Writer Wednesday

Last week I did my 10KΒ  and worked on publishing a couple of titles, so I didn’t have time to do much more. I couldn’t work on the webcomic/flash series either because I have now embarked in a double writing challenge. I’m revising and expanding a standalone fantasy that will not be translated in English, so this week my wordcount is a mix of English and Italian. I wrote that book in 2004 and there’s still some head-hopping to get rid of as well as settings to add.

I also decided where to end volume 1 of the Legends of the Moren Empire so that in April I can write short stories again. It will be 3 volumes instead of 2, but that’s fine. There is quite a lot of head-hopping there too, even though I’m using the 2004 version and not the original (I learned about POVs that year), so I’m trying to limit the POV characters, although it will be a multiple-POV novel like the Quests books.

At least I can finish it by the end of the month and move on. I have fifteen more missions of the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team to write! πŸ˜‰ The first batch will come out in April – when that KU exclusive title will finally go wide, yay.

Last week I also had to listen to the whole audiobook, two hours approximately, and request a couple of changes. The narrator was very fast and nice, and now I hit the publish button but I’m not sure when it will actually be available. So stay tuned for further links, probably on the publisher’s page. I also did the paperback so that hopefully Amazon will push it up on its recommendation engine because it has all three formats.

The lucky title is Otherside, and The Hooded Man started production. Still waiting to finalize the narrator for the third audiobook. Since The Hooded Man is shorter than Otherside, though, I probably won’t do the paperback. It’s already included in More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms anyway! πŸ˜‰

And I published Male Lovers of Silvery Earth Volume 3, with cover art by Eleonora Conti. The only new story is the cover story, Water Creatures. And most of the book is Saif’s Story since it’s a novella or short novel. I published the Italian version almost at the same time, hence the busy week, even though I was off Day Job! πŸ˜‰

And there’s a Kobo sale or two coming… with two of my older titles included. I don’t have a direct link, but the 500 under $5 Sale is in Australia and New Zealand. The March US Price Drop Sale is of course in the US.

Have a great week! πŸ™‚



Random Friday

I’ve been thinking of my visually impaired readers who can’t really enjoy a webcomic… and it occurred to me that it might also be a sort of serial flash fiction. Although I’ll have to study how to turn a series of strips into a decent flash fiction… currently I’m still under 1000 words of text, but it’s just dialog, since the panel shows whatever is not said.

So it would need to be beefed up for prose purposes, and probably split into episodes. As an experiment, here go the first five strips presenting the characters with a frame for the visually impaired. On purpose, I’m not reposting my color palette attempts and let me know if you can “see” them.



The five lined up in front of the audience and fussed a little about their positions. Then they started introducing themselves. First came a blonde girl with pointed ears and a floral dress with puffy sleeves. She had pale skin and baby blues and spoke in a soft voice.

“Hello, my name is Goldenberry and I’m a Genn,” she said with a curt bow. “We’re Ether’s people and mainly magic users these days. Once upon a time whe had kingdoms, much like the Humans… But they chased us away and we moved underground, invisible to them!”

She curtsied again and looked at the boy next to her. He wore a short tunic of nacreous fabric and sandals. He had brown hair to the shoulder and water-green eyes. He bowed his head with a lopsides smile.

“Hello, my name is Erwan and I’m a Waiora,” he said. “We’re Water’s people and are normally found in both fresh and saltwater, but we can live on land as well. We can shift shape to dolphins, seals or otters… But our towns are at the bottom of the sea, where Humans can’t go.”

The boy at the end of the line started fidgeting, looking at his booted feet. The next in line was a redhead with freckles and feathered wings the same color of her hair. She wore tight-fitting clothes that left her legs bare and flat shoes. She seemed ready to open her wings and fly off.

“Hello, my name is Winged Ylenia and I’m a Sila,” she said shyly. “We’re Air’s people and live mostly up in the clouds. We eat Clouds’ Nectar more than anything else but we can eat some earthly food. Our nests are on the highest peaks where Humans don’t go.”

She got closer to the copper dragon standing next to her. She had horns and pointed ears and a ridge of copper scales as well as bat-like wings. Her belly was golden and her fangs didn’t look threatening. She was obviously a dragon cub and only the boy next to her looked nervous in her presence.

