Random Friday


Mmmmovie Friday! Watched Dilwale (which wasn’t on my wishlist, but the shopkeeper insisted on giving me) and obviously I didn’t miss the couple SRK-Kajol since I don’t particularly like her, but I had the nice surprice of an item song shot in the country of faeries…

I was like “Hey, that’s columnar basalt! Hey, a black beach! HEY, I KNOW THAT WATERFALL!!!”, yes, you even get a glimpse of the genie of the waterfall. So I’m posting a pic of the genie here and see if you can see it in the video below.

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seated genie watching the waterfall

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closeup of the profile

now find it in the video! Definitely Iceland! 🙂

I also watched the DVD of a 25-year-old French movie that I can’t for the life of me remember if I saw it in French in some Roman cinema or only saw it dubbed. Anyway, now I have it in French, so that’s what I got. I don’t kiss is quite censored for a French movie! 😉 But in the interview with the director, he explains why, so… all good! 🙂

And since we’re in 80s revival/mourning, I also rewatched the whole Back to the Future trilogy. Now I really want my flying car. I feel cheated. Meh.

Have a great end of the year and see you next year! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Totally procrastinating writing this last week of the year! 😉 I’m not really blaming it on the Holidays (I’m actually more productive, usually, because everybody vanishes with family so I have plenty of time to write) but most certainly to a very distracting Muse and travel plans for the first two months of the new year.

So, going to London end of January and then to the US end of February and I still need to figure out what I must do with my passport expiring in July. Sigh. I hope to find less people tomorrow so I can at least ask info on what I’m supposed to do. I probably won’t request the new one until January, but I’d love to know if I must get a new one or if I can use the expiring one.

Quests 4 is slowly coming along in spite of the procrastination… and the writer has also made some plans for the new year. And a priority list, since it’s always hard to decide what to write first! And no, I’m not afraid of running out of ideas even if I don’t “recycle” old stuff anymore.

If you still have this problem, here’s Asimov’s suggestion – how to never run out of ideas again. I call it project block, more than writer’s block, and his solution is also mine. Like I said, I need to make priority lists or I’d keep bouncing from a project to another! 😉

I’m also starting to look at accomodation in Helsinki for the Worldcon… I’m sure August will creep up on me like the rest of the year. Now that it’s almost over, I can say it went by fast! I also hope to go to some medieval dinner or festival in Italy to cut on the traveling expenses… always useful for my historical fantasy series! 🙂

So next year I hope to publish one Silvery Earth story a month and another story of another series or a translation, so that’s two titles a month. I want to start on a new series (although I’ll need an online workshop first) and publish the stories I’ve written so far, plus a few that are still in embryo state.

Might help me to start a Patreon account. I will study other writers and come up with something. Next year. Stay tuned!

Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


holidayseason2016seasongreetings149

Random Friday


  • And it’s the reading year! 😉 goodreads2016

Ahem! In spite of the above, I have read 49 books, including 2 collections, a book bundle (the sci-fi mayday you can still find at the usual retailers) and two manuscripts. Only 5 were non-fiction (will have to catch up with the research next year for the vampires through the centuries…), and only 2 were paper books, both re-reading.

Actually one of the two is a trilogy that I hadn’t read in 25 years and that I’m currently finishing and makes me want to go back and re-read the other trilogy in the series, except I have it in Italian only, while this one I have in English. It was one of the first English books that I bought way back in the nineties… and since it’s still a 5stars, here it is:

Dragonlance Legends Trilogy by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman!

You’re better off reading the war of the lance first, but this is good too! 😉

As for the other 5 stars (in order of reading):

The Red Wraith

Veiled Alliances

The Silver Metal Lover (another re-reading – I got the Kindle edition because the paperback has become too hard to read, sigh… small print…)

Heaven Painted as a Cop Car

Blaster Squad #1 Terror on the Moon

Fangs and Fun

The Battles of Hastings

Dead Money

Now here’s to hoping I’ll read 50 books next year – 50 fiction books and 10 non-fiction (that’s about the number of books I have to read for the vampires research, haha!)!

