Writer Wednesday

First of all, please hop to Jonathan’s blog to hear me rambling again. If you remember, Jonathan was interviewed last year on this blog when I read his book Fiddlerbugs. He was kind enough to let me read his longer work Magnus Opum before release, and I absolutely loved it! That mix of Lewis Carroll and Douglas Adams in a fantasy setting was just wonderful. I highly recommend it to any fantasy lover.

Now, you Americans go check the new data out on e-books. I’m sending you to Dean’s post, but don’t forget to check the Pew Survey and Mike Shatzkin comments (all links on Dean’s post). For myself and my stupid non-reading country, I think the discoveries I did the past December are still valid (I’ve read on an Italian newspaper, commenting on American publishing and KDP Select, that sales of BOOKS in general are down in Italy, but as I don’t have the newspaper with me, I can’t tell you the exact numbers). Personally, I’m reading more on Kindle, and I’ve bought more for Kindle than paper books – because the physical pile is high enough already, LOL! But I’ve been reading e-books for research since 2006, albeit in PDF (printed) format or other docs (like pasting articles on a subject in a Word.doc and then printing them out). I started counting them only two years ago, though, so I don’t have data for previous years. This year I have read more e-books on my Kindle than paper books or manuscripts – and I haven’t started traveling yet! 😉

So yeah, paper books are not going away yet, and my readers haven’t all switched to e-books yet, but I know eventually they will. I’ve never seen anyone reading on an i-Phone in this country, but I’ve heard of Americans who do – but then Italians read even less than Americans, LOL! And because of the answers I get whenever I tell aspiring Italian readers that they can find my books on the internet, either in print or as ebooks, I don’t think they’re ready to purchase BOOKS online (I know they buy clothes on catalogs, but apparently books are better found in a bookshop, sigh).

Anyway, I’m thinking long term for my own books, so I’m not in a hurry. Please check the interesting posts by Lawrence Block, who opens a window to the past, Dean Wesley Smith, on indie publishing thinking (love those pie charts! ;-)) – and Kris Rusch on audience:

In my opinion, Tracy Hickman gave the best advice of the week for all writers.

“It’s a big world out there,” he wrote, “but you don’t need the whole world to succeed as a writer. You just need a very small piece of it that is wholly your own.”

Which is what I’m aiming at (5000 true fans, remember?). All the above links are tied together, somehow, about the fascinating and ever-changing (or not?) world of publishing. I sure hope to be able to afford another workshop with Kris and Dean next year – this year I’m saving for… Chicon7! 🙂 I’ll book everything when I come back from Torino… I’m hopping on a train tomorrow and will be back on Monday.

Finally! Because posting questions on Facebook apparently leads to no answers, I’m going to ask it here. Italian speakers, please don’t answer! 😉

So, if you read something like this:

1. Roma

Daniele stopped his olive green Fiat 127 in front of his gate, his mind still on the party at Marilena’s.

Would the name “Daniele” confuse you about the sex of the character? I know there are pronouns later in the sentence, but if it’s too confusing at first sight, I can change it to the similar name “Davide”. I originally chose Daniele because in Italian (and most specifically in Roma, where he was born) it’s shortened Danie’, but as there won’t be much dialog in Roman (Rome dialect + Italian) at this point, I can easily change the name with not much lost. Or I can start with “He” and then tell his name later – like, having his mother saying it out loud, so the reader doesn’t know he’s called that until his sex is really well established in the reader’s mind…

I know I left a “he” at the beginning of CVE3 because he’s called Lost, and especially in English it’s confusing if I start a sentence with his name (but I kept it “hidden” until he got called by another character even in the Italian version, LOL).

Any comments? Should I have a “he” until his mother calls him or can I leave “Daniele”?

Oh, and while I’m asking for comments, would you Indian readers be put off by an alien (humanoid, but still born on another planet) character called Gaurishankar? The presence of two characters from Planet Earth makes for interesting jokes (like calling him “mountain man”)… I know it’s a place (mountain), and not a person (well, a second search on Wikipedia brought a few people named like this as well…), and it’s the fusion of a male and female name – any comments before I use it for publication purposes?

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  1. the E at the end is what’s confusing because of the female name danielle. and the male daniel – in america anyway. so, can you just use another name that won’t be confusing? it might only be confusing to an american. but lots of things are confusing to us…


    • it’s confusing also for French, as the male name is Daniel and the female name is Danièle… Imagine I called him Simone, which is male in Italian and female in English, LOL! (but then Andrea is female in German and male in Italian….)…
      I might change it to Davide, just to make sure… will wait for a few more opinions – if I can get any! 🙂
      Thanks for your input!


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