Writer Wednesday


And I wrote even less this week because I didn’t write at all during the weekend. I had programmed to go through a manuscript for a final pass and ended up with two because I finished the translation of Star Minds Next Generation, so I didn’t have any time left for new words.

Aaand I found minor mistakes again, sigh. So I even had to correct the original and upload the new version to all retailers. I’m back to the WiP now and hope to wrap it before the weekend, since next weekend I’ll have to check another couple of manuscripts before sending everything off to the editor.

I also did a couple of illustrations for Beautiful. After various attempts, I decided I’m going to illustrate Beautiful instead of the other shorter works I had in mind. Because I love Rithvik and Kerrien and I look forward to drawing them chibi stile. I have considered even a comic book version or a graphic novel, but that would take even longer.

So here’s a preview of what the illustrated version will be like – the original cover vs. the new cover (done quite quickly, so I may rework it before I put up the illustrated version).

And don’t ask me when it will be available, since I draw in my spare time and it’s not much at the moment, LOL! But it will be paperback only, since I’m not very good at adding images to e-books. So a special illustrated edition available only in paperback sometimes before the end of the year – I hope.

If you haven’t read Beautiful yet and would like to try it, it’s available also in the bundle Cats Cats Cats… just sayin’! ๐Ÿ˜‰ There will be more cats in the current WiP, but I don’t know when it will be published, so in the meantime, you can get that bundle instead! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday


I must say that writing 3 entwined books at the same time is a new and fun process for me. I should have done the same with the vampires novels, but well… too late for that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The workshop on Writing Series was really helpful for this, so a big THANK YOU goes to Dean Wesley Smith! I used also the Teams (no longer available) and Writing Science Fiction workshops for this one.

I’m wrapping up these 3 books this week and then I’ll go back to shorter works for the rest of the month – I have promised one story to a charity anthology and I want to submit to Tor novella again (albeit in the July window).

Kindle Scout results! As expected, I wasn’t chosen, hence in June you will have the first new title of the year, my historical novel The Fern and The Cross. I shall set up the pre-order next weekend, since I’m afraid at the end of the month Kindle Scout might vanish completely.

Thank you to anyone who nominated me, you will be notified through KindleScout when the (e-book first) comes out. I’ll do the paperback after the summer. Or you can keep following this very blog, haha! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writerly links! David Gaughran is still everywhere, I wonder if he’ll show up at Dublin 2019 worldcon next year! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Guest on D2D blog, platform building and related terrors. And on Joanna Penn’s blog, someone talks about his book Strangers to Superfans.

Speaking of Dublin and Worldcon, I filled the form to be on the programme. Soon I’ll fill also the programme suggestions form… we’ll see where that takes us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and… Happy Birthday, Smashwords! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Might be because I’m off DayJob, but last week was quite productive. Over 15K written and another project wrapped. I started on the third in the series and because I didn’t remember something about a secondary character, I went to check Star Minds Third Generation Snippets… and had two rewrite the ending of #1 (minor changes on #2). Glad I haven’t published any yet, LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚

Still off DayJob this week, so I hope to have a good headstart with #3, maybe even get close to the end, so I that I have time to squeeze #4 into May as well. It’s another generation, but he does meet all three protagonists of the other books, so I might end up with a 4-books box set at the end of the year.

It’s short novels, mind you. The first is 55K, the second 32K. The third will probably be around that lenght (30K). All together they’ll be like Star Minds the Trilogy in length – which works well for paperbacks (not-quite-a-doorstopper but still almost 500pages long).

Anyhow, we’ll see. I have ordered a few books I need to read for Post-Apocalypse Chronicles Book 2, and I’ll post an image as soon as the last one gets to me. But I also need to reed 3 paper books for the next vampire novel, so in June that’s what I’ll be doing. And then July POC2 and then I’ll get back to the Heroines, unless some shorter work decides to become a real short novel in the meantime…

And by the end of the year I’ll have reached my goal of writing 500k! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, by the way, I curated another bundle! With all that extra time off DayJob I put together the Thieves bundle with eleven novels (a couple short ones) at 8$! So the vampires are gone, you can now enjoy some thieves – all night creatures, ain’t they? Sometimes, LOL!

