Random Friday

While I wait for a manuscript to beta-read, I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile – namely, the two bundles of SFF titles I got between end 2014 and beginning 2015 (hence no more bundles until those are all read!).

I’m enjoying the current book, and I enjoyed to start of a novel by a writer friend who was trying something new and his critical voice stopped him. But at the same time, I’m worried for readers.

I’m not a big reader myself, although since I started writing in English I read a lot more compared to when I did everything in Italian. And this might be happening only in Italy where nobody reads and the few who do mostly read genre books.

Anyhow, at our newsagents they advertize abridged versions of bestsellers. A 600pages Wilbur Smith novel “distilled to 280”!! An Italian author’s 312 pages reduced to 120!! Is readers’ attention span so low these days?!

I used to read “abridged versions” for kids of Salgari books. I remember in the 1980s Mom stopped buying a TV guide because it published “distilled” Harold Robbins novels (read: all the sex scenes crammed in 10-20 pages – I thought he wrote erotica, and I never read a full novel, LOL!).

So I guess it’s nothing new, really. But what does it say about Italian readers? That they like short books? And is it the same elsewhere?

Now, I’m not particularly worried for my books (I’m not a bestseller and my books are pretty short anyway), but I’m wondering. It might be just Italian traditional publishers doing this…

So I’m asking – does it happen in your country too? Do you like “distilled” or “abridged” versions?

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

I’ve done a third and last draft of Changes, and will send it out to a couple more people before sending it off for proofreading. It should come out in March with other contemporary stories.

I’m still working on the novel based on an old graphic novel – I’m almost half-way through. I’m still just setting up the bones, and haven’t decided yet how much “hot” meat I want to add. The graphic novel is pretty… graphic on some pages/panels, and I’m not sure I want to write that in. I’ll get to the end and decide! ;)

Proofreader sent back two novellas, so stay tuned for the next two titles. First will be Colors, along with a character interview, and then Prince Splendor – for which I still don’t have a cover, but hopefully I will come up with something by then.

I spent the weekend preparing the new edition of the Books of the Immortals with Createspace, they should go live as soon as I get the proofs and approve them. I’ll probably announce them on the publisher’s page, though. And I’ll make sure to select the Matchbook box on KDP.

And this is not because the latest Authors Earnings report showed indies should have paperbacks out. I already decided to take everything down from Lulu and move it to Createspace.

I’m not one of the successful 40 at Amazon, but one day… not that I really want to get into the Million Sales Club (unless it’s spread on all or most of my titles, LOL), but I wouldn’t mind reaching 3 figures or 4! :)

I’m also thinking of taking another online workshop, but I can’t decide the dates, since both options would cover some short vacation plans that I already have. Sigh. Decisions…

Have a great week! :)


Happiness is…


Random Friday

I don’t want to add to the general negativity, so I’ll let songs speak for me. It feels like life is like this at the moment:

But I’m like Elton John:

And I shall leave you with the funny version of how I feel these days – and also the stupidest reason (and probably not the real one either)…

February4blog_resizeDid I ever mention I hate leap years? That extra day in February is so… GAAAH! :D

Have a great weekend! :)

20 Questions With Author Barbara Tarn

And in case you want to know more about “Colors”, check this author interview… one of the funniest I ever had! :) Thanks, Dan, for having me! :D

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

head shot Your humble host

Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, Barbara G.Tarn prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present. She’s a writer, artist, world-creator and prolific storyteller with over 100 titles on Amazon.

Her novella “The Hooded Man” received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest.

Used to multiple projects (a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose), Barb writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs.

Today she shares some insights with us.


DAN: What is the working title of your next book?

BARB: Colors

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s Snow White slashed, so Snow White is male and will find a king to take him away from the bad guy and since Snow White Man didn’t sound very good, I thought I could use the colors – black…

View original post 2,115 more words

Writer Wednesday

January wordcount was over 40K. I redrafted Colors (next title out, currently with proofreader) and turned an old graphic novel into a novella – both these stories are 27K. Now I’m turning another graphic novel into a novel that should come out probably next month.

I did a new cover for Colors during the weekend since I wasn’t completely happy with the one I did in December. So I got to draw a swallow for the first time in my life. I found a cute pic on the Wikipedia page and went from there. Not telling you which one I chose, you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks! :) Probably less. And yes, the swallow is in the first scene of the story, so it’s a nice addition.

How to ESL ebookI also published that non-fiction book I wrote last year. I wasn’t sure it was any good, but a very precious beta who is also a cover artist and part-time writer said it’s good – short and to the point – so I’m putting it out there.

