Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I hope you had a fabulous Easter or Passover or Just Another Weekend! 🙂 I used the time to change all my publishing plans again, LOL! So from next weekend new stories. The box sets have been postponed to the summer. And there might be a break in publishing during June, unless I manage to put together a few collections and book Mighty Editor on time.

I was hoping to be able to put up three paperbacks and order them, but one was stuck “in review” for 3 days, so my order for the first two was deleted after the first 24 hours. I had to wait until the third went live to order them all. Hopefully I’ll get them some time in the next couple of weeks.

Last week I wrote a little over 10K on the Duology and a related story before moving on. Like I said, I need to wait for the months to fly by and I still have to figure out a few kinks and rules necessary to worldbuilding, lest my readers get mad at me for contraddicting myself. It’s a different way of creating a parallel world from what I used to do, which might be why it’s taking me so long.

Remember the Infinite Bard? It still has my short story, The Raven, at the bottom… that list of free reads has grown to some 50 free stories to read online. Go check it out! 🙂 New stories go live on Thursdays, I think.

Spring is here, and next weekend EUR is all closed up for the E-prix. And since last year they couldn’t run, they’re running on both days – with no public whatsoever. They also do a slightly different circuit because this year Fuksas “Nuvola” is a vaccination center. So hopefully it will take them less time to take down everything and allow us to get on with our lives.

I’ve taken the Writing Time Travel workshop, so I might write a few more time travel stories (I already wrote a couple for the Shared Worlds workshop). If you follow me on Bookbub (reviews tab), you can see I just finished a time travel novel and I’m starting on another one (although you won’t know which until I’m done and if I like it enough to recommend it, LOL).

I did write some time travel, precisely in Books of the Immortals – Fire that came out 10 years ago. If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it for free with Newsletter #2 coming out in June. Subscribe at the publisher’s page, as I already said quite a few times.

Soon I’ll be announcing another group effort. Thank you for those who purchased the IASFA sci-fi bundle and stay tuned for more offers, both free and paid. Easing off into the routine after a week off Day Job, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


The classic editor comes and goes from this dashboard, so some learning curve will be involved in the coming days. Now I might need a couple of weeks to get used to the new thingy, but hopefully it won’t be too messy. Slowly getting the hang of it, so to speak.

Anyhow, Newsletter #1 is ready to roll with a full novel as free download. It goes out tomorrow and you still have time to subscribe, get the free story immediately and wait for the novel tomorrow. Still can’t figure out how to put sign up forms elsewhere, so please hop off to the publisher’s site and dump your email in the newsletter sign-up, thank you! 🙂

Also, last days for the sci-fi bundle… grab it now if you haven’t already! Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

My friend Francesco Verso published his first collection of short stories in English. If you’d like to try some Italian sci-fi, here’s what he has to say:

Writing short stories – contrary to popular belief – is very hard. You can’t procrastinate, you can’t hide behind turns of phrase, you have to know where you are going and which buttons to press to reach the point in as few words as possible. Paradoxically the short story is the narrative form most suitable for the accelerated times in which we all find ourselves: brief, dense, and compact, the short story is a precious and agile interface for understanding the future we will be living in for the rest of our days. These are my first eleven short stories written between 2008 and 2020, inside you will find a kaleidoscope of visions of the future, ranging from augmented reality to artificial intelligence, from gamification to #solarpunk, all the way to biotechnology and post-humanism.

You can find his book on Amazon.IT (and probably the other marketplaces as well, but this is the link he gives).

And for a different kind of sci-fi, Cygnus Rising by Craig Martelle, the first book in the Cygnus Space Opera series, is on sale for 99 cents from tomorrow. “From the ashes of their past, Cygnus was rising. From space they came, to space they returned, humanity searching for a way home.” Grab it from your favorite retaile fromr April 1. Limited time and no, not an April Fools’! 😉

Now back to regular programming! Last week I wrote 13K (more or less like the previous week) on my urban/contemporary fantasy Duology, hoping to finish a fist draft by Easter. There’s still some way to go in world-building and other stuff, so I don’t think this will come out anytime soon, but well… I’m on it! 😉

Now that Holi came and went, I had to rewrite a couple of scenes in the Duology… but I’m keeping everything in the “deleted scenes” file, just in case. The Duology ends in October, hence I won’t be able to publish before then. It will soon be dated, even if I don’t mention it’s 2020-2021, but I thought the now would be a good time to mix some magic into the hell we’re going through all over the world.

