Happiness is…


63

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, call them what you want. Enjoy and have a happy Sunday.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
William Faulkner

Here’s what I want: for writers to keep talking. To each other.
For writers to stop shouting their wares and start walking over to admire someone else’s cart.
For writers to RT ten other peoples’ articles and buy links before they pimp their own.
For writers to stop begging for reviews and start looking for books to review, or at least read and tweet about.
For writers at a con to stop building Fort MyBooks on the panel table and start actively engaging with the audience and each other, never beginning a single sentence with, “Well, in MY book…”
For writers to get a query rejection, file it away, forget about it, send out another query, close Twitter, and start writing the next book instead of chewing on that rejection for a week and letting it connect in any way with their own talent and self-worth.
For writers to take the money they were going to pay to enter a contest or buy Likes or print expensive swag and put it toward a writing conference where they’ll connect with other writers and receive constructive feedback about how to improve their writing or pitch.
For writers to take joy in the hungry, friendly, curious community around them and start looking for ways to give back, to lift others, to give the compliment that’s going to make someone else’s week.
The thing is, we shout the most and the hardest when we feel alone and unheard.
And you are not alone and unheard.
Stop shouting and start talking.
Listen, and you’ll be heard.
Delilah S. Dawson

We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories… And those that carry us forward, are dreams.
H.G. Wells

So I think I’m ending up with a prediction after all. 2016 will be the Year of the Writer.
Not because writers will suddenly become the darlings of the culture. (Wouldn’t that be weird?) But because the writers who have survived all the changes and have worked hard to publish in whatever way is best for them are now returning their attention to the very thing that got them started in the first place:
Telling stories.
What a great thing. Because…speaking as a reader now…that means we’ll have all kinds of marvelous, new, exciting books by 2017. Things writers have longed to write and either hadn’t had the time to write, the energy to write, or the courage to write.
It does take courage to write what you want. To follow your own creativity and see where it will lead you. To walk down a path that doesn’t exist yet.
So maybe I should modify my conclusion and call 2016 the Year of the Courageous Writer. Because we’ll be seeing a lot of courage in print this year.
And we’ll all benefit from it.
Kris Rusch

But as with any “overnight success” story, there is a lot more to it.
I think one of the hardest things for newbies to nail down is the right mentality. It’s part of the weird dichotomy that is our lot. We have to have incredible self-belief to write something and show it to other people in the first place, but we also have to have enough overarching self-doubt to hone our craft and polish our stories until they are ready for prime time.
Dave Gaughran

Random Friday


Welcome to random randomness. Sort of. I watched Pan, which might actually sound like a good prequel to Peter Pan, but makes me wonder. Does Hollywood really think that making sequels and prequels to classics is a good thing? No risk-takers there anymore. No original screenplays, please, just in case we can’t sell the movies. Sigh. So reminds me of traditional publishing…

I mean, the kid is great, Hugh Jackman unrecognizable, but… was it really needed? You know what it did to me? I went to finally read the actual book! I have downloaded it on K.K. ages ago, and now I finally got to reading it, LOL! And since the first two chapters reminded me of another movie, so…

I rewatched Peter Pan. Of course it’s slightly revised, but it’s so much more  faithful to the book (and original play, apparently, I haven’t read that one)! This Peter Pan might be slightly older than the previous one, but it’s certainly closer to JM Barrie’s spirit, IMHO.

Now prepping for art weekend. Cristina is coming over and I hope to do at least two more illustrations for Quests, although only 3 out of 5 will be used as covers. I guess I’ll post what I won’t use on DeviantART when I’m done… Gotta wrap up book 2 and send it off to editor as well…

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


And because Facebook keeps changing stuff around, I missed this message from Pretty Hot. If only Facebook and Goodreads and WordPress stopped updating/upgrading stuff that doesn’t need to be touched. Now, things might be easier to post with the right profile on Facebook, but a bit of warning would have been nice. Sigh.

About the Hastings story! Since I’m still so deep into Quests and that will take me back to the Southern Kingdoms and I haven’t heard from betas about Kaylyn yet, I think I’m going to stick to Silvery Earth for the month of June. July would be the vampires month anyway, and I’m sure it won’t take long to write a short story before the deadline. In case you want to write something with the theme: the Battle of Hastings in 1066, check the guidelines here.

About Quests, Book 2 has already 19K of story that was  already in Book 1 from another point of view or two, and it’s just the beginning. So I hope it will be as long as Book 1 (46K) which will make the POD version with both books around 90K. Hopefully. The beauty of writing without outlining means I have no idea how long the story will be.

Considering that I had only three characters in mind and no idea of what happened to them, I’d say I’m not doing badly. And adding a fourth character in search of a story allowed me to continue with Book 2. So, definitely not a short story, and hopefully the two books can be enjoyed separately.

