Writer Wednesday


So last week I dived into Quests Book 3 and skipped the publishing stuff during the weekend. Add a cold starting Monday morning and I’m almost done with a first draft. I still need to put some meat on it and it might still be shorter than the previous two, but it doesn’t matter.

I’ve been thinking that these Quests show where I’m at as a writer and a human being. If until now I dealt with outsiders and outcasts trying to fit in (or not), all these quests have characters who are sick of the place they’re living in and get away from them, trying to find their true calling or true self.

It’s probably because I’m sick of my hometown and my day job and long to get away, so I’m doing it through the quests!😉 The premise might change in the next two, though, since the Path of Earth is more of a physical quest for the magic thingamagik (that won’t save the world, but it’s a physical object) and the Path of Ether is a quest for another place to live when the one you’re born in has become toxic.

Like what-we’re-doing-with-our-planet toxic. No fault of the inhabitants, though. They would have stayed, but they have to go if they want to survive. I will probably start the third at the end of October, though. I’m not even sure I’ll start on Book 2 before my two weeks break!😉

Next weekend I’ll put on the publisher’s hat once more and then I don’t want to think about it until November, haha! Luckily I have pre-order buttons set up for the next two titles!😉 And there are new paperbacks out as well. More to come next week.

Some writerly links! If you have problems finishing what you write, here’s how – beware of the f-bomb and other colorful terms, though. I have more problems starting, than finishing, but whatever!😉

And yes, writing can be a job (same warning as above). Not for me, not yet, but I’m getting there. It’s part of my cabinet of professions. I can’t do it full time yet, but I will. Don’t want to live of a non-existent pension (the way things are going in my country, I might work those 30+ years for naught…)!

Now here’s 11 ways to overcome marketing dread. For #1 I better check Kris Rusch’s Discoverability series or read David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible that has been sitting on my Kindle for well over a year.

And there are good things in publishing these days. Including the difference between indie and self-published. And the nifty services of Draft2Digital that I haven’t started using yet. It’s that uncomfortable publisher’s hat. Maybe I should hire someone to do that stuff for me!😉

That’s all for today! Have a great week!😀

Happiness is…


79

Random Friday


Re: the paperback of Male Lovers volume 2 – it had been linked to volume 1. I contacted Author Central and asked them to link it to the right kindle book. Took me some digging on the Amazon links to figure out what happened. That’s why it showed up correctly on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Sigh.

Anyhow, I’ll do a couple of Art Fridays, but not just of my art (that sucks compared to the cover artists I hire, LOL!). More of the various versions of my characters, done by me and by another artist – or three. The first ones were Kilig and Hakeem, for which I did the covers of the single parts, but then hired someone else for the whole novel. And had them drawn also on the aforementioned volume 1. So here follow the various versions of the assassins/lovers of Silvery Earth.

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

kilighakeem

Kilig and Hakeem by Cristina Fabris

So, there you go! Four different artists’ take on those guys! Cinzia and Cristina added Guisarme and Sabre – you can see Sabre in Hakeem’s rival and here’s Guisarme by yours truly.

guisarme

This is a very tragic story for adults only. If you’d like to check it, here’s the link to the novel Kilig the Sword that gathers it all. In Male Lovers Volume 1 you can have a taste with the story that started it all, Saif’s Legacy…

Have a great weekend!🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


A new title is out – both e-book and paperback, and interestingly the paperback is already linked to the e-book on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Wonders never cease. Anyway, the awesome cover is by Sir Wendigo, who did also the cover of volume 1. And if the characters are clothed while they were naked on volume 1 it’s also because volume 2 is more chaste!😉

Now, Tori, please don’t rush to buy it. Just wait for the next, Fairy Tales Revisited, okay? You’ll have the same stories and no doubles, since Male Lovers volume 2 overlaps with More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms and an Amazon story. I’ve ordered the proof of the POD and the e-book should come out at the same time at the beginning of October.

Since the series I’m more proud of is Vampires Through the Centuries, I even ordered postcards with the books that came out so far (well, two came out, two are still in pre-order, but you will be able to read them before the end of the year). So look at these neat postcards, don’t they look great? Hoping to give some to interested readers at next Worldcon…

2016-09-20-15-51-27

By the way, here’s a sneak preview of what you will see expanded on this very blog for what I call the Hastings 1066 Fortnight, courtesy of fellow author L.J. Hick… stay tuned!

Now, writing-wise. I’ve rewritten the end of one of those Star Minds stories and given them all to a proofreader. And in the meantime, I’ve started on Quests Book 3 – sort of outlining only to make sure I don’t forget anything, but I’ll still be improvising much!😉 And researching some stuff, since it’s not at the tip of my keyboard, haha!

