Writer Wednesday


And the third “youngster” is out! This is Jes-syd, Iso-bel’s ex-boyfriend, and he’s a hacker in the truer sense of the word (not a security cracker)! πŸ™‚ Star Minds Lone Wolves – Hacker is now available as ebook at the usual suspects… and no WiP of the cover, since he wasn’t on a cover before.

And he isn’t inspired from a drawing either. I debated between two models and ended up choosing the one that looked more like the description I gave of him in Iso-bel Aya Shermac. I had seen that guy first and wrote the story with him in mind, so this time no NeoStock model for our Sire hacker! πŸ™‚

One young man, two passions: computers and Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

Jes-syd lost his home planet at twenty, and with it his beloved girlfriend who survived but vanished on him without explanations. Five years later he works at the Serenaide Labs and has a new girlfriend, another survivor like him, but things don’t go smoothly between them.

The Tech Fair and a visit from Ypsilanti bring the news that there are more survivors on the dead planet, hidden underground in what’s left of the Vaurabi Labs. Jes-syd’s mother made it with a few more and Jes-syd hopes to get back with Iso-bel again – whenever he manages to find her and give her the good news.

A young Sire survivor who loves computers and his first and only love, a lone wolf hacker who is trying to fight his own grief. A Star Minds universe standalone story of hackers, crackers and survivors.

Bonus story: Wonder Man or how Hariel earned his Codename

And last week I wrote 11K of Hariel, our Wonder Man and the eldest of the future team. I hope to finish his story this week, so I can write a couple more team stories to submit to trad markets before the end of the month. I’m at 292K, so pretty much on schedule to reach my goal of half pulp speed before the end of the year! πŸ™‚

For those of you who arrived late and have no idea of what I’m talking about, here’s Dean’s post about pulp speed. I’ve been trying to reach 500K since 2015 and it seems that this year I’ll finally reach the goal. And I hope to sustain it for the coming years.

And for those of you who just joined, I shall remind you that some books are discounted at Smashwords only for the month of July, if you want a taste of how I write. Or you can subscribe to the bimonthly newsletter and get some free short stories as well as the news from this writer if you can’t be bothered to follow me on Social Media or this blog.

David Gaughran on Amazon Algorithm – whatever that means. I don’t bother with it anymore. Obsessing with sales just hurts my head, so I don’t care anymore. Although I’m happy when I see those spikes at some retailer! πŸ˜‰ Also, I certainly want to be a long term writer! πŸ˜‰

And being a writer who has dabbled in screenwriting, I can tell you this review of Save the Cat is spot on. I haven’t read the book itself, but if it’s for screenwriters, it’s NOT for fiction/prose writers. Trust me. I tried it. I have a cinematic prose, I thought I can easily turn it into a movie screenplay… not! So unless you’re trying to break into Hollywood, just ignore that book! πŸ˜‰

Now I would like to take your time to read the last instalment of Adventures of a first-time editor about the Anthology Workshop. What, you don’t want to join the Writer Club? Bad writer, you! I hope to see you in 2020 at the Anthology workshop. Unfortunately I can’t afford those offline workshops more often than every three years, sigh.

Now I better go back to writing… have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

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Writer Wednesday


So last week I did my usual 10K to be on track with the writing. Still with the Lone Wolves since it’s sci-fi July and soon you’ll get another book in the mini-series/sub-series. I’ve started another novel but will throw in more “missions” of the team anytime I finish the current project ahead of time – which normally happens, LOL!

And I also had time to format the first paperback! So if you’re a fan of dead tree books (means you don’t have trouble with your eyes like us elderly people, I had a friend asking me for the ebook because he can’t read the paperback…), you can get Sci-Fi Stories – Starships in paperback now. I’ll do the other as soon as the other anthology goes live, since there’s no pre-order on Createspace! πŸ˜‰

Thank you all who bought either the above anthology or the bundle Sci-fi July Redux. Remember this bundle won’t be out forever and it’s 10 novels of sci-fi space opera for your entertainment, so if you like space opera, make sure to grab it now.

I mean, look at those names! Kevin J. Anderson! Robert Jeschoneck! Kristine Kathryn Rusch! Dean Wesley Smith! Barbara G.Tarn! Er… scratch the last one, she’s a nobody! πŸ˜‰

But well, if I make it big, you can say you started following me before I got famous! πŸ™‚ Before I got published in some traditional mag (which at the moment is scheduled for January 2019 – unless I sell something else in the meantime)! πŸ™‚

If you prefer short stories, there’s always the curated anthologies… and hopefully soon more short story collections (gotta write them first, though!)! πŸ™‚

Next weekend I’ll prepare Jes-syd and the second anthology goes live… In the meantime I better go back to writing. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And since I was reading so much sci-fi, I decided to keep writing sci-fi – well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is. So I will write more stories of Star Minds Lone Wolves in July then we’ll see. Because I don’t have to do research for those and I even re-read some of the older books (which meant I had to make a last minute change to the latest title) while looking for a story.