Last weekend I did most of the fun publishing stuff, i.e. covers! I like choosing the stock images and possibly get the background from my own pictures to save credits, but some places I’ve never been to, so I must use stock images. You can already see some results in the Books of the Immortals cover variants that will be available to Newsletter subscribers throughout the year: Books of the Immortals – Fire has a stock image of Timbuktu, Books of the Immortals – Ether has Junagarh Fort of Bikaner in the background, taken by yours truly back in 2016 during my tour of Rajasthan.

So I prepared all the covers for the books coming out in the next few months, and now I’m left with the boring part – editing and formatting. This morning I’ll be busy helping my friend and cover artist Cristina (who did the original Books of the Immortals covers) with her own stuff as well and no new titles will come out this weekend because it’s Easter. Most people will celebrate it – or Passover – so I won’t bother publishing anything.

Then it will be box sets and collections, and the new titles should arrive in June. It’s novellas and short stories. I have a bunch of short story collections to publish as well, and possibly another curated anthology or two. We’ll see.

paperbacks of Books of the Immortals - Air

And let’s not forget tomorrow it’s the Bookversary of Books of the Immortals – Air! Here you can read that first announcement… ten years already… where did time go? Anyhow, get the ebook for free by subscribing to the newsletter above! 🙂 With a variant cover, but it’s still the same book… or wait a couple of weeks for an even better deal… stay tuned!

A last suggested article/book in case you’re a buddying writer – For Independent Authors: The Ultimate Guide to Publishing Wide. I’m notoriously wide, although I don’t go direct to Nook and Apple, but I use both Smashwords and Draft2Digital as distributors. I have only one short story in KU, Lisa’s Odyssey, at least in English. Now I shall go back to my writing and editing and formatting paperbacks… have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the prequels to Future Earth Chronicles are now out in a single 90K book! The cover has the alien symbol with a stylized human brain at the center because… brainwaves! Gotta love those alien psy-vamps! 🙂

Last week I wrote 13K+ on two entwined books. I’m working mostly on the second book of the Duology and I had to do some research about Holi in Delhi. Besides someone saying that last year there were no celebrations because of the pandemic (my friend told me lockdown hadn’t started in India for Holi, since it was in early March…), I found this other article that even time-travels to the upcoming festival!

Yes, Holi is next week this year, but according to them:

“Holiyappa, 2021!

The event took place on the 29th of March, 2021. It was organised in The Junction, Green Park Delhi. The event promoted to offer lovely music to the audience so that they could dance and enjoy. It presented some famous DJs like Dj Dheer and DjTanuj.Its theme was ‘Music, colours and good vibes’.”

Note that it’s the only event that is set in the future in the article, so it’s probably an uncorrected (except for the date) excerpt from last year.

Anyhow, my characters already enjoyed the Rang Leela, even though it hasn’t happened yet, LOL! Actually this whole Duology is written in the near future, so I plan to go back to each chapter/month when we get there (like, I dumped a few paragraphs in March of Book 1 last week, and will do the same when April comes along). So this might see publication at the end of the year.

I might start writing some real time-travel stories later this year, but I still have to take the online workshop about writing time travel, as well as read a few time travel stories. I’m almost done with the bundles on KK, so soon I’d have to switch on the new Kindle again, and upload all the books I have gathered so far. Sigh.

I got an email from KDP saying they will no longer accept mobi files for reflowable ebooks. So I’m just going to upload word.doc from now on – I used to put up the Smashwords mobi files when there was a big ToC, but whatever. I can always upload the Smashwords epub files instead! 😉

Should writers write every day? It depends. If you need to get into the writing groove, you probably should. If you have already found what work best for you, ignore all advice. Also, remember you might change even a true and tested way of writing through your life. I agree with Chuck Wendig’s advice:

The greatest advice I think I offer to writers these days is to Know Thyself. Which is to say, figure out who you are as a writer. Your processes are your own to discover. Your voice is your own to seek and to find. Who you are and what you write and further, how you write, is something literally nobody else can tell you. So, should you write every day? Some will tell you YES YES YES, some will tell you NO NO NO, but the answer is, well, shit, I dunno. It’s both. It’s neither. All/none of the above. Maybe it’ll help you. Maybe it’ll hurt you. Maybe it’ll do the one until it does the other, because things work… until they don’t. You only learn this by trying.

