Posted by Barb on 04/05/2015
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.
My name is Kay-low Meraini, I’m twenty and an angry young man. I’m an icy Sire aristocrat unable to grow fond of anyone, but yearning for some acceptance from the rest of the universe. Like my father, I like music and singing, and I play guitar in a band, but sometimes I think I’d rather be a solo artist.
Ah, the arts! I’ve been with a company of itinerant actors for years… Describe your appearance in ten words or less.
Long dyed blond hair, black eyes and arm tattoos.
Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?
No, I don’t have life-threatening situations like my uncle or even my cousin have had. I’d tell you they are my enemy – a family of too perfect Sire. Especially the Holy Shermacs. They have powers I can only dream of.
Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?
I don’t have a heart. I’m that selfish.
I don’t believe you, but we shall see. Such a sweet face can’t be “that selfish”. Where do you live?
On Marc’harid, the former Imperial planet. But I’m running away for home, chasing fame on Vilas Lok, the pleasure planet and center of galactic entertainment.
Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
I had a girlfriend, but I didn’t love her. I’m all alone in this adventure. And maybe eventually I’ll discover I have a heart.
That’s what I thought! I’m sure you have a heart! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?
By chasing fame I come to accept my true self – not as bad as I thought.
Do you have a family? Tell me about them.
I’m the son of former Imperial Prince Kol-ian Vaurabi, but he never married my mother – actually both are in same-sex relationships. And then there’s my perfect cousin Shan-leo Shermac, to whom I can’t compare… They all make me feel useless and talentless, but I’ll prove them my worth!
I hear you! Family – you must love them, but sometimes they’re really frustrating! Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.
Unlike my father and my cousin, who were raised as Imperial Princes, I don’t have genetically reinforced skin. So I have tattoos. Stars on my right arm, flames on the left. I might add more at some point, but at the moment that’s enough. They were made by a very good Xi-kongian artist who immigrated on Marc’harid a few years ago. I show them off on the cover of my first solo album – and by the way, that’s my stage name, Stardust Kay-low…
Funny, I also have a stage name, that has become my pseudonym, Brenda de Zorig… Thank you for your time and best of luck in your singing career!
Ten years after Star Minds Next Generation, Kay-low tries to carve his way to galactic stardom in the music business. The next generation of Star Minds is still out in the galaxy!
Posted by Barb on 03/05/2015
Last week Larry Elmore was presenting awards. I commented – although I entered the writers section, he presented the illustrations awards, of course – and he was very kind…
I’ve been meaning to send more stories, but I don’t seem to finish one I’m happy with and that I know has a chance like The Hooded Man! ;) I might also try the illustration contest at some point… Although the affiliation with Scientology does bother me… so we’ll see! :D
Art Friday, while we’re on the topic! I tried vainly to share this in a post on my author page the whole weekend, and then gave up. Apparently I can’t share it because it has a blocked link, but I have no idea of what it means. Oh, well.
Anyhow, that’s the funny part of the vampire story – and yes, he has a name now. Here’s the serious version of him, before he’s turned. I have made a mock cover for the whole story, so I might eventually post it, but only after I’ve talked with the cover artist about it.
And I’ll repost the poll, since the above story should be under B.G. Hope’s name. Should I or should I not?
Thank you and have a great weekend! :D
Posted by Barb on 01/05/2015
And it’s out! Star Minds Next Generation – Kay-low is now on Apple, Barnes&Noble, DriveThruFiction, Kindle, Kobo and Smashwords. Check out Kol-ian’s son efforts to reach fame in the music business, something in his DNA since Kol-ian himself was a good singer and guitar player! ;) Coming soon… Kay-low interview. Stay tuned! :D
The cover features both Kay-low, his first album cover, and Jay-lee in the background… yes, that’s another hunky Sire there! ;)
Some writerly links: glad to hear that even young readers say no thanks to enhanced e-reading. I’m not such a grumpy old woman after all! Anyhow, here’s the post about why enhanced ebooks are a flop. I don’t think anyone was expecting me to do enhanced books anyway, but well…
Bookstores! On one side we have Viv’s visit to a bookstore, on the other side Dean Wesley Smith history lesson on bookstores and print runs. I’m assuming Viv visited an old-fashioned bookstore and it’s doomed anyway! ;) And I don’t think it’s because she’s in the UK. Italian bookstores are probably as bad. But well… old Europe is quite behind compared to the US! ;)
I also quite enjoyed Smashword’s April’s Fool post – and no, I’m not worried even if or when it actually comes true. Back to writing my vampire story… leaving you with a poll. I might embed it in a couple of posts until I gather some answers. Don’t be shy, it’s totally anonymous – feel free to pick #3 if that’s the case! ;)
Have a great week!
Posted by Barb on 29/04/2015
Posted by Barb on 27/04/2015
I finished reading Dracula at last. It was longer than I thought – or maybe it took me longer than expected because of the sometimes unreadable (for me) English (when Mr. Stoker tried to render the lower classes speech, I couldn’t really follow it and Van Helsing’s broken English was sometimes irritating)… It’s… interesting! Dated, but interesting.
