Writer Wednesday


And the reading month is over, phew! By the way, for the first time since I got it in 2011, Kindle Keyboard a.k.a. KK died on me in the middle of a story. Battery dead. I guess I intensively used it! 🙂 Now it’s all charged up again for the trip, when I hope to finish the novel I started in January and then move on to other things.

So this week I’m adding the second POV to the novella rejected by TOR. Hope to finish before I leave so I can take it with me and check the typos while I’m traveling. Also that the story flows, since I’m currently not really cycling. I’m simply adding scenes from notes that I took when I sent it out, so I’ll need to re-read it all in as few sittings as possible.

In March I’ll also make sure to fill the Worldcon 75 Programme Volunteer Form – as soon as I’m certain I can have that week off in August, that is. And maybe I’ll do some other online workshop, while writing the next book.

A couple of writerly links! Take the test to see if you have author potential! I don’t because I’m a writer, not an author, LOL! I think Authors are those One-Book-Wonder who are everywhere. But saving your docs outside the cloud and outside the PC is a good idea… I lost a novel to a floppy disk in the 1990s, so… always have more than one copy! 😉

And beware of the new scam of sensitivity readers (along with the other ones)! Me? If I write about something I don’t know, I ask an expert to check it. I certainly don’t pay anyone to tell me if it’s politically correct or not. There’s also the thing that this “censorship” goes mostly for YA and children, and I don’t write in those areas…

Fiction readers* often have to tell hard truths.

And we often piss people off.

And sometimes we miss getting something perfectly right.

And we get bad reviews because someone doesn’t agree with us.

Who cares????

If we write what we are passionate about, what we care about, what makes each of us happy, what other people think should never, ever matter.

Ever.

Period.

Write your own story. Get it out to readers and write the next story.

Keep learning, keep having fun, and keep writing new stories.

You do that and trust me, none of these scams will even tempt you in the slightest.

*I think he means “writers”, but you get it, don’t you? Don’t waste money on scammers. Happy writing! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


So, wordcount for January was 40K, not bad considering that I’m only just now starting to take care of my health. I’m not aiming at 500K this year, unless the meds kick in and in the second half of the year I gain some momentum.

For now I’ll just do what I can and allow my thyroid to recover. I have a lot of compulsive reading to do this month, so I’m afraid I won’t have much time to write, but in March I hope to get back on track. I mean, I spent most of October and half of March NOT writing last year, and still had 470K words at the end of the year. So, not really worried here.

The publishing is also slowed down because I didn’t even have time (or energy) to translate something back in Italian (besides, Cinder Boy in Italian is still selling since December, so…)! 🙂 There will be a title out in February and maybe two in March – I’m also trying a new proofreader with stories I wrote last year and I’m currently expanding.

Some writerly links! The Data Divide! Which includes links to the Authors Earnings report and lots of other stuff. A great analysis of the world of publishing, as usual. And if you’re still afraid of something, keep an eye on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog.

—Do not make escaping your day job a goal for your writing.

I hear this all the time, but the pressure is too much on the writing because the day job, the “real job,” is what makes everything tick.

But don’t worry, if you keep the writing fun, keep your family supporting you, keep learning, eventually the money from the business side will overwhelm the day job money. And by then you will have gotten help to deal with it all mentally, right?

Just don’t make the writing so important, so special, that it threatens the “real job.” If it does, you will grind to a halt fairly quickly because how we were all raised doesn’t allow threats to what pays the bills.

Read that? I’ll have to paste it on my wall. This was on the post about the fear of a real paycheck. I’ll freely admit I’m scared to go freelance after having a steady job for almost thirty years. Unfortunately thirty years ago I wasn’t as strong as Dean was (and was too attached to my family still).

So I’m still considering alternatives (I’d consider publishing a job, not writing, but like he says somewhere else, I can’t just publish myself, I need to have other forms of revenue or it will take the fun out of writing, and I won’t let that happen ever again). Probably Patreon could help with a “steady” monthly income, if I figure out how to set it up well!

Sometime this year, when I recover some strength and feel less tired, though. Like I said, I’m taking it easy this year. I’m a fast writer anyway, and I bought in the rewriting myth once (I called it Rewriting Hell) and swore never again.

