Random Friday


I’ve been reading the last paperback I got in London about the Celts. I bought it to understand better where Bran the Raven came from, but I’m using it also for Torik now.ย  And I started taking notes for the ancient fledglings of Bran the Raven, namely Helios of Sparta, Marco of the IX Legio Hispanica and Gallo-Roman Druidess Blandine who fleetingly showed up in the novels of Vampires Through the Centuries.

I’d bring those to Edinburgh, but maybe it’s better if I take those to Dublin instead. If I’m overwhelmed at Worldcon, I can always go to the Irish Library and study for Drustan and the state of Ireland in the first century CE (when Helios and Marco go there with Bran, and where Drustan is made).

So I’m trying to go through some antiquity history, which I haven’t studied since high school 35 years ago. Of course the first place to look is Wikipedia, but then I expand and look also elsewhere. I’m considering other Osprey books, but since Bran is no warrior, he’s probably going to stay away from wars anyway, so I don’t really need to study campaigns. He’s probably staying in Carthage when Hannibal conquers Rome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyhow, after Silvery Earth I might go back to those vampires. Write the stories of the ones who show up in Future Earth Chronicles and the older ones who don’t make it to the 21st century. And then we’ll see. I might try to write to market after Edinburgh, if I find a genre I like to read (and it won’t be urban fantasy, even though I’m a city woman).

My brain is too fried to make decisions now. I’ll finish studying the Celts and then we’ll see. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Random Friday


Reading suggestions and my take on this: I read The Paper Menagerie and didn’t particularly liked it when it was nominated for a Hugo. I checked the sample of Crazy Rich Asians, but either I get the paperback or the DVD of the movie, since the Chinese parts as footnotes on Kindle are not really nice. And I know it’s a trilogy, but I read mixed reviews on Goodreads.

Currently reading: The Kiss Quotient, even though it’s a 5.99euro ebook! And ops, just discovered it’s also a trilogy when looking it up on Goodreads. Oh, well. Maybe I should have looked for the box set… (although the Kindle box set for Crazy Rich Asians was crazy expensive…)

I guess I’ll try to catch up on some reading while I’m writing more slowly, LOL! Although none of the above were on my TBR pile, but well… still have a dozen bundles to go through both fiction and non-fiction – hence I’ll let Write Publish Profit 2.0 offer pass, but grab it if you feel like it.

And since I discovered Joe Konrath has resumed blogging, I’ll add this post on your book marketing plan and why it won’t work. I totally agree with him. I’m so bad at marketing precisely because so many things don’t work for me, so I’m not doing them even if everybody is screaming I should do them.

Because I’d rather be writing and it’s all a question of luck anyway. So while I wait for my lucky star, let me go back to Silvery Earth Kids and its sequel. I thought it would be only Torik and Copperscales, but Prince Lambert and Goldenberry seem to want in on the ride too… we shall see! ๐Ÿ˜€

And if you’re still new to this, here’s a post worth studying.

How To Shorten Your Amazon Links

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Random Friday


I will try to condense this in a shorter review, but I wanted to talk about 21 lessons for the 21st century. I think everybody should read it, young or old. Especially teens and their teachers (or home-schooling parents) – and writers. Especially SF writers, but also all kinds of storytellers.

It does help to make sense of where were heading – or not heading if we don’t pay attention. I’ll stop screaming “It’s the apocalypse, waaah!” and start repeating “No, it’s not that. Truth is, l just don’t understand what’s going on in the world.” instead.

You will need an open mind, of course. He debunks myths and conspiracy theories alike. He cites The Matrix, Truman Show and even Huxley’s Brave New World.

He has a letter for a teenager of today. He explains myths and stories we tell each other and ourselves. l have been aware of the lies l tell myself that tend to become truths for at least 20 years now, so l can confirm his thesis.

He made me want to read his other books, but now I’ll take a break and read something lighter because it gave me a lot of food for thought.

