Writing All Over The Map: Leah Cutter’s Island Sampler


And since l can’t write much yet…. Here’s some writer’s wisdom to keep you enterrained! 🙂

Kobo Writing Life

By Leah Cutter

Welcome to the Island Sampler!

Why do I call this the Island Sampler?

Like many writers, I write all over the map.

I primarily write fantasy, but I write many different flavors of fantasy. I’m best known for my historic fantasy (Paper Mage, the first book I sold to a New York publisher), but I also write fantasy with shapeshifters (The Shadow Wars Trilogy) as well as more rural fantasy with clockwork fairies. And changelings.

And I write mysteries—I’ve had more than one short story published in “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.” I also write science fiction stories. And post-apocalyptic fairy tales. And…

You get the point.

The problem with writing so many differently flavors of fantasy under a single name is that it makes it difficult for readers to find what they like. As I am now indie publishing all of these titles, I…

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Random Friday


Let’s make it sorta kinda Bollywood soundtrack Friday. I watched Ek Ajnabee and the soundtrack isn’t really my favorite, but the title track features Arjun Rampal dancing, whoot! So, there you go, Tall Man Dance – he’s not as good as Hrithik, but he can shake his booty! 😉

As for Mohenjo Daro, the title track is actually the nicest song of the whole sountrack, so… not to show off Hrithik’s skills, there you have him too! 🙂

Two very different movies and two very different kind of songs and dances… An action vs an epic historical…

Now another thought that occurred to me… lyrics of songs that end up being titles of the next movie! That’s the Akhtar siblings for you! Here goes:

Rock on (has the line “zindagi milegi na dobara”)

which leads us to the movie Zindagi na milegi dobara with the song Dil Dhadakne Do

which leads us to the movie Dil Dhadakne Do… Will Zoya Akhtar’s next movie be titled from some lyrics of Dil Dadakne Do? 😉

And that’s all for today… busy at the book fair… more next week! 😉

Writer Wednesday


Soo, after some procrastination (which is normal at the beginning of a story), I’ve now started Quests 4 and I’m almost 10K in – and the quest hasn’t started yet, LOL! But I’m trying to apply some of the tricks learned in online workshops, so I’m getting there. Slower, but getting there! 🙂

I’m also trying different alternate POVs, doing 2 scenes from the protagonist’s POV and 1 from one of the 2 co-protagonists. It’s tricky but fun! I think they will soon be off on their quest – for a physical thing this time. Book 1 and 2 were inner quests, book 3 is the quest for someone and book 4 is the quest for lost things, namely city destroyed centuries earlier. A sort of treasure hunt but not out of greed.

I hope to get to the end of a first draft or at least halfway by the weekend, otherwise I’ll continue after I’ve done my homework for the Anthology Workshop. Next year I’ll have a couple more contemporary stories to write from the assignments of the POV online workshop, so stay tuned for those… I really should start a priority list for next year!

This weekend I’ll go through Quests 3 so that I’ll be ready to send it to the editor and rework the opening of the Tor novella after some good comments from my writers group that I follow only because I came up with what I think is a better opening, haha! My critical voice is thankfully still fast asleep, and it all comes from the creative side of my brain, I swear.

And November is over, if you did NaNoWriMo, good for you, I have reached 430K words since January, so this year I might reach 450K if not the hoped for 500K! Still one month to go, definitely another 20K if not more! In the bad months (March was the lowest with 17K followed by August with 21K) I did write that much! Best months were Arpil (52K) and May (65K), and even in October I was in the 30K range in spite of not writing for nearly 3 weeks…

But I might post all the total wordcounts at the beginning of January with the final results! As for next year… I don’t think I’ll keep track anymore – or maybe I will, since I bought a little journal just for that, but I won’t report it, unless I hit that 500K mark – since it sort of takes out the fun.

I have artistic freedom and I’m enjoying it! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


85

Battlefield 1066 – spotlights – Barbara G Tarn


Library of Erana

Name: Barbara G.Tarn

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in the boot-shaped country dripping into the Mediterranean sea, but having lived abroad at a young age, I currently feel international, a woman with no country that sometimes is quite sick of the whole crazy planet. I love history, especially the Middle Ages (11th to 13th century), and making up stuff, although I learned the value of research even for the craziest idea – be it fantasy or science fiction. I write mostly SFF these days, having exhausted any will to talk about current events and today’s people.

