Writer Wednesday

And in case you didn’t notice, another title is out! I know who bought the copy on Smashwords, but there’s some other kind soul who got one from Amazon!🙂 Yes, the Fairy Tales Revisited are finally available in one volume both ebook and paperback, yay! And the awesome cover is by Rossana Beretta – but more on that next post.

Quests Book 3 is finished, so I’m left with a few days when I’d rather not start on a new story. I’ll use them to archive stuff, make inventory and other non-writerly things that still need to be done. Sigh. But at least when I come back, I can go straight to writing Book 4 without wasting any more time with those necessary things!🙂

I’ll probably need to focus and refocus and reset goals and take another workshop or two when I come back. Dean has a way of dragging me into new workshops!😉 I can’t do October, so I’ll have to sign up for November – at least my questions shall be answered, haha!

I did a giveaway on Goodreads of some proofs. Now I’m trying to get rid of old POD versions, and I’m not sure if I should just do another giveaway or take them to London, since I know where the Bookcrossing zone is – and it’s a nice pub with nice food!😉 Now, if only I could find a bookcrossing zone in New Delhi…

So, publisher hat again until the end of the week. Sigh. But this only makes me hungrier to go back to writing!😉 I’m also sumbitting some of the short stories I wrote during the summer – and rejections are starting to come in (one took only a few hours, LOL!). I’m also waiting for my second Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future…

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

Happiness is…


Random Friday

I shall make this French Movies Fridays! Sounds neat, no? Ahem! I started on that DVD pile and managed to watch all the French movies I hadn’t seen before (there’s still one that I saw dubbed at the end of the 20th century). So, here goes.

Bande de Filles – I saw the trailer on the DVD of a Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and was intrigued enough to get it on Amazon.FR. Interesting little movie with black characters in the outskirts of Paris. I’m not sure I get the whole story, but the protagonist is very pretty and with very pink lips. So, if you want to see how Africans fare in France, watch this movie. I’m glad you don’t get to see the stupid Italian title!😉

Lucky Luke – the movie! For fans of the bande dessinnée by Goscigny and Morris, but also of Un Gars, Une Fille that I used to watch when France 2 still transmitted in Rome!😉 Jean Dujardin might have won an Oscar for The Artist, but I prefer him in funny roles like this one – and I even got his beloved Alex guest starring!🙂

Watching the extras, the director said he proposed to Alexandra Lamy on this set – even though they have divorced since. And there were two other known (to me) French actors playing Billy the Kid and Calamity Jane. And they made a sort of origin story.

So it was a fun ride, a humorous western and I did enjoy it even though I don’t have all the issues of Lucky Luke – the comic!😉 Unfortunately the Daltons were not in the movie, so I can’t show it to my nephew (he’d need a translation anyway, since he doesn’t speak French) – but could show him the trailer so he’d know why his English-speaking aunt mispronounces Lucky Luke!😉

Samba – because I enjoyed Untouchables and think Omar Sy is quite handsome, I got this movie. Also, I still remember Charlotte Gaisbourg as a teen in one of her first movies – I have the VHS, but my VCR is broken, and I don’t like it enough to buy the DVD unless I find it like for 1euro somewhere, haha!

Anyhow, again you can see how “sans papiers” are treated in France, whether they come from Africa or other places. It’s bittersweet and I admit it took some thinking at the end, but then, I’m not always the brightest one in the audience!😉 It does have a happy ending, but that’s all I’m saying.

blogoversary2016WordPress already celebrated, I officially celebrate tomorrow… opened the account in 2009, so here’s to another seven years of blogging… Happy blogoversary to me!😉 Have a great weekend!😀

Writer Wednesday

So last week I dived into Quests Book 3 and skipped the publishing stuff during the weekend. Add a cold starting Monday morning and I’m almost done with a first draft. I still need to put some meat on it and it might still be shorter than the previous two, but it doesn’t matter.

I’ve been thinking that these Quests show where I’m at as a writer and a human being. If until now I dealt with outsiders and outcasts trying to fit in (or not), all these quests have characters who are sick of the place they’re living in and get away from them, trying to find their true calling or true self.

It’s probably because I’m sick of my hometown and my day job and long to get away, so I’m doing it through the quests!😉 The premise might change in the next two, though, since the Path of Earth is more of a physical quest for the magic thingamagik (that won’t save the world, but it’s a physical object) and the Path of Ether is a quest for another place to live when the one you’re born in has become toxic.

