Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new ebook out – a vampire called Sun! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’ve read The Phantom Games or are familiar with Vampires Through the Centuries, Helios of Sparta is not new to you. And now you can finally read his story! ๐Ÿ™‚ For those who don’t know him at all, here’s the blurb:

A vampire called Sun in Ancient Sparta and beyond.
After meeting a mysterious barbarian who can turn into a wolf, Helios marches on Megalopolis with the rest of the Spartan army, only to be part of the defeat of 331BC at the hand of the Macedonians.
Worse than the defeat is the death of Helios’ beloved, Kyros, and when the blond barbarian shows up while he’s mourning, he lets Bran mesmerize him into accepting his gift.
Thus starts the life under the moon of Helios of Sparta, no longer a Hoplite and former Olympic champion, but a vampire through the centuries and around the Mediterranean to meet his destiny in Bran’s home island of Britannia.

And after spending about half an hour on BookBrush Friday night, I went back to the Covervault templates. For someone like me who has some Photoshop skills, BookBrush is clunky and useless. But if you have no experience, it can be a nice way of preparing your marketing cards.

I joined because I hoped to get some 3D box sets covers, but they’re behind a paywall, so I might as well grab the Covervault templates for box sets, which is a single expense and not a monthly or yearly fee for never using the site. I might eventually use the 15 free downloads on BookBrush, but not yet.

Can you sell more books when you’re terrified of selling? Kristen Lamb gives some very good advice here. I’m trying to make both this blog and the Newsletter (redux) more interactive, but besides my dear friend Tori, it doesn’t look like I’m achieving much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hey, I’m only human and cannot produce billions of words a day like OpenAI’s GPT-3 algorithm! That’s why you have only a weekly post here and the occasional post on the publisher’s site and bi-monthly newsletter. And I’m a prolific writer… although last week I wrote less than 6k.

Life rolls, that’s what some people call them. Day Job is getting crazier and I started phisiotherapy for a shoulder that hurts, so less time to write. Also, sort of inbetween projects, so again, not writing as much as when I’m in the middle of a short novel! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you dream of selling your book to Hollywood, read this cautionary tale. For the new people who joined, I started writing in English by writing screenplays, because the prose is easier – present tense, no need for descriptions or thoughts – and my writing style back then was pretty much a movie.

After my attempts at breaking into Hollywood, I decided to go back to prose because I’m a control freak. Movies and TV series are team works (and especially in movies, the writer is cut out of the equation pretty early), books are all their author’s creation. And I like to be the creative goddess of my stories, LOL!

Coming up – some heroic fantasy news! First of all, next week the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) will announce a fantasy book bundle that will delight even the most discerning dragons. And yours truly is among them, so stay tuned.

Sword of Cho Nisi Trilogy by Dianne Gardner is a very complex campaign that has lots of moving parts and a lot of different levels for supporters to jump in at. Check it out.

Ending on a positive note – I tested negative for Covid. Now waiting for a vaccine, so I can travel again. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I hope you had a fabulous Easter or Passover or Just Another Weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚ I used the time to change all my publishing plans again, LOL! So from next weekend new stories. The box sets have been postponed to the summer. And there might be a break in publishing during June, unless I manage to put together a few collections and book Mighty Editor on time.

I was hoping to be able to put up three paperbacks and order them, but one was stuck “in review” for 3 days, so my order for the first two was deleted after the first 24 hours. I had to wait until the third went live to order them all. Hopefully I’ll get them some time in the next couple of weeks.

Last week I wrote a little over 10K on the Duology and a related story before moving on. Like I said, I need to wait for the months to fly by and I still have to figure out a few kinks and rules necessary to worldbuilding, lest my readers get mad at me for contraddicting myself. It’s a different way of creating a parallel world from what I used to do, which might be why it’s taking me so long.

Remember the Infinite Bard? It still has my short story, The Raven, at the bottom… that list of free reads has grown to some 50 free stories to read online. Go check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚ New stories go live on Thursdays, I think.