Writing advice, and the conversation around is, is always to help you crystalize and contextualize your own way of doing things. And sometimes, it’s there to challenge them. I was a pantser at the start of my career until I realized I had to — had to! — be a plotter to get a book done. But Wanderers was a book I wrote without an outline. So was Dust & Grim, Book of Accidents, and Wayward. I was a pantser, then a plotter, then a pantser. None of this is permanent. I’m not permanent. My works will change and how I approach them will change, too.

I was a total pantser, now I’m a half-plotter, especially if I need to stick to a calendar of events (be them real history or fake history on a secondary world, or even alternate history on our world). And even if my voice is more or less the same, I changed and so will the stories I tell and the way I tell them.

Now, for reading and writing pleasure, check out this Kickstarter. As Kris Rusch says, it includes a book on writing as well as a full collection of fantasy books:

If you want to read the Fey, the best way to do so is to back the Kickstarter at the $30 level. You’ll get all seven existing books of the Fey, the new novella, the only Fey short story (at the moment), four other fantasy novels, and $600 in online writing workshops (at the time of this writing), all for your $30.

If you’re a writer, here are the rewards – lots of goodies and lots of learning for you. Also, re: Kickstarter for fiction writers (from Kris’s blog post above again),

Many of you are daunted by the idea of doing a Kickstarter. Dean and Loren L. Coleman are running a free class on Teachable called Kickstarter Best Practices For Fiction Writers. Investigate it. If you don’t feel ready, you have the knowledge in your back pocket for when you are ready. If you are ready, make sure you’re doing the Kickstarter the best way possible.

Know that Loren L. Coleman also has a Kickstarter on how to do a Kickstarter for your fiction. Crowdfunding Your Fiction: Best Practices can be yours for 2$! A few more days to go and it already reached the 2000$ stretch goal, so more goodies for your two bucks! 🙂

And that’s all for today… have a great week! 😀

***

Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

The Science Fiction Book Bundle will be available from May 15th thru April 4th.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


A bundle so packed full of science fiction,
we had to assemble it in orbit.

Over twenty authors have joined the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (IASFA) in a massive book bundle to warp the space-time of readers everywhere.

IASFA Book Bundles are a way for people to discover quality books written by popular authors. You know how it’s always hard to find something good to read? IASFA can help solve that with monthly free book promotions as well as through a massive Book Bundle like this.

https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The Science Fiction Book Bundle! From fantastic worlds to scowling spaceship commanders, from exploration to colonization to alien contact. There is something for everyone and probably your next favorite Science Fiction author can be found right here. We’ve compiled a bunch of hot titles and can offer them in a bundle for much less than a dollar each. Take a look and see what there is to see.

Books included:

Battlenaut Crucible By Robert Jeschonek
Cartwright’s Cavaliers By Mark Wandrey
Cygnus Rising By Craig Martelle
Day 115 on an Alien World By Jeannette Bedard
Emergence By Jacki Rawlinson
Forced Conversion By Donald J. Bingle
Forced Vengeance By Scot C. Morgan
Freedom By Fire By C.P. MacDonald
Ghost Probe By Craig A. Price
Hurt U Back By Tim Taylor
Janissaries By Chris Kennedy
Kaine’s Sanction By D.M. Pruden
On Station By J. Clifton Slater
Quinn of Cygnus: Lift Off By AM Scott
Salvage Title By Kevin Steverson
Standing the Final Watch By William Alan Webb
Star Compass By Anthea Sharp
Super-Sync By Kevin Ikenberry
The Chemical Mage By Felix Savage
The Chronicles of Jegra: Gladiatrix of the Galaxy By Tristan Vick
The Earth Concurrence By Julia Huni
Thief (Star Minds Lone Wolves) By Barbara G. Tarn
Tribari Freedom Chronicles By Rachel Ford
Uprising By Jerry Shepard
Warrior Wench By Marie Andreas

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

The Science Fiction Book Bundle will be available from March 15th thru April 4th.