Writerly links! Joanna Penn reports from the London Book Fair. I went there once in 2007. Things have changed so much in publishing since, that I kinda look forward to going again. Here’s to hoping I can make it next year. Oh, and “comparisonitis“… ever heard of it? Lots of words of wisdom here too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then we have David Gaughran’s presentation of his book Strangers to Superfans. If you want to hear a less biased view, my guest Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli did a long review of From Strangers to Superfans. Very well worth a reading (the review, I mean).

Considering that I still need to read both Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible (I have older versions and won’t get the new ones – don’t ask) aaand Mastering Amazon Ads… but at least I’ll know what to expect next year when I get back on the publishing wagon (although… guess what? Things may change in the next months, LOL! But I’ll get the revised version when I’m ready!).

And that’s all for today! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


I must say I’ve had a productive writing week, with 19K words written. I also wrapped draft zero of one novel (a little over 50K), now I’m working on its “companion” – it’s, like, three novels intertwined but that can be read as standalone, like the vampires novels, but I’ll be publishing them more or less together, or at least closer to each other than the vampires novels (one a year).

It’s another sub-series of Star Minds, in case you’re wondering, and I hope to have the first out in July to add it to the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, and then we’ll see for the other two. They might come out shorter, so I may combine them. I’ll definitely do a box set when the miniseries is complete! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of bundles, Spring Surprise is on sale until the 28th! And more to come, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a seasonal bundle, so May is the last month to get it. Also, Vampires of the World will vanish in May and there will be a last week sale. More on that next week.

Mighty Zon strikes back! An author’s nightmare with Amazon… and if you like sci-fi, grab this World Sci-fi bundle before it’s gone. I’m still trudging through the bundles I’ve been part of at Bundle Rabbit last year… my TBR pile will never go down, sigh! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

In case you’re just starting and are wondering what’s best for you, here’s a very good article on publishing in 2018 – the pros and cons of trad pub vs self pub. I am mostly indie, but I am trying to sell short stories to traditional markets (one sold last year, still not out – being patient…).

And my Kindle Scout novel (15 days left to nominate it) is my attempt at being hybrid on a single project that is an outlier of my usual production. I may also send a rejected novella to another publisher, and in case he likes it, I’ll let him publish it, since it’s not related to any of the current series (except for being loosely part of Future Earth).

So, yeah, we’ll see. Now I shall go back to my writing cave… have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And it’s Star Minds Friday! Here’s the series trailer for those of you who don’t know them yet:

You can meet the characters of the Trilogy and the Snippets here:

Star Minds Sundays on the authorโ€™s blog: Kol-ian, Daniele&Chantal, Gaurishankar and Maela, Ker-ris and Shan-leo, Mya, Cโ€™ellโ€™andy and Tyro.

AAAAND on Lisa Burton Radio (Daniele)!

The next generation is here:

Interview with Shan-leo and Dadina

Interview with Izzy-lee

Interview with Kay-low

Interview with Zaphadin

And even though her story came out a few months ago, now you get to know better the third generation in the person of Iso-bel Aya Shermac! (To the one and only buyer of Star Minds Third Generation Snippets – that includes the ebook above – I uploaded a correction about a secondary character’s age – get your copy from Smashwords or just know that Arica of Sylvania is 60 at the time of Sire Minds, not “in her forties” as previously stated!)

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!

So hello, girl! Tell me a little about yourself (name, ageโ€ฆ)

Iso-bel Aya Shermac, daughter of Shan-leo Shermac-Vaurabi and Mayumi Ikagoru. I’m twenty and currently training at the Sylvanian Academy, even though I’m actually from Marc’harid, the Sire planet.

I’ve heard those names before… Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

A blue-eyed brunette, petite and willowy. Father’s colors, mother’s height.

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

Not really, except maybe myself. I’m my worst enemy.

Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes, that’s why I joined the Sylvanian Academy and yes, if only I could.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

My first and current boyfriend is Jes-syd Russom. We got together when we were fifteen. We might get married when we finish our studies. He is a wonderful person and handsome too. He cares for me and makes me feel protected.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Surviving the destruction of my home-planet, a cosmic accident that wipes out many lives.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

My parents and my younger brother Dan-ylo, who is seventeen. My father was an only child, but he surrounded himself with an extended family, my mother ran away from Xi-kong so I don’t know much about that side of the family except that I have a cousin, Kaori Ikagoru, who is in the Galaxy Police.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

After secondary school was over, I dyed my hair of rainbow colors for a summer.