“Hello, my name is Copperscales and I’m a Fajrulo,” she said. “We’re Fire’s people and the most powerful of the Magical Races. There’s fewer of us, but we can shift shape to look like other races, Magical or not. We love mingling with Humans and passing ourselves off as gods!”

She looked at the blond boy next to her. Clearly Human, he wore tunic and breeches and boots. He looked uneasy in such company and he almost stuttered when he spoke.

“Er… I’m Torik. I’m Human. I have no magic. I’m short-lived. I’m a barbarian to the Magical Races. I’m ignorant. I know nothing of gods and goddesses. I’m scared of dragons.”

The other kids surrounded him and hugged him. They were his friends, they’d never let him down. Yes, he might not be a member of the Magical Races like the other four… “But we love you anyway!” they chorused.

A tear of joy ran on Torik’s cheek. He felt fortunate to have such friends, although he didn’t know much about them. Surely they could have a lot of fun together!

So, what do you think? I could serialize the flash and strips on Patreon at the lower level of 1$ a month… Anyone interested in this? Thanks for any comments! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Last week I managed my 10K by Thursday since I had to get on a train on Friday. And in Milan I wrote a few more strips for the webcomic, so Sunday afternoon I typed them. Since Feb.28, it’s another 700 words! πŸ˜‰ I have drawn all the panels, but now I need to clean them, color them, and put the lettering.

I’m exploring venues where to put them, probably Tapas, SmackJeeves and Patreon – which will mean adding a level and make another weekly post, whenever I’m ready to release the Silvery Earth Kids to the world! πŸ˜‰ At Cartoomics I asked for advice on webcomics and of course bought a few things – all this in barely two hours! πŸ˜€

If you’re a newer writer, check out this article on self-rejection. Last week I had the Day of Rejections, with 3 coming into my inbox – one, personalized, in the morning and two in the evening. Glittership was very fast (2 days since submission), Amazing Stories 1 month and the personalized one was long overdue, but they were nice in their rejection.

Which doesn’t mean I’m going to rewrite that story, mind you! πŸ˜‰ I still have two out and plan to submit another when the market opens on the 21st, then we’ll see. I might have to postpone the 30-stories-in-60 days, like I said! πŸ˜‰

Currently I’m gathering stories for another anthology and yesterday I uploaded Future Earth Chronicles Book 5 for pre-order everywhere. In less than a month the first cycle will be complete. I hope the dozen people who downloaded Book 1 from Smashwords or the other dozen who got it from Kobo promos will end up buying the rest of the series. I’m quite proud of it, and hopefully they’ll like it too! πŸ˜‰

I would like to thank the person who got a book at full price during the Read an eBook Week on Smashwords. And hope the half-dozen who got the other freebie will then go on to read the rest of the series. It’s probably the last time I participate in a site-wide sale, though.

Findaway Voices is prepping production on the two male-narrated audiobooks and hopefully the first will be ready soon. I’ll be editing and formatting another title for next weekend and then back to writing… Have a great week! πŸ™‚


Random Friday

Rant on both worlds, online and offline. Let’s start with offline. It’s Woman’s Day (not that I care) and public transport has decided to go on strike. Trains, planes, bus and taxi! When I’m supposed to get on a train that I booked 2 months ago with a non-refundable ticket. Stupid country! 😦

Here’s to hoping I find at least one train that takes me to Milan before evening. Gotta visit friends at Cartoomics tomorrow! Offline friends for a change! πŸ™‚ I want to talk to them about my webcomic project and hear what they’re doing and all that stuff!

Online rant, that wretched social network and its irritating notifications for pages! Why do they tell me to invite someone to like the page after he liked a post? The person wouldn’t have seen the goddamn post in the first place if they weren’t already liking or following it, thanks to their everchanging algorithms!

And then I heard about their new service (not available in my country yet, but if you’re American or British, you might be among the beta-testers): Facebook Fans. Facebook is trying to kick out Patreon. You gotta be kidding me. I mean, would you – as a fan/reader – give money to Facebook to see my posts?

