Writer Wednesday


yay! Now I better add Dropbox and start using it…

Well, then, even though Brand New Writing Computer has just arrived, last week I wrote 16K. It pays to write longer works, doesn’t it? I’m probably halfway with this one and hopefully will wrap it up by next week. But, like I said, I won’t publish much for the first half of the year – although the second half might be quite crowded! 😉

And Celebrating Male Lovers is live! Happy Valentine! Sorry I never cared much for this holiday, but if you do, enjoy your day with your beloved, man or woman or whatnot. Soon another bundle will come out, so stay tuned…

If you’re a writer and want your books in a bookstore (and a physical one at that) or libraries, please support this Kickstarter. I saw the shop with the previous owner and look forward to seeing it again whenever I make it back to the Oregon Coast (hopefully in 2020). They even added something extra for writers! 🙂

So, indie authors, get ready for a bright future. Of course there are still a few things wrong with indie publishing (either listen to the podcast or read the post about What’s wrong with Indie Publishing), but if you can get productive (here’s a good strategy for you) and find a good cover designer (or even a place with stock photos for your genre) or help an artist by ordering her commissions, you’re one step ahead.

Me, I’m taking it easy this year. I keep hearing contrasting things about AMS and FB ads (someone even suggesting to stop blogging – which I might do, eventually, if I run out of things to say) and I certainly don’t want to spend weeks watching AMS dashboard and tweaking keywords, so not for me, not at this time.

Not audio either, since I don’t seem to be able to connect my D2D titles directly to Findaway Voices that seem to have problems on certain audio retailers anyway, so… I’ll stick to ebooks and paperbacks for now. And submitting short stories to traditional paying markets.

Back to writing! Have a great week! 😀

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Writer Wednesday


The bad news is… only 27500 words in January. If I want to reach my goal of 500K, I need to write 10K a week! So I have some catching up to do in that department.

The good news is… I completed 4 stories that are now with the proofreader and that I will submit to traditional markets (one as per guidelines, the others to any available in that genre)!

But the other bad news is… already 3 rejections (2 from December submissions, 1 from January). In this case the good news is… one more story to submit to traditional markets and I have two stories ready for Nightly Bites Volume 2, one published and one unpublished, like it was for volume 1! 🙂

To keep the trend of bad/good news: Bad = still no fixed writing schedule, good = started off on the next heroine novel and going steadily forward, in spite of stopping to rummage through old diaries (in part 1 she’s 15, an age I have long forgotten, glad I was write-aholic even then, LOL!).

I also noticed interesting patterns in old summaries of my stories (the outlines of the stories I didn’t write), but I’d rather not discuss them after the #Metoo campaign. It’s true that we’ve been educated, as women, to just accept certain things that are not okay. And in my ingenuity, I really thought those things could happen.

Oh well, I was a teenager with an overdramatic sense of story, like Samantha says in Ciaran&Harith! 😉 Which you can also read in the upcoming Celebrating Male Lovers bundle, in case you want to try other authors…

The writerly links of the week: D2D and discoverability. Looking forward to that. Also an excellent article on writing fiction. Now go write that story. And the good of indie publishing in 2017! To those things I can add the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, like I mentioned in the comments of the post.

I can’t speak highly enough of BundleRabbit, since I used it both for bundles and for collaborations. More to come of both, probably the only publications for the first six months.

I do have a couple of titles still in the drawer (one is a collection that still lacks a cover, the other two still need tweaking or redrafting or I don’t know what else), but expect most of the new titles in the second half of the year.

I have missed a few events last weekend – Superstars of Writing along with 20BooksTo50K in London along with a sci-fi festival somewhere else in Europe, but well… I had just come back from London and I still haven’t requested a new passport to head overseas – as for the third event, I learned about it because a friend posted he was there. Meh.

Now I intend to dive back into my diving cave. I have a schedule to establish, even though I don’t have that new writing computer yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


And the publisher’s site has been revamped, although I still need to work on it! 🙂 I’m still reading my bundles co-authors, sci-fi, so I guess I’ll keep going in that direction and get back to Silvery Earth when I’m done with the stories I’m currently writing.

