Writer Wednesday


Star Minds Third Generation Snippets is out! Check the damn Amazon link so the people at Booklinker won’t bother me with useless emails! But it’s available also everywhere else *waves at the gal who already bought it on Smashwords – I know who you are, thank you*! Next weekend I shall work on the paperback version.

The cover is by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri – which means I have the same cover as some traditional SFF magazines or books, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It might be one of his stock illustrations (it ain’t free, babe), but again I wrote a story that fit it, like I did with S.E.T.H. (on the cover of Star Minds Next Generation Diaries).

Like I do with Techie Bro’s digital paintings. Who needs writing prompts with such great artists out there? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still commissioning custom covers, though. Next month you’ll see the awesome covers Rossana Beretta did for Talwar and Khanda and Saif’sย  Story. And besides doing maybe a cover or two myself, I’ll have Cristina do another southern kingdoms illustration. Not to mention the official cover artist for Vampires Through the Centuries, Shafali Anand! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow starts a Kobo-only promo – the Books of the Immortals Box Set will be 30%off for a few days. Just hop to the Kobo page and see what other box sets get discounted until the 29th! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of writerly links today! David Farland on busting your editor’s chops. Kris Rusch on types of brands – I might not be the best at cover branding yet, but well… too many books, too little time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still learning cover branding, but that’s only the surface. There’s a whole lot more about branding to study and learn.

And then two posts by David Gaughran about those darn Amazon bots… how we’ll end up asking “please don’t buy my books” and who’s pointing at you. I’ve been on Yasiv when I tried to set up that Amazon ad… some of my titles don’t even come up on Yasiv! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I mean, even putting a series title like Star Minds not one book of the series shows up. Vampires Through the Centuries brings up only Vampire Diaries. Silvery Earth brings only the Fairy Tales Revisited… And “body switches”? Tons of non-fiction and conspiracy theories and mind-controlling texts!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’ll have to find other ways to find tags for my next Amazon ads. Yasiv clearly doesn’t work for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, did you hear about the KU advocate being kicked out of KU? Mighty Zon is a dangerous beast! ๐Ÿ™‚

Off to the next story… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random Friday


Sorta kinda Art Friday. Last weekend I did a 3hours+ pencil portrait, and it shows in the results. Usually it takes me 2hrs or 2 and a half, this is 3h15 (the longest it took me was 4hours, but the shirt was much more complicated). Here’s another 3hours drawing that is still pinned as my favorite on DA even though it’s 2 years old (and it’s on my wall, albeit a different wall from the latest).

And then while prepping for the novel challenge next month, I realized that the “novella” I planned to expand is actually almost a short novel already and since I’m not supposed to have more than 50% already written and I have no idea how long part 2 would be, I decided to postpone that project to later in the year and to pick something else.

So I’m going to write something based on a very loose outline+a screenplay that was another version of that published novella and make it an original novel. Plus I’ll write the novel of one of the S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. characters that was already on the to-write list and I realized that… oh-oh.

My graphic novel doesn’t have a printed version I can follow, since the balloons are digitally added to wordless comic book pages. So I’ll have to study a way to print it out beyond Omnibus 2 (I had printed copies of the first 2 Omnibus, made through DriveThruComics, but I have retired them since) – either just an Omnibus 3 for myself, maybe on Lulu and B&W, or I can start trying to do that Createspace edition in a different format.

working on SKYBAND during the Holidays

So next weekend I’ll be busy with PODs again. This weekend I only have to upload an ebook, since I have other commitments that will take me away from both the laptop and the drawing tray… For those of you who are new, I have a drawing tray (it’s supposedly a reading tray) and I draw on my bed – see this old pic.

I was even working on the graphic novel! Just picture color pencils like above on the table below, and it will be pretty accurate. You can see the borders of the tray even on the images above.

Oh, and that was before I became, blonde, of course, but then, I had been coloring my hair for a few years already anyway… started at 35, planned to stop at 50, haven’t really yet, but eventually…

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And we have another Vampires Through the Centuries story out! Check out Indestructible, with the cover of awesome Shafali Anand! Some retailers might not show it yet, since I uploaded it after I set up the pre-order button. I had to manually add it on Amazon after release and the Smashwords Premium Catalog doesn’t immediately update a book when I make changes to it. The fastest one was Kobo! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And since I want to try to participate in a Kobo promo this month, I decided to re-publish the Books of the Immortals Box Set. It is now available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble and Apple at 4.99$ for the time being. I had to reformat it completely, which took me a couple of hours to go through the mammoth 1000+pages document.