I definitely wouldn’t. I’d rather stay on a dedicated platform like Patreon, both as a creator and as a patron of creators I like. greedy Facebook and its irritating little notifications won’t have my money. Not for ads, not to boost posts (useless, I’ve seen it with the co-editor of one of my other pages), not for subscriptions. It’s a social media, not an online store like Amazon. Gee.

Maybe I’ll end up doing like this author who quit Facebook and is now killing it on Pinterest. I know I had doubts about Pinterest in the past, but it’s changed, I think. And the idea of boards of images is quite interesting. Maybe that’s how I’ll spend my two weeks off, setting up a Pinterest account! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

If you see me bouncing this week it’s because the announced sale is finally out! My first professional publication! I might not be on the ebook cover, but I’m so proud and awed to be in such good company! Yes, I’m in Pulphouse #5, out now! πŸ˜€

When I got that email, I forgot about Himalayas and the Smashwords sale, as you can imagine! πŸ˜‰ And I was so excited I postponed to the weekend listening to the narrators auditions for the next two audiobooks… but now two more are scheduled for production.

I also had time to write another 13K, but I have a fairly detailed outline, so I’m going very fast. I want to finish at least volume 1 of the Moren Empire this month, and it might turn out longer than usual (but it’s also 4 or 5 short books put together, haha!).

If I don’t make it, I’ll push the “30 stories in 60 days” to June and finish it in April. In the meantime I submitted another couple of shorts to traditional markets, although I like SFF fandom less and less. This year will probably be my last Worldcon, since my readers don’t seem to be attending members! πŸ˜‰

And I have a few links today to share with you.Β  Indie sci-fi authors are upending traditional publishing, and it’s turned into a war. I am a member of the 20Books group, although I don’t earn much, and will attend the Edinburgh workshop/conference because it’s closer than Vegas and it also has the writing days. But I’m nowhere their results with sales, I still have to find my readers. Let’s hope that whoever started a couple of my series with the free books in the Smashwords sale (see above) will turn into fans! πŸ˜‰

David Farland on when to stop polishing your manuscript with some good anecdotes from the past. Kris Rusch on priorities – have you made yours? I should probably push my health before my writing, since I don’t have a Dear Husband… although I’m married to Mr. Writing, so… conflicting priorities here… πŸ˜‰

And the longest article, but worth reading and mulling over – 35 Hard Truths You Should Know Before Becoming “Successful”. I like #20 very much and write what I’d like to read, not chasing the latest trend… which might make it harder to find my readers, but well…

I have a couple more, but I shall leave them for Random Friday Rant! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Last week I managed almost 13K, working slow and steady while doing other stuff. My mood went up and down, so some days I didn’t write much (at all on Sunday), others I put down 2.5K words. As long as the job gets done… πŸ˜‰ I’ve been diving in the Moren Empire, and it’s the closest to epic fantasy than I’ll ever be. It’s still Silvery Earth, mind you, but it’s in more ancient times, so it’s kinda wilder.

Humans are still barbarians and the Magical Races still rule. We have heroes and heroines and dark ladies and battles and all that jazz I’m not very good at writing – or at least I wasn’t in the late 90s when I first wrote them. We’ll see if I can pull it off now!

The first hero is an angry young man (he has reason for his angst) and he’s the perfect character for my current mood, if you can believe a 20something non-human male and a 50something woman have something in common. Maybe I’m not human, that’s why I can relate, haha!

I guess this project will take me through March, then in April I’ll try to write 30 short stories in 60 days or at least the 15 more missions of the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team! Are you following them on Patreon? A couple are free (because they were already published, that’s why)… and if you want to read the rest in advance, it’s only 1 buck a month (yes, I lowered the only tier)! πŸ™‚

Boy am I happy NOT to write romance! Did you miss the latest scandal? It’s called plagiarism… You can read most of it on Kris Rusch’s blog and we even have Mighty Nora Roberts response to the whole mess.Β  And her promise to follow through – because ghostwriters and readers also have their part in this mess. To follow this (especially if you’re on Twitter, which I’m not) use the hashtag #CopyPasteCris.

I’m thankfully prolific and would never dream of hiring a ghostwriter, but then, I never tried to game the Amazon algorithm either. That’s why my only KU title hasn’t moved a single copy since I put it in KDPSelect. I know, it’s not romance… did I mention how glad I am it’s not?