And after Icy Aya, please welcome Shanell! πŸ™‚ Our starship pilot, that you first met in Star Minds Third Generation Snippets or you can find in the upcoming anthology Sci-fi Stories – Starships, finally has her short novel! Here’s the birth of the cover with the evolution from Techie Bro’s version to the current one – a change of look and starship that was already hinted at in Adventurer.

David Farland answers the question Does Social Media Work? You know the answer, don’t you? Nope, nope and nope! Not anymore! Especially not Facebook! πŸ˜‰ So let’s start thinking outside the box (and ignoring those Facebook “suggestions” that only want you to spend some money on Facebook ads). How? Dunno. Experiment.

I’m keeping this blog active and the publisher’s page updated. Does that help? Dunno. Too early to say. But if you want some predictions on where social media are going, check out this forecast. I look forward to less self-promotion and more effortless self-expression! πŸ™‚

I will mention today is the day Sci-fi July Redux aaaand Sci-fi Stories – Starships go live! Go grab them! Fill your e-readers with some sci-fi for a thrilling summer! πŸ™‚ Yes, even bundles don’t sell that much anymore. I guess we saturated the market… Not sure about the anthologies, since mine never sold much… but after spending a long weekend curating the next, I sure hope you’ll at least check them out! πŸ™‚

Also, I enrolled some books in the Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords… go check all the authors participating! πŸ™‚ Useless to put my own profile, since it doesn’t show in the list which are discounted and which aren’t… I made a list on the publisher’s site! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, What I Learned by Dean Wesley Smith… from him and Kris Rusch I learned what Harlan says: Money flows TO the writer! Not that I’m getting much yet… sigh! But it’s the year of writing and being halfway, I’m at 270K, so… I’ll just keep writing. And maybe publishing, LOL!

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


And inbetween projects – going through the stories one last time before sending them to betas – I wrote less than 5K but I’m still on schedule. This week I hope to write a couple of short stories of the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team then I’ll move on to the next project… I should stick to SF during the month of July, but we’ll see! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and by the way… not only you shouldn’t read your reviews if you’re an indie author, but also you shouldn’t reread the rejection letters, especially if it’s a personalized rejection that points out something! I made the mistake to re-read a rejection letter and it gave me all sorts of self-doubts… lesson learned, never again! πŸ˜‰ Acknowledge the rejection and send out again (it even ended with “I’m sure some other editor might enjoy it” or something like that, but what stuck was the critique… masochist types, we writers, aren’t we?).

And in honor of upcoming Sci-Fi July, enjoy this article on terraforming ourselvesΒ and the history of SF! πŸ™‚ It’s a good summary of what I learned with the online workshop on writing science fiction – at least the origins of the genre. I do need to write Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 2 where you’ll see that Earth is not that bad off after a couple of centuries, but maybe I’ll do it in August instead of July.

Anyhow, for Sci-fi July you get: on the 4th Sci-fi Stories – Starships, an anthology of 10 short stories with starships in them, aaaaand the Sci-fi July Redux Space Opera bundle, with 10 novels of space opera and adventure! Both are already available for pre-order and look at all those great writers! I had trouble deciding the order of the stories or novels!

The bundle won’t stay out forever, so grab it now. The anthology will be out until they allow us to keep it out there – there has been trouble with Nightly Bites volume 1 paperback – and it will soon be joined by Sci-fi Stories – Space Opera Mashup with another 10 wonderful stories because I got so many I had to make two anthologies! πŸ™‚

And then you’ll get the other two short novels of Star Minds Lone Wolves, Pilot and Hacker. This weekend I’ll be putting together that second anthology and preparing the next Star Minds Lone Wolves (short) novel for publication… stay tuned… Shanell is coming your way! πŸ˜‰ With her new look (the old look is on Sci-fi Stories – Starships, drawn by Techie Bro) and she’s still the best starship pilot of the Star Nations and don’t you dare deny it! πŸ˜‰

Hacker will come out with the second anthology on July 14th… And no, I haven’t done the cover yet, even though I’ve chosen the model! But I’m not sure about the background yet… πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Productive weekend meaning I finished a first rough draft of the vampire novel, I uploaded the first Star Minds Lone Wolves book and put together the first sci-fi anthology. 13K written, 3 covers (including the one for the bundle Sci-fi July Redux) and formatting that had to be redone Monday morning because 1) I found typos and 2) I hadn’t set up the title right, so it had been rejected at Draft2Digital.