So, if you still have some gifts to make, buy some books! There are stories for every reader above… fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, humor… take your pick! Happy reading! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Mm, ‘kay, I guess it’s time to sum up the year somehow… I’ll put on the publisher’s hat this week and the writer’s hat next week, all right?

So. Sales. The best seller is still Body Switches, a consistent seller since 2014. Still haven’t reached 100 copies sold, though. Unless you add up the single body switches – mostly Johnny & Marian that sold 35 copies since 2012. A title from this year that did well is Fairy Tales Revisited.

As for retailers “performance” – definitely a growth on Kobo, where I used to sell mostly the Italian titles, but after participating in a couple of promos I managed to get to the English-speaking markets. Adjusting the prices for CA, AU and NZ probably helped. Sorry for delaying that.

Next year I will concentrate on completing the Quests books – #3 is done, #4 in the works, #5 still in dreamland – and probably the Assassins’ Guild. Star Minds Third Generation will also have a shot. And the vampires through the centuries, of course, I need to get to those vampire wars! 😉

And then I don’t know. I’ve been thinking of going hybrid, but then… there’s the hybrid learning curve (and I’m not even formerly traditional, so… argh!). But Joe Konrath will go hybrid too next year, for the print version of some of his books. Sooooo… we’ll see.

Just for fun: Bubba’s philosophy of fictional conflict! And for the new year, how to create art and make cool stuff in a time of trouble! 😉

Publisher’s new year resolutions? Publish less and let some short stories try traditional markets first. Possibly organize bundles, sales, or other great stuff to push the titles I think are worth pushing and ignore the ones I don’t really care for anymore.

Cuz the writer grew up this year and some of the old stuff… she can’t even look at it anymore! 😉 So, looking forward to Indie Publishing Phase 2!

Have a great week and happy holiday season! 🙂

149

Happiness is…


96

still valid… since I put no names! 😀 I found others since 2011… About editors, one of them unfortunately passed away this year. About betas, still looking, but I know I can rely on a few names, so I’m doing fine! 😉

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another guest! Don’t we have a December full of gifts? 😉 Lots of new authors for you to discover – because you’re gifting books for Xmas, right? Anyhow, I’m happy to introduce you this young lady! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nat Kennedy!

Where do you live and write from?

I am from central Washington, in the high scrub desert. It’s dry and either hot or cold, and sometimes that offers months of staying inside, writing away at stories.

Why do you write?

I love writing. This, I am sure, is a typical answer. I mainly write what I write, gay erotic fantasy, because I can’t find enough of it to read. So, I write what I want to read. The characters are usually up beat, usually heroic, and though there’s angst, it’s rarely relationship angst. I want my lovers to love.

When did you start writing?

At a very young age… Seriously, I started writing in the early 2000s (I cut my teeth on fanfiction.)

2016-01-002-edge-of-desperation-ebook-coverWhat genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy, of the gay and sometimes erotic variety. All types, urban, to high fantasy, and I’ve some dark fantasy planned as well.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I get up at 5 am to write before work. I tend to work very well with deadlines. I am a NaNo Guru. Sometimes, if I’m rough drafting, I write in every scrap of time I can fine. But if I’m editing, I need larger chunks of time to work with.

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

My characters come across as real, relatable people. And my worlds jump from the pages, enough that readers feel immersed in them. I remember, years ago, reading a story and finally ‘seeing’ how the author made the details flow seamlessly into the narrative. No info dump. Important information evolved through the story. I then worked to emulate that. And I am doing okay, though there is always room for growth.

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

Mainly I find my inspiration from the holes in other stories I wish the author had written. I want to know about some background character. Or a hinted gay love story… why wasn’t that developed! So, I then think of the feelings that story invoked and sometimes steal that and plop it into my own world. I am inspired by negative space.