So, final April wordcount was a little over 30K. This month I need to write 4 stories about the fall of the southern kingdoms, then in June I’ve taken up the Novel Challenge, so I’ll be busy with novels for the summer months! ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to write Shashank’s book anyway, and if I can write it in a month, the better. I also want to redraft a sci-fi novella which I might have for Worldcon.

Some writerly links: how you should really really really stay away from agents and start learning some business. I’m not business-oriented either, but when I read those stories I just want to scream in frustration. It’s another reason to be indie, but then, I’m a control freak! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I didn’t know about the Smarter Artist Summit, but I may attend in the future, now that I know it exists! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It sounds like a great networking opportunity… And I’ve been to Milan for the Kobo/Mondadori contest, so I’ve been at the ceremony and met the Kobo team. They’re all quite nice, especially the Kobo Europe ladies.

Now back to writing! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


The Path of Water (Quests Book 1)
And it’s now available for pre-order on Kobo and Amazon and Barnes&Noble! And the Bundle has a Facebook page! Go like it, so you’ll know when Apple also approves it for pre-order! ๐Ÿ™‚

And a new collection is out as well – Quests Volume 2, soon out in paperback along with Volume 1. I worked on the PODs the whole weekend, but had trouble with the covers and then had to wait to order the proofs to make sure I’d be in to get them so… the dead tree books will probably be ready by the end of the month.

The covers are both by the awesome Shafali Anand who did a masterful job… You’ll see it complete when the paperbacks come out! In the meantime, enjoy these two! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t really have any writerly links this week – except the usual suspects that you may as well check for yourselves – and I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. Okay, Da Muse thinks I found all the possible excuses (publishing stuff, digitalizing old pics) NOT to write, but well… it was Easter weekend, wasn’t it?

I’ll finish that novella before I go to Milan, so I have something to read on the train! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And while I wait for feedback on the latest Vampires Through the Centuries, I’m keeping myself very busy catching those typo faeries on the next title and preparing for a weekend of POD formatting and another upload. I’m also trying an Amazon ad through the Easter weekend, we’ll see how it goes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, it’s official, this wonderful box set of 12 novels at 12$ will come out May 26! Soon you’ll get to meet the other authors who trusted me with this adventure! I am extremely grateful to Chuck at Bundle Rabbit for making this possible.

This should soon be available for pre-order on all retailers. My novel is The Path of Water (Quests Book 1), but even if you have already read it, there are 11 more in this lot! Don’t miss it! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, bundles are all over. If you don’t want to sign up for Bundle Rabbit as an author and don’t think you can write a novel yet, you may want to try the Great Bundle Workshop! Any story that you’ll write for this will go in a bundle, so what’s the risk? Read the questions answered too…

I’m going to see how the above bundle goes, and I might get hit by bundle fever – with novels! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here you have a post on newsletters and discoverability, and one on piracy and TakeDown notices and how they can hurt your visibility.

And you know you can write at any age, right? And if you can spare a $ a month for me, please hop to my Patreon page. I won’t bite and there are plenty of nice surprises there. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And you have a new Star Minds Third Generation ebook out – with the cover by Mighty Techie Bro. Now, he’s an excellent artist, but he doesn’t have time to work on commissions, so, I went to his DeviantART page and picked some of his old works… and wrote the stories accordingly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, that’s more or less how Shan-leo’s daughter was “born”… First she’s a rainbow-haired teen, then she becomes the tough gal he drew (hence my illustration of the character). And when I asked my brother if I could have a higher resolution file for the ebook cover, he decided to work on it… so there you have it – old Iso-bel Aya (my actual inspiration) and the new one! ๐Ÿ™‚

There are places, no matter how alien, where you immediately feel at home. And there are places where you’ll never feel at home, no matter how familiar they look or can become.

Iso-bel Aya Shermac is Shan-leoโ€™s daughter, a Sire telepath who grows from rainbow-haired teen visiting Earth of year 2046 to a Sylvanian Accademy graduate who can fight like a man.

Probably the start of a new sub-series in the Star Minds universe.