I don’t think writing fast means writing badly, and you don’t need to be a media tie-in writer to write fast, IMHO. Writing is a muscle, and the more you use it, the easier it gets, that’s all. Of course if you’re a beginner, you shouldn’t aim to write fast, but if you started writing in the age of the typewriter like me, you can write fast and well. Pour out that million words of crap and you can only get better, right? πŸ˜‰

It will take me longer to find my readers, but I will find them, eventually. I’m as much a control freak as Kris is. And why should I outsource my writing? Yes, sometimes “I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;”

(John Keats, I’m not plagiarizing, I’m citing! Although this is long in the public domain, LOL!)

But I still stand behind all my books. I have considered ghostwriting, but for memoirs, not someone else’s fiction. And if I ever manage a collaboration with someone, I’ll have a contract, like I have for the curated anthologies. Prepping for the next one of those, by the way, stay tuned…

Draft2Digital annunced they’re going to distribute to Google Play. Not sure I’m happy, because of Google’s policy to lower prices at random, which tickles Amazon and so on and so forth, so we’ll see. Not much else is going on on my side of the world… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Last week I wrote 12K words and uploaded Two Stories of the Varian Empire. And while I put the drawings in the Italian version of Beautiful and wrote the next fairy tale revisited, I thought I’d finally give a chance to the Moren Empire. Because I feel that my latest stories have lost emotion, which was present in the older ones when I didn’t bother with depth and setting.

So I will try to mix both ways of writing and see if I can find a new voice with both depth and emotion. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll try the Emotion Workshop. Cause, you know, you never stop learning.

And since I found these Weekend Writing Warriors, I signed up for next Sunday… although it won’t be a regular feature, but if I decide to share excerpts again, why not doing it with them? Once upon a time there was SixSentenceSunday… now we have WeWriWa! πŸ˜‰

Draft2Digital reminded me of their referral program… it’s been prolonged for another year. The link below directs you to create a free Draft2Digital account.

So if you’re not with them yet, please use my referral link to join. They’re awesome to work with and they even distribute to Amazon if you don’t want to fight with KDP support! πŸ˜‰ Did I mention I go to Findaway Voices through them? Yep, that’s the audio project(s)…

Still feeling overwhelmed with the changes in publishing, so I won’t say much more except… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Last week I wrote 14K, almost two stories (the second I finished this week). I’m back on Silvery Earth exploring Water’s people for now. I had to check Books of the Immortals – Water and Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell for some details, since Silvery Earth changed somehow after its first inception.

The first “part” of that world was the Varian Empire, “built” in 1993 with Lost and Oliver (now Chronicles of the Varian Empire – the Enlightened Emperor) but a major revision of the world happened in 2005-2006 when I introduced the Immortals and fine-tuned the Magical Races.

The Books of the Immortals were my first indie-published novels back in 2011 (available also as box set now) and from there the world expanded – its history if not its landmass, since the maps haven’t changed since. I do have a “bible” (some of it is in the appendix to Angelica, Scholar), but re-reading bits and pieces made things easier for me.

Audio update: the first audiobook is now in production! I listened to the extended sample and hope the narrator won’t have trouble with “epiteth” in the final version – it made me chuckle in the sample, but it’s probably not good for listeners of the final product. She’s very good, by the way. She kept me listening for 17 minutes! πŸ™‚ Still waiting for the male auditions, although I listened to a few samples.

I was about to publish something last weekend, but then decided to wait until the next, which is good since yesterday, as I started the translation for the Italian version, I realized I had skipped some corrections (I’m using the proofreader-marked version for the translation)… Phew.

Those were on page 1 and I haven’t found others yet, but hopefully at the end of the week I’ll be done with the translation and be able to upload – possibly both docs, haha. Then I’ll work on inserting the drawings in the Italian version of Beautiful. By the way, here are a few pics of that illustrated paperback.Β 

As for still having a day job that pays the bills, I’m not ashamed of it, but I’m definitely sick of it. I’ll be able to quit, eventually, and will even have a minimum pension after 30+ years – possibly. Dunno on your side of the world, but it looks grim in Italy. One wonders why waste decades in a soul-killing steady job to get peanuts when retirement comes. Whatever.