Like what-we’re-doing-with-our-planet toxic. No fault of the inhabitants, though. They would have stayed, but they have to go if they want to survive. I will probably start the third at the end of October, though. I’m not even sure I’ll start on Book 2 before my two weeks break!😉

Next weekend I’ll put on the publisher’s hat once more and then I don’t want to think about it until November, haha! Luckily I have pre-order buttons set up for the next two titles!😉 And there are new paperbacks out as well. More to come next week.

Some writerly links! If you have problems finishing what you write, here’s how – beware of the f-bomb and other colorful terms, though. I have more problems starting, than finishing, but whatever!😉

And yes, writing can be a job (same warning as above). Not for me, not yet, but I’m getting there. It’s part of my cabinet of professions. I can’t do it full time yet, but I will. Don’t want to live of a non-existent pension (the way things are going in my country, I might work those 30+ years for naught…)!

Now here’s 11 ways to overcome marketing dread. For #1 I better check Kris Rusch’s Discoverability series or read David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible that has been sitting on my Kindle for well over a year.

And there are good things in publishing these days. Including the difference between indie and self-published. And the nifty services of Draft2Digital that I haven’t started using yet. It’s that uncomfortable publisher’s hat. Maybe I should hire someone to do that stuff for me!😉

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

Happiness is…


Random Friday

Re: the paperback of Male Lovers volume 2 – it had been linked to volume 1. I contacted Author Central and asked them to link it to the right kindle book. Took me some digging on the Amazon links to figure out what happened. That’s why it showed up correctly on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Sigh.

Anyhow, I’ll do a couple of Art Fridays, but not just of my art (that sucks compared to the cover artists I hire, LOL!). More of the various versions of my characters, done by me and by another artist – or three. The first ones were Kilig and Hakeem, for which I did the covers of the single parts, but then hired someone else for the whole novel. And had them drawn also on the aforementioned volume 1. So here follow the various versions of the assassins/lovers of Silvery Earth.

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo


Kilig and Hakeem by Cristina Fabris

So, there you go! Four different artists’ take on those guys! Cinzia and Cristina added Guisarme and Sabre – you can see Sabre in Hakeem’s rival and here’s Guisarme by yours truly.


This is a very tragic story for adults only. If you’d like to check it, here’s the link to the novel Kilig the Sword that gathers it all. In Male Lovers Volume 1 you can have a taste with the story that started it all, Saif’s Legacy…

Have a great weekend!🙂


Writer Wednesday

A new title is out – both e-book and paperback, and interestingly the paperback is already linked to the e-book on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Wonders never cease. Anyway, the awesome cover is by Sir Wendigo, who did also the cover of volume 1. And if the characters are clothed while they were naked on volume 1 it’s also because volume 2 is more chaste!😉

Now, Tori, please don’t rush to buy it. Just wait for the next, Fairy Tales Revisited, okay? You’ll have the same stories and no doubles, since Male Lovers volume 2 overlaps with More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms and an Amazon story. I’ve ordered the proof of the POD and the e-book should come out at the same time at the beginning of October.

Since the series I’m more proud of is Vampires Through the Centuries, I even ordered postcards with the books that came out so far (well, two came out, two are still in pre-order, but you will be able to read them before the end of the year). So look at these neat postcards, don’t they look great? Hoping to give some to interested readers at next Worldcon…


By the way, here’s a sneak preview of what you will see expanded on this very blog for what I call the Hastings 1066 Fortnight, courtesy of fellow author L.J. Hick… stay tuned!

Now, writing-wise. I’ve rewritten the end of one of those Star Minds stories and given them all to a proofreader. And in the meantime, I’ve started on Quests Book 3 – sort of outlining only to make sure I don’t forget anything, but I’ll still be improvising much!😉 And researching some stuff, since it’s not at the tip of my keyboard, haha!

I have changed writing process, I guess those workshops kinda worked, haha! If you’re thinking of taking some, here’s a workshop curriculum. I took Depth, Teams and Author Voice not really in that order, but well… Still mulling over them. And then I’ll take a couple more – either at the end of the year or beginning of 2017.

Now some writing dreams and harsh realities, advice from a professional writer. And 5 legal terms every author should know. That’s part of the writer’s education. And even if the Publisher’s Hat doesn’t really suit me, I better learn that stuff.

Now back to writing! Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Random Friday

And since I’ve been busy writing, reading, editing, publishing and whatnot, I didn’t have time to do much else, therefore I shall leave you with these words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call themm for the weekend! Enjoy!

When things get tough, what can you do?

Focus on the positive feedback you’ve gotten in emails, in blog comments, on Facebook, and through other avenues.  Reminding yourself that people out there do like your work can really help you get through the rough patches of bad reviews and lack of sales.  If you have some writer friends you can talk to about the ups and downs of the business, you’ll remind yourself you’re not alone.  Sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only person going through the downside of this business.