So, here’s the universal link for Adventurer (Star Minds Lone Wolves) and the pre-order universal link for Sci-fi Stories – Starships! πŸ™‚ The latter still has no cover on Amazon (sigh) but hopefully our man at BundleRabbit will solve the issue by the time this goes live.

The first cover – you heard about it on Sunday. The second cover is again by Techie Bro, one of his first, and newsletter subscribers already saw it on Starship Pilot which is also the story included in the anthology.

Now stay tuned, because you’ll soon hear more about Shanell. Her novel (and new look) will be revealed in July with the second sci-fi anthology.

The first three Star Minds Lone Wolves books will come out during the summer, but the next three probably next year. And I’ll have to do a few more composite covers of stock photos for my team in this sub-series of my science fantasy saga.

For the paperbacks be patient, you know I don’t like ordering them during the summer… πŸ˜‰

Now, some writerly links! 5 ways to spice up your Amazon book pages – if you have time. I might do it for the newest titles, but not right now, LOL!

And setting free the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice which can then take you (if you haven’t seen them already) to Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and Indie Publishing. Chuck Wendig might have lacked the courage to slaughter the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice, but Dean Wesley Smith has no qualms whatsoever! πŸ™‚

My apologies to my Hindu friends. Know that in the latest vampire book, Kris and Kiran finish a poor sacred animal who has been hit by a car (black cow in a black night) and has been left to die on the side of the road. And I saw at least two of those when I did my tour of Rajasthan, so don’t say it doesn’t happen, okay? πŸ˜‰

And yes, it was also in my fan-fiction crossover Indian Moon – which, by the way, is now slightly outdated, but I might add it at the end of the book anyway as a curiosity… Along with The Raven, published in Nightly Bites Volume 2! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Sunday Surprise


EBOOK COVER REVEAL! πŸ™‚

It’s coming! πŸ™‚ Working on formatting and uploading, but I thought I’d give a sneak preview. It’s my first cover with a NeoStock model, a composite with DepositPhoto elements and some touch-up to make Liepa really look like Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

After a quick survey with my Facebook friends, I bought the initial choice of a pose – theoretically a UF pose – and changed the gun, since this is not UF but SF. I also turned the model’s eyes blue and added the background that could be Friport, the starship as big as a planet of adventurers and rogues.

(Here’s the WiP, although the final is not really final, since I “cleaned” the white space in her hair afterward and added the shadows)

I hope it doesn’t clash with the other Star Minds covers too much. I’m very excited with this sub-series with the third generation and you can expect the first three books to come out this year. Next year I might write another three.

The Lone Wolves Team is coming… stay tuned! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


And 17K last week! πŸ™‚ Told ya. When I’m in the middle of a project, I go fast. I even had a non-writing day because, you know, life and stuff. And at some point I was procrastinating because I felt it was a boring chapter. Then it went smoothly, but boy was I making excuses! πŸ˜€

I probably need to write a side story to this one, because two of the protagonists of the previous novels have very little spotlight in this one, and since are one-POV novels, I can’t squeeze in their scenes or have them TELL the whole thing. So I just hinted at it, and then I will write something that goes with it, from their points of view – yes, two, since it’s a romance, LOL!

I’m also working on more anthologies and bundles, so stay tuned for a very busy publishing July! πŸ˜‰ I’ll also start formatting and preparing the next title next weekend. Stay tuned for the return of Iso-bel Aya Shermac!

Now some funny advice on the (in)famous Kill Your Darlings by Chuck Wendig! Do, but don’t. As usual, take any advice with a grain of salt… And then I found this CreateSpace vs. KDP Print. I’m sticking with CS for now and until they dismiss it completely. Then we’ll see.

Now back to writing. And checking the editor’s files. And formatting. And making covers. What a busy week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


And as usual when I’m in between projects, I wrote less than what I was supposed to write last week, but now I’m well into the novel and hopefully I should churn out those 40-50K quickly enough to write another short story before the end of the month. I still have one on submission, and before I start sending out the new ones, I want to see if that one sells.

Also, I’m done reading my friend’s stories (he did it! 30 stories in 30 days! Yay!), so I hope to have more time to read other stuff – besides the research reading, that is. I may try to catch up on those bundles, some of which are no longer available… by the way, during the creative weekend I had time to make a bundle trailer for Thieves, go check it! πŸ™‚

Translated from an Italian article: “Today we shouldn’t look at Amazon as just the biggest e-commerce in the world, but like a real search engine. Once upon a time it mattered to rank high on Google, today the aim for authors, entrepreneurs and businesses is to rank high on Amazon because with more that six hundred millions of registered users with a credit card, it’s theΒ  most powerful search engine of theΒ  world.”

And still, for authors, Amazon has a lot of problems. Book stuffing, clickfarms and all that stuff David Gaughran keeps warning us about. And speaking of warnings, only you can kill your writing.