I have changed writing process, I guess those workshops kinda worked, haha! If you’re thinking of taking some, here’s a workshop curriculum. I took Depth, Teams and Author Voice not really in that order, but well… Still mulling over them. And then I’ll take a couple more – either at the end of the year or beginning of 2017.

Now some writing dreams and harsh realities, advice from a professional writer. And 5 legal terms every author should know. That’s part of the writer’s education. And even if the Publisher’s Hat doesn’t really suit me, I better learn that stuff.

Now back to writing! Have a great week!

Happiness is…


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Random Friday


And since I’ve been busy writing, reading, editing, publishing and whatnot, I didn’t have time to do much else, therefore I shall leave you with these words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call themm for the weekend! Enjoy!

When things get tough, what can you do?

Focus on the positive feedback you’ve gotten in emails, in blog comments, on Facebook, and through other avenues.  Reminding yourself that people out there do like your work can really help you get through the rough patches of bad reviews and lack of sales.  If you have some writer friends you can talk to about the ups and downs of the business, you’ll remind yourself you’re not alone.  Sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only person going through the downside of this business.

Ultimately, though, it all boils down to whether you (as the writer) like the book?  Would you write the book again if given the chance?  If you enjoy the book, that book was worth writing, and it has value.

Ruth Ann Nordin

Living in Edinburgh, I know a fair few writers to talk to, and most of them are pretty ordinary middle aged folk who spend a lot of time at a screen. Some of us belong to weird-to-outsiders sub cultures – gamers, sword folk, bikers, tech-heads – but then we’re weird because of the subculture, not our writing. Like most vocations, ours requires drive and self-discipline, so there’s not really much room for scotch-bottle-wielding craziness in our day-to-day routine. And if our conversation is sometimes… specialised, it’s no different than if you listened in to some microbrewers talking shop… and our specialism is where the books come from, the books people read, which leads us to…

By definition, professional authors can’t possibly be all that weird because people read us. If books with minimal connection to modern reality were what sold, then Sumerian creation myths would top the charts.

M Harold Page

What do you love about the writing life?
I love the freedom of the lifestyle. On almost any given day, my schedule is my own. Being able to do what I do on my own time is hugely liberating.

More substantively, I love writing. It’s great to be able to do what I love. My definition of success is finding something you love so much you would pay to do it; and if you can get someone else to pay you for it, that’s success.

Barry Eisler

That’s what will happen with traditional publishing. It’s already happening. Blog after blog after blog appears at nearly the rate of one per week by writers who started indie and who went to traditional and who are now returning to indie for the control. Even more blogs appear from traditional writers who have become fed up with their treatment from their traditional publishing “partners” and are moving to indie.

Within the next five years, or maybe ten, as the word gets out (writers are slow on the uptake), traditional publishing will find itself in the same position as the Big 4 TV networks. The Big 5 traditional publishers will get the clueless and the one-shot wonders.

Writers who have actually learned business, writers who want money, control, and yes, eyeballs, will go indie (or start their own small press). It’s already happening, and it’s starting to speed up.

The publishing industry is probably where TV was in 2005.

Here’s the future, folks: The traditional publishers aren’t going away. But they are becoming irrelevant to anyone who cares about doing their very best work and getting paid the most for it.

And those eyeballs—well, they will find you. Just not in the first month.

We’re going back to word of mouth, which is always the best way to sell anything.

Kris Rusch

For those who are not writing all the time, who let their critical voice into their offices, who let what others say about their work into their offices, writing is a painful thing at times. So it is easier to focus on promotion of what you already have done.

I have seen a lot of writers in the last four years get all caught up in promotion and almost stop writing.

The one thing you really should have in your office on your wall if this is your problem is “Your Next Book Is Your Best Promotion.”

Very few people after the learning curve time get lost in production.

But wow can the focus get lost in promotion.

Dean Wesley Smith

Writer Wednesday


So, last week was so Publisher Week that I barely started on the new story. Meh. I’m halfway through now, and as soon as I’m done I hope to receive the next proofs from CreateSpace. I know, I said I’d mention the publishing stuff on the publisher page… but so far it’s nothing new, simply the POD version of books that came out during the summer.

If you want dead-trees books, you can now order Tales of the Northern Kingdoms Volume 1 and Volume 2 on Amazon. I’m sure sometime this week you’ll find them also at Barnes&Noble and other bookstores through Amazon’s distribution.

Since it does take some time from CreateSpace to Amazon and the other retailers, I think that the POD version of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness will come out in October, so that when the e-book goes live, it already has the matchbook thing active and you’ll be able to get it for free with the paperback. I am currently awaiting the first proof.

