Writer Wednesday


And here you have Kol-ian in all his might in another great bundle! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love Magik Glow is now live with 7 great QUILTBAG stories, including the trilogy about the technological angel and his gorgeous brother-in-law! ๐Ÿ˜€ Get it now!

So, in spite of the heat and a weekend away from home, I still managed to get some writing done. I’m adding the last of the meat and hope to do a final pass next weekend, after which another novel will be off – not just to the beta-reader of the challenge, but to the cover artist, who is also a necessary beta-reader, and maybe another beta if she has time, but she’s probably busy with her fan-fiction contest…

We’ll see. I might just leave it at 2 – the cover artist because she’s from that culture and she can point out cultural mistakes, the “paid” beta because it’s his challenge! ๐Ÿ˜‰ BTW I got a sketch of the cover, it’s going to be a great addition to the Vampires Through the Centuries covers! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I might send an excerpt to Unusual Historicals again, hoping they don’t forget the second half of the bargain – the giveaway – like they did with Kaylyn last year…

I have written stories based on illustrations or covers in the past, in fact I might do it again in August, since I’m already thinking about the cover of that novel… and it is indeed fun – writing a novel from a cover or a story from an illustration. My two latest examples are Star Minds Third Generation – Iso-bel Aya Shermac and Starship Pilot (link to the inspiration art by Techie Bro)… Even though the second has only been used to illustrate the story for Patreon patrons, it still started from there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The writerly links of the week! The Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto – not sure what platform I have since some of those I have high and some I have very low for having been 7 years at it, but well…ย  As for the 3 tools, I have a website with a byline and this very blog. My email list is still lagging behind, but I’m waving madly to all of you blog followers and Facebook fans! ๐Ÿ˜€

If you’re having a bad writing day, read this post. Happens to everybody. I often flirt with Mr Procrastination, in spite of being married to Mr Writing. But it’s a muscle, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So practise, practise, practise and you’ll forget what Writer’s Block is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I never joined KDP Select and KU… it’s because it’s broken. And Amazon doesn’t seem to realize they’re pissing off customers too. Mighty Zon might fall soon if they don’t the address the scammers breaking the Kindle Store! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ If you’re an author, don’t use clickfarms. Or even better, don’t be Amazon exclusive – I do have sales on Kobo, D2D and Smashwords, and you’re missing on readers by ignoring everybody else.

And if you’re a KU subscriber, please please please tell Amazon to do something about these people. Or soon all the indie authors will leave KU and your subscription won’t let you read anything… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And I’m in another, upcoming bundle! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please like the page and wait for it! And a reminder that this (below) bundle is currently available only on DriveThruFiction and it’s a limited time offer, it will be gone after the summer! If you haven’t read the Assassins’ Guild stories, you can grab them in your favorite format here! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter (the next comes out in September), please do so and don’t ask me to add you manually – I wouldn’t know how to send you the welcome email with the free story… Or you can support me on Patreon, where I regularly post both for writers and readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

And hello to the new followers, thank you for deciding to follow this very blog for whatever reason. Not going to ask anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now, to the writerly news.

Novel #2 is well underway and I hope to have that first draft ready for “meating up” next weekend. I’m kind of jumping back and forward on this one because it has a predetermined outline, but I’ll still need to read it all in one sitting or two to see if it flows. Reaching the 20th century is easier and harder at the same time.

I mean, I can describe Jaipur or Delhi like I saw them last year (even though the characters are in Jaipur in the first half of last century), but at the same time… I don’t know. I guess I should do more travelogues, it would definitely help when I write! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That darn setting still tends to escape me.

I’m still unsure about a secondary character and I’ll make up my mind when I reach the end and then cycle backย  to add some meat. I don’t know why the first draft is always very sparse… maybe I need to think about it more before I cand add stuff?

Or maybe it’s just that my brain is fried during the summer? I hate it when cicadas sing all day, it means it’s too darn hot for my tastes and I should move to Iceland! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Glad I found a nice desk fan for the writing times… ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll start the writerly links with this post by Tracy Cooper-Posey – why should historical characters sound like they’re speaking funny in historical novels? Since I’m currently writing historical fantasy, I think it’s perfect timing. I’ve had some betas pointing out some too modern terms in my fantasy too, but I tend to write plain English (with American Spelling – like Tracy, I grew up with British spelling) for the very reason she states.

I mean, I understand I better avoid 21st century slang, and I did use the “thou” and “art thee” once in a fan fiction, but it was precisely because the character had been locked up and sounded funny to modern English speakers (I sort of mention it in Kaylyn’s novel – Kris tells her that she has a “Shakespearian English” since that’s more or less the time she stopped speaking English).