I was and will always be a one (maximum two) draft writer (sometimes I expand or rewrite the end because I wasn’t happy with it in the first place – I tend to want to wrap up too quickly and when I go back to it, I realize what’s missing), but then I don’t have an English teacher barking rules in my head, since I’m an ESL writer! 😉

kobo-promoBefore I forget! The Path of Water (Quests Book 1) should be at 99cents this weekend! And tomorrow is the last day for the Kobo UK promo – Norman Blood at 2£! Onward and have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


Sooo, last assignment and checking those Star Minds Third Generation stories… should be ready to go soon, but I’m expanding a couple that badly needed it and adjusting the rest. Wait for them for sometime in March. I have only until the end of the month to finish editing them, since Feb.1 I need to start on the last Quests book! 😉

Some writerly links! 10 reasons why you should not write for fame and fortune – about #8, I don’t think I’d care, but anyway, I don’t write for fame and fortune, I only want people to read my stories and allow me to quit the Day Job that currently pays the bills!

Although going from steady job to freelance is a very big leap for me, and I’m a little scared of doing it. But if I find also alternative income sources besides the writing, I’ll definitely take the plunge! 😀 Now, I could try to combine my two passions and get back to the drawing board…

How much money do cartoonists make? I guess the same money writers make – some make a lot, some make none. And I’m afraid I don’t have the patience (and the eyes) to start another graphic novel. Even Da Strip is still only half-finished (more than half to be colored and a few things to be corrected)!

So no, art is not a good way to have an alternative income source for me. I have an idea or two, but they will take time to develop. Including that Patreon page. I better start curing that tired thyroid, so I can get back to my old efficient streak! 🙂

And the new Authors Earnings report is out! I will let you go through it and make up your mind about it… the market is shifting, my friends… welcome to the new world of publishing! 🙂 Or The World of Publishing like Kris Rusch says (I guess it’s not that “new” anymore, although it’s new to whoever is stuck in 20th century thinking)! 🙂

Please try to avoid excuses and the fine art of self-sabotage! Have a great week and happy writing!

Sunday Surprise


PathFireDTF

Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – 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!

After talking to Hinrik and Bellinda, I’m here with two guys who also appear in the Quests books… Soo, let’s start with the non-Human looking of the two! Tell me a little about yourself.

RAYKIM I’m half-Sila and half-Fajrulo. My bronze skin comes from my Sila mother, my yellow eyes, blue hair and blue bat-like wings from my Fajrulo father. I’m very young and very lonely… until I meet my cousin, here, and his friends.

SAMANTHA Okay, joint interview, then. Tell me a little about yourself, mister.

KENEITH I’m half-blood and inherited some magic from my Fajrulo mother, as well as quite a long life. If I were completely Human, I’d look like an old man by now.

RAYKIM While he looks in his prime! Isn’t my cousin handsome?

SAMANTHA Indeed. And he can do real magic. Although some say playing with fire is dangerous.

KENEITH Not for Fire’s half-bloods. I’ll have to teach something to my little cousin at some point.

SAMANTHA Do you have an enemy or nemesis?

BOTH No.

RAYKIM I’ve been isolated for so long… I don’t know anyone!

KENEITH I move around a lot to hide my slow aging and I don’t have relationships.

SAMANTHA Uhm… I think Bellinda mentioned a history between the two of you…

KENEITH History, correct. We’re just friends now. And she has a crush on Hinrik.

SAMANTHA *chuckle* Well, I can’t blame her! Anyway, seems you’ve found someone as long-lived as you are!

KENEITH And I’m trying to get rid of him, but Bellinda and Hinrik don’t want me to.

RAYKIM *pouts* Hinrik is much nicer than you!

KENEITH *rolls eyes* Then stick to him and leave me alone.

SAMANTHA I believe Hinrik might soon get busy breeding, which is something Raykim isn’t considering yet! Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

KENEITH I don’t love anyone. And I have killed, if only to stay alive myself.

RAYKIM Uhm… I’ve never killed. I’m not sure I could. And I don’t know about dying. I’m sure Hinrik could protect me anyway.

KENEITH *scoffs* Yeah, the half-Waiora can fight, and probably die for you, but you should remember you are more powerful and should do the fighting.

RAYKIM *anguished* But I don’t know how!

KENEITH If you stop whining, I’ll teach you.

SAMANTHA Neither of you is involved in a relationship, I take?

KENEITH Raykim is too young, as for me… I don’t fall in love. It’s a Fajrulo trait, I’m told.

SAMANTHA So I’ve heard. I guess you don’t care about your birth family either. So what is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

RAYKIM *shivers* Meeting my father…

KENEITH Saving his ass from his father.

*Raykim glares at him*

RAYKIM With Hinrik and Bellinda’s help!

KENEITH *snorts* Whatever!