I don’t put myself in my stories. I’m far too boring.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Outline and plot it all, darling! And I am fast at rough drafts, slow at the edits depending on how good my outline was. I have improvised in the past, in fact my current novel I’m editing was improvised, and it needs so much work. I have vowed to outline always from now on.

Though, if a story does take me right, when the outline takes me left, I’m not afraid to go off outline.

2016-01-002-center-of-deception-ebook-coverTell us about your latest book

My latest book is the second in the Wielder World series, Center of Deception.

Though it’s the second in the series, I’d written books 1 and 2 (novella length) to be able to read in either order. The Wielder World is a series of gay urban fantasy. People have the power to Wield the Nerve of the World and do some amazing feats of ‘magic’. Women can do so with no repercussions. Men, however, pay a price for their power.

It’s the events in Book 1 from August’s point of view. How he got wrapped up in the male Wielder Cult. How he meets Kyle and Reggie from Book 1, and sets the seeds for future romance and hints at a greater threat to men in the Wielder World.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Wielder World is self-published because I like the power self-publishing gives me, also it’s a much faster process. Traditional routes take years. I also enjoy the self-publishing community and am honored to be a part of it.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I am editing Wielder World 3, the follow up novel called Afflicted to the Core, and I just finished a rough draft for a new high fantasy novel, the first in the World of Two Moons series.

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

Eventually, I would like to take writing full time. I’d like to build a fan base, have people excited for my next novel, and maybe, hopefully, get some fan fiction written about it. That would be quite the delight.

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

Read good books. Study them… why you liked them, how they did that thing you thought was awesome. And write often, if not every day, several times a week. Never give up. Learn to accept rejection. And write what you love, because even if people don’t buy it, at least you’ll enjoy reading it! 😉

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About Nat and where to find her

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1 mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay and non-mainstream romance–steamy to tame. From couples to threesomes, including fantasy hermaphroditic races, love abounds.

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Random Friday


For lack of other randomness, I shall let random writers dispense random writerly wisdom… Enjoy these writers on writing! And publishing! And… all the best to all the writers out there!

I do not believe in the assumption in this business that feedback from anyone can really help you. That’s not how a writer learns, folks.

So going to a beginning writer workshop and listening to other beginners tell you what you did wrong is like going to a person who does your hair who never finished high school and ask them for legal advice. You would never do that, right?

So why ask other uninformed and ill-informed and beginning writers what is wrong with your story? The only answer you can possibly get is dangerous, likely wrong, and usually destructive to your belief in yourself and your art.

Just say no, as Nancy used to say.

Set up a networking group and learn craft from major professional writers and keep writing. Trust your own art. Believe in yourself.

A ton more fun that way.

Dean Wesley Smith

 

And that’s what I’ve been having the most trouble with these past two weeks. Once again, my brain has difficulty wrapping itself around the idea that there is more than one path to success in this new world.

I’m aware of it: Hell, I preach it here on the blog almost every week. But apparently, deep down, I’m still stuck in the (almost literal) ruts of my “upbringing” in traditional publishing. When I default for myself, I default to the One True Path idea—and I default hard.

So, this blog is really not for you. It’s for me. It’s a reminder that in this modern world there is no longer One True Path. There are as many new paths as there are writers. The internet has opened the world to all of us, and we can pursue the careers we want—or at least, the parts of the career we can manage.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

 

The main question I’ve been asking myself is this: What do I have control over? Or at least, what do I have the most control over? Where do I have choices, and how do those choices affect my success? Basically, the idea is that there are four main areas that a writer has the most control over that directly affect his or her success, each of these being a leg of the table:

  1. What you write
  2. How much you write
  3. How much you learn
  4. How you market

Rather than abstract terms like “content” and “productivity,” I prefer concrete words that are more actionable — which, of course, is a fairly abstract word, but we’ll let that pass for now. There are so many ways for a writer working today to spend his or her time that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. These four legs are what I think constitutes a very sturdy table. If you are negligent in any of the legs, well, it can make your table pretty shaky after a while. A lot of writing with a poor marketing strategy often results in lackluster sales. A lot of learning without actually producing much — like the workshop junkie who goes to lots of classes but doesn’t actually write unless compelled to do so by a teacher — is equally out of whack.