And as a reader I hate even accents, so I say NO to that kind of gimmick. I hate it as much as purple prose and jolts me out of the story immediately! You want to keep Reader Me happy? Write in plain English. Your translator in some other language will thank you, trust me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And since the heat makes me sleepy, I can’t really read more (reading also makes me sleepy…) so I’ll probably have to pass a couple of interesting bundles because I have already too many books to read. I’m even supposed to vote for the Hugos, except I have read none of the nominees! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Oh, and if you want to be on A Small Gang of Authors, here’s their joining page – you can either be guest, like I was, or join them (if you have a Blogger account)! And Bundle Rabbit has added the collaboration tab, so if you’re trying to set up an anthology, you can use that feature!

Just in case you’re new, Bundle Rabbit allows indie authors to set up their own bundles (and cross-pollinate their readers with other authors) and readers to discover new authors by buying a favorite name along with a few more. I currently have two curated bundles (means that I put them together) – one of fantasy novels and one of science fiction (space opera or humorous sci-fi) – and my books have been chosen for two more that I will announce as soon as they go live.

My next curated bundle will have vampires, so if you have a novel-length vampire story, join Bundle Rabbit and upload it, so I can find it in September when I start putting together the next one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Check also the Book Spoltight on Library of Erana (supposedly just one, but there’s actually two, LOL!), with even very short excerpts to give you a taste. Have a great week!

 

Sunday Surprise


I am a guest! At A Small Gang of Authors! And since I can’t comment on their blog because it’s only for Google+ users, I will comment here. Blameย  it on the incompatibility between Blogger and WordPress! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Joe Bonadonna *Waves madly* Hellooo! Thank you for introducing me to your gang! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a pleasure having you on my blog and whenever you want to come back… you know where to find me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Erika M Szabo Thank you for havingย  me! It was a pleasure! Whenever you want to be a guest here, just drop me a line! ๐Ÿ˜‰

NN Light Thank you! Sorry for not responding on the blog… as I say below, if you want to be a guest on my blog… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cristina Grau Thank you for having me!

Mackenzie Flohr Thank you and welcome! Sorry I couldn’t reply under your message… I always welcome guest authors, so if you have a new release and want to answer my writerly questions, shoot me an email! ๐Ÿ™‚

If there are more comments, I’ll add them below… so this post shall be edited a few times! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great Sunday!

EDIT:

Rick Haynes Thank you, Rick… hopefully in the next 3-4 years I’ll manage to getย  rid of that darn DayJob! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Besides, you find out you’ve had a career only when you look back…

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… here we go!

Star Minds Next Generation

It’s available for pre-order on all retailers and will come out soon! So you’ll have both fantasy and sci-fi for your summer reading! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m very happy with the authors in this bundle – this time I have met most of them personally.

You have a great variety – from my Goodreads friends Steph Bennion and Ubiquitous Bubba, who were interviewed on this blog for Wyrd Worlds, some workshop buddies I met on the Oregon Coast (Rebecca Bates, Michael Lucas, Russ Crossley, Blaze Ward, Robert Jeschonek), to the man who made us meet (Dean Wesley Smith – the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up) and a few more that I found browsing the awesome content marketplace at BundleRabbit.

So I’m still riding the fantasy bundle, reading all the other books, and already I’m starting a new journey, a trek to the stars with these wonderful fellows. I made a book trailer for it and it will come out on Independence Day (which, by the way, is the birthday of my Australian friend, maybe she’d like one as a gift? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so stay tuned…

The indie community is really great. Because there’s no such thing as a self-published author – that’s so 20th century thinking! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And also this small post on negotiation is a good way to remind us that traditional publishing is still tricky. And if we want to tackle the audio market independently it’s getting easier every year. Now Draft2Digital offers audiobooks as an alternative to ACX…

It’s really a great time to be an author. Final wordcount for this month in July, but know that I finished and sent out the first novel of the challenge. Onward to the vampires novel that must be finished by the end of July… have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


So, it’s official, I’m in the Worldcon Programme! I can’t be more specific right now, but stay tuned for days and times. Great panels coming ahead, really great panels. Looking forward to them! If you happen to be in Helsinki for Worldcon 75, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will post my schedule closer to the dates…

Aaand… three months after the Anthology Workshop, I made a sale! My first professional sale! So, time for a little happy dance! ๐Ÿ˜€Ahem! Where was I? Ah, yes, the novel challenge. Probably three-quarters done, but I’ll need to go back and add the meat during the weekend. Some things never change, some things do. I still have to print it out and make the additions on paper. At least I don’t do the first draft longhand anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A good reminder that writers (or any kind of creative person) are the worst judges of their works (besides giving it away for free or cheap, that is). I currently think my novel is a mess, but I’ll let the first reader and proofreader be the judges.

For a good laugh, how to fail as a writer – let’s not forget writing by committee. If you don’t write by committee, you’ll never make it! And on a more serious note, what makes a $100K Author (don’t look at me!). I am currently running an Amazon ad, but so fare it’s only expenses and no sales. Will report after I complete 3! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I shall leave the announcement for the next bundle for next week… when I’ll have changed the pictures on the Facebook page! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if you want a hint, just head there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random Friday


With special thanks to a Goodreads friend *waves at Jessica* I was introduced to the Diabolic Shrimp. It’s an authors network, but it’s also for readers.