I’ve read somewhere that Bram Stoker knew nothing of Vlad the Impaler, and in fact he doesn’t really mention the origin of Dracula. And Mina is faithful to her husband – unlike the movie version, which seemed to be a summary of the summary of the book.
I’m kinda baffled at how things were changed in the movie. I guess the screenwriter took advantage of the fact that the writer couldn’t sue him, since he was already dead (much like the guy who wrote Troy based on Homer’s work – I wonder if dead authors who get rewritten in Hollywood haunt those darn screenwriters! :D At least Shakespeare wrote plays that are easier to turn into movies… sort of…)! ;)
Speaking of more vampires, let’s move to sort of Art Friday. Here’s a preview of half the strip about the Desi vampire… As you can see he doesn’t even have a name here (and even the one I’d found will need to be changed, so… Whatsisname is just fine for now! ;) Bad author, I know).
Yes, I’m aware it’s a very silly joke – much like this one… Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to go back to more serious drawing! ;) Unless I get to writing the above, that is. I’m thinking since I’m reading about vampires, I might as well get done with the vampire stories (I still need to finish Interview with the Vampire that I interrupted at the beginning of part 3 when I headed for London).
Also, if you’d like to support my cover artist and webmaster Silvano Beltramo on Patreon, here is his page. I know that eventually I’ll sign up myself, but I haven’t decided yet how to sign up (as author/which pen name or as publisher?)…
Have a great weekend!
Posted by Barb on 24/04/2015
As requested by Jo and Tori, here are the DeviantART questions and my answers.
What’s your ideal writing environment, if any?
I usually write on the bed, but I can write anywhere. If I don’t have my netbook or laptop, a notebook and pen would do. I guess my writing cave is whenever wherever the Muses strike!
What is the most difficult thing you had to learn about writing?
Rules. I started writing when computers were still exceptions – typewriters, heard of them? Creative writing courses hadn’t been invented either. So for 25 years I happily wrote my stories with my creative brain only.
What is it that you still need to learn about?
Rules. Because writing is so instinctual that I need to remember those goddamn rules. Descriptions. Settings. All the boring stuff. The only thing I’ve learned quite well is stick to one point of view per scene/chapter – no more head-hopping in my stories, except when really necessary!
Have you ever had a mentor and what did you get out of the experience?
I’ve taken a few writing courses in the new millennium. So I learned some of those rules – points of views and openings and all that stuff. But I don’t believe in craft books written by non-writers. Stephen King’s On Writing, Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science-fiction and Fantasy, yes. I have a bundle of 12 more to read. But I want to be like Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch when I grow up (note that by year of birth I’m not much younger, LOL)
How much is giving/receiving critique important, to you, to improve your writing?
Depends on the critique. Sometimes the critic wants you to rewrite according to what he/she would do – which is not your story, so feel free to ignore. I prefer comments from non-writer beta-readers. I need a reader’s reaction, not another writer’s!
How much is reading important, to you, to improve your writing?
Very important. I wish I had more time to go through my TBR pile (mostly on my Kindle these days, so almost invisible but none the shorter, unfortunately!).
Who’s your go-to writer for quality writing (it can be off DeviantArt, too of course) and why?
I still read like a reader – as long as there’s a story, plot, characters that do stuff, I’ll read anything. The good or the bad. I hate purple prose, though, so no literary fiction. Or plotless erotica. Or Horror.
And finally, what piece of advice have you been given that has helped you the most?
Practice, practice, practice. Keep writing. And don’t get stuck in rewriting hell – write and release. There are tonz more stories out there only you can write!
Last week I completed a first draft of Samantha the Witch and the Desi vampire, but I’m sure my expert & cover artist for the project will have a lot to say about it (she started by telling me I picked the wrong name for my character, I hope she suggests a better one – I didn’t like it much anyway). I’ve taken a break from them, though, because I want to go back with fresh eyes whenever I get feedback on the Indian stuff (and then I’ll send it to the other expert – Mighty Jo, queen of Amaranthine – for more feedback on my vampires).
In the meantime, I’m preparing the Star Minds Chasing Stardom stories – stay tuned for Kay-low and then Zaphadin and then the whole batch with Astrid included. I’ve prepared both covers and am currently formatting and uploading, so expect Kay-low some time next week and Zaphadin sometime at the beginning of May. The Chasing Stardom bundle will come out as soon as I have the cover by Maurizio Manzieri – and then I’ll start working on the PODs for both SMNG Diaries and Chasing Stardom.
Writerly links! Interview with Mark Coker at the London Book Fair – on what’s in the future of Smashwords. I got my Q1 payment earlier than Q4 of 2014 this month, so I’m not complaining! ;) It’s a little more than a breakfast at Starbucks, but like I was telling a screenwriter friend on Facebook the other day – I’m not getting rich with my royalties yet, and certainly can’t quit the DayJob for this year. Or the next – unless I have a big break.
On the importance of having POD versions – and that’s why I’ll be working on them in May. And if you don’t have/don’t want a Kindle, check this site. And if you’re an indie author who publishes everywhere, check her guidelines. I might submit some of my titles soon – but you know I’m available at most retailers anyway, aren’t you? Just go to the find my stuff page…
Have a great week! :D
Posted by Barb on 22/04/2015
Posted by Barb on 20/04/2015