Writer Wednesday

Okay, so week off meant that I drew a couple of pages of SKYBAND, then started (re)writing Amazons and already decided to cut out a chapter (but recycled it in a Star Minds Snippet, LOL). Not much done, but well… one needs a break from time to time, right? In fact I spent 4 days offline, since my cousin was busy the night I considered asking him to check my e-mail. And guess what? I survived! 😉

So now back to writing Amazons, and I’m thinking of trying the pre-order thingy on Smashwords for this month’s titles. Which will probably mean I won’t use Draft2Digital for these two, at least not now. And I’ll have to remember to upload to KDP closer to the release date. Anyhow, David Gaughran did an excellent post on the two distributors – Smashwords vs. D2D. I totally agree with him! 🙂

Like I commented on his post, Smashwords has added another outlet, Flipkart – the Amazon of India. But like Shafali told me, the Indian market is not like Americans see it! 😉 Anyway, if they boycott Amazon in India as they do in the US (yes, KDP Select authors, some readers boycott Amazon and therefore they’ll never read your books! ;)), we have another outlet. Not that I’m selling anything in the sub-continent yet… maybe I should write more body switches with Indian characters in it (as if I’ve sold a copy of Ciaran&Harith anywhere besides the US, LOL!)! 😀

Amazon now allows to price the Kindle version at a discount for whoever buys the POD version – which means I can do it only with Star Minds, since it’s the only book that has a POD version with CreateSpace. It’s called Kindle Matchbook and it works like the DriveThru print program (see SKYBAND, where you can either buy the PDF or the POD version or the PDF+POD with discount on the PDF). So have checked that box on the KDP dashboard – I don’t know when it’s going live, but the Kindle version will be at 2.99 if you buy it with the POD version…

More wisdom from Kris Rusch about career vs. publication. It’s probably obvious by now that I’m a career writer and not a one-book wonder. I might have slowed down the output (mostly because the intended rewrites/translations turned out to be unpublishable, so I needed to reassess my writing goals), but I still have plenty of stories to tell. And I will publish them, slowly but steadily! 🙂 Kris is right, it’s a way of life. I’m so happy I have the means to put my work out there, that I don’t care if I have abysmal sales. My readers will find me eventually. Even the Italian ones (sold 2 copies of an Italian novel on Amazon Italia during the summer, and on Kobo it’s only Italian short stories that sell…)! 🙂

Since I haven’t heard from Mark Coker and obviously publishers can’t use the Smashwords Interview feature, I’ll copy/paste it here… just imagine you’re on Unicorn Production’s Smashwords page! 🙂

