All posts by Barb
Posted by Barb on 25/07/2016
Skipped Random Friday and Sunday Surprise since it’s July and there are so many sales going on! So, in no particular order…
Amrendra is now complete with part 4. If you got it on Amazon, you’ll probably receive the updated file. If you got in on Smashwords, you probably should go download the new file.
And if you haven’t bought it yet, well, there’s 50% off on Smashwords! I enrolled a few more books on the Smashwords site-wide promo – see below.
All are 50% off until the site-wide sale that ends July 31. And don’t forget the pre-order for Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness, in September I’ll upload the temporary manuscript.
Happy summer reading!
Posted by Barb on 23/07/2016
So, Norman Blood is wrapped and out to betas/proofreader. Kaylyn is almost wrapped – second draft still in creative voice because I found more stuff to dump in and came up with a few more things and betas pointed out a couple more, so there. Second draft and almost 60K.
Then I’m taking a break from fantasy and history and heading back to the science fiction stories (well, science fantasy, since my science is really more fiction than real) with Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 – a couple of stories inspired by the drawings of Techie Bro who is also a very good artist, but don’t tell him. Hopefully he’ll allow me to use his digital paintings as e-book covers, haha!
I’m done with Teams in Fiction and later in the year I’ll do the Science Fiction Classical workshop (for the brand new series I hope to start next year). And by the way, Essentials Workshop is now FREE on YouTube, so go and listen to it. I also recommend any of the other online workshops available, especially if you’re in a dry spot, dealing with writer’s block.
The new series? One of the SMI Vol.2 stories? Spawned from online workshop assignments. So they’re good for your muse, if you’re fighting with her. I’m not fighting with mine, but it was great having those ideas. Now I shall let everything sink in before I start applying it, LOL!
I’m still learning and honing my craft – I want to DO BETTER! Which doesn’t mean I’ll rewrite the old stories, but from now on I’ll be more careful in the physical descriptions of my characters. I never wanted my stories to be all-White, but since I discovered Writing with Color, I hope to improve my depictions of PoCs in my SFF and historical stories.
I apologize for past works. I won’t use food to describe darker skin ever again. I will learn to describe Asian eyes properly. I wasn’t aware I was insulting anyone. In my defense, English is not my first language, so I lacked the vocabulary for more diverse descriptions, so thank you for helping me expand my knowledge in that field!
Oh, and… latest marketing tip: write the next book! More books out, more discoverability! See Author Earnings presentation at RWA if you don’t believe me… So go back to writing and remember Heinlein Rules!
Have a great week and happy writing!😀
Posted by Barb on 20/07/2016
Posted by Barb on 18/07/2016
I could ramble about a couple of things… I did my own meme without even reading the article it refers to…Really, people, mind your own business and stop judging based on looks or color of skin or shape of eyes or whatnot. It’s just a body, and it’s what we’ve been given to be in this world, don’t mess with it. Movie suggestion: Disfigured, as already done a few years back.
And another movie watched that has nothing to do with our bodies’ shape or color but completes (for now) my series of Fairy Tales Revisited At The Movies (my own definition of it, of course) is Beauty and the Beast – the French version. Quite faithful to the original tale, except they mixed two, methink. But well, not a big mess like Snow White and the Huntsman, haha! Not sure I’m looking forward for the Hollywood version, though.
I could post latest portrait of Da Muse (probably a few years ago), but whatever…
And I’d like to repeat what I already thought last November…
Forget Western so-called elegance, you look so much better like this!😉
My brain is still fried from the heat, so I’ll just wish you a great weekend…
Posted by Barb on 15/07/2016
Welcome to Writer Wednesday, where I dispense my weekly writer’s wisdom… not! I don’t have real wisdom to pass on, but since I was asked something that really grates on my nerves, I thought I’d give the long answer here. Warning: YMMV or each and everyone of us has a different answer to this.
It all started on Goodreads:
Now, the long answer – and my advice to young writers – is: if you write to the market or to make money, if that’s success to you, you’re in the wrong business. If you want a career as a writer, you must write what you love.
And, by the way, a career happens while you’re busy living. You can work towards it by setting realistic goals – which means something you can control. Your writing output, you can control it. Selling a million copies? That’s beyond your control. It’s a dream, not a goal.
Sure, dream big, but set realistic goals to reach that dream. Decide early on what’s success to you: finishing a story? Putting it out there (trad, self or indie)? Buying yourself a coffee with the first royalty check from a retailer? Writing all the stories that come to mind? Make those darn characters in your head shut up?
I was lucky to grow up before the internet, I guess. I’ve been writing for almost 40 years (my first story dates back to Summer 1978) and of course more than half of it sucks and will never be published, but at least I have a routine, I have fun and have no critical voice because nobody ever told me I was supposed to do this or that to write a literary masterpiece. I was a one-draft-writer for almost twenty-five years!😉
So now, even when I “rewrite”, it’s to adjust plot holes or change the ending or a scene because I came up with a better one. It’s definitely not polishing, which means I’m still fairly prolific. I write the story, I reread it, correct it, send it to proofreader and out it goes into the wild.