He also gives good advice to sci-fi writers on how to imagine the future. Yes, I started reading it to help with my Future Earth Chronicles, but if found it fascinating in many other ways, giving me answers to questions I had.

Of course he doesn’t have all the answers, but he will make you think, and then you can come up with what works for YOU. Because, like for writing, what works for me or him, might not work for you or anyone else.

I don’t know if I understand myself and the world better now, but I feel better knowing I’m not the only one confused and scared by these quick changes. Yes, I know life is change, but things are going way too fast for my comfort – but I’m an old lady with half a century of stories on her shoulders, it will take time to take off some infrastructure!

If you’re young, you might find it easier. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re happy to be a slave of the algorithms for the time being. I still don’t know if I love or hate all this tech. I still can’t see a future. I’m probably still too deep in my Future Earth Chronicles after a non-nuclear apocalypse to fully recover hope.

But I still recommend this book to everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy reading!

Random Friday


Since the year is almost over and I probably won’t finish another book before then, I’m going to do my Yearly Recommended Reading post now! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also because it’s the time of the Small&Medium Publishers Book Fair here in Rome, but for the first time since its inception, I’m not going there every day (just today to say hello to a couple of friends).

This year I read 54 books – although 7 I did not finish – and 6 and a half were non-fiction (as are the last two). Usually the fiction is read on my Kindle (a.k.a. K.K.), while the non-fiction is on paper because it’s better for research. Unless the novel is signed, then it can be a paperback, LOL!

Anyhow, of the fiction books, here are the 5 stars I gave (in order of reading – with links to Goodreads even though I’m not putting them on my Goodreads profile. Long story, not going back there! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ):

Burn Card: A Cold Poker Gang Mysteryย  by Dean Wesley Smith

The Last Giantย  by Mario Milosevic

Dragons’ Choice (Sorcha’s Children #1)ย by Debbie Mumford

Against Timeย  by Dean Wesley Smith

Beyond Control, Interlude, Beyond Reach: Book 1 Bundle of the Beyond Sagaย  by Rebecca M. Senese

Fairchildย  by Blaze Ward

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)ย  by Nicholas Eames

Entanglement (Future Fiction Trends Vol. 4)ย  by Vandana Singh

Faring Soul (Interspace Origins #1)ย  by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Hollow Moon (Hollow Moon #1)ย  by Steph Bennion

Hydrogen Sleets: a Montague Portal novel ย by Michael Warren Lucas

Sticks and Stones: A Trek Novelย  by Robert T. Jeschonek

Coffee Cup Dreamsย  by J.A. Marlow

Mrs Funnybonesย  by Twinkle Khanna (not a novel, more a memoir/journal and it’s hilarious)

(you can grab the following 4 all together in Sci-fi July Redux)

Stealing from Piratesย  by Stefon Mears

A Jack By Any Other Name (The Space Operetta Series Book 1)ย  by Lesley L. Smith

Raven Risingย  by Sean Monaghan

Sector Justiceย  by Dean Wesley Smith

(I’d add Jorick’s origin story, but I’m not sure it’s available for public consumption yet, I got it from Patreon…)

Dancing with Tong Yi (Uncollected Anthology, #1)ย  by Leah R. Cutter

And the series Zeena Dragon Fae by Victoria Zigler (smashwords link cause it’s faster)!

And these are the books I’m finishing the year with – sorta/kinda research for Future Earth Chronicles.

Putting the science in fiction and 21 lessons for the 21st century (non-fiction)

Giving the list so early means you have time to request them for Christmas… so happy reading! ๐Ÿ™‚ And have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So, in the few days without writing (slowly going back to it coz I’m addicted, LOL!), I had nothing better to do and try to catch up on my TBR pile. Didn’t make that much progress, since I’m such a slow reader, but better than no reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

First I read Jorick’s origin story (which is a Patreon exclusive, but you can get it for the lower tier), which was what I’d been waiting for since I started reading Amaranthine. Thanks again to Joleene Naylor for finally writing it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished The World Without Us – a re-read – for Wanderlust research. I read the introduction to 21 Lessons for the 21st Century but didn’t go much further yet, although I’ll need to read that too to determine what exactly was the apocalypse, LOL!