SAMANTHA Well, thank you, guys. I shall leave you to your adventures. The Path of Fire (Quests Book 2) covers quite a lot of time, considering how long-lived these two are…

Writer Wednesday


So, Quests 4 wrapped. Other stories good to go. Italian title published. Character interviews almost all ready to go. Monthly wordcount not checked yet, but I’m sure I’m on the roll! Phew, this writing business is stressing! 😉 Maybe I should take a break and study some.

Oh, and I was interviewed at the awesome Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar! A very funny and unusual interview… it was a pleasure to “talk” to Jessica! Now to some writerly links!

On Jeff Bezos’s birthday another non-fiction book came out! I read and enjoyed the first in the series and I’m really considering getting the rest of them… if I manage to take down my TBR pile a little bit! But I still have dozens of novels AND non-fiction books like this one to read on my Kindle, so… just adding it to the wishlist. Highly recommended author and series.

And more visions of the future by Kris Rusch, which actually gives me hope. If most people are falling off the grid because the gold rush is over, only the people who genuinely like to write and create stories will be left. Less competion, more chances for me! 😉

There’s still the discoverability problem in the English-speaking market. I sell 10-20 copies of new titles in Italian because there are so few indie authors in Italy. The English version usually sells 1 or 2 copies (and I’m on first-name-basis with those readers, haha!) because the market is cluttered.

But if the get-rich-quick writers go away, there will be more room for whoever has the stamina to stay. So it’s actually good news for me. Like I mentioned, I might write less, but I’ll keep writing and publishing. There are still plenty of stories that want to come out.

And there’s some that will remain in the drawer forever because either I don’t like them anymore or because I’m changing and I see all their flaws and I’m not excited enough about them to revive them with a redraft. I’ll keep them as background, worldbuilding, whatever, and keep going.

Next on the to-do list: check a few short stories I wrote last year and decide if they’re ready for the editor and the publisher or should just stay in the aforementioned drawer! 😉

Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Mmm, still working on Quests 4 between assignments and other deadlines… but don’t worry, it will be sent out on time to Mighty Editor on the 23rd and will come out in March. In February I will publish Quests volume 1 which will include the Path of Water and the Path of Air and will also have the paperback version.

The newsletter went out with the free PDF that eventually will be available also on the publisher’s website. Still pondering about Patreon and rewards and all that stuff, but my brain is half-frozen, so I’m not very quick-thinking at the moment.

I realized I did the characters interview only for Quests 1, so I’ll soon publish Quests 2 and 3 character interviews! 😉 If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed or have your characters interviewed, drop me a line…

Only now did I find the time to look for the results of the Indie Author Survey I did last year… interesting as usual. Yes, Indie Publishing is a pot of gold for some (especially whoever writes romance, which I don’t, unfortunately) and a work in progress for most of the others – like me.

Also, Sunday is the last day to vote for the Golden Book Awards that include yours truly, so… go and vote if you haven’t already! 🙂

And another good news – both my web pages are mobile friendly! Check yours with this article

mobilefriendlyThat’s all for today! Have a great week! 😀

Happiness is…


97

Ah, that shelved historical novel… although I’m sure Kaylyn and Bran do the same with Robert when in London in the 1160 (so about 20 years before the historical novel)! 😉

Random Friday


Last November an excerpt was posted on Unusual Historicals. It was the start of a chapter of Kaylyn that promised an interview and a giveaway. Neither ever went live, so… here you have the interview that wasn’t posted on Unusual Historicals. And yes, the giveaway is still valid too… Leave a comment before Sunday 8 January 2017! 🙂

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.

What is your story about? How did you come up with the idea?

I have this new series of Vampires Through the Centuries that I started last year with Rajveer the Vampire. I’m publishing one novel a year plus shorter related stories, thus I have four titles by now.

The very first idea came noticing how a few actors had pointed canines and my obsession with Bollywood took me to think about a Desi vampire. Combining researches on vampire lore and history, I came up with the series.

This year I even traveled to India to gather more material and now I have a pile of non-fiction books to study for the next installments!

What prompted you to write this one?

Kaylyn is Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, meaning they have the same maker, Bran the Raven. She was seen through Rajveer’s eyes in the first novel and I looked forward to telling her story. Some events overlap, but her book expands on the mythology of European vampires, while in Rajveer it was mostly him against the slightly different Asian vampires.

Next book will see Rajveer’s fledgling, Shashank, and cover the five centuries neither could actually see for different reasons… no spoilers, though!

How much research was involved?