***

And now we’re back to your scheduled programming… I can’t tell you how excited and humbled I am of being in such company! 😀 I personally met two of those awesome authors (Robert Jeschoneck and Craig Martelle) and I know they’re all (the 19 of them) excellent storytellers! 🙂

Go check that bundle if you love sci-fi space opera! And if you’re not familiar with my Star Minds Universe, this is a very good way of grabbing a discounted book along with many more! 😉

Now, in my enthusiasm of having more or less tamed the WordPress Newsletter plug-in and wanting to inform my newly found subscribers of the above, I sent the welcome email with the free story and the IASFA bundle link two days in advance to the first eight awesome people who accepted the subscription (including Joleene Naylor)… sorry if that link wasn’t live yet on Friday night!

And then I realized (thanks to Tori) that the welcome emails were sent automatically – again with the link to the bundle before it went live. Apologies about that.

There are still glitches, apparently, so if you couldn’t download the PDF (again, thanks, Tori, for pointing it out), reply to the welcome email and I’ll send it over. Hopefully the problem is fixed and the new subscribers won’t have problems with the download.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, and want a free story that won’t be available for sale while you wait for the official newsletter #1 coming out for the 10th anniversary of Books of the Immortals – Air (April 1), you can still do it at the publisher’s page (couldn’t copy-paste the sign-up thingy anywhere else, sorry).

Last week I wrote almost 13K, finished book 1 and started on book 2 when I got the news that Rome and Latium will be in lockdown until Easter again. Sigh. One year later and we’re still at this point. What bothered me the most last year was the long lines at the supermarkets. Hopefully it won’t be so this year – and I’ll still go to work every day.

Anyhow, since I can’t move in the real world, I’m going to travel with my characters until Easter. They’re lucky to be able to move in the pandemic-ridden world, LOL! I planned my vacation time for the whole year, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to move around much anyway.

The Easter week I’ll have to work from home anyway, prepping that newsletter, some paperbacks and other publishing stuff, but I would have loved to be able to meet with my cover artist. We used to do creative weekends, then weekends became off-limit, so I hoped I could have lunch with her during the week, since I’m off DayJob, but no siree, we’re in lockdown, no moving around in Rome! 😦

Vaccines (not enough of them) are for the over-80, medical staff, teachers and immunosuppressed people like my colleague Marco who’s been working from home for a year, and despite the vaccine doesn’t know when he’ll be able to come back to the office. My father had his shot yesterday, my mother postponed to the end of April just in case he reacts badly.

Hope things are going better on your side of the world and we’ll soon be able to travel again. I mean, I don’t mind traveling through Google Maps and Wikipedia, but sometimes just going somewhere and actually meet people instead of reading Quora answers on places is better. And I’m an introvert! 🙂

That’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s the last book of Before Future Earth Chronicles! 🙂 On the cover Ram and Zarina, which makes my friend Shafali cringe because I put a Hindu boy with a Muslim girl, but that’s the point of the story! Romeo and Juliet with religion instead of feuding families! 😉

This is a revision of Mumbai Dreams with a slightly different ending and pushed in the future. Here’s the full blurb of yhe ebook:

Two novellas at the time of the apocalypse and beyond.

“Mumbai, 2060CE” tells the love story between Ram and Zarina – a completely revised edition of Mumbai Dreams.

“Inheritor” tells the story of David, son of Daniel the vampire and Donna the alien human, kicked out of the alien facility where his parents live and exiled in the Himalayan Rainbow Town.

BONUS:

Excerpts from Rainbow Towns Journals

1. Claude Mancini, Rainbow Town Mont Blanc

2. Nour Shah, Rainbow Town Sahand

3. Jacob Davies, Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell

These three things will probably mixed with the other two books in the Omnibus that will come out in a couple of weeks. I realized I haven’t formatted that one yet because I probably haven’t decided the order in which to put the stories, since they sometimes overlap, LOL!

I mean, “Mumbai, 2060CE” is at the same time of part three of “Lockdown Begins” – same story from another point of view, should they be next to each other? Maybe I’ll put the journals first, since all three are mentioned in part one? I’ll think about it next weekend…

Last week I wrote my 10K although I spent most of the weekend cleaning up publishing stuff. I tried to change a few things on the publisher’s page and somehow screwed up, so I had to ask for help to Mighty Webmaster Admin who solved everything remotely. But I had to re-add the newsletter sign-up and when I tried to change the header picture, I couldn’t.