I’ll probably write this batch back to back like I did for Star Minds Lone Wolves, since it’s 6 years after Brainwaves and for 3 or 4 books we follow the same two people. Then I’ll take a break, write another Silvery Earth Heroine, and then write the other books with other characters’ POVs.

See, I’m already planning for 2019, haha! Nothing’s gonna stop me, now that I have this very ingrained habit since the age of the typewriter (yeah, I’m old, and suddenly I feel lucky! Actually, I’m experienced, LOL!)

Anyway, back to reading. I’m almost done with Sci-fi July Redux and found some really nice gems, if I may say so. I know, I’m the curator, but I usually don’t read the whole books before bundling them. In fact I haven’t read the other books of last year’s vampire bundle (except Joleene’s) yet. And I gave priority to Sci-fi July even though I still have to read Thieves and Celebrating Male Lovers because I was writing sci-fi. Well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is…

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check it out since it won’t be out forever. It will be gone on January 4, six months after release. I know January looks far away, but it will come quickly, trust me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here you have the list of the bundles that are still available that I either curated or am part of.

And if you’re a writer, you might want to re-check BundleRabbit. It has a new feature for writing in series or shared worlds! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great Sunday!

 

Random Friday


Since I don’t really recommend non-fiction books, especially if they’re not books on writing or publishing, I thought I’d talk about it here. It was part of my research for the vampire novel, since I’ve never been to Mumbai. Bollywood Boy by Justine Hardy was an entertaining experience on her year-long attempts to interview Da Muse the year of his debut. So we’re talking about 2000 and 2001 Bollywood “gossip” that read 18 years later is sometimes funny.

What amused me was that they wanted to pair him with Aishwarya Rai from the beginning – it took them until 2006 to actually get in a movie together and there was even a very famous liplock that, when interviewed at the beginning of 2001, he didn’t seem ready to deliver…

Dhoom 2 – best kiss award 2006 (according to Barb)

He was definitely a shy guy carried away by his own sudden success, with impostor syndrome regarding his dancing skills! He had a long way to go before becoming the Greek God, LOL! Anyhow, it was BEFORE – for me there’s “before Dhoom 2” and “after Dhoom 2” that came after a year hiatus and he’s the best villain that ever was – but I needed to read that book to get a feel of what it was like in the early 2000s in Mumbai.

It was a pleasant read, like reading Mrs Funnybones, but from a European point of view – and since my protag is European and living in India, I did need the different view, right? I might have chuckled slightly less, Twinkle Khanna is probably funnier, but it was entertaining and interesting anyway.

And then on Saturday I did a drawing – call it Da Muse or call it Rajveer the vampire in 2005… After 2 failed attempts I was very happy to finish a drawing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So this is Rajveer who will soon discover he has a very famous lookalike… in the coming book! ๐Ÿ˜€

That’s all for today… have a great weekend! (for me it’s a long one, since June 29th is a holiday only in Rome!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


I’m sure I already mentioned in this blog that I started writing because of Brunella Gasperini. I read her books in my teens and they are still my favorites. Whether it’s fiction or pseudo-memoir, I could reread them forever – although they’re now very dusty paperbacks that make me sneeze.

But they still make me laugh and cry and wish I could have met her before she passed away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I am happy to announce that I’ve found a substitute – sort of. Unfortunately she’s not as prolific, but then, she’s younger and she’s not a writer/journalist by trade! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I read Twinkle Khanna’s Mrs. Funnybones to get back to India with my mind, and she has the same kind of humor than Brunella. I haven’t cried on her stories yet, but then, she only wrote two books. And I got both in paperbacks since they were cheaper than the e-books (besides her fiction title didn’t come out in e-book, but I had read the Kindle sample of Mrs. Funnybones).