Spring is here, and next weekend EUR is all closed up for the E-prix. And since last year they couldn’t run, they’re running on both days – with no public whatsoever. They also do a slightly different circuit because this year Fuksas “Nuvola” is a vaccination center. So hopefully it will take them less time to take down everything and allow us to get on with our lives.

I’ve taken the Writing Time Travel workshop, so I might write a few more time travel stories (I already wrote a couple for the Shared Worlds workshop). If you follow me on Bookbub (reviews tab), you can see I just finished a time travel novel and I’m starting on another one (although you won’t know which until I’m done and if I like it enough to recommend it, LOL).

I did write some time travel, precisely in Books of the Immortals – Fire that came out 10 years ago. If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it for free with Newsletter #2 coming out in June. Subscribe at the publisher’s page, as I already said quite a few times.

Soon I’ll be announcing another group effort. Thank you for those who purchased the IASFA sci-fi bundle and stay tuned for more offers, both free and paid. Easing off into the routine after a week off Day Job, I wish you a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


The classic editor comes and goes from this dashboard, so some learning curve will be involved in the coming days. Now I might need a couple of weeks to get used to the new thingy, but hopefully it won’t be too messy. Slowly getting the hang of it, so to speak.

Anyhow, Newsletter #1 is ready to roll with a full novel as free download. It goes out tomorrow and you still have time to subscribe, get the free story immediately and wait for the novel tomorrow. Still can’t figure out how to put sign up forms elsewhere, so please hop off to the publisher’s site and dump your email in the newsletter sign-up, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, last days for the sci-fi bundle… grab it now if you haven’t already! Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month weโ€™ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

My friend Francesco Verso published his first collection of short stories in English. If you’d like to try some Italian sci-fi, here’s what he has to say:

Writing short stories โ€“ contrary to popular belief โ€“ is very hard. You canโ€™t procrastinate, you canโ€™t hide behind turns of phrase, you have to know where you are going and which buttons to press to reach the point in as few words as possible. Paradoxically the short story is the narrative form most suitable for the accelerated times in which we all find ourselves: brief, dense, and compact, the short story is a precious and agile interface for understanding the future we will be living in for the rest of our days. These are my first eleven short stories written between 2008 and 2020, inside you will find a kaleidoscope of visions of the future, ranging from augmented reality to artificial intelligence, from gamification to #solarpunk, all the way to biotechnology and post-humanism.

You can find his book on Amazon.IT (and probably the other marketplaces as well, but this is the link he gives).

And for a different kind of sci-fi, Cygnus Rising by Craig Martelle, the first book in the Cygnus Space Opera series, is on sale for 99 cents from tomorrow. “From the ashes of their past, Cygnus was rising. From space they came, to space they returned, humanity searching for a way home.” Grab it from your favorite retaile fromr April 1. Limited time and no, not an April Fools’! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now back to regular programming! Last week I wrote 13K (more or less like the previous week) on my urban/contemporary fantasy Duology, hoping to finish a fist draft by Easter. There’s still some way to go in world-building and other stuff, so I don’t think this will come out anytime soon, but well… I’m on it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now that Holi came and went, I had to rewrite a couple of scenes in the Duology… but I’m keeping everything in the “deleted scenes” file, just in case. The Duology ends in October, hence I won’t be able to publish before then. It will soon be dated, even if I don’t mention it’s 2020-2021, but I thought the now would be a good time to mix some magic into the hell we’re going through all over the world.

Last weekend I did most of the fun publishing stuff, i.e. covers! I like choosing the stock images and possibly get the background from my own pictures to save credits, but some places I’ve never been to, so I must use stock images. You can already see some results in the Books of the Immortals cover variants that will be available to Newsletter subscribers throughout the year: Books of the Immortals – Fire has a stock image of Timbuktu, Books of the Immortals – Ether has Junagarh Fort of Bikaner in the background, taken by yours truly back in 2016 during my tour of Rajasthan.

