Random Friday


Busy weekend, so only one Pencil Portrait because I was mostly out of the house seeing people and socializing (which left introvert-me exhausted, so I didn’t even start on the second). And since there’s also this video out last week, I had already done a vignette about this, but for now I’ll just say – the longest 2:33mins of video! :( Why do 4:52 minutes fly when he dances and I get bored after 30 seconds like this? I guess I’m not really interested in his abs after all! ;)

Anyhow, added balloons to the chibis for that thing (please note that the chibis were already posted on DA before the video came out – I added the ballons later just because if felt a good opportunity! ;) I know, I’m bad…):

defeatdefeatsmallNow I better stop toying with the chibis and get back to serious writing… maybe! ;) Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Star Minds Next Generation is now available as print book on CreateSpace, Amazon, Barnes&Noble and probably some other retailer through the distribution channels! The Matchbook thingy means that on Amazon you get the ebook for free if you buy the printed book – although I have no idea where that comes out! ;)

youngKing_resizeNew title out – The Young King – on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords and DriveThruFiction. This short story was included in Male Lovers of Silvery Earth and More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms. This version is slightly different from the above after the cover artist commented on the story and the Italian version is currently my bestseller – in fact for the first time I published the Italian version first, since the changes were made after the cover artist commented on it and she doesn’t speak English. The awesome art is again by Cristina Fabris.

No writerly links for you this week except one – apparently Amazon will allow us to do giveaways! Will have to keep an eye on that, study it and eventually use it. Not that the Goodreads Giveaway brought in many readers, but then… Amazon bought Goodreads and now it allows Giveaways, so let’s try it at some point!

Since I have total randomness on Friday, I’ll add a reading suggestion here: Assassins in Love by Kris De Lake. Although some of the romance tropes make me cringe, if you love sci-fi romance, you’re gonna enjoy this! ;) I like the style and the two voices and the setting and whatever is not romance, LOL! And it’s a paper book, so it’s a signed copy, yay! :D

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


135

Sunday Surprise


My name is Brenda de Zorig and I’m a journalist for the Konigtown Gazette. I’ve been on the road for years as an actress in an itinerant company, but eventually decided to go back to my hometown to start living of the thing I like the most – writing. So while I write my Masterpiece, I took this job at the Gazette and they send me on various assignments… I thought I might as well starting interviewing random people. Since I intend to write fiction, but truth is always stranger than fiction, I’m eager to hear about people out there – on my world or beyond.

So, erm… hello. Tell me a little about yourself.

“My name is Yua, and I’m a West Highland White Terrier. I’m six human years old.”

Cutie dog! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

“A little white dog with pointed ears.”

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

“I consider my old master an enemy. He’s a cruel man who doesn’t mind hurting people and animals, and threw me out on the street to fend for myself when he became bored with me.”

Bad master! I know a lot of men like that… Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

“Yes I would! If you read my story then you will see just how quickly I’m willing to jump to the defence of those I care about; especially my new master, Gwydion.”

So sweet! *wants to pat him but refrains* Ahem! Where do you live?

“I live in a shop that my master, Gwydion, owns. It’s a shop that sells magical items, though if you took only a quick glance in at the door or window you’d think it was a place that sold only old books and scrolls. The shop is in a large village – or, perhaps, you might call it a small town – that has only one main road and several side roads. It’s down one of these side roads that you’ll find the shop, since having it down a side street allows customers to come and go without being too easily watched, since some people would prefer not to make it public that they’re magic users.”

A-ha! Magic! Cool! Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

“The only thing I’m involved in that you might call a relationship is my relationship with my master, Gwydion. He saved my life when my old master threw me out, and I’m very grateful to him for doing so. Well, there is also my friendship with the little girl, Lattie, but I think my bond with my master is closer to the kind of relationship you’re talking about.”

Sounds good. What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

“The biggest challenge I face is trying to find my master when he’s wizardnapped. It’s difficult for a little dog to rescue someone.”

Wow, I bet it is! Lot of courage in that small body of yours! Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

“I don’t really remember my canine family, except for a vague memory of how comforting it was to nuzzle against my Mother’s furry tummy. So, my master is the closest thing to family I have.”

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

“I’m sure you’ve already noticed the most unusual thing about me: I can talk. Animals don’t usually talk, but my old master used magic on me to make me able to speak and understand English. Now I can talk to humans whenever I want. I don’t talk to many humans though, and actually generally pretend I can’t speak.”

Haha! Yes, I can tell you’re special! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

“You should have asked how the magic in my world works. Well, the answer is that there are two types of magic users: wizards and witches. Wizard magic works by saying certain magical words while holding a bonded object (except in certain cases, but telling you about that would spoil the story for you). Witch magic works by saying long spells and chants over cauldrons full of potion. Both kinds of magic can be good or bad, depending on the intent of the magic user. There are also simple potions – which my master makes – that can be used by even non-magic users.