I read The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad last year, but kept her column for when I needed to get a feel of Mumbai that I haven’t visited yet. And the paperback of Mrs. Funnybones, with its illustrations by Kruttika Susarla, reminds me a lot of Brunella’s pocket editions with sketches! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a good laugh (which was very nice after half an hour spent fighting with Laptop, LOL!) and enjoyed every word – including the mention to her unnamed neighbor fitness freak (a.k.a. Da Muse) who takes only a couple of pages out of 240. And I could exactly picture the Man of the House and hear his voice when he spoke, LOL!

By the way, Mrs Khanna, if you’d like to read a couple of sci-fi stories now that the baby has grown up a little and you may have a little more free time (the book is from 2015), drop me a line and I’ll send you a sneak preview of the Lone Wolves Team… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now I only have to read the two books on the aforementioned Bollywood Hero a.k.a. Da Muse, but they’re definitely not as entertaining as Mrs. Funnybones… Have a great weekend, everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Random Friday


Future reading for research purposes blog post! I finally got everything from the various Amazon marketplaces (IT, FR and .com), so here’s the plan.

June reading for the next vampire novel that starts in 2005 Mumbai and goes from there – I include in this pic also the title for the sadist author, although vampires aren’t that easy to hurt, so that one goes actually for all the other books! ๐Ÿ˜‰

July reading for POC Book 2 – Wanderlust. Survival in a post-apocalyptic but reborn world, since it’s been 3-4 centuries since the Event. The World Without Us is a re-read, probably just scanning for what I need, and the survival guides are also more for consultation than actual reading (although flipping through the pages I may come up with plot points, haha!).

These are all non-fiction books, and at the end of the year you’ll know which ones I recommend. As for fiction, I’m slowly trudging through bundles on my Kindle, but I have so many, I’ll never catch up, sigh. This month I’m reading a friend’s stories (he’s doing the 30-stories-in-30-days challenge) and some classic for research into steampunk – Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.

Something randomly different: I haven’t seen Padmaavat yet – well, I’ve seen the trailer and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it or not (the DVD isn’t out yet anyway), but then I got this review of the movie in my inbox (Google Alerts) and now I’m really considering it, since there are some people who are aware that those Rajput are quite delusional! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did study that time period for Rajveer the Vampire, although I found out later that Padmini or Padmavati might have not existed, but well… this lady did an excellent review and might have convinced me to give it a try – knowing the shortcomings beforehand might help, LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, that’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Random Friday


So, last week I was off Day Job and after a few days at home to work on Nightly Bites Volume 2 (by the way, it’s up for pre-order, yay!) I hopped on a train to Milan with my friend and cover artist Cristina Fabris. We arrived around 3pm and spent the afternoon chilling out in our hotel room – she had work to finish and I had a novel to check, LOL!

Friday we met with her friend and fan Michel at the central train station and headed for Cartoomics, where I was supposed to meet two more of my cover artists, Lawrence Wendigo and Rossana Beretta, to give them proofs of the book with their covers…

I also had a list of comics I wanted to buy since I hadn’t gone to a comicon in a few years, so I ended up with a very heavy bag. And since I flew back from Linate (I had to use my Alitalia miles, LOL!), I decided to send some of that stuff back by mail.

Saturday morning I went to the post office and sent to my parents 4,1kg of comics. Then we went to the bookstores around Duomo, where I lost my hat (in the Mondadori flagship store – and they got rid of the Espresso Book Machine, IMHO…), then we met with Franco Giambalvo of an Italian SFF site.

We had lunch with him then spent an hour at Tempo di Libri, meeting Francesco Verso, then, being wrecked, we went back to the hotel. Sunday morning, we got home separated, since I flew and she took the train again…

And yesterday I retrieved the box of comics from my parents… destroyed, but the interior was fine, yay! Now battling a spring cold, but wishing you a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! ๐Ÿ˜€

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called Exposedย – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

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