Two are shorts that can be submitted (and they will be submitted as soon as the Mighty Proofreader has a pass on them) but they are tied to the next book of the sub-series, so I guess I can start working on that one in February. I’m still pondering if making it a trilogy and other separate books about other characters or what. Writing series, it is a bitch! 😉

I’m not really concentrating on publishing and marketing this year, but I do keep an eye on the marketplace. And if “likes” don’t really sell, let’s hope that the partnership between Kobo and Wallmart will bring in more sales! Mighty Zon badly needs some competition in the U.S. of A. and I hope the nippo-Canadians can do it! 😉

Speaking of Mighty Zon and Author Earnings… I’m glad to be just a blip in that pie chart (with still zero sales on Amazon this year). If you have the time and inclination, go study the latest report… and there are still no answers about their wish to sell authors’ earnings to whoever can shell that kind of money. Again, makes me happy I don’t earn much, LOL! 😀

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t read at all, you must have heard of the passing of Ursula K. LeGuin. I did not finish her Earthsea trilogy (but I bought it at the end of last century, when my English wasn’t so good – I only remember that it was boring and I gave it away at the library of the school for foreigners I was attending for a two-week course back then), but I enjoyed The Dispossessed (which I read this century, although at this time I don’t remember any of it, only that I finished it, while the previous one I bought was given away barely started).

So, yeah, not such a big mourning for me. But then the reason why I write died in the 1970s, so… I guess I don’t care anymore about meeting my writing inspirations… 🙂 Still, check these words of wisdom by her, carefully compiled by Chuck Wendig – an unmissable “best of” (and another book to the ToBuy list, sigh!)!

Now I better go back to writing… still not in that prospected routine, darn it! Hopefully when I start working on longer works, or as soon as I finish the current story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


(already posted on the Facebook page)

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Lesley L. Smith

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Of course, vampires have been popular for over a hundred years and they have been used as metaphors for a variety of things including AIDS, homosexuality, class warfare and more. In my opinion, however, I think people like the idea of living forever. They like to imagine they’ll never have to age or die. Vampires let us experience this vicariously.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

“A Study in Scarlet” is about a vampire living in the future, on a spaceship, when a murder occurs. Not surprisingly, a vampire is pretty handy to have around when blood is spilled (if he can keep control over himself)! Without giving too much away, the protagonist does use his special skill to good effect.

3. What inspired your story?

This story actually encompasses horror, science fiction, and mystery! Yes, I got a little carried away with genres. I started out wondering about the strange and horrible idea of globules of blood floating in zero gravity.
In addition to floating globules, my story was inspired by the wonderful Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel of the same name, from 1887. It doesn’t get any better than Sherlock Holmes.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

While I enjoy horror and mystery very much, I primarily write science fiction. I really enjoy the combination of science’s rationality with fiction’s imagination.

5. What should readers know about you?

In real life I’m a physicist and I’m a little obsessed with quantum mechanics right now. A lot of my fiction seems to have quantum mechanics in it. Since I’m also a woman and a lot of my fiction has female protagonists, the combo of physics and kick-ass women surprises some readers. But, I believe in following the muse, and my muse wants to show all kinds of people that science can be a fun adventure THEY can do.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m honored to be included in Nightly Bites! Thanks for the opportunity!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Barbara G.Tarn

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

I had read the first three of Ann Rice’s books and enjoyed the movie “Interview with the vampire” (1994) but then I got bored with the whole topic – too horror/gory for my tastes. Some fifteen years later I went back to the bloodsucker stories through Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series, and even read Dracula (I didn’t enjoy the movie much, so I didn’t read the book until 20 years later).

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s set in the 12th century, starting at the siege of Damascus during the second crusade, and ending in Lincolnshire, where Baldwin was born. He’s one of the shortest-lived fledglings of Bran the Raven, a millenarian bloodsucker of Celtic origins.

3. What inspired your story?

In all the “Vampires Through the Centuries” stories, I like to explore moments in history through vampires. The other very short story in the anthology shows an 18th century Maratha soldier turned into a bloodsucker after a battle and even more short-lived than Baldwin! The long-lived ones (Rajveer, Kaylyn and Shashank) allow me to explore centuries of history, which is very funny and entertaining.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

I had only one “Bloody Story of Vampires” (that I may include in “Nightly Bites Volume 2”) before starting “Vampires Through the Centuries”, and that’s just one of my series. I write mostly fantasy – historical in the above example, secondary world fantasy (Silvery Earth), science fantasy (Star Minds), urban fantasy (body switches) – and some science fiction and every now and then a contemporary story (but the present doesn’t inspire me very often).