UPlogoWhy do I get a unicorn instead of an author picture on this page?
Because that’s the logo I used on my photocopied zines back in the 1990s – and still is on the POD version of my books. E-books don’t have rooms for logos, so there you have it! 🙂
So, who’s behind the Unicorn logo?
A very prolific writer who tackles many genres. Somebody said that writers should brand themselves so readers don’t get confused. Personally, I read everything, so I think it’s a publishing myth, but for clarity’s sake (and also because different genres use different kinds of covers), I have 2 English pseudonyms (and 1 Italian).
Who are these authors?
Barbara G.Tarn writes adult unconventional fantasy and some sci-fi. That’s the name that appeared on those photocopied zines way back when. It was mostly comics and graphic novels at the time. A.K.A. Barb, she writes, draws and blogs
B.G.Hope writes contemporary stories. Mostly it’s the prose version of Barbara G.Tarn’s screenplays (when I attempted the conquest of Hollywood, I had only one pen name) and stories set in the present, including m/m romance. Her web page
Finally, Barbara Sangiorgio writes in Italian – for those stories that would get lost in translation. I’ll have to do her interview on her blog
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Well, I grew up on Planet Earth, moving around the continent called Europe for the first 13 years of my life, then got stuck in that boot shaped peninsula, since that’s where I was born. But I’ve always felt international and still wait for the world without borders of a 1970s song I used to sing (in Italian, sorry).
Since I’ve always felt different, my characters are almost always outsiders and outcasts (sometimes outlaws), since that’s how I’ve felt for most of my life. I started writing when I came back to my hometown – I hated everything around me and started retreating in my own worlds. And I haven’t really come back since! 😉
What’s the story behind your latest book?
okay, I’m a very prolific author, so anyone asking me “how is your book doing/coming along” will get a blank stare from me. I don’t remember what book I was talking about with that person, so whoever that is, s/he should remind me which one. Just check what’s new at the bottom of this page! 🙂  (note that the Smashwords Interview feature should display all the author’s books at the end of the page. Doesn’t work with a publisher account)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I hate legalese and contracts. And I’m a control freak. And I’m too prolific for traditional publishing. And I write unconventional stuff with unconventional voice, so… indie a go go! 🙂
I’m very happy to be able to go out there and find my readers. I have a niche that traditional publishers won’t cover. So, if you’re an adult who still loves fantasy and sci-fi and other wondrous stories, check me out! 🙂 Someone once told me I reminded her of George R.R. Martin, but since I haven’t started on Game of Thrones yet, I have no idea. I haven’t read Tolkien, so you won’t find any of that for sure! 🙂 No quests and no coming of age, but the rest… anything goes! Character-oriented and probably shorter than what traditional publishers want, but I believe the story has the length it has and I’m sick of pumping up wordcount to meed “industry standards”!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
They were the first where I uploaded my e-books! 🙂 I started uploading on Kindle a few months after I started publishing on Smashwords. It’s a slow growth and evolution, but I like the fact that you can download whatever format you want from here! 😉
I have a Kindle Keyboard, but I prefer buying from Smashwords. Pity some authors are stuck with KDP Select…
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Making up stuff! 🙂 Create worlds, listen to characters talk… Write down those movies unfolding in my head. Since I watched a lot of TV (until the early 1990s), sometimes my stories are very episodic, like TV series. Sometimes they’re movies with sequels and prequels and spin-off. Sometimes they’re real comics or graphic novels, since that’s another major influence on writing for me. I’m married to Mr Writing, and I love weaving stories from “what if” – which can be something that happened in reality, an image, a sentence, whatever strikes my wild imagination. I love being a creative goddess! 🙂
What are you working on next?
Again, depends on which pseudonym you’re asking. The Italian titles are just formatted and uploaded, but the English ones need translation and rewriting. Even if the main pen name is Barbara G.Tarn, I always try to add titles for B.G. Hope as well… And then it’s Barbara Sangiorgio when I don’t have anything ready in English!
What is your writing process?
Improvising! Write by the seat of my pants! Call it what you want. I don’t outline much. I pour out a first draft longhand, then type it and give it to beta-readers. Then it’s editing, revisions and adjustments and it’s off to editor. Then it’s final check, format and upload! 🙂
I’m a fast writer because I consider myself a storyteller, not a wordsmith. I need to tell a story, not write the perfect sentence. I get a lot of blank stares from other writers who agonize over a comma… sorry, but I don’t know what writer’s block is! 🙂
Also, I’m very character-oriented. I’ve written stories from drawings of characters. Or I simply watch the “movie” unfold in my head and write it down. That’s why I’m not really into five-senses writing and have a lot of dialog. I’m plot and character-oriented in both my writing and reading habits!
My influences come from movies, comics/BD/manga, and other books. Sometimes reality, but you can tell I don’t like it much… Sometimes history – and I’ve learned to love my research, but also not to pour it all in the fictionalized version or it would be a quite boring reading experience! 🙂
How do you approach cover design?
I’m also an artist, and since I also do graphic novels and comics, I draw most of my covers so they fit with the ongoing graphic novel S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. (not on SW unfortunately, since the docs are more than 5MB – image heavy). So Barbara G.Tarn has illustrations for covers (mostly mine, but sometimes I hire other people) because I hate SFF covers with photographs, and B.G. Hope has more photographic or graphic covers – all done by me (except when I can’t find the proper photograph, I think I’ve used 3 from other photographers). Same for Barbara Sangiorgio (it’s contemporary fiction in Italian, so photos are OK! ;p).
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything that sounds remotely interesting, fiction and non-fiction. I’m not into erotica or horror, but everything else is fine.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Write the next book and publish it. Write the next book and publish it. Oh, and did I mention write the next book and publish it? I announce it on my blog and Facebook ONCE, then go back to writing! 🙂
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yep, and I’ve “recycled” it in two of my fantasy novels – I tried to keep the style through the translation. Half is in Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell, the other half is in Books of the Immortals – Water
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Unfortunately I have a DayJob, albeit part time. When I’m not there wasting my time, I draw (listening to the music), watch movies (Bollywood obsession lately, but I watch movies from all over the world) and sometimes do nothing (meaning I lie on the bed thinking stories to entertain myself that I know I will never write, which might be perceived as a waste of time, but I don’t care). I’m a writer and a lone wolf. I’m an introvert and proud of it! 🙂
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1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed thoroughly enjoyed the interview 🙂


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