As soon as I finish the novel-redrafted-from-the-graphic-novel, I’ll go back to those contemporary stories that I kept on hold until the next offline writers group meeting (Feb.11), so next month expect another title of the discarded pen-name with new stories thrown in. I might then start working on the POD version! :)

And then I’ll be back to my vampires, since I need to finish Chandaka and Daya and then start on Kaylyn’s story. As for PODs, I’ll do the new edition with Createspace of the five Books of the Immortals… so I guess February is quite busy. And it’s a short month (although it has 29 days this year). And… I’ll leave the rest to Friday ramblings, LOL!

For some kind of serendipity, there was a lot of talk about contracts and publishers around the internet this week. Kris Rusch on indie contracts, Kameron Hurley on traditional contracts and Tricia Drammeh on choosing a publisher. And then get the guide on how to negotiate anything! ;)

Now I better go back to writing and drawing those covers (I don’t like the covers I have so far, but I need different reference for one and I’m not sure how to get it, sigh)… Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Random Friday

Considering that I keep talking about Muse H, you might think I have forgotten Muse K… not! Especially since he is now in Rome, shooting John Wick 2! :D No, you won’t see me stalking him around town (I don’t normally go to movie sets – once I went to Piazza di Spagna with a friend when they were shooting Ocean’s 12 because she’s a fan of Vincent Cassel and she hoped to get a glimpse of him) since

a) I still have a morning day job

b) I don’t live in the center and I don’t like going to the center

c) it’s January, it might not snow, but it’s cold to stay out waiting for someone to show up! :D

So I’m just thinking about him every now and then, rewatching DVDs (47 Ronin, thanks Jen!) and basically preparing to give up this fifteen-year-old obsession… with special thanks to the ever-present Mr Selfie! ;)

11 selfie

See, I even updated the chibis! ;) Actually there was another balloon on my head, but I’ll spare him that. I’m using that vignette on DeviantART too, so it’s not really secret. What’s “secret” is the original balloon for that drawing! ;)

So now you can also see how my chibis are improving! ;) Now I better go back to coloring Samantha the Witch and the Desi Vampire or you’ll never see that one either… although that was done before I bought the book on manga proportions! ;)

Thought I’d gift you with a sneak preview of the arrival of Rajveer on Silvery Earth… chibi-style (of course you can also see the novel’s cover with the amazing art by Shafali – but that’s because I need to put a summary of the novel next to that!)!


Have a great weekend – I’ll be with my cover artist, drawing for 24 hours at least… so hopefully I’ll catch up! :D (and no, we won’t be chasing Muse K and his Italian co-star who is Cristina’s favorite, don’t worry – we’ve got work to do!!!)

Writer Wednesday

Redrafting of Colors done and out to betas. I’m not completely happy with the cover I did back in December, so I might do a new one for publication. I also plan on having someone else’s version of the male Snow White on the cover of the collection (POD and ebook) of the fairy tales revisited (not all are slashed), but I don’t know when that will come out. I still need to start writing Cinder Boy and I won’t make it until maybe March.

January wordcount is probably around 40K, so my 10K a week is more or less covered. I also did approximately the same amount of translations back into Italian in the mornings. Translations might slow down next month since I’m changing shifts at DayJob, but that shouldn’t bother you, the English reader! ;)

This month’s only English title is The Archers. As I mentioned last week, I’m experimenting with KDP Select. So it will be on Amazon only until mid-April. The volumes of the Tales of the Northern Kingdoms won’t be completed until May or June, so I decided to try with that novella the wondrous world of Kindle Unlimited. I shall ponder when to use the Kindle Countdown thingy, but I still have to study that one.

You can tell I’m not really worried by the “new” Kindle requirements (actually the spellchecker found a typo on The Archers that had avoided both me and Mighty Editor, so I happily corrected it before it went live).  Might be because I’ve read much worse stuff on Kindle, even from publishers, or because I don’t have reviews – it’s okay, if you spread the word without leaving a review or buy another title without leaving a review, I’m thanking you anyway – but I don’t think it will change much for me.

In February I shall publish more of those tales of the northern kingdoms, starting with Colors and the other fairy tale revisited. Write-wise, I shall go back to the contemporary titles and my vampires historicals before I start writing book 2, Kaylyn, in March. I’ll go back to Silvery Earth in April. And when I’m done with those tales, I’ll go back to Star Minds Interregnum (May or June). Stay tuned…

I’m also still working on the publisher’s page and the single books pages there. I’m thinking of adding a button or two on selected titles. I’m still toying with cooltext since I don’t have Word Art (but I might do something on my cover artist’s PC soon), but I don’t like the results so far.

Anyhow, you already know I’m QUILTBAG friendly, but I also wanted to add a button for ACE-friendly stories. I have found a brand new ACE book club on Goodreads, and it would be good if they could see which of my books are for them – or any other ACE reader in the world! ;)

I might have some writerly links… on how to stay positive when friends quit writing, on 25 more hard truths about writing and publishing… and the usual suspects, of course. Waiting to be guest on more blogs and hoping to have new guests soon…

Have a great week!

Happiness is…



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