So I prepared all the covers for the books coming out in the next few months, and now I’m left with the boring part – editing and formatting. This morning I’ll be busy helping my friend and cover artist Cristina (who did the original Books of the Immortals covers) with her own stuff as well and no new titles will come out this weekend because it’s Easter. Most people will celebrate it – or Passover – so I won’t bother publishing anything.

Then it will be box sets and collections, and the new titles should arrive in June. It’s novellas and short stories. I have a bunch of short story collections to publish as well, and possibly another curated anthology or two. We’ll see.

paperbacks of Books of the Immortals - Air

And let’s not forget tomorrow it’s the Bookversary of Books of the Immortals – Air! Here you can read that first announcement… ten years already… where did time go? Anyhow, get the ebook for free by subscribing to the newsletter above! ๐Ÿ™‚ With a variant cover, but it’s still the same book… or wait a couple of weeks for an even better deal… stay tuned!

A last suggested article/book in case you’re a buddying writer – For Independent Authors: The Ultimate Guide to Publishing Wide. I’m notoriously wide, although I don’t go direct to Nook and Apple, but I use both Smashwords and Draft2Digital as distributors. I have only one short story in KU, Lisa’s Odyssey, at least in English. Now I shall go back to my writing and editing and formatting paperbacks… have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the prequels to Future Earth Chronicles are now out in a single 90K book! The cover has the alien symbol with a stylized human brain at the center because… brainwaves! Gotta love those alien psy-vamps! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week I wrote 13K+ on two entwined books. I’m working mostly on the second book of the Duology and I had to do some research about Holi in Delhi. Besides someone saying that last year there were no celebrations because of the pandemic (my friend told me lockdown hadn’t started in India for Holi, since it was in early March…), I found this other article that even time-travels to the upcoming festival!

Yes, Holi is next week this year, but according to them:

“Holiyappa, 2021!

The event took place on the 29th of March, 2021. It was organised in The Junction, Green Park Delhi. The event promoted to offer lovely music to the audience so that they could dance and enjoy. It presented some famous DJs like Dj Dheer and DjTanuj.Its theme was ‘Music, colours and good vibes’.”

Note that it’s the only event that is set in the future in the article, so it’s probably an uncorrected (except for the date) excerpt from last year.

Anyhow, my characters already enjoyed the Rang Leela, even though it hasn’t happened yet, LOL! Actually this whole Duology is written in the near future, so I plan to go back to each chapter/month when we get there (like, I dumped a few paragraphs in March of Book 1 last week, and will do the same when April comes along). So this might see publication at the end of the year.

I might start writing some real time-travel stories later this year, but I still have to take the online workshop about writing time travel, as well as read a few time travel stories. I’m almost done with the bundles on KK, so soon I’d have to switch on the new Kindle again, and upload all the books I have gathered so far. Sigh.

I got an email from KDP saying they will no longer accept mobi files for reflowable ebooks. So I’m just going to upload word.doc from now on – I used to put up the Smashwords mobi files when there was a big ToC, but whatever. I can always upload the Smashwords epub files instead! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Should writers write every day? It depends. If you need to get into the writing groove, you probably should. If you have already found what work best for you, ignore all advice. Also, remember you might change even a true and tested way of writing through your life. I agree with Chuck Wendig’s advice:

The greatest advice I think I offer to writers these days is to Know Thyself. Which is to say, figure out who you are as a writer. Your processes are your own to discover. Your voice is your own to seek and to find. Who you are and what you write and further,ย how you write, is something literally nobody else can tell you. So, should you write every day? Some will tell you YES YES YES, some will tell you NO NO NO, but the answer is, well, shit, I dunno. Itโ€™s both. Itโ€™s neither. All/none of the above. Maybe itโ€™ll help you. Maybe itโ€™ll hurt you. Maybe itโ€™ll do the one until it does the other, because things workโ€ฆ until they donโ€™t. You only learn this by trying.