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist! I did comics and some of my own covers covers, and I dream of an illustrated book for adults or ten. My influences come mostly from movies and comics, more than books, so my prose is quite dry and I don’t write long epics, hence I gave up traditional publishing that required 100K opuses in my preferred genre…

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

It was fun to put together this anthology and I look forward to working on Volume 2!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Joleene Naylor

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Vampires can be anything. They can be scary, romantic, thoughtful, sad, happy – a vampire author can do a period piece, a contemporary story, even a sci-fi, and use the same universe. In the Amaranthine universe, I’ve written stories that span from the 1600s to modern times, I’ve written shorts about losing loved ones, about playing poker, about revolts, wars, death, and even about a child vampire looking for a playmate. Writing vampires gives me so much freedom, and they’re immortal, so you can really dig into character development.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s the origin story of Verchiel, one of my most popular characters. Kateesha, his master, botched the turning and when he wakes in an inn, he has no idea who he is or who she is, and he doesn’t remember being human.

3. What inspired your story?

I’m working on a series of Executioner stories – the Executioners are the police in my vampire world. I already knew a little about Verchiel’s turning, so I thought it would be fun to find out the rest.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

For the most part, yes, because my fans aren’t really interested in me as a person, but rather in the characters and the universe. However, I am working on a fantasy novel with my brother.

5. What should readers know about you?

I have a lot of free short stories available. A. Lot. Like more than fifty. Most of them can be read as stand alones, though of course they’re better if you’ve read the Amaranthine series. You can find the full list on my website at JoleeneNaylor.com.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Okay, quirky fact: I love stuffed animals, and treat them like they are sentient beings part time. They all have their own personalities, and relationships with one another, etc. etc. Their society has been set up since I was a kid (my mom used to talk them for us), and I think that’s where a lot of my imagination and characterization abilities come from.

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Russ Crossley

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

The immortal nature of the undead vampire fascinates me. If the vampire isn’t destroyed how do they survive the centuries?

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

My story takes place in an alternate future where the Confederate States won the US Civil War. The story centers around a female vampire and her sister who are rebelling against the Confederacy and the vampire leader and the consequences of their rebellion. It is a story about love, family, and courage.

3. What inspired your story?

I often wonder how if vampires took over the world what it might look like with these undead immortals in charge.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

No, not all the time. These days I’m writing mostly space opera set in the 42nd century.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’ve written stories in many different genres including romantic comedy, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and zombies to name a few and love to read in many genres of fiction and non-fiction. I read and write for characters than inspire me and they are always seeking some form of justice from their perspective. They love to right wrongs. For some reason I write many strong female characters though I am a male.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am married to a writer, painter, and musician and my youngest son is an actor, playwright, and producer who has worked extensively in Europe and Asia. We are a very arts forward family and truly love what we do.

Writer Wednesday


Well, I’m giving up on Giveaways. No entries on this blog for ebooks (except for Tori, as usual, it’s a discussion between me and her, with Joleene or Shafali jumping in every now and then) and Goodreads has changed its policy. Since I’m not in the US, I won’t be able to give away my proofs anymore. Thank you, Mighty Zon. I hope the guy who keeps asking me books to give away stops doing so.

Maybe one day I’ll try a BookBub or something like that, but not this year. Add to this the changes in social media and other algorithms… This year I just don’t care.

I haven’t gotten into my writing routine yet, so I’d rather work on that instead. It might be for the nature of this month’s writing – short stories, so I waste time inbetween stories (and I gave up one after 300 words or so because I’d need way too much research to make it believable). I hope when I get back to longer works I’ll be able to establish my writing routine. I’m still waaaay below my expected wordcount.

More writing and less publishing worries means I might not only catch up on my fiction TBR pile, but also the non-fiction! I’ve had Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible on my Kindle for years… but still got Amazon Decoded, hoping to get to all of them this year! 🙂

And here’s another list of books that I should probably check… later on! 🙂 I guess I’ll have to develop those skills, sooner or later… sigh! Trying those 7 ways to stay positive as a writer for now! I did join 20BooksTo50K (although I’m still kind of just lurking or commenting on other people’s posts) and I am reading more than before (#1 and 3), but the rest… still some work to do! 🙂

On the bundles front! Mythic Tales is on sale and will be gone at the end of the month. Immortals will come out in February (and here you have an interview with Kaylyn) and then Celebrating Male Lovers.

Hopefully at the beginning of February I’ll have a few shorts to submit to markets and I should hear from a couple of places I submitted to in December as well. I think I started a new sub-series with the latest two! 😉

Sunday Surprise


And it’s an e-book giveaway! You can already download some free stories of yours truly on Instafreebie. Or get another one when you subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter. And one more every two months in the newsletter.

