Happiness is…


100100

Since we’re talking 100th… both happiness and Da Strip (still unpublished, but I can’t come up with a decent format, either online or on paper… Maybe could be a New Year resolution?)

Sunday Surprise


A.L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth her work combines aspects of all. A lifelong storyteller the tale is all and loves to create people and worlds.

She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

(18 rated)

 

Now in audio narrated by Shakespearean actor Rob Goll.

 

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

Ebooks available here:

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

Random Friday


kobo-promoOnly on Kobo UK and only from Jan 26 to Feb 2 – Norman Blood at 2£!

Sort of filler post because I’m traveling (to the UK, haha!) and didn’t have time to finish the portrait I started last weekend or to watch any more movies (well, I rewatched Spy Game, but that’s all). And I’m going to the cinema tomorrow in London, so I won’t have much to say until I come back.

Okay, I can tell you a conversation I had at work.

Me: “Tomorrow I leave early because I need to travel.”

Guy: “London?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “To watch a movie?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “It’s a joke, right?”

Me: “No, it’s serious. I go to London to see a movie that won’t come out in Italy.”

Guy: “And you go to London?”

Me: “If I want to see it on a cinema screen, I have only three options: London, America and India. Which is the closest?”

Guy: “You should go to India!”

Yeah, as if I could go to India for a weekend like I’m doing with London, LOL! Anyhow, he didn’t really understand why I’m doing this, but I don’t care. I’m crazy like that! 😉

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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!

Happiness is…


99

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…

Random Friday


Let’s call it movie Friday, although I’m going to include a couple of video clips. Like I may have mentioned, I spent New Year’s Eve watching memories of the 80s – of musicians who are no more. One had just died, George Michael, the other was long gone, Michael Jackson.

I just happened to find a couple of similarities between two of their songs that made me wonder how anyone was ever born in the 1980s, since men didn’t seem to want to take responsibility for babies! 😉 Cases in point: Billie Jean and Everything She Wants… Listen to the songs and/or watch the videos at the links…

Then the new year started and we had another celebrity loss, Om Puri. So I spent a weekend watching East is East and West is West in memoriam. Not to mention the fact that I gave my offline beta-reader the Bollywood fever – we’ve been doing movie afternoon twice a month since November, we meet more often than the writers group, LOL!

The Bollywood movies that I showed my beta, started with Mohenjo Daro (which was a first for me too). She enjoyed Om Shanti Om and of the Dhoom franchise she preferred Dhoom 2… no, I swear I didn’t brainwash her! 😉 I’m also lending her movies that are not strictly Bollywood (Kama Sutra a Tale of Love) or that she has missed, like Labyrinth. I will also pass her Oggi Sposi since it has English subtitles… 😉

Between projects I also rewatched a few movies (not because the ToWatch pile went down but because I have sci-fi movies and historical movies to watch and I needed to stay in fantasy mood or present day) including: I don’t kiss (France 1991), Saturday Night Fever (USA 1977),  Chasing Amy (USA 1997), The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee 1993), Touch of Pink (2004) and Muriel’s Wedding (Australia 1994).

I have a creative weekend coming… so hopefully Art Friday next week! Have a great weekend! 🙂

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!

Happiness is…


98

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing to start the year well. Enjoy.

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of defining your accomplishments by what other people did better. Someone climbed Mt Everest before you did, but by God, if you climb Mt Everest, you deserve a cookie. And “better” doesn’t mean “first”. “Better” may not even be what you think it is. Is it sales? Or critical acclaim? What? Go you and do what you need to do with your art because you need to do it.

Don’t get caught in the trap of believing you need to be first in line to be noticed. Who cares who drew the first comic on an iPad? Does anyone even remember? Of course not. Because that turns art into artifacts, and you’re not creating artifacts, you don’t need to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Comic Book Pages Drawn While Hanging Upside Down Like a Bat.

You’re trying to connect with your readers by telling stories that have meaning to you and to them. Believe in what you are doing and the rest will follow…or not.

And if you never get that acclaim or those big sales, well, you did something real. And artificially trying to make yourself a Special Snowflake forever because you did it FIRST isn’t real.

Just tell your story…Climb Mt Everest. It doesn’t matter if someone else got there first. It’s your journey.

Colleen Doran

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all… as long as you tell the truth… Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work… What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

Stephen King

Write books, authors. Write stories. Channel your emotions, your fears, your vulnerabilities into your work. Swallow the hurt and give voice to a song. In your books, which is what you are here for in the first place. Everywhere else? Post about cats and beards and the cupcake you had instead of dinner. Better to be banal than a bitch. Because readers will flock to the cats and the cupcakes and possibly bring you baked goods and collars with your cover art as collars to singings. But they’ll get a front row seat to watch the bitch go down.

Every. Single. Time.

Heidi Culliman

You can focus on social media and platform-building and brand-making, and it will yield you SOME return, sure. But… drum roll please…

It won’t yield you nearly as much as just concentrating on writing as many awesome books as you can for invested, functional publishers.

When a publisher asks you, “What’s your platform?” consider turning that question around and asking the publisher about THEIRS.

(…)

Be the best writer you can be. Online, be the best version of yourself. Have fun, be kind, work hard, have empathy, and hope for luck.

If you’re building a platform to sell books, don’t. If you’re altering yourself to fit a brand, dont. (Unless you’re an asshole, I guess.)

This is also not to say writers shouldn’t promote their own books! You shoul! I follow writers and *want* to hear about new releases!

(But I aldo don’t want those writers to pummel me in the crotch with ceaseless sales pitches, either.)

Anyway. Yeah. Platforms and brands are not magical solutions, so do not make them your focus, Okay? Okay.

NOW LET’S ALL GET DRUNK.

Chuck Wendig

In a recent yoga class, my teacher talked about the difference between having fun and enjoying yourself. Fun, she said, was an activity you do to escape your routines. However, enjoyment is the act of finding happiness in your routines and responsibilities. Therefore, another element of a good hobby is that it becomes a part of your daily or weekly habits, instead of something you use to run away from your writing (or life). This is why drinking, drugs, gambling and social media are so dangerous. They can provide fun via instant gratification, but long-run they don’t bring us joy. Better then to focus on habits and hobbies that help us be more plugged in to our lives–ones that allow us to enjoy ourselves.

Jaye Wells

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