Which, of course boosted up my wordcount this month. I have written around 65K, making up for the lack of writing in March. So no “time of great forgetting” in sight for me, and I obviously have no trouble restarting, but if you do, please check how to do it, courtesy of Dean Wesley Smith.

Much like David Farland, I can proudly say that I inspired myself into becoming a writer. I guess I was lucky I grew up in the age of the typewriter and had no distractions. No internet with everything and its opposite, no confusing rules, anything. My critical voice never really developed!😉

I’ve had three rejections for The Painter already, will try a few more. Like I said, until the end of summer, then it will go either to newsletter subscribers or in the anthology with all the Amazon stories. In the meantime check this Author Quickie with yours truly at Chevoque’s blog!

Now I don’t know about you, but June sneaked up on me and I still have a lot of work to do, both writing and publishing… Have a great week!

Happiness is…


62

Sunday Surprise


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!

RC coverWelcome, guest! Tell me a little about yourself!

Hi, my name is Zahara Bakur. I’m fifteen years old, and I’m from New York City. I’m a Sunni Muslim, and I’m supposed to be entering my senior year of high school, but…well, things are complicated right now.

I don’t know why, but things on Earth are always complicated… *snort* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Average height and weight, light-brown skin, blonde hair (it used to be brown). Sorry, that’s longer than ten words, isn’t it?

It’s fine, you’re the first teen who doesn’t use twitter English! *grin* Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Um…I don’t really have anyone I would call my enemy. I mean, there are people I don’t like, but who doesn’t have someone like that? I guess if I did have an enemy though, it would probably be ignorance and bigotry. Ever since before the war, people have this tendency to believe the worst things about my faith, that we’re all out to kill ourselves and everyone around us. That’s simply not true, but I’ve had a heck of a time convincing people of that. So I guess that’s my answer.

People can be very nasty with someone who is even slightly different! Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Kill?! Allah, no! I’m the least nonviolent person ever, and I really don’t believe in the death penalty. But if I had to die for those I love…well, I’d rather that not happen, but if it was the only way and I really cared for someone, I guesss I might.

You’re great! Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

I used to live in New York City, but then my dad got a job in Reborn City and we moved there. We had a house in South Reborn, but these days I’m staying in West Reborn with the Hydras. I think it’s the safest place for me, truth be told. I know they’re gangsters, but they watch out for me, which is more than what I can say for anyone in South Reborn.

Interesting town name… Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

Relationship? Er, not anymore. I-I had a boyfriend in New York, but we broke up before I moved. And I’ve been too busy to really think about that sort of stuff since I got to Reborn City.

VR CS front coverA most interesting place, I’m sure! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Well, because of…certain reasons, I had to join the Hydras, a gang in West Reborn. I’m not gangster material, not at all, and I really hate the lifestyle, but until I pay my debt to Rip, the leader of my Head—that’s like a gang branch—I can’t leave. So I guess it’s just surviving the lifestyle day to day and trying to fulfill my debt, though how I do that I’m not sure.

Mmm… I’m sure you can manage… Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

*cries* I’m sorry, but…I just recently lost my mother and father, and I have no other family. As much as I hate to admit it, the West Reborn Hydras are the only family I have right now, so…*shrugs* It is what it is.

Family is family whether you chose it or it chose you! Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

*sniff*I don’t really have unusual about me. I guess I should go with the fact that I’m only fifteen (I’ll turn sixteen in September), but I’m already a senior in high school. I should be going to college next year, though with my life the way it is, who knows?

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Um…I don’t know. I really don’t talk about myself like this. I’m just kind of flattered that anyone wants to talk to me about anything. Thanks, by the way. I really appreciate it.

You are very welcome! I wish you all the best!

_______________________________________

Where do you find this character

Reborn City:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reborn-City-Novel-Rami-Ungar/dp/1490446796

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-city-rami-ungar/1117406933?ean=9781490446790

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn-city/id1113686134?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373309

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/reborn-city

Video Rage:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Video-Rage-Novel-Reborn-City-ebook/dp/B01F2Q75L8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/video-rage-rami-ungar/1123783687?ean=2940153014784

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/video-rage-a-novel/id1113499449?mt=11          

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/635604

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/video-rage-a-novel

Random Friday


Warning, reader rant ahead.

So, I downloaded some samples of books from an article I read somewhere and then from the blog hop last week and in between longer readings I thought I’d give them a read, so I could decide if I wanted to buy the book or not.

I have limited reading time and a long TBR list, so reading samples before actually buying has become more of a habit lately. Except I was more than a little disappointed with certain small publishers who use up to 60% of the sample for their publisher shit.

Listen, I don’t care about all that boilerplate stuff publishers put at the front of printed books. I’m downloading an e-book sample, and you better let me read the story in that sample! Because 4 pages out of 10 (I’m simplifying, since I’m math-challenged) are not enough to hook me, and you’ve just lost a sale.