How do I measure my success? By the fact that 5 years into my indie publishing life
- sales are very slow, but growing
- I’m still writing what I want to read
- I even stopped “recycling” old stories because I have so many new ideas!
- I’m still learning craft and business
- I’m still having fun writing new stories
In another ten years I’ll look back and go “Wow, look at my career!” So, if you want to be a professional writer with a career, you can’t
- write to the market
- hope to strike the jackpot with a couple of books
- quit after 1 or 10 books
Quitting is the end of your career along with unrealistic goals.
Now go and have some online workshops on craft and business either at David Farland’s or Dean Wesley Smith’s. I’m currently finishing Teams in Fiction and it gave me an idea for a series I might write when I’m done with the current Silvery Earth and Star Minds stories (all brand new) and inbetween the Vampires Through the Centuries books (that come out 2 a year, 1 novel + 1 novella).
And by the way, it’s okay to change in course during your writing life. I’m another writer who writes during major holidays because people are too busy with their life and their family to bother me, so beyond the customary lunch or dinner with aging parents, I’m free to do as I please!😉
Now I better go back to Norman Blood… Then some Kaylyn’s rewrites will be in order to adjust it to the other story! Have a great week!😀
Posted by Barb on 13/07/2016
Posted by Barb on 11/07/2016
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’re still on the new Silvery Earth! That’s a batch of old and new characters in this novel…
Hello, handsome! Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m Hinrik, I’m twenty-five and I’m enrolled in the Salamar army. We marched off to protect Moriana from the Varian attack, but we failed.
Bummer. You do look like a defeated soldier… Describe your appearance in ten words or less.
Well-built warrior with chestnut brown hair and turquoise eyes.
Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?
I don’t know. My mother is dead and I don’t have anyone left. I fight out of duty and respect for my captain.
Mmm… you forgot to mention the melancholy of your eyes! Where do you live?
Salamar, capital of the Salamar Kingdom, on the shores of the great river Ondan.
Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what it is about them that you find appealing?
It’s unrequited love and I don’t want to talk about it.
Man, I must say you’re handsome even when you brood! So what is the biggest challenge you face in the story?
Survive rape and finding self-respect. And my true calling.
Do you have a family? Tell me about them.
My mother was a washerwoman. I was her only child. She never married after breeding with a “demon” and was cast out by everyone. She said my father was a “magical being” who lived in the river, but I never believed her.
Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.
I have these turquoise eyes and water seems to have a healing power on me.
You’re forgetting to mention you’re very shy… Let’s see if the lady here is more talkative!
Hello there, tell me a little about yourself.
Bellinda, daughter of Joyrise, also known as Joris, and a Human. I’m half-blood and for some thirty-five years tried to fit in either with the Genn or the Human communities, sort of succeeding. As you can see, I have the body shape of a female Genn with small tits, but the round ears of Humans, and my hair is dark blond.
Where do you live?
I was born in Havenstock, capital of the Varian Kingdom, and spent a lot of time in the Genn villages of the forest of Appleyard. Our warmongering king made me want to leave, though, so now I’m exploring the northern kingdoms, starting with Salamar.
A-ha! So that’s how you bump into Hinrik? What’s your role in the story?
I’m a healer, and when Belfi brought bruised Hinrik to the camp, I had to do something! I mean, he wasn’t visibly wounded or dying, but he was upset and filled with pain…
Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
I was. With Keneith. Because he’s tall and handsome and a powerful half-blood. I loved his black eyes and his smile. Then we moved together to Havenstock and things started falling apart. He’s still my best friend and traveling companion. We watch each other’s back.
Well, thank you, Hinrik and Bellinda, and good luck with your quest! May you find what you’re looking for, whatever it is…
Posted by Barb on 10/07/2016
Let’s make it Art Friday. There you go, the evolution of the Quests covers. I guess I forgot the K.I.S.S. rule with them. So, here’s the first two attempts:
Then I experimented with the water and fire brushes I found at Obsidian Dawn – this is my credit to them for these illustrations, the background was done with their brushes. I still use Photoshop 7, and they’re probably the only ones who provide these!😉 The second attempt in this case is a little less illustrated, but I felt it didn’t go well with the other Silvery Earth covers.
And here’s the last attempts with the brushes, then I went back to a simpler version with no brushes, with special thanks to the suggestions of Shafali and Silvano. I would like to thank also Joleene, Cristina, Fulvio and Enrica for their input.
Now I’ve added some stuff in Book 2, so it might come out later than expected, since I’ll need the editor to do a quick second pass… so expect it in 3 weeks instead of 2! Have a great weekend!
Posted by Barb on 08/07/2016