You also should have asked why some don’t like it known that they’re magic users. This one has a very simple answer: it’s because people either don’t trust magic users, or decide they should be used to their advantage to solve everything. As you can probably imagine, neither of these sounds like a nice option to your average magic user, since both would result in poor treatment, and nobody wants to be treated cruelly.

Why then does my master have a magic shop? Well, as I said earlier in this interview, most people don’t know it’s a magic shop; it looks like a bookshop to the casual observer. Only a witch or wizard could tell otherwise; my master makes sure of that.”

***

Yuaa720cc69da2fd97da8e2bf8552c40219374c7f2f And The Great Wizard Hunt

Buy it from Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/492449

You can get “Yua And The Great Wizard Hunt” for 80% off at Smashwords until February 17th 2015 by entering coupon code ZG28A at checkout.

The book is also available via other eBook retailers such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, among others, but the money off coupon will only work on Smashwords.

***

About the author

“Victoria Zigler is a blind author of children’s fiction and poetry. She has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking. Victoria – or, Tori, if you prefer – was born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales, UK, has been writing since she knew how, and became a self-published author in 2012. To date she has published 5 poetry books and 26 children’s books, with plenty more planned for the near future.”

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.com

 

Random Friday


I’ve kept the parcel delivery guys busy in the past two weeks between my orders on Amazon and the ones on CreateSpace! ;) And my 90+ neighbor, who gets them all for me (only one was delivered at my parents because he wasn’t home for that specific half hour, LOL) – he’s the one who was immortalized in this Happiness is…

36That’s #36, so yes, it’s from the first year – which you can find in print and trilingual here or as ebook at various retailers like Amazon or DriveThru (but not Apple, because it doesn’t have reflowable text. Doh. It’s a comic, it’s a bunch of JPGs, of course it’s non-reflowable!).

I’ve started my first strip, but you won’t be seeing it anytime soon. I should really try to finish SKYBAND first – but I’m using the strip to procrastinate on that. I’m sick of drawing comics in realistic style, I want to do silly doodles (or chibis or superdeformed or whatever you want to call them, waah!)! :(

That’s because I’m obsessed with Da Muses, of course. Especially when I get their DVDs in the mail! ;)  I saw Bang Bang in theaters, so I won’t mention it again (although it was a pleasure to watch it again – with simultaneous translation of the subtitles at the beginning for the cover artist who then went back to work and looked up only when I told her to). Needless to say I’ve been humming the songs of the movie since last weekend – can’t get them out of my head, sigh.

As for John Wick, I didn’t see it in theaters, because I didn’t have time when it came out in the US and I’m not going to watch it dubbed over here (I hate his Italian voice, probably because I like the real deal much more, haha). Glad I didn’t see it in theaters, since the action movies are usually too loud in there. And the directors have a tendency to make him scream (like in Street Kings), so… DVD was just fine. And yes, it’s a nice action movie – he’s 50, but still can kick asses! ;)

So, that’s all for today… Have a great weekend!

 

Writer Wednesday


The first proof had a cover a shade too red (and it doesn’t even come out when I take pictures, so you’ll have to take my word for it), so I ordered a new one. It should arrive today, but since even if I approve it, it won’t be on Amazon yet, I’ll give the links to the POD version next week.

A very special thanks to the reader who already bought a copy of Star Minds Next Generation on Amazon UK. If I were a spammer author, I’d contact that reviewer on Goodreads who said she’d like to read the story of the children of the Trilogy! ;) But that’s not me, so I’ll just wait until readers find me.

So, first Wednesday of the month, I’m giving my wordcount for the month of January! Grand total was around 59000words, so a novel – except it wasn’t a novel, but three novellas and a few short stories, all set in the Star Minds universe. Most you’ll read them next month in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries, others much later in the year with Star Minds Interregnum.

Turns out that the shorts in the Diaries aren’t really standalone, so I’ll just put them all together in a collection like I did with Star Minds Snippets. I might do a single with Kay-low’s novella, but that’s it. The Interregnum shorts and novellas, though, I plan on submitting them to traditional markets, that’s why you’ll have to wait to read them! :)

February I’ll keep writing in this genre + I’m jotting down some strips (which actually add to the wordcount at the end of the day, so I’m counting them too). I know I should finish SKYBAND, but those last 22 pages seem too hard to do while I experiment with a new drawing stile. Maybe when I get the strip out of the way, I’ll be able to finish the graphic novel! :D

I still don’t know how the new VAT laws affect my earnings (and won’t until March when they pay the January royalties on Amazon) also because so far I’ve published only a 99cent story – but it has brought in sales for the anthology it’s included in. Anyhow, I still don’t have ISBNs on most ebooks (except on Kobo where they assign their own), but of course Italy is behind four or five years compared to the US, so they still think that you need an ISBN to make it a book. Maybe I should translate Hugh Howey’s post on Author Earnings Report, where he wonders if we still need ISBNs. I’m sure they’ll go the way of the dodo, but not yet, not on this side of the world. Sigh.