The very kind Josh said that if I happened to know readers or writers, I should invite them to join the fun too. His words:

Iโ€™m adding a FREE opportunity to advertise your book that will only take a moment of your time.ย  If you are willing to share Diabolic Shrimp in FIVE social media posts or TEN individual messages to other people (readers or authors), then I will post your book in the footer of Diabolic Shrimp for a whole month.ย  This will include the cover picture, a two sentence description, and a link to the book landing page (see my example on Diabolic Shrimp).ย  This appears on every page of the site including the homepage.ย  I only have three spots available so please contact me at this email or on the site if youโ€™re interested.ย  (This option is currently booked up until January 2018! Lย  Iโ€™m researching ways to free up more advertising space.ย  Just wanted you to be aware of it for the future.)

For the second feature, Iโ€™m creating a new drawing called the Shrimp Tank.ย  I will draw a ticket from the Shrimp Tank every month and buy a book from whoever is drawn (this is in addition to my monthly buy and the book I buy to give away to readers).ย  When you get a ticket entered into the Shrimp Tank, it stays forever, so everything you do builds your chances to be drawn over time.ย  There are several ways to get tickets (one of them is FREE).ย  You may have noticed I highlight an authorโ€™s novel each month.ย  If you buy that authorโ€™s novel, I put FIVE tickets into the Shrimp Tank for you.ย  I will place THREE tickets in if you buy another authorโ€™s book that Iโ€™ve also bought (it has a picture of me with their book on Diabolic Shrimp).ย  If you buy one of my (Josh Grantโ€™s) novels, I put THREE tickets into the Shrimp Tank.ย  And if youโ€™re all for the free option, either sharing Diabolic Shrimp in one social media post or individually messaging three people will get you ONE ticket (you can do this multiple times if you like).ย  You donโ€™t need to provide proof of any of these things (Diabolic Shrimp is all about integrity), just email me and tell me what you did and provide your name so I can add you to the Tank.

Now, since he’s also a writer, I hope to have him soon on this very blog for an interview. If you wish to know more, hop here. And if you want to join, here.

In the meantime, I wish you a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind theย  paid wall! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

Writer Wednesday


While cleaning the spam comments I found an old post of mine from 2010… Let’s see how things have changed since!

Anyway, here are my six:

1) Find an agent

2) Publish a novel (first step of MANY :-D)

3) Start the Silvery Earth web page

4) Become a best selling author in my genre

5) Write and publish all those Silvery Earth novels/stories/graphic novels (for that staircase, the sky is the limit! ;-))

6) Quit the day job and live of my writing (and I’m not greedy, I only want to be able to quit the day job).

#1 Nope. No thanks. No longer looking for that.

#2 Done. First of many as advertized. I started publishing in 2011, but I do not wish to count how many are novels or collections or whatnot. That’s almost 150 titles to check, so… just gone and done it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

#3 Even better, I have Unicorn Productions web-page, with all the books in all the series and genres and languages and whatnot! Yay! This happened in 2015…

#4 Er… still working on that… And even though I definitely love SFF, I’m also tackling other genres lately, so… maybe I haven’t found my true calling yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

#5 Done and even added the Star Minds series and the Vampires Through the Centuries and the Body Switches

#6 Still working on that one too. By the way, I tinkered with the Patreon rewards again, since it was too complicated having tiers with the same amount. Would you prefer a Paypal Donate button? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Moving on! Wordcount for May is 32K, not counting this week. I also spent almost a week doing non-writerly things so I’d be ready for the Novel Challenge starting tomorrow. So hopefully in the next three months I’ll write a lot more because a) I have a challenge and b) it’s the summer, it’s too hot to be outside, hence more time to stay in and write! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week I formatted all the ebooks that will come out this summer, did the covers and so on – I only have one story that will go to the proofreader on Monday and will come out in August, but I’ll tinker with that cover during the upcoming long weekend (June 2 is national holiday in Italy) and since it’s a novella, it won’t take me long to format it for publication.

Still two more authors’ interviews for the Fantasy bundle, then I’ll introduce the Sci-Fi bundle coming in July. Still waiting for Worldcon to let me know my schedule, but I hope to have a panel or three. At least I’m in the list of the Also Appearing now, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And it’s here! The Fantasy bundle is live!

Go get it on Bundle Rabbit or your favorite retailer (if you pre-ordered it, it should come to your device today)!

And to celebrate, please check this interview with the man without whom this wouldn’t have been possible: ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Heintzelman talking with Johanna Penn! I do mean The Johanna Penn! And if she suggests e-book bundling, you should listen! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And it’s a podcast, so you can easily just listen to them talking (I admit I’d rather read, but that’s just me, LOL!)…

Now go get that bundle and spend the summer reading fantasy books… or at least a month until the next bundle comes out and takes you to space… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? ๐Ÿ˜‰ And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ™‚

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