Writing advice, and the conversation around is, is always to help you crystalize and contextualize your own way of doing things. And sometimes, itโ€™s there to challenge them. I was a pantser at the start of my career until I realized I had to โ€”ย had to! โ€” be a plotter to get a book done. Butย Wanderers was a book I wrote without an outline. So was Dust & Grim, Book of Accidents, and Wayward. I was a pantser, then a plotter, then a pantser. None of this is permanent. Iโ€™m not permanent. My works will change and how I approach them will change, too.

I was a total pantser, now I’m a half-plotter, especially if I need to stick to a calendar of events (be them real history or fake history on a secondary world, or even alternate history on our world). And even if my voice is more or less the same, I changed and so will the stories I tell and the way I tell them.

Now, for reading and writing pleasure, check out this Kickstarter. As Kris Rusch says, it includes a book on writing as well as a full collection of fantasy books:

If you want to read the Fey, the best way to do so is to back the Kickstarter at the $30 level. Youโ€™ll get all seven existing books of the Fey, the new novella, the only Fey short story (at the moment), four other fantasy novels, and $600 in online writing workshops (at the time of this writing), all for your $30.

If you’re a writer, here are the rewards – lots of goodies and lots of learning for you. Also, re: Kickstarter for fiction writers (from Kris’s blog post above again),

Many of you are daunted by the idea of doing a Kickstarter. Dean and Loren L. Coleman are running a free class on Teachable called Kickstarter Best Practices For Fiction Writers. Investigate it. If you donโ€™t feel ready, you have the knowledge in your back pocket for when you are ready. If you are ready, make sure youโ€™re doing the Kickstarter the best way possible.

Know that Loren L. Coleman also has a Kickstarter on how to do a Kickstarter for your fiction. Crowdfunding Your Fiction: Best Practices can be yours for 2$! A few more days to go and it already reached the 2000$ stretch goal, so more goodies for your two bucks! ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s all for today… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

***

Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month weโ€™ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

The Science Fiction Book Bundle will be available from May 15th thru April 4th.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s the last book of Before Future Earth Chronicles! ๐Ÿ™‚ On the cover Ram and Zarina, which makes my friend Shafali cringe because I put a Hindu boy with a Muslim girl, but that’s the point of the story! Romeo and Juliet with religion instead of feuding families! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is a revision of Mumbai Dreams with a slightly different ending and pushed in the future. Here’s the full blurb of yhe ebook:

Two novellas at the time of the apocalypse and beyond.

โ€œMumbai, 2060CEโ€ tells the love story between Ram and Zarina โ€“ a completely revised edition of Mumbai Dreams.

โ€œInheritorโ€ tells the story of David, son of Daniel the vampire and Donna the alien human, kicked out of the alien facility where his parents live and exiled in the Himalayan Rainbow Town.

BONUS:

Excerpts from Rainbow Towns Journals

1. Claude Mancini, Rainbow Town Mont Blanc

2. Nour Shah, Rainbow Town Sahand

3. Jacob Davies, Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell

These three things will probably mixed with the other two books in the Omnibus that will come out in a couple of weeks. I realized I haven’t formatted that one yet because I probably haven’t decided the order in which to put the stories, since they sometimes overlap, LOL!

I mean, “Mumbai, 2060CE” is at the same time of part three of “Lockdown Begins” – same story from another point of view, should they be next to each other? Maybe I’ll put the journals first, since all three are mentioned in part one? I’ll think about it next weekend…

Last week I wrote my 10K although I spent most of the weekend cleaning up publishing stuff. I tried to change a few things on the publisher’s page and somehow screwed up, so I had to ask for help to Mighty Webmaster Admin who solved everything remotely. But I had to re-add the newsletter sign-up and when I tried to change the header picture, I couldn’t.

I did follow his instructions, but things changed in the WordPress dashboard and despite my attempts I couldn’t change the image. I won’t bother Mighty Webmaster Admin again – until the next problem. Already last week I had an email alert that something was wrong with the site, then I made a mess myself… Asking help 3 times in one week is way too much, I shall leave him alone for now! ๐Ÿ˜€

A business musing by Kris Rusch that reminded me why I’m in this still, ten years later. Yes, the world is changing, every norm has been shattered, it’s hard to predict where we’re going – and I didn’t see a rise in sales, but what she says about old traditional system and new indie publishing is still true.