I did follow his instructions, but things changed in the WordPress dashboard and despite my attempts I couldn’t change the image. I won’t bother Mighty Webmaster Admin again – until the next problem. Already last week I had an email alert that something was wrong with the site, then I made a mess myself… Asking help 3 times in one week is way too much, I shall leave him alone for now! 😀

A business musing by Kris Rusch that reminded me why I’m in this still, ten years later. Yes, the world is changing, every norm has been shattered, it’s hard to predict where we’re going – and I didn’t see a rise in sales, but what she says about old traditional system and new indie publishing is still true.

And it breaks my heart that there are still young writers looking for agents. I guess I was lucky to be alive in the age of the typewriter. And in a country that didn’t have creative writing courses at the time (they started in the new millennium in case you’re wondering). And that Mom helped me understand that vanity publishers weren’t publishers and money flows to the writer and all that stuff.

I dreamed of being a writer in my teens too. But it was the 20th century, and already back then what felt awesome as soon as I wrote it became stale when I read it again two or five years later.

We change throughout our lives – I think I mentioned the various “stages” of my writing – and I’m still at a point where I hate everything I write, but I keep writing anyway because that’s what I do.

I’m a writer, I write. I’m the worst judge of my work, so I shall let readers and editors decide with their wallets. It’s a long term thing, a career, not an overnight, unsustainable success, and I will get there.

I discovered this article on Aphantasia, which actually matches my lack of setting, although probably for different reasons from the author of the article.

When I was younger I didn’t put a setting because I was too lazy, but I did see a movie in my head. Talking heads in white rooms mostly. Now I have trouble visualizing scenes, and sometimes I start thinking how I’d write it, instead of trying to visualize it.

What I mean is we change also in the way we express ourselves. I used to write down the movies in my head, dialog-heavy with a camera always on extreme close-up.

Now I’m more wordy and less visual, but the transition isn’t smooth. I still have trouble every now and then, and I try to visualize the scene, and then think how I could write it down – with the setting and everything.

Another thing that changed through the decades is going from real people in my stories (during my teens) to virtual casts of celebrities (from movies and music videos) to finding inspiration from stock images or DazStudio 3D rendering characters (although I still thow in Da Muses and other celebrities every now and then)

That’s probably why sometimes I cringe when I read older titles, but I’m not going to rewrite them They are the best stories I could write at the time, and I moved on since.

I don’t think I’m completely changing my voice now, at 50+ and after 15 years of switching to writing primarily in English! 🙂

If I ever write something that doesn’t sound like me, I have another super sikrit pen name ready! 😀

Oh, and remember that contest for Cupid flash fiction/poems? I posted a flash fiction, but Tori, who posted after me, won the contest! So glad I sent her their way! Congrats, Tori! And you guys can go check that page and enjoy those valentine stories! 🙂

Last but not least: more free books at IASFA! Go check the Alien SciFi free books page! The promotion runs from March 9-13!

Next week, the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (IASFA) will announce a science fiction book bonanza that is out of this world.

And if you’re anti-Zon (most IASFA autors are Kindle Unlimited), there’s also a BookFunnel giveaway with 150+ (!) SFF books! Ends at the end of the month…

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to start with the wordcount because it was low (the lowest of the year) but in the grander scheme of these past 10 years I’m doing just great, LOL! So, last week I wrote only 6.5K words and took the weekend off to ponder what I should do to celebrate these past ten years.

A quick recap is as follows:

2011-2014 I didn’t keep track of yearly wordcounts, so I can only count the published works: 1263600words (1.2million words)

2015: 402700words

2016: 468700words

2017: 347100words

2018: 535300words

2019: 533100words

2020: 588800words

2021: 74595words so far

Grand total: 2850295words (almost 3 million words, which I’ll hit sometime this year for sure) for 2015-2021, with the most written during the pandemic year (when I couldn’t travel and the only thing I could do was writing, a good way of traveling with my imagination, since the body was stuck, LOL!)

So, instead on concentrating about hitting that goal of wordcount again, I’m going to concentrate on revamping the first titles for this year – while still writing new stuff, of course. I need to find new readers for those 4 million words, LOL!

I’ll probably restart the newsletter soon (you can already subscribe on the publisher’s page) and I’m pondering what to give you, the reader, to entice you to subscribe! 😉

It will still be bi-montly, like it used to be between 2015 and 2019, but no more on MailChimp. I’m trying the WordPress Newsletter plug-in, and I’m currently studying it. Stay tuned for news!