But maybe you’re just following the blog. Or the Facebook page this blog sends the posts to. So one lucky winner can get an e-book in their preferred format, simply comment below with what you’d like to read from my extensive inventory.

You can choose from secondary world fantasy – Silvery Earth has all standalone books, but if you want to know which are my own favorites, well, the quests and the heroines, because they’re the more recent. There’s a suggested order if you’d rather try something else.

Or you can try my science fantasy series Star Minds – a couple of books are adult only, but they’re clearly marked. Or there’s the historical fantasy series Vampires Through the Centuries (for which I suggest you have a look also at the bundle or the anthology, but I cannot put those two in the giveaway).

Or science fiction, urban fantasy and contemporary. Single author box sets. Just take your pick, jot the title in the comments and good luck. Giveaway closes Monday (tomorrow) night and the winner will be announced on Wednesday. Thank you for following me! Have a great Sunday! 🙂

Random Friday


And you can tell I’ve been shopping online AND ordering proofs! So, yeah, some new paperbacks, and the anthology is finally in my greedy hands along with a couple more things – research reading and a comic. Next week I should get some DVDs. And then I’ll do another order after I come back from London – whatever I can’t find at Waterstones or Southall will be ordered online next month! 😉

Because some things are better read on paper (I’m all for reading fiction on my Kindle Keyboard, but non-fiction and artbooks are better on paper) but I don’t have many English bookstores in Rome (a couple who might hear from me sometime later in the year, LOL!), so… Amazon. Yeah, I know.

It’s not Mighty Zon that is killing bookstores. Check Kris Rusch’s excellent post on bookstores – I’ve been to North by Northwest during my 3 coast workshops and I look forward to going back with the new management. Especially if they indeed open to people like me on the other side of the world! 😉 Just kidding, it’s just required visit when one goes to Lincoln City, that’s all! 😀

Two more bundles are coming soon, show some love also to the bundles page (and the above anthology page). I’m not sure how many I will curate this year and if I’ll be invited to some, so follow those pages to stay updated. Unless you really really really like this very blog here, LOL!

Thank you again for following me on this journey. Little poll to get to meet you all. And if you’re a writer, feel free to contact me to request my writerly questions and be featured on here! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


A warm welcome to the new blog followers and Facebook likers – hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂 I’m a prolific writer, but my blog posts are getting shorter each year, haha! Anyway, reader, fellow author, passer-by, welcome and happy scrolling.

So, Year of Writing Madly, Month of Short Stories report! 2 down, from the openings of the online fantasy workshop. For the second I discarded almost 2K and changed direction, but I’m very happy with it. It’s my first foray into steampunk – in a portal fantasy story.

Trying to write a sci-fi short before the end of the month, otherwise I’ll do another assignment of the fantasy workshop that I skipped at the time and write a story exploring a part of Silvery Earth I haven’t seen much yet, only in passing and probably only in Books of the Immortals, Air and Axelle, Wanderer. It will be the prequel to one of the longer novels I plan to write.

Then in February I’m going back to Silvery Earth, since the awesome cover artist Federica Manfredi is doing all the heroines… makes me want to write all the books at the same time, LOL!

But I need priorities. I do have an ongoing series of Vampires Through the Centuries with a novella coming out May 2nd and a novel on Nov. 2, so… March I’ll have to do that.

I’m not really battling creative exhaustion, more publishing exhaustion! 😉 Considering that January started with 3 sales during the Kobo Promo (we’re talking the first 5 days of the year) and nothing since… I’ll just stop checking those dashboards.

I published Soul Thieves because I wrote it (redrafted it) last year, but for the things I’m writing this year… you’ll have to ask for them, LOL! The short stories will go out to paying markets first, and if nobody buys them, I’ll gather them at the end of the year in a collection.

Oh, and the Valentine’s bundle is now available for pre-order! 10 awesome stories of m/m romance for a quiet Valentine’s Day (if you believe in such a thing, says the aromantic old spinster)! 😉

And I’m working on some paperbacks, I should have the final version soon… All Saturday the Createspace Cover Creator didn’t work, but on Sunday I managed to update the two covers and add the third, so that Monday I could order the proofs.

Maybe sometime I ought to do some new book trailers… mmm… *jots it down on the calendar*

Onward to the next story. Have a great week! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Trying to get into the new writing schedule that is supposed to concentrate the writing in a couple of hours per day and leave the rest of the procrastination – I mean, the rest of the publishing and social media out of it. I also set up a spreadsheet for Team Wordcount (two people is still a team, right?) to keep track of new words written.