And it breaks my heart that there are still young writers looking for agents. I guess I was lucky to be alive in the age of the typewriter. And in a country that didn’t have creative writing courses at the time (they started in the new millennium in case you’re wondering). And that Mom helped me understand that vanity publishers weren’t publishers and money flows to the writer and all that stuff.

I dreamed of being a writer in my teens too. But it was the 20th century, and already back then what felt awesome as soon as I wrote it became stale when I read it again two or five years later.

We change throughout our lives – I think I mentioned the various “stages” of my writing – and I’m still at a point where I hate everything I write, but I keep writing anyway because that’s what I do.

I’m a writer, I write. I’m the worst judge of my work, so I shall let readers and editors decide with their wallets. It’s a long term thing, a career, not an overnight, unsustainable success, and I will get there.

I discovered this article on Aphantasia, which actually matches my lack of setting, although probably for different reasons from the author of the article.

When I was younger I didn’t put a setting because I was too lazy, but I did see a movie in my head. Talking heads in white rooms mostly.ย Now I have trouble visualizing scenes, and sometimes I start thinking how I’d write it, instead of trying to visualize it.

What I mean is we change also in the way we express ourselves. I used to write down the movies in my head, dialog-heavy with a camera always on extreme close-up.

Now I’m more wordy and less visual, but the transition isn’t smooth. I still have trouble every now and then, and I try to visualize the scene, and then think how I could write it down – with the setting and everything.

Another thing that changed through the decades is going from real people in my stories (during my teens) to virtual casts of celebrities (from movies and music videos) to finding inspiration from stock images or DazStudio 3D rendering characters (although I still thow in Da Muses and other celebrities every now and then)

That’s probably why sometimes I cringe when I read older titles, but I’m not going to rewrite them They are the best stories I could write at the time, and I moved on since.

I don’t think I’m completely changing my voice now, at 50+ and after 15 years of switching to writing primarily in English! ๐Ÿ™‚

If I ever write something that doesn’t sound like me, I have another super sikrit pen name ready! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, and remember that contest for Cupid flash fiction/poems? I posted a flash fiction, but Tori, who posted after me, won the contest! So glad I sent her their way! Congrats, Tori! And you guys can go check that page and enjoy those valentine stories! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last but not least: more free books at IASFA! Go check the Alien SciFi free books page! The promotion runs from March 9-13!

Next week, the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (IASFA) will announce a science fiction book bonanza that is out of this world.

And if you’re anti-Zon (most IASFA autors are Kindle Unlimited), there’s also a BookFunnel giveaway with 150+ (!) SFF books! Ends at the end of the month…

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to start with the wordcount because it was low (the lowest of the year) but in the grander scheme of these past 10 years I’m doing just great, LOL! So, last week I wrote only 6.5K words and took the weekend off to ponder what I should do to celebrate these past ten years.

A quick recap is as follows:

2011-2014 I didn’t keep track of yearly wordcounts, so I can only count the published works: 1263600words (1.2million words)

2015: 402700words

2016: 468700words

2017: 347100words

2018: 535300words

2019: 533100words

2020: 588800words

2021: 74595words so far

Grand total: 2850295words (almost 3 million words, which I’ll hit sometime this year for sure) for 2015-2021, with the most written during the pandemic year (when I couldn’t travel and the only thing I could do was writing, a good way of traveling with my imagination, since the body was stuck, LOL!)

So, instead on concentrating about hitting that goal of wordcount again, I’m going to concentrate on revamping the first titles for this year – while still writing new stuff, of course. I need to find new readers for those 4 million words, LOL!

I’ll probably restart the newsletter soon (you can already subscribe on the publisher’s page) and I’m pondering what to give you, the reader, to entice you to subscribe! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It will still be bi-montly, like it used to be between 2015 and 2019, but no more on MailChimp. I’m trying the WordPress Newsletter plug-in, and I’m currently studying it. Stay tuned for news!