And thank you for NOT liking my Friday post, either you’re NOT writers, you’re indies like me (good people) or you’re as deaf as the young author I tried to warn through private message on Facebook. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m not going the agent way, but if you get bitten, I’ll shake my head and say “Told you so.”

Anyhow, you have Dean’s opinion on the agents scandal and the many deaths of a fiction writer. I haven’t experienced any of those yet, but never say never! πŸ˜‰ That’s why I haven’t quit the darn day job yet and I don’t want Mr Writing to be the sole source of income in this household.

So while I celebrate our 40 years together, I’m still looking for alternatives. After I get rid of some stuff, either through eBay or Etsy, I need to find something else, be it translations or maybe book covers or book trailers. Although even for the latter I use Windows Movie Maker, and all the pros would say it sucks. Sorry, not moving to Mac either, I have enough trouble with the various Windows versions and some Linux.

The latest creative weekend brought back a friend who started commenting on my Trust tablet (the cheapest on the market, miles away from a Cintiq or any other kind of tablets for digital painting) and which Photoshop I use and if I can use masks (yes, he taught me, LOL!) – I do not need to upgrade those, since my digital painting abilities will always be limited and I’m sure I can do photomanipulation even with an old Photoshop 7.0 – opening the layered PSDs with Photoshop Elements 11 that is newer.

So yeah, lots of pondering to do besides writing. And I really don’t want to go through another burn out for rewriting hell, so I’ll just keep going. Now I better go back to writing! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And l lost an afternoon to a bee invasion, that gave me a panic attack and didn’t allow me to concentrate. I even went to sleep at my Mom’s, and lost a few hours. Add the first heat and my low blood pressure and ants in the house… Sigh. Life rolls.

Now back on track, l’m revising the novels to send to Mighty Editor and writing one last short story before leaving the Star Minds universe.

In June l’ll go back to lndia with my mind, starting in Mumbai in 2005, where Rajveer, Kaylyn and Shashank’s stories ended. Yes, this will be Kristine’s book and l’ll try to drop in Alain (from Nightly Bites vol.2) as well. The novel will come out November 2 as usual and it kind of wraps up the first three.

Our curator let us know that Spring Surprise is on sale to 1.99 from 27-31st May – before it vanishes. So get it NOW because tomorrow it’s gone forever.

The only link I have this week isΒ GDPR for writers. Honestly, this really sucks. I’ve been receiving emails from sites I haven’t accessed in years only because they have one of my emails on file (including the British Library that issued me a 2-weeks pass more than ten years ago and never wrote to me before).

I really want to move out of Europe. Can I apply to Canada? πŸ˜‰ I even had to “turn on” the notice on the contact page because I’m in the EU! 😦 Please rest assured that I don’t keep your data, and if you contact me I won’t add you to my mailing list – you’d have to subscribe for that! πŸ˜‰

Here’s more GDPR fuss – I know, it’s not stricktly writing, but it does affect my writing. What if I can’t access a site for research because it doesn’t comply with that damn thing? So far it affected only my Google Alerts (that are for entertaining purposes), but what if it starts affecting something else? GDPR Obsession indeed! 😦

That’s all for today… Have a great week!

 

Random Friday


Future reading for research purposes blog post! I finally got everything from the various Amazon marketplaces (IT, FR and .com), so here’s the plan.

June reading for the next vampire novel that starts in 2005 Mumbai and goes from there – I include in this pic also the title for the sadist author, although vampires aren’t that easy to hurt, so that one goes actually for all the other books! πŸ˜‰

July reading for POC Book 2 – Wanderlust. Survival in a post-apocalyptic but reborn world, since it’s been 3-4 centuries since the Event. The World Without Us is a re-read, probably just scanning for what I need, and the survival guides are also more for consultation than actual reading (although flipping through the pages I may come up with plot points, haha!).

These are all non-fiction books, and at the end of the year you’ll know which ones I recommend. As for fiction, I’m slowly trudging through bundles on my Kindle, but I have so many, I’ll never catch up, sigh. This month I’m reading a friend’s stories (he’s doing the 30-stories-in-30-days challenge) and some classic for research into steampunk – Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.

Something randomly different: I haven’t seen Padmaavat yet – well, I’ve seen the trailer and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it or not (the DVD isn’t out yet anyway), but then I got this review of the movie in my inbox (Google Alerts) and now I’m really considering it, since there are some people who are aware that those Rajput are quite delusional! πŸ˜‰

I did study that time period for Rajveer the Vampire, although I found out later that Padmini or Padmavati might have not existed, but well… this lady did an excellent review and might have convinced me to give it a try – knowing the shortcomings beforehand might help, LOL! πŸ™‚

So, that’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ™‚

 

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