Monday I checked the file that I got back from the editor and then yesterday I went back to the novel I had interrupted to write a few assignments. Hopefully the wordcount will rise again this week! More good news coming this month, but I can’t say much just yet. Again, stay tuned.

Back to writing and creating! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new title! Another prequel, before Future Earth Chronicles, again the apocalypse years but from the humans (and human symbionts) points of view. On the cover is Kaya, who invites a Terran neuroscientist in Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell (the one that is featured in Brainwaves, in case you have read the series).

The apocalypse years through the eyes of both Terrans and alien humans.
Neuroscientist Jacob Davies is invited to Rainbow Town by mysterious college mate Kaya Satsuko with a job offer he can’t refuse.

Suzzi hears her friends talking about vampires and asks to be assigned outside of Rainbow Town. She goes to work in Beijing where, along with Bao, she’ll have to tackle the venomous Asian vampires living in the area.

Yudi is the son of a Terran and an alien human who has followed his best friend to Mumbai. Ram hopes to break into Bollywood, but then he falls in love…

So, go grab Lockdown Origins at your favorite retailer. The paperback will be available with the omnibus in March. Stay tuned!

After reading David Gaughran’s post on covers, I went to peruse some premades… I’m just wondering why, in 2021, with an ongoing pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic covers still show a nuclear apocalypse like in the 20th century. Sigh.

Having researched gas masks for Breathe (that you can find in Breathe), I can also tell you that those filters don’t last, so they’re pretty much useless in a nuclear apocalypse. None of those covers would work for my Future Earth Chronicles, where the apocalypse is just a collapse of technology and power stations (see what’s happening in Texas without power)…

But then, I’m dealing mostly with Rainbow Towns, at least for now. Maybe eventually I’ll show the actual collapse outside of those underground settlements! Still, I doubt any of those covers would work for me anyway.

Moving on, an nice article on what the 2021 Facebook changes mean for authors. Now, my author page used to be a Fan Page, like they mention in the article, and I’m sick of having Facebook asking me if I’m hiring, if I’m giving Covid information, and if I have business hours. I’m an author, not a business yet!

The group connected to that page is now private and with no members, since I couldn’t find a way to close it. And I won’t ever use Facebook ads or even Facebook Live, but YMMV. So, thank you for following this blog (if you like my blathering) or follow the publisher’s page if you want to know only when a new book is out.

I still haven’t studied the Newsletter WordPress plugin and I’m not ready to go that way just yet, so you’ll have to bear with me on this very blog or the above page for now! 😉

And before I forget, last week I wrote a little over 8K until Friday, then the weekend was off writing for various reasons. 1) I screwed up the latest story and will need to rewrite it, but it doesn’t have a close deadline, so I had to push it to the side because 2) I got another call with a much closer deadline so I had to concentrate on that instead.

By Monday afternoon another 2.5K were down, though, so I guess the 10K are done! Moving on to the next project (or rewriting that story, it was an experiment and it was a failure, so back to the drawing board! 😉 )!

A year ago at this time I was in Vegas at the Anthology Workshop where I sold a story that will come out this year around Halloween… and that was my last international/intercontinental trip. We’re back to semi-lockdown and I won’t be able to travel through Italy either, so I won’t attend a good friend’s wedding in Piedmond. Sigh.

We shall travel again, though! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, more writers’ quotes than ever! Happy Sunday!

I am more and more aware of this dichotomy in the indie community. There is a pervasive focus on vanity metrics like sales ranking or number of books sold over profit and money in the bank.

Many consider it ‘better’ to reach number one on Amazon in a category where they have paid for a ton of advertising than bulk sell thousands of books that no one will ever know about but have thousands of dollars extra in the bank.

As Orna Ross noted in the Blockchain for Books white paper,

“Many authors crave attention more than money and overvalue their work emotionally while undervaluing it commercially.”

Orna is a literary fiction and creative non-fiction author, poet and founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and told me that the biggest challenge for authors is “to understand that you are in business and what that means, as well as knowing the value of what you create.”

Orna has challenged herself to understand her ‘comps,’ or comparison titles, and to dig deep into the micro-genres around her books. She also stressed the importance of looking outside the publishing world for ideas – definitely something I felt coming out of the fair. I think we have more in common with the tech community than the publishing world most of the time.