Monday I checked the file that I got back from the editor and then yesterday I went back to the novel I had interrupted to write a few assignments. Hopefully the wordcount will rise again this week! More good news coming this month, but I can’t say much just yet. Again, stay tuned.

Back to writing and creating! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new title! Another prequel, before Future Earth Chronicles, again the apocalypse years but from the humans (and human symbionts) points of view. On the cover is Kaya, who invites a Terran neuroscientist in Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell (the one that is featured in Brainwaves, in case you have read the series).

The apocalypse years through the eyes of both Terrans and alien humans.
Neuroscientist Jacob Davies is invited to Rainbow Town by mysterious college mate Kaya Satsuko with a job offer he canโ€™t refuse.

Suzzi hears her friends talking about vampires and asks to be assigned outside of Rainbow Town. She goes to work in Beijing where, along with Bao, sheโ€™ll have to tackle the venomous Asian vampires living in the area.

Yudi is the son of a Terran and an alien human who has followed his best friend to Mumbai. Ram hopes to break into Bollywood, but then he falls in loveโ€ฆ

So, go grab Lockdown Origins at your favorite retailer. The paperback will be available with the omnibus in March. Stay tuned!

After reading David Gaughran’s post on covers, I went to peruse some premades… I’m just wondering why, in 2021, with an ongoing pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic covers still show a nuclear apocalypse like in the 20th century. Sigh.

Having researched gas masks for Breathe (that you can find in Breathe), I can also tell you that those filters don’t last, so they’re pretty much useless in a nuclear apocalypse. None of those covers would work for my Future Earth Chronicles, where the apocalypse is just a collapse of technology and power stations (see what’s happening in Texas without power)…

But then, I’m dealing mostly with Rainbow Towns, at least for now. Maybe eventually I’ll show the actual collapse outside of those underground settlements! Still, I doubt any of those covers would work for me anyway.

Moving on, an nice article on what the 2021 Facebook changes mean for authors. Now, my author page used to be a Fan Page, like they mention in the article, and I’m sick of having Facebook asking me if I’m hiring, if I’m giving Covid information, and if I have business hours. I’m an author, not a business yet!

The group connected to that page is now private and with no members, since I couldn’t find a way to close it. And I won’t ever use Facebook ads or even Facebook Live, but YMMV. So, thank you for following this blog (if you like my blathering) or follow the publisher’s page if you want to know only when a new book is out.

I still haven’t studied the Newsletter WordPress plugin and I’m not ready to go that way just yet, so you’ll have to bear with me on this very blog or the above page for now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And before I forget, last week I wrote a little over 8K until Friday, then the weekend was off writing for various reasons. 1) I screwed up the latest story and will need to rewrite it, but it doesn’t have a close deadline, so I had to push it to the side because 2) I got another call with a much closer deadline so I had to concentrate on that instead.

By Monday afternoon another 2.5K were down, though, so I guess the 10K are done! Moving on to the next project (or rewriting that story, it was an experiment and it was a failure, so back to the drawing board! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )!

A year ago at this time I was in Vegas at the Anthology Workshop where I sold a story that will come out this year around Halloween… and that was my last international/intercontinental trip. We’re back to semi-lockdown and I won’t be able to travel through Italy either, so I won’t attend a good friend’s wedding in Piedmond. Sigh.

We shall travel again, though! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And, as announced, the first book of the prequels is out! Alien Humans (Before Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) is a short novel or a novella (too short for a Bookbub New Release alert, so you won’t hear about it there) that tells of the arrival of the aliens and their human symbionts on Earth, and that’s Dinniel the cyborg on the cover. Guest stars, some well known (to who ever follows Vampires Through the Centuries) vampires! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually Dinniel meets Alain, and you can read about him for free here.