The other digital painting of his I used as inspiration will be used only on Patreon for now. The first short story offered to the 5$ tier is Starship Pilot with his illustration Ready for Take-off. So, if you’d like to read it before it comes out in the volume Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, you can become a patron of yours truly and many other creators (like my cover artists Cristina Fabris and Sir Wendigo, or writers and artists from all over the place) by hopping to Patreon.

Now I better finish that vampire novella so I can send it to a trusted beta for fact-checking and then to Mighty Editor for a prompt release in a month! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some interesting writerly links… 5 tips on how to make your writing process feel like gaming (which I don’t need, but I know some of you get stuck from time to time) I need something that helps me pick a project and stick to it to the end, LOL! Not that I have trouble being prolific… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some writing tools with all the answers – the English Through the Ages book sounds very interesting. I have heard the screenwriting ones ten years ago and I do have the Emotion Thesaurus, except I forget to consult it when I write! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, you might find these useful, so I thought I’d point you to the post.

Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams by Kris Rusch which takes you to Marie Force’s That Day I decided to Stop Chasing the Bestseller Lists (shared also on Kobo’s newsletter)… My aim was never to be on one of those bestseller lists, probably because I’m not American, but I’ve seen scores of (indie)authors stopping altogether because they never hit any list.

As a reader, I couldn’t care less if you hit a bestseller list or not. I have read many indie writers and many best-selling writers, and I have loved many of the first and hated many of the latter. So, you know…

I’m nowhere near bestseller status as a writer, still struggling to find my readers and true fans, but that hasn’t stopped me from keeping writing and publishing.

I never tried Kickstarter because I know you need to be moderately “famous” to get enough people pledging for your projects, and I’m not sure Patreon will work for me, but I’m trying it anyway. Then I will try book bundles and writing more short stories to submit to traditional short markets.

But I will keep my indie output steady – as steady as I can, I might not hit the 25 titles a year I kept until last year, but expect a couple of new titles a month anyway – because I treasure my current 5 readers *waves at them*! ๐Ÿ™‚ The blog isn’t really working as a marketing tool, the Facebook page isn’t bringing in any sales, so I’m trying new stuff.

When I’m tired of experimenting, I’ll just quit the marketing hassle and publish stuff without bothering much. That’s what I do with the Italian titles – and they sell more than the English ones for the lack of competition, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Writer Wednesday


Getting back into the routine, I can say that I wrote at least 40K in March – the month’s not over, I might write another 10K, so final counts next week, and completed Saif’s story. As soon as I have a cover, you will be able to read more about the honorable assassins of Silvery Earth. Of course some parts of Saif’s story overlap with Saif & Kilig, but you’ll get to know Saif better than Kilig or Hakeem ever did! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I have opened that Patreon account! While I decide which creators I want to support, get ready to support me! Announcement this weekend – I published the first novel (Books of the Immortals – Air) on April 1, 2011, I thought it fitting to launch the Patreon page on the same date… or maybe a day later, to make sure you don’t think it’s an April’s Fool! ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ll have a busy, creative weekend with Cristina coming over. I want to publish a Star Minds third generation ebook and I have to launch that Patreon page. Hopefully no fever, cough or headache will stop me! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, you wanna be a professional writer? Some considerations! by Chuck Wendig – and about #7, I have a blog (you’re reading it!), I have social media (Facebook, Goodreads), and now I have Patreon (will go live soon, promise). I probably don’t have enough fans for a Kickstarter – or better, I don’t have a big enough project in the pipeline yet. One day… Like raising the money to have a cover by Larry Elmore, Terry Moore or Colleen Doran… but I’ll have to think about a great story for such great cover artists! ๐Ÿ™‚

And then I’ll try not to bury myself in data diving… I know I’m not experimenting much in marketing, but maybe I’ll end up taking the Strength workshops about Sales… still thinking about that one! ๐Ÿ™‚ And then I will start putting together some bundles on Bundle Rabbit. I have requested curator status, so if you have “first in a series” of a fantasy world (not Earth) or vampires (NOT YA) stories, upload them now, so I can find them! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s if you’re a writer. If you’re a reader, check out the current bundles! There are books for every tastes, really! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I better go back writing… Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Writer Wednesday


In spite of the cough and cold and fever that came and went, I did manage to double the wordcount on Saif’s story, so hopefully I’ll be able to send it to the proofreader next weekend. In the meantime (and in spite of the above), I managed to publish another ebook, The Path of Earth (Quests Book 4).