Next weekend I’ll upload another collection and wrap up the Star Minds stories. So next week I’ll hopefully get back to the Quests and Silvery Earth and write until I leave for my vacation in October. I am trying new promotion stuff, but not sure it’s working yet. I am aware, though that book promotion is not a one-size-fits-all strategy!😉

Now, if you’re just starting, here’s some myth busting for you. And the secret to making tons of money as an author (hint: there is no secret – I’m in that bracket that earns less than 1000$ per year, still, after five years). I wanted to bang my head on the desk when a friend of mine said he paid an agent to read his manuscript and have a professional evaluation – turns out the reader for the agency is a retired teacher who suggested he adds a love story in a thriller book.

I  still have to write back to him – he’s Italian, but I very much doubt Italian agents are different from the American ones (i.e. unregulated, with no professional background and that could probably make you rewrite a perfectly fine thriller novel to make it more of a romance. Yikes).

Now I better go back to writing. I miss losing myself in other universes instead of having to deal with day-to-day matters such as formatting, uploading, checking proofs and the worst of all – marketing!😉 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


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or any other Bollywood movie, really!😉 (says the gal who just skipped the latest release she went to England specifically for, LOL! But she came back with a couple of SRK movies on DVD instead…)

Random Friday


So, watched a couple of movies from the pile…

I heard about Fan in Da Muse Google alert (much like it happened for A Girl Walks Home etc, haha), and when I saw it in London, I bought it even if it wasn’t on the list (and then I got gifted another SRK movie that wasn’t on the list either, but well… when I watch it, I’ll tell! ;)). The review and the trailer that I obviously can’t find anymore  made me want to see it, and so… I watched it.

Not bad, with some reminescence of Darr and, like they said in that review, Cape Fear (not sure why it was in my Google alerts, probably comparing A-listers doing action movies – although this isn’t really an action movie, so I don’t know. Anyway, kudos for the double part to SRK and the makeup team!😉 I have often wondered what happens when the stalker gets stalked… I guess that’s one way!😀

Then I rewatched the original French movie (never seen the American remake on which I suppose Heyy Babyy is based) before watching the sequel, 18 years later. Which is actually a bilingual movie, since the mother of the little girl now has an American partner with two sons. So they come over to France for a vacation and unsettle the three men and Marie who is no longer a child.

I still think it’s a fun movie, even though not as good as the first (and I’d have been happier if there wasn’t a Barbara who is even a bigoted woman, LOL!). The original Marie (two of them) weren’t available, so the director’s daughter took on the part. She’s lovely, by the way. And it was cool seeing the three men and the woman, and even the lady of the pharmacy again after 18 years!😉

That’s all for now. Weekend I’ll be busy preparing the POD for Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness so it can come out with the ebook in November (won’t have time to prepare it when I get back) and uploading the final documents for the two pre-orderable titles.

Have a great weekend!

 

Writer Wednesday


Newsletter went out with a coupon for a free download of the latest publication! Now, if you’re a reader and want to be updated on sales and publishing news, you better start subscribing to the publisher blog. These posts will be more and more about writing, and less and less about publishing. So, just saying. The publisher doesn’t post as often as I do, so you won’t be spammed!😉

Now, summer wordcounts! July I wrote almost 40K, August a little more than 20K. That’s even less than March. That’s less of the translation I did of Ciaran & Harith (I hope to translate Pat & Babs this month, so I can publish the Italian version of Body Switches in October).

Do I feel like a failure? Um, no, actually, I don’t! Yearly wordcount is nearly 331K and even if in October I won’t have much time to write, I’m certain I can get at least to last year’s 400K if not my 500K goal. Writing is still fun. It’s the publishing that is getting tiresome.

And since I’m writing shorter stories at the moment, I can wait to publish them and submit them to traditional markets! By the way, now is a good time to support Fiction River’s Kickstarter drive. In that second campaign they are offering workshops starting in November or after for discounts and some writing books, as well as Fiction River subscriptions.

So if you’d like to take one of those workshops but don’t have the money, you can try to win one. Or if you’d like to learn how to write the other, there’s this upcoming Writing Deaf and Blind Characters Masterclass.

Now, as I finish the current Star Minds collection, I’ll probably change the title when it comes out next year. Instead of Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 it will be Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, since there are either characters of the original trilogy (not necessarily the protagonists) or the third generation in every story. The events happen thirty years onward after the end of the Trilogy.

One more story to go, plus the Vampires Through the Centuries stories to format for pre-order, and then I’ll be back to Silvery Earth for a few more Quests, hopefully next week. That’s all for today!🙂 Have a great week!

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