Sometimes in the early 1980s an alien starship in the form of a silver disk landed on the Tibetan plateau, ready to settle on Earth. The two alien species living in symbiosis discover the local intelligent life is identical to the weak link of their bond, the humans who feed their brainwaves to the actual owners of the starship.

Meet Dinniel, Dachie, Sepideh and Pajtim, who are in their twenties and must learn to communicate and mingle with Terrans. And then the apocalypse generation, born on Earth and integrated in the 21st century culture: Jael, Dariox, Dayana and Donna who falls in love with Daniel the vampire.

Last week I reached 5800 words and had to stop, research and read for a professional anthology project. Then I started on the new assignment with anotherย  2300 words, so the grand total is around 8K. I guess that, since I have stopped working on that project, I will use the rest of the month to write for another couple of anthologies. The current WiP (novel) was changing under me with every new scene, so it will probably need more time to come to life!

I might as well get the other things out of the way first, but this year is probably the sci-fi and urban fantasy year. At least it feels so for now. We’ll see. I’m not berating myself for anything and just keep trudging forward, waiting for the dust to settle and see what the world will be like in the coming years.

Hopefully not like in the Before Future Earth Chronicles, since you know those years will lead to the apocalypse of western civilization! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the series page is updated, by the way. Although on Amazon I added them as prequels, so they won’t appear on the main series page just yet. But on the publisher’s page and Smashwords, they’ll be there! ๐Ÿ™‚

And there are free books again! This month it’s Epic Fantasy! Go check them! Who knows, maybe at some point there will be one of mine… probably towards the end of the year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m supposed to check on trains and other real life stuff, but the weather is so dreadful that I’m kind of happy to go home and write, LOL! Now I better go back to work and finish and mail the latest short… Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And since I got four rejections in one day, I can now announce that Before Future Earth will come out in February and March, so one month earlier than originally programmed! The prequels are short books and the last will be an omnibus that contains all three – a very short trilogy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last week I dived into the Shelved Novel That Couldn’t Be Written last year, so I’m on a roll. I wrote 12K and finally have a plan and a form of worldbuilding and a story to sustain it. It’s slightly different from the original idea, but I’m quite happy with how it’s shaping up. It’s intercontinental urban fantasy – if such a thing exists! ๐Ÿ™‚ If not, I’m inventing it, LOL!

I’m not sure when it will be ready for public consumption, possibly in the second half of the year. I was stuck because I started working on it right before Covid hit us and wasn’t sure if I should set it before the pandemic or in the near future. I ended up chosing the present for reasons that will be clear when I publish it – I can always add prequels and sequels like I did with Future Earth Chronicles! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Love and Magic bundle was entered in the following promo for tomorrow, Feb. 4:

Calling all romance readers! Itโ€™s more than candy hearts, chocolates and flowers at N. N. Lightโ€™s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 46 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following: Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Iโ€™m thrilled to be a part of this event. You wonโ€™t want to miss it. Bookmark this festival and tell your friends: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/love-and-romance-book-festival

Interesting articles I read on the internets: why middle-aged men have trouble sustaining friendships. I’m not a middle-agen man, so why did I found it interesting? Because unlike the journalist’s wife, I hate the phone. So I’m very bad at sustaining in-person friendships. If I don’t do stuff with my friends, I tend to drift away.

I miss the creative weekends with Cristina. I miss going to workshops and conventions, even the crowded comicons that allowed me to be sociable for maybe one hour a day (I’m still 100% introvert and still hate crowded places). I don’t like the phone, even though video-calls were kind of a life-saver during lockdown (but my parents hate them, and I can’t blame them).

I’m good at keeping in touch with social media or email, but a complete disaster with the phone. I know people are busy, and always feel I’m intruding, especially on the phone. Because they all have families and/or pets, or a busy working life or whatever. I feel I’m the one who isn’t very busy compared to them, and I don’t want to disturb them, especially by phone.