Set during the Battle of Hastings tell us a little more about your story

Here’s the blurb: Nineteen-year-old Robert Malet followed William the Bastard to England to claim the English throne. The battle near the small town of Hastings is the beginning of the Norman conquest of England, but…

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Writer Wednesday


So, back to writing those Star Minds Interregnum stories! 😉 I even re-watched Alien Nation, even though the Galaxy Police operates mostly in space, not on the single Star Nations planets… And I’ve done some research on rookie police officers – I’ll have to find a cop who likes sci-fi to beta-read at least one story! 😉 Anyone reading this?

I still have two to write/finish of the six programmed. Probably only a couple are actually submittable, but I’ll send them off to betas when the collection is complete. Like I mentioned, I won’t publish any of them until next year, so I might as well submit them all, since they’re actually short! 😉

One might be the first chapter of a novel, but I’ll write it next year. As soon as I wrap these up, I’ll go back to Silvery Earth and write 3 more Quests. In the meantime I’m doing some PODs, but you’ll have to be patient as I get back into the grove of uploading to Createspace after  the summer! 😀 Stay tuned for more announcements…

I have updated the useful links for writers page, taking off a couple of things that are no longer relevant and adding how to hire an attorney (not an agent – in fact I deleted all agent-related or  agent-mentioning links on that page). Even the reference links are updated! 😉

Now I better go back to the writing room… I’m even doing an illustration for Star Minds Interregnum that I won’t be using as e-book cover… will post it on DeviantART when it’s done! The covers of the “double” e-books will be by Dear Bro, and the cover of the volume including print will be by Maurizio Manzieri

Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


Either this or nothing… so words of wisdom, writers on writing, take your pick! Have a great Sunday! 🙂

And my plan looks a little something like this:
I try to figure out what my next year looks like.
And the year after that.
Then, five years.
Then, ten years.
This isn’t just about what books I want to write. It’s about where I want to be in my career. It’s about what kind of money I hope to be making, how I might evolve myself as an author, what sassy dance moves I might perform if I am ever mistakenly given an award. Really, you can have nearly any goal you’d like, reasonable or not — “I want to be published by Rangdom Panguinhaus. I want a short story published in Corklin’s Literary Salon. I would like to write a comic book or a video game or the marketing copy for a sex toy company. I would also like to quit my full-time job, be a bestseller, and have a trained marmoset to fetch me my feather and quill every morning!”
(Note: it’s better to have goals you can control rather than goals you can’t.)
(Note: it’s still fun to mentally identify goals about things you can’t control anyway.)
Chuck Wendig

Tust me, folks, I am not immune from this in the slightest. When I realize that one of my books or series is selling better than others, and yet I am firing up a book that is in the poor-selling series, I hear myself ask that question.
How I get around it is tell that tiny part of my critical voice that is trying to stop me that maybe this book in this lower-selling series will be the one that explodes. That answers the question, “What’s the point.”
And makes the critical voice crawl away whimpering.
But realize, I’ve been doing this a very long time, I never read reviews of my work, and I do not follow any sales numbers or bestseller lists. Yet this still creeps in at times because one of the wonderful things we have about this new world is immediate information on sales.
A real double-edged sword if I have ever seen one.
Dean Wesley Smith

On one site, an anonymous commenter took me to task for the use of the word “artist.” He hated it in the context of writing. (I have no idea why.)
I admit: that stunned me. I’m a writer. That’s who I am. As a writer, I am both a craftsperson and an artist. I constantly strive to get better. I produce the best work I possibly can, and I always feel like I’m dancing on the head of a pin, trying to get something right.
Not the “right” of the marketplace. But the kind of right that Stephen King refers to in his introduction to Bazaar of Bad Dreams [Scribner, 2015, p. 2]:
I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, a soul-deep fear that I will be unable to bridge the gap between a great idea and the realization of that idea’s potential. What that comes down to, in plain English, is that the finished product never seems quite as good as the splendid idea that rose from the subconscious one day, along with the excited thought, Ah, man! I gotta write this right away!
Honestly, the “right” that King defines here—getting it right as in realizing its potential—is the kind of thing an artist and a craftsperson cares about. The best way to write an idea is personal. Only King knows what that splendid idea actually was, and what he was trying to capture. Just like I’m the only one who knows what I’m trying to capture when I write some of my splendid ideas.
Kris Rusch