Star Minds the series (ebooks and paperbacks)

 

Writer Wednesday


And another week has gone by! Time sure is flying, innit? (I know there must be an apostrophe somewhere, but my British English is quite rusty. Damn Yankees). Checking wordcount for the first quarter, I’m a little over 100k for the first three months, so still a little behind. But I will catch up now that I’m writing two things at the same time (while thinking about the next two, LOL!).

I had to order another proof, so for the paperback of Falls of the Southern Kingdoms you’ll have to be patient for a few more days. And please go nominate my historical novel on Kindle Scout. I can’t keep track of stats, but they tell me it’s not a problem and they’re aware of it (see below).

Dear Barb,
Thanks for your email.
I’m sorry for the trouble you had with the stats feature of our program. Our technical team is aware of this problem and is working hard to fix it as soon as possible.
Rest assured that this will not affect your bookโ€™s chances of getting reviewed by the Kindle Scout team and potentially selected for publication. If your book has been shortlisted, youโ€™ll receive a personalized manuscript feedback report from us when your campaign has ended, and once the publishing decision has been made.
Thanks for your patience while we fix this problem.

So I’m being patient, it’s only another 20something days. And then we’ll see. I didn’t manage to build a self-publishing empire yet, but I don’t write romance. If you do, please check how Marie Force did it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lots of very good advice for writers too – and remember, writers write! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I’m going back to my writing cave… Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And among my experiments this year there’s Kindle Scout. Some of you who have been following this blog for longer may remember my historical novel set in 12th century Europe around the Third Crusade. Well, it’s now on Kindle Scout – it has been accepted for a campaign, probably one of the last, since they announced they no longer take submissions.

If you have an Amazon account (any country, use the same email and password on all marketplaces), please go and nominate The Fern and The Cross, read an excerpt, etc. If it gets picked up by Kindle Scout, you’ll get a free e-ARC (to redeem before May 31 as per latest news), if not, just let me know and I’ll give you a 50% off coupon this summer when I officially publish it.

The campaign for this book ends on May 4 and doesn’t imply any buying of the book. So go nominate the book and share this post with your historical fiction lovers friends, especially if they’re into medieval Europe! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you and have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


cover art Cristina Fabris

And a “new” title is out, the collection of stories about the fall of the southern kingdoms of Silvery Earth. Please note that some of he older stories (previously included in Tales of the Southern Kingdoms) are adult-themed. I started writing clean fantasy later.

Which kinda leaves me in a conundrum with my two main series. Both Silvery Earth and Star Minds have adults-only books and “clean” books. No wonder I can’t find my readers, I guess. I displease both parties! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyhow, the next sub-series will be clean, so you can wait for those to have a taste of those universes. Well, for Silvery Earth you can try the Quests books (Volume 1 and Volume 2 or as single ebooks). For Star Minds you’ll have to wait for the Lone Wolves (the first should come out this summer, with the second Heroines book – also a clean book of Silvery Earth).

Currently writing two Lone Wolves books at the same time and speedily. If all goes well, I’ll finish both by the end of the month and move on. March wordcount is 31500 (a couple of shorts, a shelved project + the current).

Writerly links: David Farland on the new world of publishing – what can be done now in 2018. Chuck Wendig on giving characters agency in narrative (caution – foul language as usual). On writing by Aaron Rosenberg and how to work with an editor by Joanna Penn.

I have my trusted proofreader and some betas that are more advisors on things I may not know enough about. I have given up on writers’ groups since I really can’t write by committee, but sometimes hearing a different opinion helps. Like someone pointing out that a certain story’s premise is totally absent and I clearly didn’t know what I was doing. Shelved project.

That’s all for today… have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


So I’m all set with New Netbook that has Office 365 installed… and suddenly I understand why in the past a beta-reader told me there were missing words/sentences in my manuscripts. Apparently Office 365 hates Open Office by Oracle and doesn’t show the last line of something written originally to be saved as ODT (I always save as Word.doc, but I guess there’s something underneath that I don’t see)!