In-person it’s different, they had taken the time to meet me, so we can talk! ๐Ÿ™‚ One at a time, or I’d get confused and end up listening in a corner. That’s why I’m not too fond of gatherings. But if it’s coffee with just one friend, I’m very happy. And I hope I’ll be able to do some of this later this year, when we’ll be able to travel again and possibly to hug again. I’m not a hugger, but every now and then I need a hug! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some daydreaming to conclude the post. When I’ll be able to travel again, I want to visit my friends in Milan and Turin first, hopefully attend a wedding in Lucca and then I want to get out of Italy, again to visit friends and explore Europe. I don’t think I’ll make it across the Atlantic this year, still aiming for 2023 for that.

Like Abhay Deol said, 2021 better be better! So here’s to a quiet 2021, since January seems to have been quite hectic, especially in the US! ๐Ÿ˜€ May things calm down, the virus be defeated and all of us able to visit each other soon! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to change the order of things in these posts and be a little more random from now on, since the yearly wordcount is no longer the Most Important Thing in the world. I know I’m prolific and can meet my goal, so I will update you, but not necessarily as the first thing in the post! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I’m going to start with this week’s publishing news! Lisa’s Odyssey is free today only, and only on Kindle.

And we have the last book of Future Earth Chronicles out! Rainbow concludes the series for now. I have the prequels ready, and I might publish them next month if I get a reply from a submitted story.

I will have to think about how to handle the prequels on the Amazon series page, but there’s still time. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for Rainbow.

“Shit happens. Beautiful things happen. Go with the flow as much as you can.โ€

Fifteen years after the New Treaty, Raj takes the teenage Ahyoka on a pilgrimage to her fatherโ€™s tomb with his airship, the Rainbow.

Has the Wanderlust Bug bitten him again or can he find love and peace somewhere, as Ahyokaโ€™s foster father or when she becomes independent from him? Or will he fly off into the sunset with airship Rainbow, alone?

I read this article Robots Turn 100 – and Still Entrance Us and considered re-reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, since it’s set in January 2021, but I’m a slow reader and no, I don’t have time for it. I’m not that fond of Dick! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might find the time to re-watch the movies set in 2021, but a book is another matter.

And again this week I wrote only a little over 8K, but I still consider myself between projects. I started two vampires stories, and didn’t finish them because they’re like the others I’ve written so far, and I mentioned I want to change and experiment more this year.

While I brainstormed ideas, I had the time to check my evolution as a writer, and I broke it down for you, so you can see I go through cycles and this time the shift is happening more or less in public. Here we go.

Teen years: mostly YA love stories although there was some SFF in the midst

1986-1991: science fantasy

1991-1995: medieval fantasy

1995-1998: m/m romance

1999-2001: no specific genre, a little bit of all of the above (except YA)

2001-2008: mostly screenplays (the Conquest of Hollywood that failed, mwhahahahaha!) and language switch (from Italian to English)

2009-2015: mostly fantasy (Silvery Earth is secondary world, mostly medieval fantasy and Star Minds Universe is science fantasy), all the books and series you’ve enjoyed so far. This blog started in 2009, the Indie Publishing Adventure in 2011. Most of those stories have wandering characters who are outcast, outsiders, outlaws, other for society and who are possibly trying to fit in or not.

What has been an experiment since 2015 is Future Earth Chronicles, the first series with numbered books. Still wandering characters, but on Earth, and their home is destroyed, so they cannot go back and must find another place to settle. And it’s now connected to Vampires Through the Centuries, but at this time I don’t feel like writing more of those. You’ll get Helios’s story as soon as I get it back from the proofreader because it’s done, but the rest is postponed.

Now, I was thinking I could do another series like FEC (numbered books et all), but I haven’t found a good idea yet. The shelved contemporary fantasy is probably a single book, not a trilogy, so we’ll see. I have a couple more ideas for Urban Fantasy worlds, but again, it might just be for short stories or novellas.

Meanwhile the Shared Worlds workshop resumed, so I might have to work on that one as well! And I’m waiting for my submitted stories to be either accepted or rejected, that too might be a way to steer me this way or that. If I sell a story, I might explore that world for more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s all for now… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

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