Poll results and new blog schedule

The poll totaled 21 votes, 6 for posts on writing, 5 for excerpts of my writing, 4 for random facts of life and 3 for reading and indie publishing. So, here’s the schedule for 2012! 🙂

Monday: Happiness is... to wish you all a happy week

Writer Wednesday – about my writing, but also other writers, so I might have guest posts or author interviews on special occasions

Random Friday (I think Fiction Friday is taken, LOL) where I ramble about life, books, movies or whatever fancies me

Sunday Excerpt – might be six sentences or might be longer.

I’m thinking of posting an illustrated short story – based on very old drawings of mine. It will come out in a free collection as well, but I doubt I can put the drawings in the e-book and get through the Meatgrinder. So the illustrated version could be here, and the text-only on Smashwords & Kindle. It will be serialized in 2 or 3 parts, and then I could do Six Sentence Sunday with my next release in February, and improvise after that.

Anyhoo, this should be Writer Wednesday, so here are some updates. I finished the handwritten draft of CVE2 – The Left-handed Warrior. I know I need to add some ships descriptions because it’s set one century after BoI – Water (where I thoroughly described the long-ships) and the Varian navy has changed a little. When I wrote the original some ten years ago, I wasn’t doing any kind of research, so I probably imagined your usual pirate galleon – now I know there are more kinds of sailing ships and will rewrite accordingly. Hopefully at the end of the month it will be ready for new Editor Katy, who is so busy I had to book her last September or something! 😉 I’m glad I have a publishing schedule so I know what to send and when to very busy editors…

I’m also preparing a collection of short stories introducing the Books of the Immortals which will be free to download and will include Starblazer, Doreen (available on this blog), The Sect (same link) and two more (including the illustrated one) that will also appear on this very blog sooner or later.

I’m also working on titles for my other pen-names, making covers and asking for feedback from betas. I’ve found another beta-reader for the historical novel  and I’m waiting for feedback on that one as well. That’s the part I hate the most about writing – waiting for feedback from beta-readers! 😉 It’s even worse than reading reviews of published works! 😀

Anyway, back to publishing and covers, here’s a link to 4 incredible free sources for photos (and there are a few more in the comments). I tend to use my own photos or drawings for my covers, but sometimes I need to “borrow”, so Fragolino‘s cover pic comes from MorgueFile (no attribution required) as will another cover for a BG Hope story. And of course you all know Cristina Fabris who did the BoI covers and will do more in 2013 – I let her free to pursue her own projects this year, so the CVE covers will all be drawn by yours truly. Three are already done, and the titles in the “coming soon” section of Silvery Earth Chronology (where I also added a brief explanation of acronyms).

I hope to have 50 books out by the end of the year (including the 20 that are already out, so it’s only 30 new releases of various length under the Unicorn Productions umbrella), although on my publishing schedule I don’t have 30 titles yet, but I want to leave room for improvisation. You know, that little story that begs to be written, like, right now, because it’s been churning in my little brain for months and is now ready to come out.

I will also continue along the road of my unique vision (see the posts at the Literary Lab by Davin, Scott and Michelle on the topic), with my unique punctuation (sorry, Dear Editors, I need to be consistent here! ;-)) and my unique way of telling stories. I will stick to my “natural” length for each story, without trying to pump up the wordcount (which for me means adding subplots and characters, because descriptions bore me and I hate purple prose) unless something really needs more. I don’t want to go back to the pain I had with Air‘s rewrites that took me one year – by the way, the final and published version is the enhancement of the very first (which didn’t have Keiko and Hayato) and I dropped most of the variations I had done in between. Now betas and editor(s) all get the same version, then I compare comments and make a final pass. I have sworn never to get stuck in Rewriting Hell ever again! 😉

I still have problems in tagging my work because fantasy is such a broad genre that I’m at loss on which tags fit. Readers expect 100k epics of good vs.evil with great conflicts and baddest villains. That’s not my aim. Most of my main characters are outsiders or outcasts, and none is either The Hero or The Villain of fantasy tradition. I’m not really following those fantasy tropes. I write what I want to read, and like I mentioned before, I’m tired of stories that need hundred and hundreds of thousands of words to be told – I love the acronym TLDF (too long, didn’t finish) for those! 🙂 I also haven’t found anyone writing in my same vein yet, so if you happen to be a writer of adult, unconventional, character-oriented fantasy set in a world of your creation, please please please contact me and, like Michelle says, we’ll see if we’re a match.

As for Kenra’s excellent post on writers’ blogs, she’s right – most are followed by other writers. I must say I stopped following those writers who are too much craft-oriented, especially those that are so much younger than me. If they want to be successful bloggers, good for them. I’m a fiction writer, I’m trying to reach my fiction readers with my online presence. You’ll never see craft posts here. I’m a natural, self-taught, prolific, non-native storyteller, I will never be able to explain how I do it. I just keep writing and get better at my craft. So I usually follow other writers blogs only if I like the person and they not only talk about their writing (it’s always fascinating to hear how other people do it), but also about themselves – without trying to teach me anything. I have no use for tips or tricks, especially from unpublished writers! But that’s just me, and I know hundreds of wannabes look for that kind of information, hoping to get rich quick. There’s no such thing, honey, see the Amanda Hocking story if you don’t believe me.

As for readers, here’s what I found they want from an author’s web page (it doesn’t say blog and I don’t remember the source, but here are my notes on the topic): no flash player, background music or other flashy things. A basic page with backlist, head shot of author and frontlist/coming soon. Blurbs of everything, especially in print, with excerpts and links to Amazon and B&N (that is if you’re aiming at an American audience only. If you go international, add Lulu, Smashwords, whatever!). If it’s a series, show the chronology somewhere.

Any reader wants to jump in and add something? Any writer has comments on what I’ve said? Feel free to express yourselves in the comment section! 🙂

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