Joanna Penn

 

And here you might be saying, WHOA WHOA WHOA, WHY ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME TO CONSIDER MY CAREER, OR THE MARKET, OR TO CONSULT THE ORACLES OF PUBLISHING.

Listen, you can care about that stuff.

Maybe you even should, I dunno. It’s certainly not the worst idea to try to imagine what things might sell and what things might not. But… the reality is, nobody actually knows anything? I’ve made this point before but it demands a return visit: nobody knows anything inside publishing. They can make guesses. Many can make educated guesses based off insight and experience. But there’s no answer. And by the time you actually write the thing that might serve the market, the market will have changed. As I’ve said before, you’re aiming your spaceship at a star that has already burned out — the light from it just hasn’t caught up yet. The market is an unknowable entity. It is a lightless, doom-filled eye whose only language is chaos. It’s Sauron, it’s the Death Star, it’s Kanye West’s Twitter account. My advice is to stay away from it.

Chuck Wendig

 

After innumerable rounds of revisions, when the stress of ‘will it sell or will it die?’ had disappeared, I finally began to chip away at a new idea. And you know what?

I wrote another book. Sometimes I wrote for eighteen hours on both Saturday and Sunday, every weekend for a month. And sometimes I didn’t even open the document for four weeks. But eventually, it became a book shaped thing, and I realized that I didn’t have to write every single day to be a writer. I have to write when the ideas won’t simmer anymore and come to a boil. I have to write when I’m able to devote my thought processes to the project at hand, and not the one that hasn’t sold, or the one that I need to revise. I have to write when my job or my kids or my yard work or any of the other responsibilities I have aren’t dragging at my thoughts. Sometimes that happens every day, and sometimes it doesn’t happen for a month, but the fact is, just because my life gets in the way sometimes does not mean that I’m not a writer. If book shaped things eventually come out of my brain, then I am, by definition, a writer.

Stacey Filak

 

Leave your creative voice alone, folks.

Change to positive. And how do you do that with so much training in the other way? Actually, simply do three things…

1… Stop caring so much about the final product, just do the best you can.

2… Write one draft, clean with cycling in creative voice, and release with a promise to yourself you won’t touch it again.

3… Have fun. Make writing fun again. Make it play.

Then stand back because you will be writing stories you never expected to write and having a blast doing it.

Dean Wesley Smith

 

It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

– Ernest Hemingway

 

But as a writer, you most likely will begin to tire of writing the same kind of thing over and over. As we age, our tastes tend to change. The lighthearted stories of wonder that we told when we were young might not become as interesting as other genres, and so many authors will want to explore—much to the dismay of their fans, who will feel disappointed and betrayed.

And so the mounting pressures from fans, publishers, agents, and spouses all combine to a point where the author just says, “Screw all of you!” and has to walk away for a while.

But here is the thing: If you’re an artist, it is not a lifestyle that you can choose. The truth is, those creative fires keep burning within you, and you have to come back. You will be different, will have grown and evolved, but you’re still a creative.

I believe that you will find that your inner joy is still tied to the arts. So the old band gets back together, minus a player or two, with a couple of new faces. Or the painter picks up his brush and begins a new work, or the writers wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get a dream out of his head until it transforms into a story.

The thing that I want to say is this: In life, we undergo creative highs and lows. At the highest points, we might sit and write for sixteen hours a day and it feels as if the book is merely “writing itself” while all that we do is type. At a low point, we might wonder if we will ever be able to write again.

David Farland

 

If you think of stories as conversation—gone after the words are uttered—you won’t be as tempted to go back and tweak. Just let the words represent that past moment. Move forward. Move on.

Realize that there are lot more important things in the world right now than some perceived literary transgression.

And because we’re all stressed and terrified and grieving, we need fiction. A lot of it. Some people want entertainment that they call mindless. (I don’t think any entertainment is mindless.) Others want an incredible challenge. And still others want to have their buttons pushed in fiction, so their buttons don’t get pushed in real life.

Our job is to provide all of that. Write. Write a lot. Give the stressed and grieving a different world, something else to think about, a different preoccupation, if only for a few hours.

There’s value in that. A lot more value than we writers usually give credence to.

So write the tough topics. Write the easy topics.