Now I almost feel sorry for  the author who trusted you enough to license her book to you. Almost.

Second thing: if of a 20% sample of the whole book (is that how much Amazon lets you sample, or is it set by the publisher?), 60% is boilerplate and only 40% is story, I’m also prone to thinking this might be a short story, therefore not worth my money. Again, I’m math-challenged, so this thinking of mine might be wrong.

And then there’s those small publishers who publish only on their site or certain retailers, where 1) you need to register 2) I’m not even sure they have mobi file available. Sorry, guys. I have a Kindle. I don’t mind coming to your site, but if you’d allowed me to read the sample on Amazon, it might make things easier for me.

I already have too many accounts – as an author. I don’t want many more to be a reader. So, a couple of missed sales for you. You might not care at all, but I thought I’d let you know.

And I’m not naming names, but if you do that (put all that boilerplate stuff at the front of the ebook or not publish on Amazon at all), this is for you. Think about it. If you don’t care about those missed sales, good for you.

And to those of you who do things right, know that three of your books – for which I downloaded a sample – are now on my TBR pile and I will download them as soon as what’s already stored on K.K. goes down a little.

Now I better go back to that TBR pile, bundles of fiction and non-fiction, not to mention the paper books on my desk… I wish there were more hours in the day, but then… reading sends me to sleep, so I’d rather keep it for the evening!😉

Have a great weekend!😀

Writer Wednesday


Okay, first here’s the Booklinker Amazon Link of the latest title, click on it before Booklinker starts sending me emails that I didn’t put it to good use and I’m missing sales. Since I have no way to unsubscribe to those, I’d rather you just click on the damn link so they’ll shut up.

I’m doing it for all the new titles, but sometimes I set it up before I actually publish the title on the Publisher Page, and so a week goes by before the link actually goes live and I get those silly reminders. I wonder what happens when I start making the links for the old books. I guess I’ll make a post with all of them and kindly request you to click on them even if you don’t have a Kindle or an Amazon account!😉

So, Amazon Fall is slowly coming out on all retailers. I’ve had sore throat and fever over the weekend, so I’m late in uploading (and there’s a holiday in Canada, so Kobo is slower than ever). I guess I’ll let the publisher announce it properly along with whatever else is planned for the site!😉

Putting back my writing hat on – current WiP is definitely a novel. Part 1 is around 45K (and I’ll have to change slightly that map I posted on Saturday) and then there’s part 2 that I think will be around 20K or 30K. So the whole novel will come out after the summer, I guess. Part 1 will be in the Tales of the Nortern Kingdoms (volume 1) and Part 2 in More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms (volume 2) as well.

With the Blog Hop I didn’t have time to check other blogs, but on a mailing list I was sent these two links on how Amazon works, so I thought I’d share them with you: part 1 and part 2. Now I better send out that prize for the Blog Hop.

I will give a special mention to one reviewer who wrote a very poignant blog post for the hop – I assure you that I will always write the stories I want to write, not the stories that sell!:) I will probably have more ACE characters from now on, except on Silvery Earth they don’t have those labels, so you’ll have to look for them!😉

Have a great week!

EDIT: blog hop winner contacted with special thanks to Random.org. Thanks to all who stopped and left a comment during the hop!

Happiness is…


60

Saturday post


Since this week is screwed anyway with three posts in a row, I thought I’d do one on Saturday instead of Friday. And since it’s not a usual day for a post, I’ll do an unusual post – the maps post!:)

I’m working on the tales of the northern kingdoms, so here’s a little chronology of the most wandering characters – Beautiful, Prince Splendor and Quests.

First is Beautiful, set in the year 1350 – same map as the upcoming Lovers, but Rithvik and Kerrien seem to wander a lot more, or better, they make a journey that can be followed on a map.

Beautiful_resizeThen we have Prince Splendor that is set twenty years later (1370), and the borders are more or less the same, the itinerary slightly different.

P&A_resizeFinally we have Quests. It’s set in 1405 and as you can see, the borders are shifting. Soon the Varians and the Blackmore will start the long war that will end with the birth of the Varian Empire (see full chronology).

Quests_resizeHere’s the complete journey, improvised as I wrote along that brought the wordcount up to 40K almost. I hope to finish this weekend, like I said, but simply looking at the map made for an excellent plot of the heroes’ journey!😉

And… little spoiler! See the yellow arrow? Yes, I’ll be soon writing more tales of the southern kingdoms with two very special half-bloods visiting them!:)

All the maps are by the awesome Federico Distefano, although the writing and the itineraries are added by yours truly. They’re like the real maps of Silvery Earth where the Sila draw them and the Genn put in the writing (although I’m afraid he doesn’t have wings and I don’t have pointed ears)!😉

Have a great weekend!:)

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