Thus I need to be careful when I write something on Laptop, since Netbook won’t show me everything. But since it’s low on memory, I guess I can uninstall Office 365 and download Open Office instead – problem solved! ๐Ÿ™‚ As soon as either Techie Bro or a Techie Friend helps me, I’ll get rid of the problem…

EDIT – SINCE THIS ONE WAS UNFINISHED, I’M PASTING THE SECOND ONE BELOW AND WILL DELETE IT…

So I had the creative weekend, and I managed to do 2 covers for upcoming projects, plus I got the cover for Fall of the Southern Kingdoms, so Easter Weekend I will put on the publisher’s hat again. I’m quite happy with one of the covers, but you’ll see it soon enough.

Plus I finished editing another project (the one I made the cover for) and sent out a short story I wrote in the middle of the current project (it was a prequel/backstory for a character in the series anyway), so I didn’t write as much as expected, but it’s fine.

Now I must finish the current project before April 22nd when I hope to get to London for a couple of days of research (so I won’t have time to meet my British friends – again. Sorry…) before coming back and hopefully doing some prep work for this summer’s publishing.

I’m thinking of doing another online workshop, but at the same time I feel I have too many projects this year and won’t be able to write them all – if I do, I’ll hit that wordcount, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So maybe I’ll postpone more workshops to next year. Both the craft and business things.

What else? Well, if you crave vampire stories, both Nightly Bites are now available in paperback and ebook, so go get them! And if you want longer works, Vampires of the World is still out there.

I will also start putting together a new bundle on another topic next month, so stay tuned. Here’s the list of the currently available bundles I’m in – for all tastes, really, take your pick! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slow start with the new project, hopefully I’ll catch up in the weeks to come. But I also wrapped up Nightly Bites Volume 2 and it’s now available for pre-order (goes live on Friday) as e-book and available in paperback as well! I am very excited about this volume 2, I think it’s actually better than volume 1!

Well, at least my story is. The one I wrote on the fly, inspired by the chosen cover. So the guy on the cover is Alain, Bran’s latest fledgling, and you’ll see more of him probably in the next novel that will come out in November as usual. Not the first time that I write inspired by an artwork (photo/painting/drawing/sculpture) whether I did it or someone else did it.

The other stories are also awesome and you should check it right now! It’s been already presented on Library of Erana and I will post more on Facebook in the coming weeks, and eventually on this blog, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now let’s go back to the Anthology Workshop for a moment. You can read another post about it here, about what it can do for you as a writer. I’ll make a short summary of what it did for me – one year later! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, six stories in six weeks. I wrote all six, even the ones in unfamiliar genres: win. I knew they sucked, but not all of them – and the reactions were not as expected (the ones I thought were perfect were not and viceversa, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Expectations: learning and seeing what it meant to run a traditional magazine – and meeting a couple of people in the process (of course I ended up in a room with 40-50 writers, but since we were all writers, well… some were nice to meet again, some were new, some I talked to, some I didn’t, and that was perfectly fine!). Of course I hoped to sell something, but that wasn’t my main goal.

Results: no sales, but great learning experience. What happened to those six stories? Well, here you go, one year later:

Story #1 and #5 are still in the drawer, dunno where to send them, will probably publish them in a collection of unpublished shorts some time later this year or at the beginning of the next. Story #3 might end up in an anthology, although I’ll probably publish first another story in the same genre. Story #4 might end up in a contemporary novel, if I ever get down to writing it.

Because Story #2 sold in a redraft after the workshop (still not out, I’ll let you know when it does) and Story #6 just proved to me that I better study more before I try to write in that specific genre, hence the attempts I’ve done through the months will stay in the drawer until I find a solid premise.

Of the 6 stories, only 2 were SFF (#2 and 3), the rest were contemporary. And I’m not very good with the real world. So for now I’ll stick to Silvery Earth and Star Minds and Vampires Through the Centuries and Future Earth stories and leave those in the drawer. After all, I’ve taken out of the drawer the historical novel, so I better put aside something else, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great week!

 

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