In case you missed it, scroll down to read the interview of yours truly on Tricia Drammeh’s blog, that I reblogged soon after her own interview went live on my blog. It was a nice and timely swap, if there’s anyone else out there who would like to do this, just drop me a line! :)

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

Interview with Barbara G. Tarn


Barb:

an interview with yours truly on the awesome Trica Drammeh’s blog!

Originally posted on Authors to Watch:

Today’s guest is Barbara G. Tarn, author of numerous novels and a contributor to the fantasy/horror anthology, Strange Portals which is currently free on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

strange portals

Welcome, Barb. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Barb, and I’m write-aholic. I’m so prolific that I’m using 3 pen names, although they’re not really necessary at this time… but I’m too lazy to get rid of those 12-15 titles each and put everything under the same name! So, the main pseudonym, Barbara G.Tarn, writes SFF. B.G. Hope writes contemporary stories and some urban fantasy. And Barbara Sangiorgio I keep for the stories set in Italy (at the moment still in Italian, but I plan on translating some soon) – I’m Italian, and I have a bilingual production.

When did you begin writing?

Last century, when I entered my teens. I had just…

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Happiness is..


134

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest!  Again from Strange Portals, another fellow author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Tricia Drammeh!

Darksummonsb1Where do you live and write from?

I live in New Hampshire with my husband, four kids, and two cats. I wish I could say I write from trendy coffee shops or from an office overlooking a beachside paradise, but the truth is I write from my living room amidst the noise and chaos.

Why do you write?

I can’t imagine not writing. Creating entire worlds and people to inhabit them is an incredible thing.

When did you start writing?

I wrote poetry in high school, but didn’t try to write a novel until I was in my late thirties. I guess I’m a late bloomer.

firebound kindle coverWhat genre(s) do you write?

I write a little bit of everything. My Spellbringers series is young adult fantasy. Better than Perfect is romance. The Séance is young adult paranormal/horror. And then The Fifth Circle is contemporary fiction.

What does your writing routine consist of?

Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a routine right now. My daytime work hours have changed, and then changed again. I’m trying to settle into a routine that doesn’t involve staying up too late and missing out on sleep.

kindle coverWhat do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Creating realistic dialogue is probably my greatest strength. I think this quality has developed over years of listening in on conversations, even those between strangers.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it’s a strange dream. Other times it’s scenery, or nature, or an overheard conversation. I don’t intentionally put myself in my stories, but I’ve featured a character who suffers from extreme shyness. I think that particular element of the character’s personality is definitely based on me.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m an improviser. For me, outlining the book ahead of time takes away the joy of writing. My first three books were written very quickly. Now it takes me much longer to write a novel – sometimes a year or longer.

unbound kindle coverTell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest release is Unbound: Book Three in the Spellbringers series. It’s a fantasy series for young adults that features a multicultural cast of characters. There’s magic, action, and romance. Right now, it’s only available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unbound-Spellbringers-Book-Tricia-Drammeh-ebook/dp/B00NRWJMHU/

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

With my first book, I queried widely and finally signed with a small publisher. Now, all my books are self-published. I love self-publishing. I’m able to have complete control over the process and I can set my own deadlines. It’s very empowering.

SMALLER COVER SPELLBOUNDAny other projects in the pipeline?

I’m currently working on The Coven, which is the sequel to The Séance. It’s a paranormal/horror novel for the young adult audience.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is to write entertaining books readers enjoy. Eventually, I’d like to sell enough books to quit my day job, but until then, I’m focusing on writing the best books I can.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Read. Writers should make the time to read every single day. Books in their genre. Classics. Self-published and traditionally published. Just read.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Barbara. I truly appreciate it.

Links:

Website & Blog: http://www.triciadrammeh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tricia-Drammeh-Author/453408644723825

Twitter: @triciadrammeh

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tricia-Drammeh/e/B008UI2CE6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6453547.Tricia_Drammeh

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/triciapixel

Random Friday


Movie Friday. Sort of. I wanted to go to the cinema, but ended up postponing since I was busy with the next generation of Star Minds! ;) Maybe next week. I did manage to finish watching the DVDs I bought last October, though. One didn’t work at all (bad disk), so that’s 1 DVD and a half that I can’t really return since I bought them offline on the other side of the world. So Jen, if you’re reading this, no more trips at that Long Island shop, the lady just lost her credibility! ;)

Now, to what I have managed to watch! :D London Paris New York I got only because it features three of my favorite towns evah. The story is so-and-so (might be because they’re too young for me to relate, but if you’re in your twenties, you might love it), but the soundtrack is really nice.

And then I watched I, me aur mein with a less-sculpted-than-usual John Abraham, which wasn’t bad at all, IMHO. Maybe I had enough of that in Dostana and Desi Boyz, LOL! Chitrangda Singh is still very beautiful and the story is funny enough. The soundtrack is okay too. So yeah, that’s a nice one! :)

I’m off day job because we’re on strike today, so I’m going to enjoy a relaxing day with cover artist Cristina and write some more about SMNG people – not because it will go in the Diaries, but because I’m writing the story of Shan-leo’s ex girlfriend. That’s all for today! Have a great weekend!

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