big house. Sound counsel, although I was bummed that sinister monkeys weren’t somehow involved. He also said that many of his most successful writer friends are distinguished by the fact that they KEEP WRITING, rather than getting distracted by side projects or celebrity. The week before Cumulus came out, I finished the rough draft of my next novel. It’s currently in editorial and I’m gearing up to dive into a new story. Writing is the ultimate democratic artform. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably written an email. If you’ve written an email, you can write a book. It might not be the Next Great American Novel, but it would be yours. If you’ve written a book, you can write a better one. If you’ve written a better one, then please don’t stop because I want to read everything you dream up. When it comes to storytelling, we are the only things standing in our way.
Eliot Peper

Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice though practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.
P.D. James

Simply put, your mission with your fiction is to entertain your reader enough for a few hours that they will want to buy more of your work.
If you take the attitude that you are always learning, always having fun, always practicing and trying to entertain people, you will discover you are more productive and sell more.
If you are having fun, entertaining yourself while you write, then your readers will feel that and be entertained as well.
You can sell your practice sessions, folks. Practicing has no pressure on it. Write clean, keep learning, and keep having fun.
That really is the secret.
Dean Wesley Smith

Publishing is a racket because most self-publishing authors see their books as an investment, when it’s actually a gamble. It’s a gamble because they don’t know how to reach their readers (or who their readers even are). They don’t know whether anybody will really enjoy their books. They hope to make some money from their books but because they didn’t write it for the money, they are OK with continuously spending more and more time, effort and money into their books even when they get zero results.
Publishing is a racket because the majority of people making money in publishing are the people selling services to authors. People selling services (myself included) get paid for their time and expertise, but have no interest helping you to make your book successful. (That’s not exactly fair, I should also point out that it’s because, in this business arrangement the author calls the shots and most first time authors make terrible choices, even when the people they hire for help try and get them to make better choices. There’s a built-in tendency towards self-sabotage when the least experienced person gets to make all the decisions).

Derek Murphy

Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”
Neil Gaiman

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Louis L’Amour

Random Friday


This summer has been worse than ever for buses. And it’s made worse by the buss app that showed me this city has plenty of Ghost Buses? The app says “now” and no bus shows up – must be the Ghost Bus for Old Silvery Earth or another dimension only transdimensional travelers can see except for that glitch on the Moovit App.

It says “4 min” and then “12 min” – again, a bus vanished in a wormhole? – and sometimes the bus shows up when the app says nothing. Huh? Whatever the cause, it’s happening way too often. It takes me 1hour to go home (or get to work) when school is out – only 5km, 20/30 minutes (depending on the traffic) bus ride if the bus shows up.

I’ve had 50 minutes wait for a 20 minutes trip… and sometimes I try alternatives, like changing bus, but it doesn’t always help. Add the heat and you havea very unhappy person here! Looking forward to going north, if only for a week of cooler weather!

But it’s great microfiction and maybe one day it will be a short story (“The Ghost Bus To Nowhere”). By the way, Da Muse seems quite good with microfiction from a picture himself. Maybe he should pair with Da Other Muse who now publishes Artbooks. Since Da Muse uses words and images to tell his little stories – unless he wants to enter the hall of Twitterature, since he is a Twitterati! 😉

Ah, well, I do microfiction myself when I write Da Strip… that I still have no idea of how to publish, but I doubt anyone is actually looking forward to reading it, so… have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I was hoping to publish the spy story this month, but the Italian betas destroyed it, so I decided to postpone. I had in mind to write more anyway, so it will definitely be a novel, hopefully  before the end of the year. And I’ll be publishing only Italian titles for the summer, the next English title will come out in September – probably mid-month – so stay tuned.

Slowly starting on the August novel knowing I’ll have to interrupt for Worldcon, but I have a long weekend ahead (Monday off work, leaving on Tuesday), so I might be able to throw in 10K before I go.

I printed out flyers and catalogs to display on my table on Friday at the convention – I’ll be in the Creators Alley for one day. I tried out a new look, but it probably won’t last… it’s high maintenance and I hate high maintenance! 😉

Same hair, same T-shirt, special guest Da Other Muse

Anyhow, I should be fairly recognizable… if you’re in Helsinki and see someone with blue “chatouches” – that’s me! 😉

Now, the writerly links! The art and science of selling books with social media, something that I may explore in September because currently I already feel overwhelmed. And how to get book reviews as an unknown author – another topic that I’m postponing to after the summer. I really should start gathering reviews on the latest titles, sigh.

How Facebook Groups for Pages can help authors – although having lost the possibility to interact in group and events as my author page, I lost interest in that stuff. If I activated the author‘s group, would anyone be willing to join? Considering the low interaction levels of this very blog, I doubt it would help much, but feel free to share your thoughts in the comments…

I’ll also have to study those polarities of book marketing, because I’m not sure where I am yet. But again, after the hottest season of the year and my most hated! Looking forward to the cooler Finnish weather but sorry it will last only for a week, sigh!

Have a great week!

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