For Kaylyn only for the non-European parts. She travels quite a lot and even if I had studied 12th century Europe and the crusades for a shelved historical novel, I had to research the other centuries and countries, reading about Marco Polo’s travels, the Black Death, the first European explorers to cross the Atlantic… and I’ve only touched the surface!

What was the most fascinating thing you learned from this experience?

Traveling through the centuries is fun and I look forward to doing it more in the next books. The final vampires war will be in the present, but there’s still a lot of history to explore and write about before I reach the 21st century setting!

What other books have you written?

Three more Vampires Through the Centuries (with more to come next year), a science fantasy series called Star Minds and then there’s my fantasy world of Silvery Earth… lots of titles, but also lots of collections and mostly standalone! Full list here.

I shall use this space for a huge promo – over 100 books at 99cents – for a weekend that includes Rajveer the Vampire. After the release of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness, the first novel of the series will be on sale for a few days. On Monday Nov.7 both titles will go up at 6.99$…

Go get this book now and choose among the many more available at Patty Jensen’s promo! (note: there’s no book from yours truly in the promo at this time, but check them anyway)

And I will give either a coupon for a free download of your preferred format from Smashwords or your preferred ebook format of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness to one lucky winner… The giveaway is international.

 

Writer Wednesday


Happy New Year! Final wordcount for 2016 was almost 470K – still a little short from my goal of 500K, but never mind. Last year I wrote a little over 400K with the same goal – that I’m keeping on for this year – so I’m getting better!

If I reach it this year, I’ll pat myself on the back. That’s half pulp speed and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check this post by Dean Wesley Smith. And if you need help in setting your goals, here’s some help for your New Year perspectives.

Now I’ve made a sorta kinda priority list for this year, but I want to remain fluid. I know there are some stories that need to come out at certain dates (Vampires Through the Centuries…), but besides that, I feel free to write and publish when I feel like it.

And the first title of 2017 is out! The Path of Air (Quests Book 3) is now available as ebook. Oh, and I got neat banners showing up on DriveThruFiction… if you’re patient enough! 😉

dtfscreenshots2017Publishing news… bad start for authors who used All Romance Ebooks and Omnilit, but also for the sites’ readers. Here’s the first warning from Writer Beware and Kris Rusch’s take on it. I had procrastinated going to Omnilit (not another distributor, groan!) and apparently I was lucky. My heart goes to the many people involved in this mess.

Good news on the Smashwords front – from this year we get monthly payments if we meet the minimum treshold, much like Draft2Digital does, yay! Also, if you’re a romance writer (which I’m not), you might take advantage of their program with the Happy Ever After blog hosted by USA Today.

So, things don’t look too bad. I also sometimes think “What’s the point?” but I very quickly climb out of that deadly trap. My critical voice is very quiet since I don’t have an English teacher to blame for creative writing lessons, but still, sometimes the effort to be seen and read in the wide sea of publishing is overwhelming. Especially when I do sell some titles in the much smaller Italian market…

Anyhow, onward with the writing. Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Totally procrastinating writing this last week of the year! 😉 I’m not really blaming it on the Holidays (I’m actually more productive, usually, because everybody vanishes with family so I have plenty of time to write) but most certainly to a very distracting Muse and travel plans for the first two months of the new year.

So, going to London end of January and then to the US end of February and I still need to figure out what I must do with my passport expiring in July. Sigh. I hope to find less people tomorrow so I can at least ask info on what I’m supposed to do. I probably won’t request the new one until January, but I’d love to know if I must get a new one or if I can use the expiring one.

Quests 4 is slowly coming along in spite of the procrastination… and the writer has also made some plans for the new year. And a priority list, since it’s always hard to decide what to write first! And no, I’m not afraid of running out of ideas even if I don’t “recycle” old stuff anymore.

If you still have this problem, here’s Asimov’s suggestion – how to never run out of ideas again. I call it project block, more than writer’s block, and his solution is also mine. Like I said, I need to make priority lists or I’d keep bouncing from a project to another! 😉

I’m also starting to look at accomodation in Helsinki for the Worldcon… I’m sure August will creep up on me like the rest of the year. Now that it’s almost over, I can say it went by fast! I also hope to go to some medieval dinner or festival in Italy to cut on the traveling expenses… always useful for my historical fantasy series! 🙂

So next year I hope to publish one Silvery Earth story a month and another story of another series or a translation, so that’s two titles a month. I want to start on a new series (although I’ll need an online workshop first) and publish the stories I’ve written so far, plus a few that are still in embryo state.

Might help me to start a Patreon account. I will study other writers and come up with something. Next year. Stay tuned!

Have a great week! 🙂

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