To everyone who is new to publishing and living the indie writing lifestyle: It’s not possible to do it all. I will say it again for myself so that I can remember this and not get myself in the mess I was in. I cannot do everything. I need to rest, eat, relax and connect with those around me. I can’t be plugged in all the time writing and then working at my day job. I learned a hard lesson this year. Yes, I love writing and want to write more books, but they can’t happen as fast as I would like and that’s okay. In fact, that’s better than okay. It’s normal and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Ron Vitale

The greatest writers have persistence.
– Gina Nahai

Writer Wednesday


So, February was productive, since I finished a 50K novel – based on a graphic novel published at the time of the photocopied fanzines (read: late 1990s). Longtime friend Nik might remember Kolia and Joris… I have revised their story and made it a novel in the new Silvery Earth (the original had elves and other very usual fantasy beings, now Joris is a Genn, but since it’s earlier in the history of Silvery Earth, there are still a few unicorns and centaurs and dwarves and giants and probably faeries besides the Magical Races).

ColorsDTFLovers should come out next month, after Prince Splendor (another graphic novel rewritten, they were actually sorta kinda related and they still are). For now please check Colors, the Snow White revisited that still has the seven dwarves in the new Silvery Earth.

The cover is where I drew my first bird, the swallow on Nerian’s window, talking to him (although in the opening scene it’s a family of swallows… might be earlier! 😉 I’m bad at drawing animals, have mercy!)… The previous attempt is also on DeviantART. Wait for this character’s interview sometimes next week.

I spent last weekend working on the covers of Lovers and Prince Splendor, since I didn’t want to use the old drawings from the graphic novels. Although I did end up doing a mash up of old drawings for Prince Splendor, but well… after 2 or 3 attempts at coming up with a new cover, I just gave up and looked at the old stuff! 😉

Linky links… just food for thought in the Day-Job Thinking post by Dean Wesley Smith. And if you want to see Joe Konrath fisking Lee Child

Going back to writing. And reading. Have a great week!

 

How To Be A Productive Writer – Guest Post By The Very Polific Barbara Tarn


sorry this is late in reblogging… had a bad week and didn’t see it until today… 🙂 Thanks again, Dan, for having me! 😀

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

00 Barbara Tarn b Barbnara Tarn

First of all, let me thank Dan for having me. When he heard how prolific I am, he asked me for a guest post on how to be prolific… although I might not be the greatest teacher on the planet. But I’ll do my best. I can at least share how I do it.

Who am I? Well, first of all, I’m not a young writer, since I’m half a century. I’ve been writing since my teens, which doesn’t mean that everything I wrote is worth publishing. Quite the opposite. Some of those stories were totally dreadful, but I had a lot of fun writing them. You know the theory of “one million words of crap”? I wrote those and more before I came out of my writing cave, wondering why publishers weren’t knocking at my door. Duh.

Now, I come from the age of the typewriter. With…

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20 Questions With Author Barbara Tarn


And in case you want to know more about “Colors”, check this author interview… one of the funniest I ever had! 🙂 Thanks, Dan, for having me! 😀

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

head shot Your humble host

Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, Barbara G.Tarn prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present. She’s a writer, artist, world-creator and prolific storyteller with over 100 titles on Amazon.

Her novella “The Hooded Man” received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest.

Used to multiple projects (a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose), Barb writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs.

Today she shares some insights with us.

 

DAN: What is the working title of your next book?

BARB: Colors

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s Snow White slashed, so Snow White is male and will find a king to take him away from the bad guy and since Snow White Man didn’t sound very good, I thought I could use the colors – black…

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