I started keeping count in 2015 when I reported weekly to a list. I did the same in 2016. And then last year I decided to just keep count, report here once a month, and that was it. And I wrote even less than the previous years. So this year I’m reporting again to my teammate and we cheer each other onward.

I have completed one short story of the intended few and working on the second. Both will be sent out next month after a pass by Mighty Proofreader, just in case! 😉 It was so hard to get started on this one (unrelated to any of my series, so some worldbuilding to do) that I was considering keeping those shorter ideas as fillers when I’m done with the novel of the month, LOL!

Anyhow, we’ll see how this week proceeds. Now some writerly links! 🙂

An article about Amazon that says it’s updated, but it doesn’t look updated to me. The top 10 things all authors should know about Amazon doesn’t seem to consider the birth of KU/KDP Select and the demise of the Createspace store (and keeps calling the algorithms “logarithms”, but that’s another story, LOL!). But I agree with most of it – except I don’t seem to get any reviews. Meh.

And I certainly won’t give them exclusivity ever, especially since they keep messing up. I don’t know how any author can put up with that shit. New year, old problem and Mighty Zon does nothing to correct. I’m almost scared to do anything on there, and I’m wide! 😦 I even tried KDPprint, and deleted the book after a failed attempt. Back to Createspace for the time being.

And of course, like many out there, I hope one day to do like Tracy Cooper-Posey who went wide and quit her day job. You might remember her interview on this very blog for the bundle that is going away soon, so grab it before the weekend, since I’ll archive it on Saturday.

Yes, Sci-fi July is going away for good, but Remembering Warriors is now live and I’m still working on the Valentine bundle. And Mythic Tales will also go away at the end of the month, so grab it now! 🙂

l got the most important cover (for a new titke, the other one is for a collection of published stories) by the awesome San and here you have a cover reveal!

 

Weekend formatting and upload, stay tuned… Have a great week! 🙂 Oh, and Happy Birthday to Da Muse… here’s to hoping that his sabbatic year from Bollywood is over!! 😉

Writer Wednesday


And Happy New Year! No fireworks from WordPress this time. Not that I share them very often, LOL!

Anyhow, last wordcount for 2017 was 347100words against the 450K of 2015 and the 400K of 2016. The worst month was February (when I was busy reading the million words for the Anthology Workshop), the best was June (the start of the novel challenge).

I really need to get my shit together and stop getting distracted by other things! I shall schedule regular writing time, since I don’t have Auntie Duty and all my afternoons are currently free. This is The Year of Writing Madly! I shall reach that 500K wordcount!

Possibly writing with intentionality. And is it too late to follow my dreams? Hell no. I’m 52 and still feel like a beginner, with lots of stuff I learned I still need to employ in my writing. Lots of awareness tricks in last year’s workshops.

And doing the accounting of this publishing venture is still discouraging (still spending 10 to earn 1), so I’m really going to cut on the publishing this year. Only one new title a month and then either a bundle or an anthology. And I’ll try Findaway Voices with a couple of novellas.

It was a great year for Draft2Digital and I love their e-book templates – that’s what I used both for Nightly Bites Volume 1 (now live at all retailers and the paperback is also available) and the new box sets.

And if you’re thinking of joining the indie revolution and try them, here’s my referral link. They’re great to work with and they’re working on discoverability for this year, so… what are you waiting for? 😉

The Kobo promo on Brainwaves is almost over. Here are the country-specific links: Sale Dates: Dec 22-Jan 5

AU: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/p/boxingweekanz17

NZ: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/p/holiday2017

I wanted to send out the newsletter, but I’m still waiting for a cover artist who is lagging behind… so hopefully this weekend I’ll send it out with the upcoming news. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so now and grab your free short story that comes with the subscription! 🙂

Last two links worth reading: Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 2018 (where he suggests the newsletter should be sent out four times a year, six at the most, when another online workshop suggested 1 to 3 times a MONTH! I guess I’ll stick to my own schedule, LOL!) and Thoughts and Goals for a Creative 2018 – not going back to screenwriting, but I’ll definitely try to schedule writing (starting next week so I have time to wrap the loose ends of 2017) and keep doing the batch things of publishing during weekends.

Now I better wrap up the spy story, start requesting books for the next bundle that will come out on Valentine’s Day and decide what to say in the newsletter while I format the next novel… stay tuned… and have a great week! 🙂

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