Ultimately, though, it all boils down to whether you (as the writer) like the book?  Would you write the book again if given the chance?  If you enjoy the book, that book was worth writing, and it has value.

Ruth Ann Nordin

Living in Edinburgh, I know a fair few writers to talk to, and most of them are pretty ordinary middle aged folk who spend a lot of time at a screen. Some of us belong to weird-to-outsiders sub cultures – gamers, sword folk, bikers, tech-heads – but then we’re weird because of the subculture, not our writing. Like most vocations, ours requires drive and self-discipline, so there’s not really much room for scotch-bottle-wielding craziness in our day-to-day routine. And if our conversation is sometimes… specialised, it’s no different than if you listened in to some microbrewers talking shop… and our specialism is where the books come from, the books people read, which leads us to…

By definition, professional authors can’t possibly be all that weird because people read us. If books with minimal connection to modern reality were what sold, then Sumerian creation myths would top the charts.

M Harold Page

What do you love about the writing life?
I love the freedom of the lifestyle. On almost any given day, my schedule is my own. Being able to do what I do on my own time is hugely liberating.

More substantively, I love writing. It’s great to be able to do what I love. My definition of success is finding something you love so much you would pay to do it; and if you can get someone else to pay you for it, that’s success.

Barry Eisler

That’s what will happen with traditional publishing. It’s already happening. Blog after blog after blog appears at nearly the rate of one per week by writers who started indie and who went to traditional and who are now returning to indie for the control. Even more blogs appear from traditional writers who have become fed up with their treatment from their traditional publishing “partners” and are moving to indie.

Within the next five years, or maybe ten, as the word gets out (writers are slow on the uptake), traditional publishing will find itself in the same position as the Big 4 TV networks. The Big 5 traditional publishers will get the clueless and the one-shot wonders.

Writers who have actually learned business, writers who want money, control, and yes, eyeballs, will go indie (or start their own small press). It’s already happening, and it’s starting to speed up.

The publishing industry is probably where TV was in 2005.

Here’s the future, folks: The traditional publishers aren’t going away. But they are becoming irrelevant to anyone who cares about doing their very best work and getting paid the most for it.

And those eyeballs—well, they will find you. Just not in the first month.

We’re going back to word of mouth, which is always the best way to sell anything.

Kris Rusch

For those who are not writing all the time, who let their critical voice into their offices, who let what others say about their work into their offices, writing is a painful thing at times. So it is easier to focus on promotion of what you already have done.

I have seen a lot of writers in the last four years get all caught up in promotion and almost stop writing.

The one thing you really should have in your office on your wall if this is your problem is “Your Next Book Is Your Best Promotion.”

Very few people after the learning curve time get lost in production.

But wow can the focus get lost in promotion.

Dean Wesley Smith

Writer Wednesday

So, last week was so Publisher Week that I barely started on the new story. Meh. I’m halfway through now, and as soon as I’m done I hope to receive the next proofs from CreateSpace. I know, I said I’d mention the publishing stuff on the publisher page… but so far it’s nothing new, simply the POD version of books that came out during the summer.

If you want dead-trees books, you can now order Tales of the Northern Kingdoms Volume 1 and Volume 2 on Amazon. I’m sure sometime this week you’ll find them also at Barnes&Noble and other bookstores through Amazon’s distribution.

Since it does take some time from CreateSpace to Amazon and the other retailers, I think that the POD version of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness will come out in October, so that when the e-book goes live, it already has the matchbook thing active and you’ll be able to get it for free with the paperback. I am currently awaiting the first proof.

Next weekend I’ll upload another collection and wrap up the Star Minds stories. So next week I’ll hopefully get back to the Quests and Silvery Earth and write until I leave for my vacation in October. I am trying new promotion stuff, but not sure it’s working yet. I am aware, though that book promotion is not a one-size-fits-all strategy!😉

Now, if you’re just starting, here’s some myth busting for you. And the secret to making tons of money as an author (hint: there is no secret – I’m in that bracket that earns less than 1000$ per year, still, after five years). I wanted to bang my head on the desk when a friend of mine said he paid an agent to read his manuscript and have a professional evaluation – turns out the reader for the agency is a retired teacher who suggested he adds a love story in a thriller book.

I  still have to write back to him – he’s Italian, but I very much doubt Italian agents are different from the American ones (i.e. unregulated, with no professional background and that could probably make you rewrite a perfectly fine thriller novel to make it more of a romance. Yikes).

Now I better go back to writing. I miss losing myself in other universes instead of having to deal with day-to-day matters such as formatting, uploading, checking proofs and the worst of all – marketing!😉 Have a great week!

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