Scott William Carter

 

I’ve decided that the next time a writer asks me for that one piece of advice I’d like to give every writer, I’m going to tell them this:

Buy a hat.

No, not because I have some milliner friends who need the support. But because writers, and particularly brand new beginning writers, need to understand the separation of church and state.

Your writing is not the same as your writing business.

These two things have some links between them, but I’ll say it again:

Your writing is not the same as your writing business.

When you have finished your book and it’s time to release it into the world, you must, must, must at that time take off your writing hat and put on your publishing or business hat.

Perhaps you have a pair of steampunk welding goggles instead. Or a leather workman’s apron.

Whatever metaphor or physical object works for you. For some writers, I actually would recommend that they go get a hat or something that reminds them of the difference.

I am not speaking to just indie writers here. Traditionally published writers need to make this same separation.

Writing isn’t the same as business.

Leah Cutter

 

When you’re just starting out, your craft is poor, and it’s endless frustration. You have amazing ideas that are never as good on paper as they are in your head.

Then, as you develop, you eventually get to the point where you can execute your ideas on paper about as well as you can see them in your head–and at that point, you start to feel pretty good about yourself.

But if you keep going, and keep improving your craft, you’ll eventually get to the point where the stuff that comes out on paper is SO much better than what it started out as in your head that you never *quite* believe that it came from you–and you can still improve from there.

That’s really what, for me, makes writing a total kick in the head.

– Stephen J. Cannell

Writer Wednesday


So, the small&medium publishers fair is over, and I’m sorta kinda bummed. In my blissful ignorance I hadn’t realized there are Italian indie authors who earn a living in SFF. Sigh. Now I feel waaaay behind in my publishing history, but I’m also aware this is the beginning of phase 2, so…

As soon as my least favorite month of the year ends, I hope to be strong and determined enough to make plans for phase 2, because I freely admit that currently I don’t feel like I can tackle the next five years of indie publishing. Must be end of the year blues or this very bad year for the world or whatnot.

Anyhow, still pounding out wordcount, and then I’ll have to check how the year went, so I’ll have another bout of depression, LOL! By February I’ll have recovered and be ready to move on. I still have stories to publish that I wrote this year, but I plan to publish less next year anyway.

Upcoming temporary sale – Kobo only! December 40% Off Sale Dec 15 2016 – Dec 19 2016 on Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness! Here’s to finding a few more readers on Kobo and that the person(s) who found me on Apple back in October will go back for the i-bookstore for the Holidays! 😉

And if you need books to read for the Holidays or want to gift some ebooks to friends, StoryBundle still has three great bundles also for your writer friends:

NaNoWriMo Bundle (for writers)!
Leading Ladies Fantasy (for fantasy lovers looking for strong female characters – this ends really soon, so grab it today)!
Immerse or die (indie authors that grab the reader)!

And more bundle galore at BundleRabbit as well:Fabulous Familiars and here’s a list of all the other available bundles! Yes, even on your favorite retailer!

Oh, and let’s not forget planners for writers. I have used the Writing World planners for the past 2 years, but I wasn’t totally happy with the 2016 version. So I might try this version instead – or just do without in Phase 2! 😉

I’m hopeless with widgets… the sidebar allowed you to subscribe to the newsletter but didn’t go directly to MailChimp, therefore you won’t be able to claim the free story for subscribing… So for you who signed up through the previous form, please do so again here, or click on the image on the sidebar. Sorry about that.

Last but not least – indie authors Golden Book Awards. The first phase is free, and feel free to pay the fee if you get to the finals. Enter your books here and/or vote for the entries. I have added a couple of mine… but vote for whoever you want! 🙂

Now I better go finish the previous bundles and the paper book I’ve started… Reading year coming soon… Have a great week!

Happiness is…


95

a long time ago in a galaxy far far away… 2011! 🙂

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