Keshav is a thirty-year-old scholar who has been touring the southern kingdom’s libraries in search of knowledge. In Godwalkar he stumbles upon the Genn works and discovers the existence of the Magical Races that populated mostly the north. He decides to go looking for the lost Genn cities with the help of merchant Babita, who knows the way up to a certain point, and the protection of Rohan.
The merchant, the scholar and their bodyguard journey to the northern kingdoms springing up from the ashes of the Moren Empire. Their search might not be of just physical proof of the Genn, since all three have very good reasons to leave their hometowns.

I have a few more quests in mind, but now I will move to other projects, more urgent than more Silvery Earth books! The series itself has reached 70 books on Smashwords, so I guess I can take a break and concentrate on the other series! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I need to write the next vampire novella and then start working on the next novel. I have Star Minds stories that were written last summer and after doing the rounds in traditional markets – being rejected – will now see the light of publication.

So, busy here. Slowly trudging forward. But it’s the normal nature of being behind in this new world, and I’m not panicking, just keep going. Looking forward and not backward. My ToDo list (remember those notepads I bought in Boston?) is still long, but I’m slowly crossing out stuff. Give me time… being behind is the new normal, as long as we set goals and get there, eventually! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m also slowly getting organized for the Worldcon. Hotel is booked, flight is almost done and volunteer program still to be filled, but hope to do it before Friday. I do have until the end of the month to fill it. If anyone is going, please let me know and I’ll suggest a panel with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I shall leave you with this reminder of what makes a real writer – mostly the handy flowchart! Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Sooo, since I was traveling sans-PC, back to the old times, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was interviewed here… ย and it’s “Read an ebook week” on Smashwords – here are some authors’ bargains!

And grab this bundle before it’s gone! Great books by great authors! ๐Ÿ™‚

And last but not least, one of my titles is in a Kobo promo, go check it (no direct links, just go to Kobo.com)

The workshop is over, I didn’t make any sale, but here’s a very summarized journal for you…

p_20170303_222519Will write more when I go home, I promise! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


pathairdtf

Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world โ€“ the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

We’re still on the new Silvery Earth! Still exploring those Quests books! They don’t have that much to do, do they? Why are they always looking for something anyway? Let’s ask them!

Hello, young lady. Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m Sayla, I’m nineteen, my mother Talulla is a maimed Sila. I have inherited the keen Sila eyesight and I’m the best archer in town.

I think we met your mother in the first book, but you were but a wee little girl back then… I don’t suppose you remember three people passing by? A gorgeous warrior with turquoise eyes, a brooding beau of a magic user and a blonde healer? No? Thought not… It was fifteen years ago for you, after all! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Petite, light brown hair, blue eyes.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how they become an enemy?

No, well, let’s say I ran away from Inex when I discovered that my mother cut my wings at birth. I mean, my MOTHER maimed me, can you believe it?

Not very motherly, but then, she’s not Human, is she? Although being maimed herself… why would she do the same to you? Anyway, would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

I hated everyone after discovering my mother’s betrayal. Well, except Keenan. He’s the only friend I have.

Mmm… do I smell a relationship here? If so, what it is about him that you find appealing?

Not really, not yet, but I know Keenan adores me and when I’m ready, he’ll be there.

Sweet! Lucky gal! Where do you live?

I was born in Inex, a city-state on the northern coast of Varia, an lived there until I ran away to go looking for the Sila nests after my mother told me of the maiming.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Finding the Sila nests and reaching them without wings. I’ll need help from eagles and dwarves to succeed.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them. Besides your Sila mother, I mean.

She married my father Myckim who comes from the south. I have an elder brother, Sanylo, but he’s an asshole.

And you just left them all behind… so let’s hear the young man now. Tell me a little about yourself!

I’m Keenan, the tanner’s son, and I’m twenty. I grew yp with Sayla and I’ve been silently in love with her for years.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Blond and blue-eyed, like most northerners…

What is your role in the story?

I follow her when she runs away, then help her in her quest. One day I hope to give her wings.

What is your relationship with her, then?

We’re childhood friends, she’s my Wonder Girl.

Well, I wish you both to find what you’re looking for and live happily ever after! If you, the reader, what to know more about these two, go and get The Path of Air (Quests Book 3)! Now available also in Quests Volume 1 with The Path of Water.

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