Just write.

Because that’s what we do.

Kris Rusch

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Soooo… already back to the old template, LOL! Last week I wrote almost 12K, which brought the yearly total to almost 60K – so 440K to go for my yearly goal! 😀 I wrote two short stories and started on a third that I will finished on Monday. Next week I have Mighty Editor booked, so she’s getting some work! 😉

I have two more shorts I’d like to write before going back to the Novel That Had Been Shelved (that was put in a drawer for the past couple of weeks because… deadlines on short stories).  Hopefully in March I’ll get back to it, which is good, since it’s happening now, LOL!

I took it easy during the weekend (again, between projects procrastination…) and watched a couple of movies. Birds of Prey was mostly funny and not bad. I probably prefer watching villains than super heroes with super problems, haha! I might not have girls’ nights (especially since lockdown, but even before that I was a grumpy old spinster), but I liked the dynamics of the unwilling team.

And then there was Mine, directed by two Italians but shot in English (except the DVD was dubbed, sigh). Considering that I don’t like war or soldier movies, I was kind of intrigued and amused by this one. They guy had anger issues, but listening to the extras and the directors explaining how it’s a metaphor of his life, I guess it’s not bad at all.

So, enjoying a movie about a guy stuck on a mine is really interesting! I had both on my ToWatch list for months, and I’m glad I finally got to see them! Now, if I could get to those Roman movies… but the Roman vampire is temporarily shelved, so I might as well wait another year or three (those two movies have been on the ToWatch pile for years, not months)! 😀

If you follow me on Bookbub, you’ll have seen I recommended Space 1975, now available everywhere – I mean, besides the Kickstarter. Can’t publish each and every Amazon link, so I guess I’ll put the Goodreads link. Sigh.

If you’re looking for pre-made covers, Juan Padròn is having a sale until the end of the month. He does mostly horror or thriller covers, but there are a few fantasy and sci-fi covers. If I didn’t have my plate full, I’d buy a couple just to write the story based on the cover, LOL! Make sure to check the pre-mades on page 1, page 2 and page 3! Only 55$ each, highly recommended! 🙂

I guess that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And, as announced, the first book of the prequels is out! Alien Humans (Before Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) is a short novel or a novella (too short for a Bookbub New Release alert, so you won’t hear about it there) that tells of the arrival of the aliens and their human symbionts on Earth, and that’s Dinniel the cyborg on the cover. Guest stars, some well known (to who ever follows Vampires Through the Centuries) vampires! 🙂 Actually Dinniel meets Alain, and you can read about him for free here.

Sometimes in the early 1980s an alien starship in the form of a silver disk landed on the Tibetan plateau, ready to settle on Earth. The two alien species living in symbiosis discover the local intelligent life is identical to the weak link of their bond, the humans who feed their brainwaves to the actual owners of the starship.

Meet Dinniel, Dachie, Sepideh and Pajtim, who are in their twenties and must learn to communicate and mingle with Terrans. And then the apocalypse generation, born on Earth and integrated in the 21st century culture: Jael, Dariox, Dayana and Donna who falls in love with Daniel the vampire.

Last week I reached 5800 words and had to stop, research and read for a professional anthology project. Then I started on the new assignment with another  2300 words, so the grand total is around 8K. I guess that, since I have stopped working on that project, I will use the rest of the month to write for another couple of anthologies. The current WiP (novel) was changing under me with every new scene, so it will probably need more time to come to life!

I might as well get the other things out of the way first, but this year is probably the sci-fi and urban fantasy year. At least it feels so for now. We’ll see. I’m not berating myself for anything and just keep trudging forward, waiting for the dust to settle and see what the world will be like in the coming years.

Hopefully not like in the Before Future Earth Chronicles, since you know those years will lead to the apocalypse of western civilization! 🙂 And the series page is updated, by the way. Although on Amazon I added them as prequels, so they won’t appear on the main series page just yet. But on the publisher’s page and Smashwords, they’ll be there! 🙂

And there are free books again! This month it’s Epic Fantasy! Go check them! Who knows, maybe at some point there will be one of mine… probably towards the end of the year! 😉

I’m supposed to check on trains and other real life stuff, but the weather is so dreadful that I’m kind of happy to go home and write, LOL! Now I better go back to work and finish and mail the latest short… Have a great week! 🙂

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