Also, it might be romance week on Goodreads, but I have no recommendations for you. Valentine’s Day never meant anything to this aromantic lady, so… look at that cute drawing up there, ain’t it romantic? That’s all you’ll get from me! πŸ˜€

Don’t mind this grumpy old spinster, don’t forget to check her Patreon page and have a great week! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Since it belongs to the dawn of indie publishing and the early years of this blog, I shall link to this old post about the Sweeties or Mercenaries?!Β as they were known to my old pen pals. What, you don’t know what I’m talking about? PEN pals used SNAIL mail (and it was really a snail, I remember it took 6 MONTHS to get to Australia by BOAT and you had to pay extra for air mail…) and at some point in the 1990s I had about 30, mostly in the US but also in the rest of the world, Down Under included. *waves at Nikalee*

Why am I bringing them back? Because of those two stories I wrote last week. I actually have a prose version of that comic in Italian but 1) it’s still the old version of the Varian Empire (it had a makeover when I wrote the Books of the Immortals) and 2) it’s really too episodic to be a novel. Either I make it a serial, sort of like Star Minds Lone Wolves Team, or it stays in the drawer.

One day I might scan and publish the comic, but that’s another long story. I even started redrawing it, and then stopped. So unless there’s a high request – I could make it a Kickstarter project or a Patreon reward, LOL! – my comics will probably stay in the stacks of paper folders.

What? You don’t know about PAPER folders either? Sheesh! Yes, I still draw on paper and make little use of Photoshop, so that’s why I’m not rushing to try DAZ Studio! πŸ™‚

Ahem, well, so these two stories are with three of the original Sweeties and I estracted a sweet M/M romance and Princess Sapphire, who will be on the cover of this prose version along with Ludwig (see the above old post that leads to a guest post where he’s talking – I checked, the link is still good! πŸ˜‰ ).

Stay tuned for mid-February. I still think I want to do more drawings – I got the proof of Beautiful Illustrated – but at the same time I feel there aren’t enough hours in the day. If I want to write, draw, translate AND publish while still having a part-time day job, I’ll have to give up something.

So no new comics for now. And no old ones either, considering that even the one I put on Kindle has 3 more issues that I never scanned and put up! πŸ˜‰ (Fleur de Lys 1 & Fleur de Lys 2 @Amazon.com) I might consider doing the prose version, but like I said, after the failure with Lovers, I probably won’t!

Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday

Last week I beat my previous record! Last year one week I wrote 19K… Last week it was 20K+! Two brand new stories, most of the second written on Saturday when I churned out 6K!

Okay, I might have had it easy, since it was the prose version of a comic book from the late 1990s, so I already had an outline and most of the dialog written, but considering how I failed with Lovers, I’m quite glad with these two! πŸ™‚

Now, since one is under 10K and the other over, I will publish them together, to give you, the reader, more “meat” – two stories for 2.99$, that’s a bargain, right? Right? No? Oh, well…

It has a nice cover unlike some of the Double-Feature from the past… πŸ˜‰ I gave up trying to find the two guys on DepositPhoto and decided to have only one cover for the two stories.

Kindle Countdown starting on Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts in the UK and US stores! If you’re Amazon-addicted, you know what it means… πŸ˜‰ It’s always free if you’re on KU, of course… at least for the next two months. Then I’ll definitely go wide! πŸ˜€

Across Continents went live and next month you can have Himalayas or you can wait until May and get all four (or five if you missed Book 1).

I have considered following Dean in his challenge, but I still have a Day Job, and even though I’m fast and prolific, I doubt I can write 5 books in 100 days.

I’ll be writing more Fairy Tales Revisited this month and then I’ll probably go back to the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team… are you following me on Patreon yet? Why not? πŸ˜‰ Just kidding…

Audio update #2: I chose a narrator for the first audiobook and got the production notes template. Yikes. It’s like when I first signed up with Smashwords at the end of 2010 and started uploading stuff there and on Kindle (a few months later) in 2011… Learning how to format and pass through the meatgrinder and all that stuff. I’m sure it will get easier! πŸ™‚

No writerly links this week either, so I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

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